Star-Crossed Super Ships: Titanic, Enterprise, America

Column by Douglas Herman.

Exclusive to STR

The whole world looked different one hundred years ago.
In 1912, the automobile and the airplane were curiosities. England enjoyed an enormous empire in 1912, served by freighters, tankers, liners and warships. As immigration flooded across the Atlantic Ocean, hundreds of those ships ferried passengers across to America. Shipyards launched bigger ships. The biggest ship in 1912 was called the Titanic. Nearly a thousand feet long, 882 feet to be exact, she carried twice the safe number of passengers as lifeboats. She carried paupers and millionaires, immigrants and world leaders to a watery grave, and no one believed it could ever happen then.
One hundred years ago today, the Titanic conducted her sea trials and awaited her maiden voyage, due in April. Unsinkable the pundits said of the Titanic, as they said of the entire British empire. As they say of the American Empire today. Unsinkable. In 1912, the world enjoyed a prosperous period of peace. Financiers in England and America enjoyed their newfound leviathan, a secret plan for an enormous private bank called the Federal Reserve, which they hoped to launch a year later, in 1913. This titanic undertaking, this bank, followed by a federal income tax, was unsinkable, some said.
One hundred years later, 2012, the largest ships in the world are warships. The soon-to-be decommissioned (or sunk) aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise (CVN-65), currently bound for the Persian Gulf, is almost longer than the Titanic by the length of a football field at 1,123 feet. Ironically, there were three White Star ships similar to Titanic. Enormous ships, like enormous empires, seem predestined for tragedy and misfortune. Titanic and her sister ships all ended their existence in tragedy.
The Aptly Named Titanic Enterprise of America: The Fed
Like the Titanic and the USS Enterprise, the Federal Reserve system, indeed America, resembles an enormous ship, carrying paupers and millionaires. Formidable but fragile. Frozen water sank the Titanic, sank the biggest ship in the world, just as paper debt composed of zeros on a computer screen could sink the biggest ship in the world in 2012.  
A floating Ponzi scheme, called the World's Reserve Currency, sent the USS Enterprise steaming to the Persian Gulf a week ago. To protect the empire, to protect the dollar hegemony, a trio of powerful carriers will soon be in the gulf. Yet every empire, like every star-crossed super ship, eventually dies an inglorious death. The star-crossed super ship Titanic sank because it struck frozen water. The star-crossed super ship America will probably sink under endless zeros on a computer screen, bankrupt, sinking by the bow, her warships sent halfway around the world to hasten her sinking, her citizens rushing to the stern.
The Titanic struck an iceberg and none of the passengers panicked--not paupers or millionaires--until the ship began to sink by the bow. Then passengers scurried to the stern, seeking safety. By then it was too late. One hundred years later, the biggest ship in the world is America. Debt is the iceberg. Endless wars are the ice pack encircling the ship.
Addendum: In 1912, many of the most famous millionaires in the entire world sailed aboard the Titanic. Many of them chose to remain aboard the ship after she struck the iceberg, giving up their lives, as the ship went down. The captain went down too. Now ask yourself this question: How many millionaires and captains today would volunteer to go down with the great ship America, in 2012? Aside from perhaps Ron Paul, most rich and powerful Americans will be in lifeboats, like Bruce Ismay, when the ship of state goes down. 

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Douglas Herman's picture
Columns on STR: 149

Award winning artist, photographer and freelance journalist, Douglas Herman can be found wandering the back roads of America. Doug authored the political crime thriller, The Guns of Dallas  and wrote and directed the Independent feature film,Throwing Caution to the Windnaturally a "road movie," and credits STR for giving him the impetus to write well, both provocatively and entertainingly. A longtime gypsy, Doug completed a 10,000 mile circumnavigation of North America, by bicycle, at the age of 35, and still wanders between Bullhead City, Arizona and Kodiak, Alaska with forays frequently into the so-called civilized world of Greater LA. Write him at Roadmovie2 @


ReverendDraco's picture

Not only will the captains and millionaires be on the lifeboats, they'll set a recording on continuous loop which announces that there are no lifeboats aboard at all.

In this case, "Women and Children First" will mean the first to die. . .