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 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.