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The Roman Republic fell when its Empire demanded a professional army, a vast bureaucracy, and a decision maker at the top (a “decider”). When the British Empire was faced with a choice between imperialism and democracy, they chose democracy. Now, in Nemesis, author Chalmers Johnson (Blowback) shows how America’s imperial overstretching is undermining the republic itself, both economically and politically.
From the pipe-dream plans to militarize outer space to Constitution-breaking presidential activities at home and the devastating corruption of a toothless Congress—Nemesis offers a striking description of the trap into which the dreams of America’s leaders have taken us. Drawing comparisons to empires past, Johnson explores, in vivid detail, just what the unintended consequences of our dependence on a permanent war economy are likely to be. What does it mean when a nation’s main intelligence organization becomes the president’s secret army? Or when the globe’s sole “hyperpower,” is no longer capable of paying for the vaulting ambitions of its leaders, and becomes the greatest hyper-debtor of all times?
Whether looking at the ugly history of the CIA or the construction of permanent military bases in Iraq, Johnson presents a frighteningly detailed account of where we’ve gone wrong and what can be done to stop our descent down the road to destruction.
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