The United States is considered the longest standing “democracy” by bourgeois thinkers because it’s never actually been a democracy, and has survived so long by undemocratically suppressing its proletariat. The jingoists who say it’s a republic and not a democracy are at least being honest about the nature of the social order they support. The USA was designed to be a modern version of Rome, an empire that only represented the interests of those who most directly benefit from the violence against the oppressed nations. Those being the rich, and the social base that’s bribed to align with the interests of the rich.
In 2022, when it’s often difficult to get people to pay attention to anything for more than a few minutes, when the country faces an economic crisis unprecedented in our lifetimes, and the spectre of total environmental collapse looms ever closer, it seems to be extraordinarily anachronistic for the British establishment to insist that there must a ten-day period of national mourning following the death of Queen Elizabeth II last Thursday, at the age of 96, after 70 years on the throne.
For over 100 years, human remains and sacred artifacts stolen from the bodies at the Wounded Knee Massacre have been locked away, held by a private library in the small town of Barre, Massachusetts. Descendants of the victims are fighting to retrieve them, but the library Board of Directors refuses to cooperate.
“So what is imperialism? On the surface it may seem relatively easy to understand: a big powerful evil nation dominates a small weak innocent nation. But when we dig deeper imperialism becomes a complex system to understand. A wide variety of concepts frameworks and philosophies are used by different groups of people to understand this system of domination.
The baby-boom generation is ending its lap in the human race, and the Fridays-for-future generation is beginning its run. Generational shifts of power are symbolized by the image of passing the torch, but now what the older has to pass on to the younger seems not a torch but a time bomb, a legacy of crises.
This is part three in a series on U.S. collapse and the potential for civil war. Read part one for how I think propaganda factors into this instability, and part two for the role that I think neoliberalism has.
On the show this week, Chris Hedges discusses the importance of the scholar Edward Said with Professor Hamid Dabashi. Dabashi is the professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.
In the Middle East stand the ruins of an ancient settlement known as Lifta. Archeological digs have traced its’ origins as far back as the Iron Age. It contains the remains of a court-yard home from the Crusader period at its centre and the ruins of several other beautiful homes, and once housed a vibrant and culturally rich community.
Modern imperialism, like the socioeconomic system it’s based upon, is a house of cards. Capitalism, the socioeconomic system that it depends on to continue functioning, wouldn’t be able to go on if its range of market control were to shrink too much. This is because capitalism’s natural tendency towards growth inevitably creates for it a crisis of overproduction, which can only be alleviated by perpetually expanding its market control. As Michael Parenti observed, there can be socialism in one country, but there can’t be capitalism in one country.
On the show this week, Chris Hedges discusses why American liberals refuse to speak out about the crimes the Israeli apartheid state carries out against the Palestinians, with political analyst and author Mitchell Plitnick.
With its latest attack on Gaza—on the families it drove from their homes in what is now Israeli territory—Israel is surpassing itself in viciousness. As of today, Israel has killed 212 Gazans, including at least 61 children and 36 women. It is “obliterate[ing] multiple generations of families” in the middle of the night—at least 21 members of the al-Qawlaq family, from 6 months to 90 years old. It is pulverizing residential towers and media offices, and bombing “civic infrastructure, businesses and the main roads leading to the city’s al-Shifa hospital.” Destroying the roads is an instructive example of Israel’s gratuitous, and clever, cruelty: It of course prevents ambulances and medics from moving where they’re needed; it also blocks the families who are fleeing to the hospitals for safety from the sudden explosion of their homes. But, We didn’t bomb the hospital!
Escalation has consequences. When a government pushes its people too far, a revolt is going to happen that the government may not be able to contain. We’ve seen this in the last year, when the latest series of murders by police following the coming of a new Great Depression resulted in the largest protest movement in U.S. history. And U.S. military experts understand that over these next several decades of ongoing living standards deterioration within the capitalist world, further unrest will come about should the government take its repressive efforts too far; a 2016 Pentagon training video implies that when the U.S. Army gets sent in to suppress internal revolts, it will need to err on the side of caution if it wants to avoid killing civilians and consequently destroying the state’s perceived legitimacy.
It is not unusual for critics of United States foreign policy, whether or not they feel free to use the term “imperialism,” to express regret that a previously rational system has soured. Such sentiments are routine for liberals and hardly unknown among social democrats.