THOLOS OF ATHENA

Saturday, February 07, 2004

THE ANTIDOTE TO EMPIRE by Copeland Morris

"In the great cities of Europe and America, where a few years ago these things would only have been whispered, now people are openly talking about the good side of imperialism and the need for a strong empire to police an unruly world. The new missionaries want order at the cost of justice. Discipline at the cost of dignity. And ascendancy at any price."

-Arundhati Roy, "The New American Century", The Nation, Feb. 9, 2004


Prominent in her recent article in The Nation, is Roy's premise that the threat of capital flight is as much a matter of coercion to non-compliant nations as being in the cross-hairs of a cruise missile. And the fusion of select corporate interests with the objective of imperial power has never been more obvious than it is in Iraq. Add to this her assertion that the corporate media are institutional accomplices in this process. In this light, George W. Bush's pretension to the New American Century is exposed for what it is.

"There isn't a country on God's earth that is not caught in the cross-hairs of the American cruise missile and the IMF checkbook."

The logic of the analysis must place the most unfortunate of emerging nations in the category of those who own (or claim to own) their natural resources. The incumbent Bush Administration is only the most recent American government to use privatization as a Trojan Horse. Once inside the walls, this instrument plays havoc with the vulnerable and the marginalized, and rewards the Empire's sponsors, the most unscrupulous of the corporate elite. This elite is indifferent to any concept of the public good; and it is as comfortable with exploitation at home, as it is with depredations in a country like Iraq.

Arundhati Roy, with her characteristic wit, comes to the crux of the problem:

"Let's look this thing in the eye once and for all. To applaud the US Army's capture of Saddam Hussein, and therefore in retrospect justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq, is like deifying Jack the Ripper for disemboweling the Boston Strangler. And that after a quarter-century in which the Ripping and Strangling was a joint enterprise. It's an in-house quarrel. They're business partners who fell out over a dirty deal. Jack's the CEO."

Political moderates, liberals, and some conservatives on the American scene now acknowledge the perfidity of George W. Bush; and many of these same people now concede that the violence done to Iraq was an agenda, already in place, and not reflecting a credible reaction to 9/11. Bush, The Junior, is an embarrassment of a President. He has only functioned (to the degree that he does function) as a shill for the New American Century, the New World Order, ...or the American corporate interests, CEOs, Senior Management, Accountant Agencies and Financial Analysts who place their own enrichment above any public good or civic responsibility.

And the rogue process that goes by the name of globalization has an internal as well as an external aspect. The "New Imperialism" has a domestic as well as an international impact. Americans come into contact with this corruption (See the article in AlterNet.org: "The High Price of Wal-Mart").

Seduced by the cheapest prices the market can bear, the undiscerning consumer becomes a silent partner in the globalization project overseas, and also enables misery for the home country. Wal-Mart employees are advised how to apply for social services, at the time of their hiring; owing to the fact that the job they have secured will not provide a living wage.

"Faced with mounting criticism over low pay, sex-discrimination, exploitation of undocumented immigrants, violation of child labor laws and hard-line anti-union tactics, Wal-Mart has tapped it's $250 billion in annual revenues to shower conservatives in Washington with money. According to a study by the non-partisan Center for Responsive politics, Wal-Mart is now the second highest contributor to the 2004 elections."

Rejection of violence and exploitation, and a commitment to humane instincts such as compassion and solidarity and courage; these are the only known antidotes to Empire. What other antidote is there? We, who have become subjects of this corruption, must be wise enough to take the cure.

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