from International Man:
One of the symptoms of a declining empire is that it becomes less and less productive and therefore less relevant to other countries. Any empire, whilst in its prime, will have a strong currency. As its productive relevance declines, so will its currency. Invariably, its leaders attempt to keep the currency strong, in spite of the decline in national relevance. Rather than return to a more productive condition, the empire almost invariably resorts to force.
The US has been unusually forceful in this regard. In order to retain the dollar as the currency upon which oil is denominated and paid for, the US has attacked countries (Iraq, Libya) when their leaders have announced that they will, in future, accept other currencies or gold as payment for oil.
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