It has become passe for leftist agitator’s such as Abby Martin, Chris Hedges and Noam Chomsky to refer to the United States of America as “a empire” (as a term of derision) whilst the true-cons and RINOs vociferously decry such “unamerican” sentiments – we’re a nation, not an empire, the world needs its globe-trotting policeman and if we don’t do it then someone else probably won’t or maybe they will and that might be worse!
The fact of the matter is that the Chomsky’s and Abby Martin’s of the world are absolutely correct. America IS a empire. Classically, a empire is defined as any grouping of nation’s which are all ruled over by a sovereign power, generally, but not always personified in the form of a Emperor or Empress or some sort of secluded and elite managerial body. Whilst America certainly has never had a emperor it is most certainly a grouping of disparate nations which are governed by a elite managerial body; in other words, an empire. The United States is not just an Empire in terms of its formal structure in the abstract but also in its ambitions and outward, concrete expressions. American culture, for example, has been exported to nearly every corner of the globe such that one can find a McDonald’s in Japan and American films and TV shows completely cornering the overseas markets (in 2016, Disney Studios alone grossed $ 4.60 billion dollars in the non-domestic market) to say nothing about the profligacy of the English language which has arisen in tandem with said exportation. Some of the highest grossing films of all time in the Chinese market are American, the third most popular film showing in China in 2017 thus far has been the American made actionsploitation Fate of the Furious. In terms of military expansionism, one already knows of the seemingly endless series of American Middle-Eastern misadventures, of neo-cons and blood and treasure, petroleum and shadow regimes, ect, ect.
What is often overlooked is America’s more diplomatically established military network which criss-crosses near the entirety of the globe. As of 2008 the USA had around 700 military bases all over the world, by 2015 that number had grown to approximately 800 military bases in over 70 different countries all across the globe, and this was after numerous such bases had been recently shut down in Iraq and Afghanistan. Moving forward to 2017 the US’s number of military bases has not markedly changed and that number itself does not include secret military bases (various policy analyst such as the late Chalmers Johnson approximated the number of secret military bases to be around 300 in 2008).
The pertinent question is not whether or not the USA is an empire, but rather, whether or not American Imperium is a bad thing. This necessarily begs the question, bad for whom? One cannot, however, even attempt to answer these questions due to both overwhelming social pressure to “disavow” anything concerning America which either is or is misconstrued as “imperialist,” and the strange and utterly mistaken notion that the United States is but a single nation. Naturally, if this were the case we would all refer to our country as the United State of America and exclude the ‘s’ in entirety. This is not so and it is not so precisely because Texas is as differentiated from California in its ethnic and cultural makeup as to make the claim, quite validly, that it is it’s own nation. This doesn’t just hold conceptually true but objectively true, a truth which manifested in the form of the peculiar Calexit movement which sought to see California succeed from The Union. What here needs to be differentiated are the two faces of The American Empire, the internal and the external. The internal portion of The Empire is made up of the tapestry of states which form the basis of The Republic, the ethnic composition and creedal adherence. The external portion of The Empire, however, is comprised of the US satellites and is operated largely independent of the Republic itself by the so-called Military-Industrial Complex which is more properly defined by Eisenhower as the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex. The internal empire is primarily a culturally and legally managed empire whilst the external empire is one that is almost completely devoid of cultural substance, rather it is solely mercantalistic and militaristic enterprise which is the product of both vested interests within and outside of the United States as well as insular ideological proclivities (that is to say the proclivity for the dominant ideology of the ruling class to divert markedly from the broader populace of The States due to cultural isolationism – what, after all, do the coastalites of Florida know of the daily lives of the heartland farmers of Ohio? Very little, if anything).
In calling for the dismantlement of the American Empire what most typically mean is a massive rollback of US military base establishment worldwide as well as a call to cease and desist all foreign military interventionism of the kind so popular under both Bush and Obama. We should welcome this, firstly because it is highly immoral, both due to the grisly casualties (both US and foreign) it incurs and because such interventions are always done under the obviously false pose of “spreading Democracy.” It would be profoundly more noble to have, after toppling Saddam Hussein, to have seized and conquered the whole of the region, in that fashion the US would have completely curbed the rise of the various dissident insurgent factions, such as ISIS, which arose in the power vacuum that metastasized after Saddam’s execution. Now, naturally, it is almost always preferable not to intervene in the affairs of foreign countries unless it is in direct response to a clear and present threat, either to the US itself or to one of it’s strategic or historic allies. The point of saying that since the US military was dead set on invading Iraq our leaders should have had the temerity to be clear and precise about just who they were and just what they were doing. They should have been honest and forthright about their actions. It is utterly shameful that the most powerful country in the history of the world should be content to consign itself to shadow-puppetry and underhanded tricks involving corporate and economic sabotage to maintain it’s power whilst pretending it is doing anything but! Thus if the external empire, if our bases, our foreign military interventionism-on-a-whim (such as the disastrous destruction of Libya which occurred under the auspices of Clinton, Obama and McCain) were to end tomorrow we, as conscientious Americans, should cheer on such a eventuality. But this touches not upon the internal empire and it is it’s destruction that we should do everything to avoid, indeed if you are a American it would be quite foolish to seek out its destruction, to go even further, it would be foolish to not do all in your power to see it’s world purchase expanded in every permissible way. Why? Look at Rome. Need I say more? We aren’t Russians, Americans have different temperaments entire, we’ll never accept a total deconstruction of our magnificent governmental edifice, our leaders and their satellites will fight it til the bitter end, which may indeed be worse then letting it go as the Brits or Russians did. And that is the damnable thing, this strange proclivity for policy analysts and pundits to say that there are only three permissible modes with which to approach the “problem” of American Empire; that of a total dismantlement, a grand giving up and placing oneself at the mercy of the world’s emerging superpowers (what could be more foolhardy?!) or a policy of continued and every escalating interventionism – McMaster/McCainism – or the Chalmersesque line: America is doomed to fall. It’s inevitable. Might be good in the long term, will be horrible in the short term but there is little to be done about it – it’s in the hands of “the system.” Sure, every Empire falls – eventually – but why hurry the process along? With gun to temple would you say: “Every man dies, one might as well pull the trigger!”?
A sufficient number of people who believe that [x] thing is “impossible” will eventually make [x] thing impossible, not through any inherent reality but simply through the decision to adopt inaction as the supreme and governing policy. Who can hold back the oceans? Who can shutter the sun? No man. So why even try?
Why should we, as Americans, give up our birthright and all that it entails in this fatalistic expression of misplaced generosity? Make no mistake, that is precisely what the dismantlement of American internal Empire means, the destruction of The Union, of our profound military might, of our industrial proficiency and our pride in our abilities, the whole of the philosophy is grounded on the back of anodyne leftist talking points which, all too frequently become adopted by supposed “conservatives.” Empire is the new ethnos, to fail to realize this is to be constantly building castles out of sand on the shoreline and expecting them to ever resist the tide! This does not mean that we, as Americans, should bury our noses in the affairs of foreign nations or wage wars for profit or misguided and hysterical ideologues – nothing could be further from the truth – for empire is merely a formal designation for the structuring of power, as such, there is no reason why any Empire must, after being sufficiently established as such, progress along a path of endless expansionism. Everyone who has a brain realizes that no body of powers can continuously expand forever, something always gives.
In the US what is giving out first is the cohesion of the very peoples of The Empire, it is splitting in three. No, not two, but splitting in three. There are the Progressives who believe – as do so many empty headed preachers – that the end times are neigh, only their end times entail a world of perfect unity, of boundless resources, where the whole of the world is any man’s oyster, where borders are non-existent and yet for some undefinable reason there still exists independent nations who are all plugged into one massive eco-global grid of mass consumer convenience. All that has plagued past civilizations with division will be eradicated by one means or another for this is necessary to “create a world without hate” such that one becomes a member of “the human race” (nevermind the erronous dispensation). They are the champions of a great and all consuming grayness, the heralds of the untermensch. In their world man is merely a widget.
Then we have our civic patriots, our constitutional, economic nationalists, those like Steve Bannon who seek, at least ostensibly, to “get back to the way things were” it’s a kind of futuristic heroism combined with a extreme sentimentality of the past, of America’s “golden age.” Usually the 50’s, no later, certainly. They are people who have elevated our founding documents to the status of a faith, those who view ALL through the lens of contractual obligation; Jamal has signed his papers, he’s taken the pledge, he flies The Flag, he goes to church and he shoots at the firing range, he’s as American as you or I! To such individuals it doesn’t matter if Jamal’s people are statistically more predisposed to crime by several orders of magnitude, or that his people take child brides, or have a faith which is counterpoised to those cultural attitudes foundational to the broader populace of the US, nor would it matter if Jamal were actively working to undermine the US itself or even if he only establishes his identity in opposition to the US, so long as he wasn’t breaking any laws and had signed his papers and was “contributing to the economy” he was an American and that would be enough. Such a vector is the path to nothing but even greater paper worship, to the further idolization of The Dollar and The Document. Under the auspices of the Economic-Civic Nationalists one can only purchase with paper, blood buys nothing. No one owns America! Its for everyone, as long as you adopt some nominal vagary of “Christianity” and can speak semi-fluent English. In the ensuing chaos of such an ascendant faith it is the American People themselves who suffer the greatest dirth of sympathy. In this way it is really anti-nationalism, that is to say, religious corporatism posing as nationalism.
Then, lastly, one sees the considerably less numerous dissident right who are so marginal as to merit no serious inquiry despite the mass media’s incessant fear-mongering to the contrary. They are largely concerned solely with race and largely model themselves after past movements, usually and unfortunately failed movements such as old-school white nationalism in the manner of Metzger’s W.A.R. and various groups that have the strange militaristic tenor of the World Church of the Creator who march be-shielded and armored down city streets shouting clownishly about Jews and “white power” – the very sorts of displays that American “extremists” such as Dr. William Luther Pierce of the National Alliance warned about. In Pierce’s own words, such people are “-very often defective people who cannot function successfully in society. They are losers or anti-social misfits looking for company. Or they are escapists or adventurers who don’t really want to serve our cause but whom are looking for some politically incorrect diversions, some politically incorrect self-gratification.” He went so far as to say that white Americans who were racially concerned should treat those reveled in self-gratifying social displays, garnished themselves in swastikas, roman salutes and 14/88 tattoos should be treated as “defective freaks.” This criticism isn’t just reserved for the more visible racialists movements in the United States but also for many of the Trumpist populists – one recalls the ridiculous image of Kyle “Based Stickman” Chapman thwacking ANTIFA goons over the head with something like a makeshift kendo stick and the way this utterly irrelevant incident was treated like some kind of major political victory – as well as those various groups that sprung up around them like The Proud Boys or The Oathkeepers. The two factions of this third political splinter, the racialists and the hardline-civic nationalists, have two diametrically opposing worldviews and, as such, further divide and weaken the already weak and ineffectual dissident right. As such, presently, it is of little practical for concern for the oligarchs who truly run the country; at least, for now. So long as the dissident right remains more preoccupied with social (media) peacocking and endless bouts of petty infighting it will fizzle out entirely, consigned to a force as inert and uninspiring as the Flat Earth Movement.