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.” Among her many honors are the Lannan Foundation’s Cultural Freedom Award and the Sydney Peace Prize. She is the author of many books including The God of Small Things, The Checkbook & the Cruise Missile, Field Notes on Democracy, Walking with the Comrades, Capitalism A Ghost Story and The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.