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News ::
American Empire? (english)
29 Mar 2003
By focusing on empire, we can reach a broad audience without giving up radical views. Includes link to establishment thinking of the American Empire and links to anti-empire pdf posters.
By focusing on empire, we can reach a broad audience without giving up radical views. Includes link to establishment thinking of the American Empire and links to anti-empire pdf posters.

I think that this war is about more than the violence of war, the greed of this administration or the illegal nature of an aggressive invasion of Iraq. The war is about more than the dangers of weapons of mass destruction or the need for a democratic and just world built on human rights. This war is about empire – the expansion of American Empire. I think that those opposed to the war should make empire our focus – because empire is a concept that can connect the many reasons to oppose the war with a single word. The violence of this war is the result of the expansion of American empire. Empire is about greed. Empires invade nations to build empires. Empires are opposed to democracy and cannot be built on justice and human rights. And when nations are faced with becoming a colony to empire, resistance takes frightening forms. And even without frightening forms of resistance, empires depend upon and help build dictators throughout the world – as empire is at its core not about democracy or people. And since world institutions are a threat to the American Empire, the leaders of American Empire must oppose the type of world institutions that could deal seriously with the threats of nuclear weapons and arms races for terrible weapons. But since all empires are faced with both limits and weaknesses, ones that only a strong international system could have a chance of overcoming, we are left without any real means of addressing the resulting problems that stem from the arms race and struggle to resist the American Empire.

Focusing on empire can help reach other Americans, without downplaying our radical position. Americans understand that empire is opposed to democracy. With empire in mind, it is easier to make connections between corporate control, military build-ups and the loss of freedom at home. When we attack the American Empire we can contrast it to the ideals of the American Republic. In short, we can attack empire without attacking ordinary Americans, because empire is about taking power from the people on a global scale.

For anti-empire PDF posters:

Following is a link to an article on American Empire written by an establishment writer, speaking openly about empire. I include this for information only – and not because I agree with the points by the author.

An American Empire?
The problems of frontiers and peace in twenty-first-century world politics
by Charles S. Maier

“I believe that American empire has served some beneficial functions, above all in opposing far more authoritarian and repressive contenders for international dominance and in defending ideals of liberty and opportunity. Still, no matter how benevolent the intentions, the exercise of empire will generate some violence. The problem is that for every greater inclusive effort, there must still be those left outside the expanded walls clamoring to enter, or those not willing to participate vicariously in the lifestyles of the rich and famous—and those, indeed, embittered by the values of secular consumerism (which contemporary empires rely on to generate public loyalties) and imbued with far more zealous and violent visions of fulfillment. These issues of inclusion and exclusion, belonging and estrangement, the peace of empire and the violence it generates despite its efforts, is what twenty-first-century politics, certainly since September 11, is increasingly about.” (from article by Maier)

Saltonstall professor of history at Harvard, Charles S. Maier served as director of Harvard's Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies from 1994 until 2001.

For anti-empire PDF posters:
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