This Is What Empire Looks Like
by C.A. Matthews
...Mark Twain, William Jennings Bryan, and all those early anti-imperialists understood America had a choice: It would be empire abroad or democracy at home, but it could not be both. The choice is now bitterly obvious.
This leaves Americans with nothing left to believe in, nothing worth lifting a finger or even raising a voice to defend. As our militarists mull whether to reinstitute the draft to fill the ranks of the reluctant, we should consider: This is what empire looks like. --Patrick Lawrence: The Dialectic of the Draft
What does “empire” look like to you?
When you spot a homeless person wandering the streets of an urban setting, bags in hands and perhaps pushing an old shopping cart full of their earthly possessions, does the word “empire” and all that it implies spring to mind?
Whenever you encounter a crumbling bridge or a pot hole the size of the Grand Canyon as you commute to work, do you think: Wow. Isn’t it great that the US has invaded so many other countries and forced them to give up their resources so we can enjoy the best of everything here?
After you’ve gifted your last twenty bucks to a friend’s GoFundMe to help him pay for an operation he desperately needs, but he can’t afford since he has no health insurance, do you jump for joy upon reading a headline stating that Biden has given another $24 billion dollars to an endless proxy war?
Are you anxiously awaiting your turn to join or be drafted into the army so you can experience “survivable nuclear warfare” up close and personal in Ukraine, Iran, China or...?
Do you still call Juan Guaido “el presidente” of Venezuela? Did you support the blowing up of the Nordstream 2 pipeline, because you believe the US should keep it’s European allies dependent on us for the fuel to heat their homes and run their factories?
Whenever you read how Israel just blew up a home in Gaza full of little children does it bring tears of joy to your eyes because you figure all Palestinian nine-month olds are terrorists?
Are you ecstatic whenever you see the price of gasoline has jumped by another fifty cents? Are you happy to pay significantly more for the same bag of groceries that you purchased last month? Is paying your landlord yet another rental increase the most beautiful thing in the world to you?
Do you think the “Climate Emergency” is completely made up? “Global Boiling” or warming isn’t even a real thing? That there’s never going to be a day of reckoning for what we’ve done to our planet?
Can’t wait to lock up all the “homos, drag queens, and rapist migrants”? Can’t wait to put women back in their rightful place—in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant, with no access to abortion care or birth control? The world would be a happier place with everyone in their proper place, wouldn’t it?
Are you gathering up books right now for a good ol’ fashioned book burning? Are you keeping your kids out of the socialist public school systems that teach how all people are equal (CRT) when it’s more than obvious some just aren’t?
Do you believe in active censorship of social platforms, broadcast media outlets and the press? Can’t wait to shut down all opposition groups that defy those in power? Do you get a thrill out of kicking alternative party candidates off the ballot?
Voting? Really? It’s for the birds! Let the billionaires run the show outright from now on. It would save a lot of trouble holding pretend elections every so often, right?
Did you learn that freedom and capitalism go hand in hand? Do you still believe it even after you’ve been laid off from your job and thrown into debtors’ prison through no fault of your own?
Deep down, do you feel it’s gotta be your fault if you can’t make it in an economic system that favors those who are born in the “right” zip code with the “right” last name and the “right” network of friends and family members? Anyone can “get ahead” if they do capitalism right, right?
What’s your excuse? Oh, yeah, it’s those migrants who keep “stealing” our jobs by working for pennies on the dollar and the union members who keep insisting on a living wage. They’re making the bosses hire the “wrong” type of workers, right?Have you figured out yet that agreeing to any or all of the above demonstrates you have no problems living in an empire?
This is what empire looks like. If you were born in the US, you’ve been living in one your entire life. You’re used to the harsh treatment of both yourself and your neighbors. That’s because an empire will try to pass itself off as a “representative democracy” or some related thing and tell you that you’re stupid if you think it’s otherwise. You’ll take the denials of your human rights and be satisfied.
It’s the ultimate Stockholm Syndrome. A co-dependent relationship where you feel you’re deserving of abuse. Bend over and take it and be happy that you don’t live in… wherever it is the propagandists are telling you where you don’t want to live in this moment in time because they don’t have “freedom and democracy” like Americans all think we do.
It’s easy letting your betters in the empire do all the thinking for you, isn’t it? Just nod and do as you’re told and you’ll be all right—that is, until they figure out you’re not worth keeping around anymore.
That’s the true beauty of running an empire. An empire can just ignore the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the unemployed, and the sick without the means to get well. Eventually they just die off from neglect by the state. By the hundreds of thousands, even millions. They call it, “Survival of the fittest.”
Are you “fit”? Are you sure? Do you really want to find out when the US military drafts you and ships you out to another war for oil or uranium or lithium or whatever it is the Empire is interested in this time around? When they neglect you in your time of greatest need?
This is what empire looks like.
The alternative to empire is practicing true democracy and equality for all. Folks caring for one another. Putting social programs and the needs of the people before the greed of the military-industrial complex. Putting the health of our planet and the well-being of our children above killing and stealing from fellow human beings in order to make a quick profit.
Dr. Cornel West promotes this better way of living. If you’re interested in leaving the US empire behind and building a democracy instead, check out his platform. But don’t wait. We don’t have long. The wildfires caused by our empire’s neglect of the planet and its people are burning everywhere. It’s time to help put them out by squashing the oxygen to the empire builders once and for all.
One huge obstacle to revolutionary change is that people can’t really see the depravity of the empire, because they’ve been conditioned not to look at it too closely, and because they’ve been habituated to it their entire lives. It’s possible to help them see it with fresh eyes. --Caitlin Johnstone, The Most Important Election Of All Time
Related Articles and Interesting Links:
It's Never About The US President, It's About The US Empire
Patrick Lawrence: The Dialectic of the Draft https://scheerpost.com/2023/08/10/patrick-lawrence-the-dialectic-of-the-draft/
Ohio voters reject referendum measure backed by anti-abortion forces https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2023/08/10/lxej-a10.html
The Illusory Truth Effect And The "Unprovoked" Invasion Of Ukraine https://www.caitlinjohnst.one/p/the-illusory-truth-effect-and-the
How Swedish Love for the US Turned Deadly https://scheerpost.com/2023/08/10/how-swedish-love-for-the-us-turned-deadly/
More People Die Young in US Due to Health Care and Welfare Cuts, Study Findshttps://truthout.org/articles/more-people-die-young-in- us-due-to-health-care-and-welfare-cuts-study-finds/
Building Grassroots Power For National Universal Health Care
The UN’s Vague ‘New Agenda for Peace’ https://consortiumnews.com/2023/08/08/the-uns-vague-new-agenda-for-peace/
Survivors Of Oppenheimer’s Trinity Test Are Still Fighting For Justice https://popularresistance.org/survivors-of-oppenheimers-trinity-test-still-fighting-for-justice/
109-year-old Tulsa Massacre Survivor Becomes Oldest Woman in the World to Release a Memoir https://scheerpost.com/2023/08/08/109-year-old-tulsa-massacre-survivor-becomes-oldest-woman-in-the-world-to-release-a-memoir/
In A Summer Of Record Heat, Striking Workers Are Making Climate Demands https://popularresistance.org/in-a-summer-of-record-heat-striking-workers-are-making-climate-demands/
Maui’s deadly wildfires burn through Lahaina – it’s a reminder of the growing risk to communities that once seemed safe https://theconversation.com/mauis-deadly-wildfires-burn-through-lahaina-its-a-reminder-of-the-growing-risk-to-communities-that-once-seemed-safe-211317
Congress ADMITS U.S. Has Invaded Hundreds of Other Countries!
New Study Finds Fracking Is Linked To Seismic Tremors https://popularresistance.org/new-study-finds-fracking-is-linked-to-seismic-tremors/
3-Year-Old Dies En Route to Chicago Under Abbott’s Anti-Migrant Bussing Program https://truthout.org/articles/3-year-old-dies-en-route-to-chicago-under-abbotts-anti-migrant-bussing-program/
Seen on (formerly known as) Twitter:
Joe Biden just announced another $13B to Ukraine. The total is now ~$130B. For that price Americans could have:— Robert (Durden) (@realrobdurden) August 10, 2023
Ended Homelessness permanently ($20B)
Universal Pre-K ($35B)
Free Community College ($30B)
Fix all 45k structurally insufficient bridges ($42B)
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