Hey! Step right up. Want some democracy? We got a great new brand right here on the shelf ready to go. Seal-wrapped straight from the factory. And we’ll get it to you through the barrel of a gun. Shipping and handling is on us. US imperialism, like its predecessors, is based on the moral right to rule. In a newly packaged version of manifest destiny and white man’s burden, America is delivering democracy to the benighted and bedraggled masses. The empire is rooted in the near-theological conviction that American values, whatever that might be, are good for the world. In fact, the Bush administration has declared, with a hubris that would make Roman emperors blush, that its vision for the rest of the planet is the only sustainable model. Emanating from Washington is a series of diktats telling other countries: Follow orders or else.
Arundhati Roy is a world-renowned writer and global justice activist. The New York Times calls her, “India’s most impassioned critic of globalization and American influence.” She is the author of the novels The God of Small Things, for which she received the Booker Prize, and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. Her book of interviews with David Barsamian is The Checkbook & the Cruise Missile. A collection of her essays My Seditious Heart is published by Haymarket.