Pretending the US Empire doesn’t exist

15 Aug

Of all the whoppers told, mainly of omission, by ‘our’ corporate media, right up there at the very pinnacle of porkies is the one which silently claims, by going unmentioned in mainstream news coverage – if it ain’t in the papers it ain’t in our hearts and minds – that there’s no such thing as a US Empire.

Here’s Caitlin Johnstone, writing today:

China Threatens The US Empire, Not The US Itself

So many empire apologist arguments depend on pretending the US empire doesn’t exist; pretending the US is just a normal country sitting there minding its own business. If you do that, it really does look like Russia and China are picking on Ukraine and Taiwan completely unprovoked.

If you act like the US isn’t the hub of an empire that is projecting power all over the globe, then the fact that it has a hand in every major international conflict becomes obscured and it just looks like evil barbaric foreigners doing evil things for no good reason. Take the empire out of the equation and Assad wasn’t reacting to a western-backed regime change proxy war, he was just killing his own people because he likes killing people. China isn’t responding to US encirclement, it’s just being aggressive to its neighbors because it is evil.

Because the globe-spanning power structure loosely centralized around the United States is an unacknowledged, unofficial  empire that doesn’t look like the empires of old, its apologists can just insist that it doesn’t exist, like mob lawyers used to do with the mafia. By doing that, they can assign others responsibility for the empire’s crimes.

Read her post in full …

To the many who, having unwittingly bought this lie of omission, do indeed believe the US to be “just a normal country sitting there minding its own business”, I offer my standard definition of modern imperialism as “the export of monopoly capital from global north to south, and south to north repatriation of profits”.

As with the direct rule of old style colonialism, this form of global plunder is underpinned by armed might.

For a more detailed analysis – by a man I regard as the most important thinker of our time – of why it’s all kicking off now, see my recent post, Why read Michael Hudson? Part 1. Better still, read his new book, The Destiny of Civilisation: Finance Capitalism, Industrial Capitalism or Socialism?

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