Public Power in the Age of Empire
The U.S. is the world’s greatest military power. Always projecting an image of reluctance and innocence, American presidents attack and intervene in the affairs of other countries. They routinely claim history, providence, destiny or some other abstraction has conferred certain obligations on Washington. The U.S. practices imperialism without formal colonies. Surrogates, often trained in the U.S., are recruited to rule. They implement and enforce Washington’s rules. If the natives raise their heads and revolt the empire’s centurions are called in. To effectively carry out its imperial projects the “free press” play the vital role of keeping the citizenry in the dark. What can the public do in the age of empire?
Keynote Address at the American Sociological Association conference.
Arundhati Roy is a world-renowned award-winning writer and global justice activist. Tariq Ali says of her she “is both loathed and feared by the Indian elite. Loathed because she speaks her mind. Feared because her voice reaches the world outside India and damages the myths perpetrated by New Delhi.” Among her many books are My Seditious Heart and Azadi.