In almost every action movie made by Hollywood, an intrepid, heterodox hero confronts an evil, authoritarian empire. Even though the odds are stacked against our intrepid hero, he or she somehow manages to overcome the odds through sheer pluck and defeat the evil empire.
Yet, in the US the opposite is true. The political elite in concert with corporate media has convinced its citizens that the American empire is the hero, while plucky, heterodox journalists, like Julian Assange are the villains.
This suppressed reality is a major reason why I’m such a trenchant critic of the American empire. The elite managers of imperialism, the masters of war, the corporate manipulated legislative, judicial and executive branches of government and their obsequious stenographers in the corporate media, are the mainstays of the evil empire. Yet to state this simple truth is to be banished from polite society, or worse.
I get reader criticism suggesting I am a traitor or Russian bot, but I am a patriotic American who desires a republic rather than an empire. Moreover, I am following in the footsteps of our forefathers who waged revolution against the empire of the day–Great Britain.
Our modern day empire does not work for the average American but for the feral elite, who’ve basically renounced their citizenship to become globalized. It’s obvious that they could care less about you and I as any number of destructive actions against their fellow Americans make blindingly obvious. (The Wall Street Crash and resulting theft of homes with the robo-signing scandal, and the Sackler’s opioid death count spring to mind as particularly depraved). At this point we should take the studies about the percentage of American CEOs being psychopathic maniacs seriously. Going further, the structure of our elite society, if you look at it, is just designed to incentivize criminal behavior, lying, cheating, and stealing at the highest level. The end results are all around us if you care to look.
However, the genius of the American empire is that it’s convinced the majority of our citizens that it is no such thing. America is the “leader of the free world” whose task is to guide the world. It is not imperialism, it’s is the “duty” and “responsibility” placed upon the US by history.
In authoritarian regimes, like the former Soviet Union, the average citizen well understood that the government engaged in widespread propaganda and censorship but here we have outsourced it to the corporate media to such an extent that most people are oblivious. Thanks to the partisan and tribal enclosures created by the red and blue corporate media our system is far superior to clumsy state propaganda. Conservatives have typically been the most fervent proponents of empire, particularly after 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq where America–Fuck–Yeah! was their battle cry and critics like the Dixie Chicks were smeared as liberal traitors. Now, after Trump and Russia-gate, liberals have transformed into fervent Cold warriors with a pathological hatred of Russia.
While the American empire propaganda is tailored to its partisan audience it is very subtle. In authoritarian regimes they have massacres and wars. In free democracies we have humanitarian interventions and R2P. In authoritarian regimes you know exactly who rules over you. In free democracies the true rulers hide behind fake puppet governments. In authoritarian regimes a single party upholds and enforces the status quo. In free democracies, two parties uphold and enforce the status quo. In authoritarian regimes the people are kept too brutalized and cowed to rise up against their rulers. In free democracies the people are kept too propagandized and brainwashed to rise up against their rulers. In authoritarian regimes you are not free, and you know it. In free democracies you are not free, and you don’t know it.
Unfortunately, the US cannot give up its messianic ideology and claims of exceptionalism. This would be truly unthinkable for the vast majority of US Americans. However, the US empire and the current political system are neither sustainable, nor reformable. Besides, empires are almost impossible to reform. The real problem for Americans is that it’s infinitely hard to renounce empire when imperialism is what you were born, raised, educated and conditioned to live with and when you sincerely believe that your brand of imperialism is somehow benevolent, even altruistic.
But the American empire is the supreme issue affecting all others. The idea that the United States can pursue progressive policies domestically and imperial policies abroad is crazy. Everything is connected. We will never have a single-payer healthcare with an empire. We will never have a robust green infrastructure with an empire. We will never solve our runaway inequality with an empire. We will never have a republic with an empire.
Update: Every time I think I have hit peak cynicism I see shit like this.
“During an astonishingly sycophantic press conference after the Geneva summit with Vladimir Putin, President Biden claimed that the US never interferes in the domestic affairs of other countries.
The fact that the entire press corps did not erupt in side-splitting laughter at this ridiculous utterance is in itself proof that western news media is pure propaganda. The United States has directly interfered in scores of foreign elections since it began its ascent to global domination at the end of the second World War, to say nothing of all the coups, color revolutions, proxy conflicts and regime change military invasions it has also participated in during that time. The US openly interfered in Russia’s elections in the nineties, and literally just tried to stage a coup in Bolivia by interfering in its democratic process. The US is far and away the single most egregious offender in the world on this front, which is largely why it is perceived around the world as a greater threat to democracy than any other government.
This is not a secret, internationally or in the United States. Anyone who has done any learning about the US government’s actual behavior on the world stage knows this. Hell, a former CIA director openly joked about it on Fox News a few years ago.”