Yes it does Carlin. But power comes with costs. Power often gets caught with its pants down when it does not pay attention to the "costs of power".
Further.... The cost of power can be seen as expensive or cheap to manufacture and hold.
A little history: Nation states can be viewed as Cost of Power responses. When the cost is low, nations decentralize and may devolve totally, perhaps down to the city level or the level of the individual.
The 1800's in the USA was a good example. The Colt 45 brought the cost of power down to a few months wages for a six shooter.
The 1900's the cost of power rose again (no individual could afford it) and iron battle ships was needed with large cannons and newly invented planes and trains to take hundreds of thousands of soldiers to the battlefield where weapons were so advanced and expensive, soldiers did not see "the whites of the enemies eyes".
Or go back to the Roman Empire. It took acres of land and forests to mine and smelt the steel armor shield and swords for each soldier. Rome had the numbers, expensively outfitted and trained. A full time standing army. Then came a small technical advance. The Stir-up. It allowed the horse rider for the first time stand up, hold on, as a dozen of your co horse riders jumped the Roman legions front lines. Once over, you and your German-Ukrainian-Poland buddies could ride to the city and rape and pillage all you wanted. No more Emperors, no more empire.
Fast forward to 1600 in Europe. Europe was terrified of the Czar in Russia. Why? The largest standing all horse army ever known. Two times larger than France or Germany combined. Britain was terrified but safe, sending expensive sailing ships around the world for economic gain through trade. China and Japan, very strong and well armed countries in their own right, could not handle a dozen British ships with cannons and 50 British soldiers. British Ships sailed right up the rivers of China, to Beijing, mostly un-harmed. In Japan, British ships sailed straight up the river and made such a decisive and quick victory, the whole of Asia was astonished and frightened. That was the first time Japan, America's mistress, lost face. Japan has not forgot. Americans can't remember. And hell has no fury like a vengeful Mistress scorned. When China's power arrives, Americans should expect their mistress to have found a new lover.
Imagine a foriegn power today, so fearless of our power and might and numbers, sending an armada right up the river to govt in Washington or up the Mississippi.
The Costs of Power can change overnight. That was the 9-11 "wake up call" to Americans and in particular, to our government in Washington. Billions on the pentagon could not stop it. NORAD was out to lunch, for what ever reason. 2001 we were all put on notice, its different now. "Blow back" is real cost of our empire and government.
The question is, do Americans want their government? It is costly and dangerous to have one this big, like a bull in a China Shop, we will be breaking the China soon. The bull may be surprised to learn that Iran was in that China shop and its owner does not like the bull very much.
Costa Rica has no standing army. Mexico has an army that does not leave its boarders, per their own Constitution. And they seem "safe". Is there a lesson?
Next, China is a billion strong, so is India. Should Americans integrate their country with all of the Americas, they would still not be a billion strong. But as the market decentralizes, if America does integrate with both Central and South America, it will remain strong in world affairs. In needs the numbers to have both influence and power. And it needs to decentralize and achieve the high growth rates that Capitalist China has had.
And the Cost of Power really took a nose dive and changed the world we live in in 1980, thanks to Steve Jobs and Macintosh. Suddenly, not just big companies had computers, the little guy had them too. Then our computers became bigger than theirs with the arrival of the FREE Internet.
And the low cost internet information revolution fueled the Revolution. MSM was put on notice, with declining readership, the internet was here.
Now the Corporations have fought back. We are about to get sucker-punched.
The FREE Internet is about to die a corporate take over and death. It will soon cost you and I for what we now get for free. How long this will last, I don't know. Already FISA makes it perfectly clear the govt says we have no 4th amendment. The Constitution is dead on arrival. Media companies who handed over our info, are all off the hook.
But the cost of power continued to decline. The individual is getting stronger, and the STATE knows it.
In 1971 the cost of a international cruise missile with a warhead of some kind on it cost millions and millions of dollars, many men where needed to store it, aim it, and launch it.
By 1990, the cruise missile looked like a long surf board and cost under a million to make. Fewer people where needed to build one, store it, aim it and launch it.
Today in 2008, they are the size of a snow board or long ski. They can be made and put together by just one or two knowledgeable people who have access to the internet and some books. They can be made for less than the cost of a new 4 wheel drive truck. You can say "charge it" if you dare. Laptops, GPS and homing devices found on cell phones can be used to launch the thing by just one person. In Iraq today our troops are getting killed by these iud's---via-cellphones and remotely detonated. 4th generation warfare is here to stay as long as the costs of warfare are in decline --racing to the level of the individual. Indeed, this was said before 9-11-01 in a book called, The Sovereign Individual
and this book here called The Lucifer Principle
A person so inclined could build a cruise missile inside a mini-storage unit, then later visit the IRS building in Utah or any govt target say in Washington and leave behind a cell phone. Then from thousands of miles away, indeed even out of the country, dial up on their laptop and launch the cruise missile out the mini storage, any mini storage in America really could be a launch platform, and there is nothing Washington could do about it.
That is one person, driving up the river, right to Washington's empire. Thats 50 Brits sailing up to Beijing, thats a dozen horse riders with stir-ups jumping over the thousand man Roman line.
The costs of war is going down despite set backs and economic calamities. Indeed, soon low cost power, cheaper than oil will be world wide.
So the end of nation states with large empires will fall, and those Cities that survive are the ones that integrate with free trade and open immigration and have no problem integrating into a world economy that is itself decentralized, not directed from above.
The Costs of Power is good lens to look at world politics. As the costs go up, so do large grand Nation-States like the Egyptian empire, the Roman Empire, the Chinese Empire, the British Empire. As costs go down, empires collapse and the nations that survive are the ones with very decentralized power structures. We used to have sheriffs, king of the land. Now we have 5 star generals and Central Command.
As the cost of energy increases, look for the costs of power to decrease through an unexpected technical revolution....as it always has.
Power may do what it wants George Carlin, but its getting cheaper to have power, and that changes the rules of the game. You will be sorely missed.
In Peace & Liberty,
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