Athens and America: A Study of the Paralleled Rise and Fall of Empires

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Zeus or Poseidon?

History Repeats Itself

The global empire of the United States bears staggering similarities to that of the ancient Athenian empire; both rose through an influx in foreign wealth, fought long and costly wars, and lost their supremacy due to singular, devastating defeats.

Athens’s rise and fall was intertwined with the grand conflict of the Peloponnesian War.  Before the war, Athens dominated Greece.  Tribute, paid through monetary and naval capital by Delian League, was arbitrarily used by Athens for its own betterment.  Under Pericles, Athenians built great public works, such as the Parthenon, with foreign money.

Later, the tectonic Peloponnesian War erupted between Athens and Sparta.  Neither could defeat the other, so the conflict evolved into a regional, strategic struggle.  Foreign campaigns, like in Sicily, eroded the strength of the Athenians.  Athens was too heavily invested in these foreign conflicts.

Athens risked too much and the Peloponnesian League, Sparta and her network of Allies, punished them for it.  The tipping point for the Athenian Empire was at Syracuse.  Athenian generals procrastinated at the beginning of the conflict; this delay resulted in the unsuccessful siege of the city rather than a victorious strike.  Spartan reinforcements had enough time to reinforce Syracuse and beat back the Athenians.  Countless ships of Athens were lost in the harbor of Syracuse.  Athenian morale was splintered with their strength broken.  The downward spiral of Athens lasted eight painful years before they surrendered to Sparta.

America is on the downhill slide of the Athenian curve as she circles her own defeat.  Historians would place the high point of the American empire at the close of World War Two.  At this point, many nations adored the victorious liberators.  Wealth flowed into America in exchange for manufactured products.  Destruction of international economic competitions, with the bombings of Europe and the wars of East Asia, enabled this modern reincarnation of Athenian tribute.  Buoyed by foreign wealth, politicians constructed highways, funded Social Security, and created Medicare.  Meanwhile, the Cold War flickered into forest fire.

Forces mobilized against the United States; America’s Cold War would mirror Athens’s Peloponnesian War. Many nations sided with the USSR, and later China, in a manifold communist threat against the United States.  Communist converts were afraid of being poached by America’s predatory foreign policy; the CIA coup of democracy in Iran, GI’s fought the rightful rule of Vietnam, and paratroopers invaded Grenada.  This only empowered America’s enemies.

American capitalism and USSR’s communism fought long and hard, sapping global capital. China besieged the United States in Korea, freedom fighters in Afghanistan killed millions of Russians, and the Middle East burned as Israel, Egypt, and Syria warred.  Ideological conflicts continue to this day in various modern forms.  By 2011 America had overextended herself.  Tens of thousands of troops were stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq, NATO jets controlled the airspace of Libya, and drone strikes assassinated opposition figures in Yemen.

Here the American model caught up to the Athenian timeline.  The next chronological event was a major defeat of the American Empire at the hand of the Chinese.  Despite having the best universities, arguably the most innovative populace, and the most capital the American economy was overtaken by the oppressive, environmentally destructive, and antagonistic Chinese economy. The Americans would be surpassed by 2020; China was declared the Sparta of the modern age.  As early as 2011 the Chinese were flexing their strength, the flow of resources, such as rare metals, was halted to the United States.  It would not be long until other essential elements of the globalized economy simply went missing.  America’s empire unraveled, just as its star-crossed ancestor Athens did before it.

What is “Occupy Wall Street?” : The American Variant of the Arab Spring & The Origin of the Second American Revolution

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IMG_7418

Occupy Wall Street Protesters Arrested For Campaigning For Basic Human Rights

It should be noted that the Arab Spring flared in America on September 24, 2011 and has since burned brightly, lighting downtown New York City while singeing Chicago, Denver, and Los Angles.  This global revolution has taken the form Occupy Wall Street here in America.  They campaign for ethical reforms for majority of the population, which are needed to combat the unconstitutional and immoral actions of the richest 1% of the population.   In the words of Michael Moore, “Something has Started.” This is the beginning of the Second American Revolution.

What are the Occupy Wall Street Protestors Moving to Accomplish?

They want to enact economic and judicial reforms on a national scale.

They are campaigning against a broad range of failings that have hurt the American public.  Several important issues are combating corporate greed, unshackling union’s collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin, and overturning Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a Supreme Court Decision that gave corporations the right to invest unlimited funds in political campaigns.  Many demonstrators believe the financial sector, embodied by the Wall Street Stock exchange, to be at the heart of these problems.  This is why ground zero for Occupy Wall Street is in New York City; they really just want their voices to be heard in the increasingly polarized and glaringly corporate political battleground.

Will They Be Successful?

Yes.

Their protest is the American manifestation of the Arab Spring, which has uniformly been unstoppable.  The trend with this sociopolitical titan has been that nations either meet the demands of the populace or inevitably fall to rebellion.  These protests will be historically noted as the beginning of either one or the other in America.

The Arab Spring has already been felt around the world, from the revolting Arab nations successfully completing revolutions, British looting of London, and Greek riots spreading anarchy.  Everywhere people are revolting against the same issues, only the names and places are different.  It is likely historians will it call the Jasmine Revolution, after its original name with the fiery startup in Tunisia.

These initial protests may not be successful, perhaps doing little more than slowing a few investors commute.  What is significant is that Americans are mobilizing not against any specific issue, but instead against the decaying economic order.  They are protesting the schism between the astounding wealthy and the numerous poor.  This is similar to other “Jasmine Revolutions.”

How Does Occupy Wall Street Resemble the Arab Spring?

Occupy Wall Street, which can be identified as a public organization for economic reform, bears striking similarities to the origins of most Arab Spring revolutions.

The Tunisians, the first pioneer of the Arab Spring, say their revolution was sparked by “unbalanced economic growth” as well.  Egyptians revolted due to, “rising food prices, high unemployment, and the corruption that pervades economic life in the region.”  Yemen is on the verge of a regime change, because of a widely corrupt government and major “economic grievances.”  With the exception of the corruption, all of these concerns are prevalent in every region of the United States.  The maldistribuiton of wealth and resources in America parallels those of the revolting Arab States; it was only a matter of time before distraught and jobless citizens took action.

Why Has There Been Police Brutality?

I would like to make note that while there have been a few occasions, including one incident involving dangerous use of pepper spray and others where police aggressively arrested unruly protesters, on the whole Occupy Wall Street has not suffered from unexpected amounts of police brutality.  This is a large-scale, well covered protest; incidents of this nature happen during such demonstrations.   It could be much worse and much more violent.  These cases of controversial police aggression are regrettable results from the patriotic activism of the protesters going beyond conventional terms of engagement.  These protesters knew the risks when they decided to stand up for what they believed in.  The policemen are simply doing their jobs; I would not judge them too critically lest they desert our popular cause entirely.  Everybody knows they did wrong, all we can hope is that incidents do not persist.

The Revolutionary (Cell) Service: Katrin Verclas Invents Phone Application To Protect Leaders of the Arab Spring

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Samsung CDMA Phone

Do encrypted and safe phones mean the Arab Spring uprisings are In the Clear?

The American Government is funding cell phones designed to guard grassroots rebellions; don’t worry; these measures are not counter intuitive.  This technology was designed to empower the rightful leaders in oppressed countries to coordinate victorious revolutions.  Grants from the State Department have now launched this cell phone application called In the Clear.

This initiative gives the people’s leaders quick disposable communication that could be electronically wiped at the flick of a switch.  This function protects everything that would be endangered if the phone fell into enemy hands;  list of critical contacts, locations of weapon caches, and planned actions. In addition rudimentary encryption provides a powerful shield against cyber warfare and government snoops.

Previously, caught rebels were forced to swallow their SIM cards to protect their friends, now they can save freedom without the toxic indigestion.  These phones are already in use in Arab Spring battlegrounds.

Why Are Cell Phones Critical to Revolutions?

The keystone to the fall of Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya has been one innovation: instant communication.  Cell phones and social media networks have allowed public rebellions to ignite, flourish, and defeat oppression.

Uncensored slaying videos circulating over YouTube, massive coordinated protests through Facebook, and revolutionaries are mobilizing protesters, and militias, through cell phones.  Without being able to quickly react and take advantage of opportunities not only would have these righteous revolutions lagged, they might have even been crushed.  The Libyan rebels have been using cell phones since the beginning of their rebellion to battle Gaddafi.  In the coming revolutions in Syria and Yemen the handheld technology will continue to play a crucial role in mitigating bloodshed in the transfers of power.

Who Innovated These Phones?

The mastermind behind In The Clear is Katrin Verclas.  She runs an inventive activist group called MotiveActive, whose primary goals surround easier access to instant communication and knowledge proliferation.  The technology behind In the Clear was funded by grants from the State Department in association with a rapidly expanding Internet Freedom and accessibility.

Internet access is a basic human right, according to the United Nations; these cell phones are a crucial step in defending this right in unstable nations. Verclas’s phone application will play a major role in empowering the people where they need it most.

Perhaps they will be used domestically in the future, hopefully not in violent forums.

China Arming Gaddafi: $200 Million Dollar Arms Deal Jeopardizes Future of Libya

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Libyan Rebels Discover the Chinese Have Been Arming Gaddafi

Beijing has hastily covered up of a $200 million arm deal with Gaddafi and his militant regime.  The deal took place to prop up the illegitimate regime. Libyan rebels have been capturing modern weapons with Chinese origins, it is speculated that they were secretly shipped to pro-Gaddafi force through Algeria. Papers found in the rubbish of pro-Gaddafi leaders confirmed the deal.   International ire has been raised; Beijing’s Gaddafi gamble has cast a shadow over their credibility and doubtlessly killed hundreds of rebels.

What Comprised of The Weapon Deal?

Everything to outfit a brand new army.

The papers revealing the weapons deal stated that rocket launchers, anti-tank, anti-aircraft missiles would be shipped in addition to assorted small arms.  Many good Libyans died to these advanced weapons.  Perhaps more will.  Gaddafi forces have retreated into Niger, it is speculated they will wage a terrorist war against Libya to attempt to regain control.  China did not score a strategic success, only pools of more bloodshed.

How is China Reacting To the Exposure?

China has now officially admitted that there were arms talks.

To make up for their failing the Chinese are stepping up regulation of private Chinese weapons manufactures.  This feint probably will not halt international outrage.  China has already overstepped its bounds in foreign affairs on many occasions.  Some examples including supporting the tyrannical North Korea or annexing Tibet.  This flair for violence has so far been tolerated; however it is poisoning the world against Beijing.  Libya’s Transitional Council is investigating this incident as anger flares throughout their supporters.  Libya will not be a fan of the Chinese.

Why Would China Fight the Rebels?

Beijing is posturing for a Second Cold War.

Arming America’s enemies is reminiscent of previous Chinese interventions, such as Vietnam; they perpetuated a twenty war with tens of thousands of American casualties by arming the Vietcong and NVA covertly.  The goal was to win influence for China through killing its enemies, the Americans, through indirect means.  Their objectives are met and China is not publicly threatened.

The Western powers have aligned with the rebels.  China seeks a world empire to match that of the Westerners.  Damaging new additions to Western Coalition will weaken NATO, the European UN, and the United States. Libya has oil, China views it as a valuable player should war evolve.  Weakening this hapless state, while they are violent civil war, reinforces their position.

Calculated moves such as this have already set the Second Cold War in motion, only historians will mourn our loss of peace.

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