Crux of The Nature of Empire by John Michael Greer:

  • People use the word Empire as a symbol or evil (e.g. David Korten) or order and peace (e.g. Niall Ferguson). But the actual meaning is this:
  • “An empire is an arrangement among nations, backed and usually imposed by military force, that extracts wealth from a periphery of subject nations and concentrates it in the imperial core. Put more simply, an empire is a wealth pump, a device to enrich one nation at the expense of others.”
  • There are different methods for extracting wealth. Ancient empires used direct tributes, modern ones, like the US, use unbalanced exchange.