The World Trade Organization, for example, uses the imperial threat of sanctions to help American corporate interests trample the will of local governments in order to exploit host nations for profit. Likewise, the United Nations — which certainly does a lot of good, important work — is still structurally rigged with a security council to make sure America has outsize imperial influence in proportion to its population.
While Crowley is correct that “a lot of democracies have come into the world in the last 30, 40, 50 years,” many of those democracies have emerged in spite of America’s imperial ambitions — not because of America’s non-imperial benevolence (think: Latin American democracies emerging in the face of Reagan administration meddling, or Egypt’s move toward democracy in spite of the Obama administration’s backing of dictator Hosni Mubarak). Additionally, more democracies might have come into the world if the U.S. hadn’t been propping up dictators.
Finally, the idea that we wouldn’t end an imperial occupation if we were an empire not only assumes that we actually are leaving Iraq (a shaky assumption, to say the least), but also glosses over the fact that forcibly bringing another nation into our sphere of influence, or fully propping up a client government, is also a part of the imperial project — it’s just more polite than a full-on military occupation.
Almost every characteristic we Americans associate with “imperial” nations exists in our own. Disproportionate spending on our military while domestic standard-of-living spending is neglected? Check. Permanently stationing our military in forward positions all around the globe? Check. Forcibly deposing leaders who don’t accede to our goals? Check. Propping up despots who turn their local countries into clients of our project? Check. Threatening military action against other nations that are not compliant with our imperial aspirations? Check.
Crowley and his establishment colleagues would have us believe we just woke up one day and found ourselves “the lone superpower in the world” rather than admitting that the position is the calculated result of empire building. They downplay our imperial behavior as mundane statecraft — as he put it, simply “throw[ing] our weight around.” But whatever euphemism you prefer, it’s undeniable that America is an empire — and it’s undeniable that the airing of this simple truth is highly inconvenient to those who represent the empire. It’s inconvenient to them because they fear the empire’s serfs might not be so supportive of our government’s long-term ambitions if they discover what those ambitions are.
- ashlita likes this
- youlikemealready reblogged this from so-treu
- thatneedstogo reblogged this from darkjez
- bayn likes this
- somekindofrebel likes this
- leidis likes this
- darkjez reblogged this from rematiration
- lovewashername likes this
- samuelasaverb reblogged this from rematiration
- alles-war-schoen reblogged this from compostheap
- freshmouthgoddess likes this
- notalexanymore likes this
- thewherefores likes this
- nototherwisestated reblogged this from rematiration
- compostheap reblogged this from rematiration
- rematiration reblogged this from so-treu
- ourcatastrophe likes this
- so-treu posted this