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The Empire Strikes Back
ZealotX wrote: That is just one type of fighting. Using troops is very overt. Using economics and politics is more covert. But if the effect is the same then what difference does it make what you call it? It simply is what it is.
Ahh so you dismiss mine and others definitions of empire so you can now covertly insert your own made up definition to prove your point. Sneaky but ultimately a fallacy. If we can call behaviour whatever we want in order to prove our point then I call the United States a "Multidimensional Organized Cluster of Micro-Force Components" all working towards the greatest good possible. Its obvious that this is what the US actually is! I mean just look at its military policies and diplomacy history. Its becomes pretty obvious at that point!
self explanatory mike drop...
Kelrax Lorcken wrote: What-about-isms sure are a great way to deflect, huh? Beats making a real counter argument, I guess.
Pot, meet kettle. Youve deflected my point while accusing me of deflecting ZealotX’s lol.
To be fair, i assumed that what i was saying would be obvious and i failed to overtly articulate it in the clearest possible terms. Here i will correct that mistake: America did not emerge in a vacuum. We’ve always been a product of our times and of our environment. It seems to me that you want to separate America from the rest of the global community and use our own modern standards to judge us in comparison to some hypothetical “perfect” nation that doesn’t actually exist.
Sooo... Criticism, in your description, should only come from a subset of our society least inclined to criticize it?
I am saying that your motives make your position suspect. Bigots use facts to justify their bigotry all the time. Even when they use the truth, theyre not loyal to The Truth, they are loyal to their bigotry. Hating America can be a bigotry just as much as hating black people or Muslims or whatever. You are free to hate America just as the ku klux klan is free to hate black people and I am free to call out the biases that motivate your position.
Well I say "in a wealthy man's house there is no where to spit but his face ", so I WILL criticize, whether it's patriotic enough or not.
Youd spit in the face of someone who accepted you as a guest in their home? Not exactly a paragon of moral virtue, huh? Or did you and the other revolutionaries break in with rifles in order to “redistribute” his wealth?
Also, you seem to think rich people dont have garbage cans lol.
Perhaps this is another one of your biases slipping out? Whats gonna happen if you ever write a book that people actually like and you start to make some money? Would you still hate wealth if youd accumulated some? Would you convince yourself that you were the only wealthy person who actually worked for what they had?
Past wrongdoings, no matter how loosely relevant, do not invalidate criticism of current wrongdoings; your logic is merely flawed and shortsighted, at best, and at worst, is thinly veiled excuse to alleviate a sense of guilt, achieved by diminishing wrongdoings.
Unlike certain crazy radical leftists, I understand that i am not my group identity and don't have to feel guilty for the decisions of people who arent me just because they were also Americans, or men, or jedi, or whatever.
You want to pull the race card, huh? Well I'm white, too, and I don't act nearly so hostile and defensive simply for knowing the discussion is being lead by an intellectual black man with a dissenting opinion from the status quo.
Yes, you're white, a White Knight lol jumping up to defend all the poor little victims being mistreated, whether they need you to or not. And youve certainly got your own issues with hostility going on, lol.
Oh btw, dont you know that its racist to complement a black person? ESPECIALLY on their intelligence. Youre really saying black people are dumb. And the fact that you didnt actually say that or mean that is totally irrelevant: someone else can assume you were thinking it and be offended. You need to check your privilege, buddy.
To paraphrase the now controversial Bill Cosby, if the criticism bothers you so much, than maybe it needed to be said?
I love this! Didnt he also say something like it cant be rape if she never actually said “no”?
My heroes had the heart to lose their lives out on a limb
And all I remember is thinking, I want to be like them
I have to say there is wisdom in what was said about it being the fall of The Old Republic (loosely). After-all the Sith had contingencies for all of the population did they not. Citizen vs Citizen either of independent states or one large central state makes for easy gains. (Just and idea?)
Some are tired of constantly fighting battles of moral imperative. Often on both sides of the spectrum this is the case(it is obviously more complex when thinking geo-politically). People are tired of what they perceive as BS. So much to the point that in order to make their points they become the very thing that the other side is using to dehumanize them. Story of history right there. Micro and Macro perspectives will most likely show this as a repetitious pattern globally surrounding different issues for different state/people/races.
Obi brings a good point in the last few points of stating the US does not exists in a vacuum. This is just something that should be considered.
A point I want to bring up and please excuse me if this seems like I am saying I am above it because I am not, but sometimes I have my moments of different perspective. In the west and first world we literally have a lot of time to think about what if's that paint us a picture based on the information we obtain. For some there is a much higher capacity to gather that information and process it. Personally for me I don't gather what is not pertain to the situations I can effect, which is really not that much on the Macro scale. I have been to protests and watched the anti-fascist become the fascist on both sides, it's honestly a beautiful tragedy and cycle when you look at it knowing the basic facts you need to survive the long term.
I guess I am some what ignorant because, I could spend a lot of time searching through a ton of information to prove an argument on the relevance of the imperial model to the current American system and it's similarities and differences to other modern imperialistic actions but in doing this how slowly will looking at these details skew the whole image? Will the perspective I have become more blurred? Am I then stuck in a moral quandary and argue one side? Is this a danger of blocking together large amounts of information for ingestion?
Crappy things happen, have been done, will be done in the name of governments, ideology and beliefs. Their names will change undoubtedly but it's inherent in any systems. Where do we place a reasonable way to make things less crappy as we go? How do I play into that? Time hasn't stopped.
This got pretty politically existential and off the cuff but what I have honestly spent a lot of time thinking about both in the idea of the thread and to my general thoughts of the world as I go through my day exposed to the information I am in the area I am in and the sources around me.
I will fight for what I find morally right from my perspective, emphasizing my being grouped in with others based off one individual idea is not only somewhat enraging but honestly quite dangerous to any idea's of freedom or possibilities for any to live it and we are all guilty of this are we not? Are any minds truly always open?
Just 25 or so cents
Much Love, Respect and Peace,
Fighting what you cannot see, will only lead you to lash out with violence towards everyone. Know your enemy, and you may find yourself a friend.
You can act real rude and totally removed
And I can act like an imbecile- Men without hats
Training Masters: Carlos.Martinez3 and JLSpinner
Kobos wrote: , I could spend a lot of time searching through a ton of information to prove an argument on the relevance of the imperial model to the current American system and it's similarities and differences to other modern imperialistic actions but in doing this how slowly will looking at these details skew the whole image?
This is really the crux of my argument right here. Of course some people can define America some of the time as having some empiric actions. But so what, does that make it an Empire? NO! Because it can also be defined in a myriad of other ways as well, based in the individual, the definition and the action being discussed.
We can use history to paint the picture of what America has become but we know that even that can change over time. The American Indians went from a savage and aggressive people that committed white man massacres that the benevolent US was forced to defend itself from to a peaceful people that only worshiped the land and wanted to share but were mislead and duped and slaughtered themselves by the war mongering and land greedy USA.
So which is it? Well neither one of course. These contrasts are attempts to strawman and reduce and cherry pick action to depict a group of people in a specific absolute light in order to further an agenda. Its poor argument practice and frankly its bullcrap. The same is being done here by trying to depict the USA as an empire. The problem is that the history and the policies and the diplomacy at different times in the past are much to complex to ever reduce them to a single neat and tidy term. America Defines itself. It is a democratic republic under Capitalist economy. That is what it is and to set out to prove there is some secret conspiracy in place to undermine that definition is just as futile as trying to prove we didn't land on the moon.
Question 1: Is the US government an Empire?
History much? Sumerians? Assyrians? Babylonians? Persians? Mongols? How many people did these empires crush? Any idea how the Japanese treated people during their efforts at empire? Read up on the Rape of Nanking, its pretty damn disgusting.
Sooo.... the answer to Question 1 is yes? LOL. I mean wow... what a hostile way to agree with someone! You do realize that this whole paragraph is not a dispute to whether the US government is an empire, but rather an argument that it isn't a bad thing? I'd like you to pay close attention to what I said about empires in the OP. Relax. It'll be quick.
Did you see it? No. Because I didn't say anything negative about empires. In my 3rd post on page 1 I did give a definition of empire. Not included in that definition was the word "evil" or any other term to malign the US simply because it is (which you seem to agree with based on your argument, unless it was hypothetical without a statement of such) an empire. So where did the negativity come from? From me? or you? An "Evil" empire would be an grammatically redundant if empire was evil by necessity. If it isn't necessary for an empire to be evil then you can take all of those evil deeds of other empires out of the equation.
I'll reiterate something for the sake of review.
The more you rob people of their freedom the more they will resist. Therefore, the US preaches freedom while using military and economic force to control people both in named territories as well as de facto territories.
In saying this AND questioning whether it is an empire it should be obvious from my statements that I'm not suggesting that it is an empire JUST LIKE every other empire. We're allowed to evolve by looking back at history and making some different choices. So in terms of size and power I say yes it is an empire. However, in terms of using that power the same way as other empires I have said no which is what allows it to be "an empire in denial". There are other ways to get what you want. It's not all about military force. The US is smart and efficient at building its global interests and this has extended through the use of corporations, economics, and diplomacy. So I'm not the one supplying all the negativity to the term empire. But I'm also not blaming you for doing that. It is the very reason why people would want to deny the application of the term. And the denial is what makes it fertile for a lively debate.
The parallel that I've already stated in the OP that I'm looking at is the Empire in Star Wars.
What was the Empire before Palpatine? A Galactic Senate. The Senate gave "emergency power" to Palpatine in order to act on their behalf.... to represent them much like you would have a "president". Now does this mean I'm saying that the presidents are all evil and there's some conspiracy? Absolutely not. Probably. I don't know. Perhaps an argument could be made. I'm just not sure what that would be since we spend most of our time denying this system we've created to the extent that when it (or parts of it) are subverted by malicious or corrupt people we grow accustomed to it. Not only should we ask Trump voters (Which I actually have btw), but we (as in all because I'm not pointing fingers at individuals) talk to people who don't vote at all and why they feel like their vote doesn't matter.
And I'm not one of those people.
But I will admit that in the last election I voted for the Green party because I knew Republicans would win Ohio and I didn't like Hilary anyway but even more than that, I don't like "corporate democrats" or that whole strategy that ends up being "republican light". So I wanted to send the DNC a message that they need to be more progressive. I supported Bernie and feel like they cheated him during the primary because of how much they wanted Hilary. That support is just a mere 1cm deep surface skim of what corruption can achieve; or what powerful people can do given the right positions and the wrong ideas.
See, the problem with power isn't power itself. It, and consequently my the problem with the system, is corruption.
So if Kyrin (who I happen to really like) wants to accuse me of not liking rich people I laugh and talk about my man crush on Elon Musk. The difference is that Elon Musk appears, at least to me, to have a soul. And I see the benefit of him and his wealth being a positive thing for all of humanity. Trump likes war heroes who weren't captured. I like good people whether they're rich or poor. I don't like bad people whether they are rich or poor. But a bad person with more power is more dangerous than a bad person without power. You can't compare some kid selling weed to El Chappo.
Likewise if someone wants to accuse me of racism I'm going to laugh again and talk about my man crush on Elon Musk who is a white American born and raised in South Africa. I can walk and chew gum at the same time but I can't hate white people and love white people at the same time. I don't like racists, nor do I imagine (because that would be a feat of imagination) all whites being racist. Although, to be honest, there is an argument for that to some degree and that people have a tendency to deny words that they associate as being wrong even if they share some of the same thoughts, feelings, fear, and other behaviors.
The reason I'm concerned about America being an empire, as a patriotic citizen who loves America and, as I said before, think that it is already great and doesn't need to be made "great again" which implies going back to some point in the past which different people seem to have different answers to. And to be quite honest, your answer may differ from others simply because you are not like them and because no racial group is a monolith. Is that okay? So if your racial group is not a monolith then you cannot act as their spokesperson. Trump and his cronies never said when America was great. You're filling in the blank for them and using your vote to do so. And when I tell you of recent experiences involving race and black children being told to go back to the plantation and how I feel this is precipitated by the current administration's position on racial politics and especially "White nationalism" and the equivocation going on... do you really need to presume that I, because I don't like it, must be guilty of being a "black racist?"
And yes, I will deny such a thing exists. And I will tell you why. I don't say this very much because honestly not everyone understands.
Racism is a power dynamic. It is based on a relationship where those who have power exploit those who do not in order to maintain that power and the advantages that come with it. This is a fundamental misunderstanding that is common. People think that racism is purely about hatred or dislike. No, that's "prejudice". If you don't like black people because you think they steal or they're dirty or whatever ones' reasons may be, that's not racism. That's prejudice. It is the application of power that makes prejudice racist. You can think your race is better than mine but it really doesn't matter to me if you don't have any power to effect my life as I have no power to affect yours. As a black person I cannot speak for all black people because we are also not a monolith, but generally those who are negative towards whites are not so because of prejudice. If a white woman doesn't want to date them that's fine. Maybe she also doesn't date short people, fat people, bald people, etc. What those who are more negative towards whites are (over)reacting to is the use of authority and power in ways that, without exaggeration, can literally kill us. We're all out here trying to survive; all races. But when you're afraid of the police because you have brown skin and you know that you have to act extra nice and be extra compliant or else you could die... that's not an easy pill to swallow. But it seems like we're asked to swallow it every time we draw attention to negatives and issues in the system that we would LIKE TO FIX... and someone just wants us to shut up and stop complaining and just be too busy loving America and hugging the flag in order to advance civil rights and other causes that would make America better tomorrow than it is today and than it was 20,30,40,50 years ago when other people think it was great.
So no, blacks cannot be "racist" in the sense of what real racism is; a power dynamic. But since words like discrimination and prejudice don't have the same bite as "racist" it is easier and honestly more effective for whites to equivocate on that particular term because then it lessens the burden on the group in power to change when, instead of calling it an empire, we can call it something else or talk about other empires that were more horrible. But what happens when a world power is horrible? Revolution. Of course, there is a certain amount of horror that people can stomach. Look at Russia. There's also a certain amount of revolution an empire can stomach. It's called elections. So yeah... I can perfectly understand the utility of applying the term racist to black people and because the word is so widely misused by all races (notice I said all) then it becomes very forgivable to do so. But intellectually, racism is a power dynamic and that's why it hasn't gone away. It's slowly losing and some racists are feeling it. And that's why they (not you) love Trump and why they just had a march in Dayton, OH.
But i read your subtext and it seems to be only white people who have ever been villains. Or maybe thats not your subtext. Perhaps its my white fragility clouding my judgment? What a conundrum.
Well you said that. I didn't. I would never attack you like that. It is interesting why you read into what I said something so far removed from what I said, but for me it wouldn't be in proper form to discuss any personal motivations because I'm not here to assassinate anyone's character or reputation. I happen to like you even if it doesn't seem like it today. The very idea that one would ever think that whites are the only ones who have ever been villains is like implying that black people are new to this world and only existed as slaves. One would need to be remarkably ignorant. And if I seem so to you then that is the bigger insult. There were black slave owners even in the US. They simply weren't the ones in control of the laws which said that indefinite slavery could be instituted based on a person's color. They didn't have power. And since black people couldn't vote black people couldn't effect the law without the help of whites. And the only way to get their attention was to protest. However, they were also wrong headed.
To be perfectly honest I don't think racist (a qualifier) whites will ever stop being so until the power dynamic shifts to the point where they cannot deny that blacks are entirely equal human beings. And that there is really no difference and they only exploited an advantage that they themselves made up and manifested which all whites do not agree with.
In other words... for example, a poor white guy working a hard job in the South... he may genuinely be afraid of losing his job, his livelihood, and what that would do to his family. And he bands together with other whites who live in the same situation. And because they're not banding together with blacks (who they see themselves competing with) they're injuring their own ability to get what they want and now this whole KKK thing looks super racist and is impotent to those in power who don't think the same way. But in their minds white is right and whites should stick together and look out for each other. You can call it "the good ol boys" or whatever you want. But they think this way without a doubt. And so they think tax cuts for the rich should advantage them over others. I can empathize with them up until the point where their fear of their survival is based on prejudice. They're afraid that there wont be enough white babies. Okay... then procreate only with each other. That's almost an argument pro inbreeding. Diversity is more than great. It's fundamental to human genetics. How does the gene pool pick the best attributes to carry on if you're artificially trying to limit that pool? If I could build a dream woman she'd have features from every race.
But this thread exists because I can see some of the White Nationalist agenda in the white house just as Steve Bannon was a white nationalist. And whatever that means to you, the behavior of white nationalists tends to evoke and intermingle with the agenda of the KKK and the Nazis. If there is a distinction, it's weak. But what to do? Because one side keeps saying "white people did this" and the other side says "white people are that" even good people, I feel like, are confused and keep feeding into these contrived constructs where whites and blacks can be spoken of in monolithic terms. When speaking about historic atrocities it would be better to use national or perhaps even, if applicable, more regional terms like Europeans. Once we start using even the term "Caucasian"... like... do any of you even tell histories of life in the Caucus regions? Or is that simply an attempt to trace the lineage of whites to a point just short of Africa where whites (who choose to) can deny that they too came from Africa and that they too came from African people?
And that is the cruel joke that denial plays upon us because if you came from me how am I superior? How could I be inferior? Do you have special powers that I don't? Did you evolve telepathy or telekinesis? If so, cool, show me. If not, sit down somewhere because you're not special and neither am I.
Racism is simply one dimension of how an empire can be used to cause significant harm when operated by a corrupt person DUI of power. If power corrupts and you give more power to a person who is already corrupt? What do you think will happen? He'll learn to be more "presidential"? We have children separated and dying at the border because some of us appear to believe that our immigration policies are that important, even while extolling the virtues of free markets and competition. If you like competition then let them come. What are you afraid of?
So the problems I see in America I will continue to point out whether folks want to call it a complaint (so they can package it and discard it) or "reverse racism" or whatever other argument that seems to protect corruption because it attacks people for attacking the corruption in our system. Protect the system! Not the corruption. If I start speaking against the Constitution (which you'll never hear) then by all means you should rain holy fire on me. I should be flamed to the fullest extent of flamedom if I did that. But if I'm not doing that... if I'm not saying "hey, who needs police? Let's get rid of them." then maybe my problem isn't with the existence of the police but rather bad policing. And maybe.... just maybe... if I'm not out here saying "white people are bad" then I'm not saying... "white people are bad". Maybe if I say "black lives matter" I'm not saying "White lives don't matter". We get so entrenched sometimes on what we believe to be "our side" that we don't even notice who is on the same side with us. I want more whites to believe that black lives matter and not JUST white lives. That's what that statement is about.
No need to read in between the lines. I'm fighting against corruption. If you're not corrupt then I'm not fighting against you. But if you wont work with me and if you attack me, then YOU ARE IN MY WAY and it becomes easy to draw the conclusion you're part of the problem; part of the very corruption that I am arguing against. Why, as a citizen of the US, should I ever have to demonstrate or even be questioned on the issue of patriotism? Is it because I'm black? Do I question yours? And to me it is patriotic to protest and argue against errors and corruption in the system because THAT, not languishing in eternal do-nothingness, is how you make things better and that, my friends of above average intelligence, is what our founding fathers WANTED. Politicians are supposed to debate the issues before voting on them.
(now if you only consider them to be your founding fathers because you're both white then the problem is greater than perhaps this thread can address, but I don't think in these terms)
I will say that the US government, for all intents and purposes, operates unequivocally as an empire. A democratic one, but an empire in all but name.. in this empire, you get to choose your emperor.
These United States of America no longer function as they were created. The FEDERAL REPUBLIC as designed (a confederate union of equally independent states ceding certain sovereign powers to a higher authority without ceding their overall sovereignty) has been centralized into a despotic democratic empire ruled by a sovereign "city-state" in the District of Columbia. Not in just a few ways, but in all.
Legally, Americans are nationals of DC(federal government) instead of of their States. The States existing as nations themselves since the Declaration of Independence. Exacting complete and total control over the citizens as individuals. Owning their lives, labor, and property. Through this, and other manipulation of the Constitution, DC has centralized all legal authority unto itself..
Economically, Americans are controlled by their "system of credit" and the Central Banksters that control it. A system which, once again, is centralized in DC and is actually said to be independent of it. The shareholders of this system own those who are indebted to it. This system, and the Multinationals attached to it, use the centralized "legal" authority to solidify their power. Keep others from challenging said power. While using that same power to steer the masses in favorable directions.. Hence, we are constantly lead to war..
Militarily? I mean, come on. Over 800 bases around the world. Literal moving air/naval bases deployed halfway across the world securing the rackets of the Multinationals. A Surveillance State that spies foriegn and domestic citizens without cause or warrant and claiming the security of the "state(empire)" as probable cause. The secret wars, domestic experimentation, advanced projects, assassinations, and secret coups.. the centralized control of the militaries of the Several States and the "right of the people to keep and bear arms".. all of which are unconstitutional.. all hallmarks of Imperialism..
Politically, a Union of two parties controlled by one party states. Each vying for ultimate power in DC, to vanquish the other.. at least as the spectacle is presented to us... In reality, these parties are beholden to the same interests and shareholders.. they may change certain aspects, but the core remains intact.. these parties are so entrenched they have actually BECOME the political system.. they serve themselves first, the platform second, the Constitution third if at all..
I could go on about those 3 instances alone. Not to mention the other imperial/despotic institutions that have formed in the US. From unlawful protection of Corporate Personhood to unlawful intrusion of natural persons..
America is an Empire in Denial..
Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietem
By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty.
Legalized Marijuana based on STATE authority, not federal....