Is the U.S. an Imperialist Nation?
Imperialism derives from the Latin, imperium, which means to rule over large territories. Historically it has taken many shapes and forms. From the Assyrians to the Greeks to the British one constant is that the imperial state denies it is imperial. It finds a set of euphemisms to obscure its intentions. Often the conquest of another country is cloaked in humanitarian rhetoric. Women are being abused, we must save them. Children are being exploited, we must rescue them. Another rationale is to defeat an unmitigated evil. A propaganda system ensures that the population of the aggressor state is bombarded with messages that make them feel good about what their armies are doing. The propaganda exaggerates and lies about the dangers posed by the country being attacked. Ancient history? Hardly. Think of the U.S. invasion of Iraq and weapons of mass destruction.
Recorded at KGNU.
Tom Mayer is a scholar activist. He taught sociology for forty years at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is the author Analytical Marxism. He has written numerous articles in academic and political journals and in newspapers. He is the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center.
Mr. Mayer’s explication of the US imperialist system is very helpful to understanding our globe. He ended with four questions usually asked, and I would like to pose another in follow-up. That is, essentially, are we to conclude, then, that due to the advantages of the imperialist system that even the lowliest of Americans benefit from, that we must abide by this system and not seek to change it, as toward a socialist system that might lessen the problem of wars and reduce or eliminate the price tag we now currently experience in the form of terrorism? Of course this question is very difficult to answer. Am I to conclude that Mr. Mayer is suggesting the evolution of humanity at this point is insufficient to move on from what he has just laid out as an unjust, ruinous system, including, to look back at World Wars 1 and 2, the deaths of some 100 million people? I mean no hostility toward Mr. Mayer whatever with this question. He has presented what is very effectively, and anyone listening closely can discover why we have the conflict and suffering we are now experiencing in the world. However, I am left at the end of his talk with this final question–Are we then stuck with this ruinous US managed and controlled imperialist system? Is there no way forward from it barring evolution to a much less aggressive and exploitative type of human being?