Saturday, June 1, 2024

The US Empire Isn’t A Government That Runs Nonstop Wars, It’s A Nonstop War That Runs A Government

By Caitlin Johnstone - June 01, 2024 at 09:53AM

It clears up a lot of confusion when you understand that the US empire is not a national government which happens to run nonstop military operations, it’s a nonstop military operation that happens to run a national government.

The wars are not designed to serve the interests of the United States, the United States is designed to serve the interests of the wars. The US as a country is just a source of funding, personnel, resources and diplomatic cover for a nonstop campaign to dominate the planet with mass military violence and the threat thereof. 

This campaign is not waged to benefit the American people or their security, but to benefit the loose international alliance of plutocrats and unelected empire managers whose wealth and power are premised on the world order of continuous violence, exploitation and extraction which the campaign of global domination upholds. This campaign of global domination and its manifestations as a whole may be referred to as the US empire, which has very little in common with the US as an individual nation.

Until you understand this, nothing the US government or the US war machine does will make sense. You won’t understand why military operations are being waged which don’t seem to benefit the American people in any way, and which if anything actually harm the national security interests of the United States. You won’t understand why US foreign policy remains the same no matter who’s in office, regardless of party or platform. You won’t understand why the US and its allies do crazy things that otherwise make no sense for governments to do, like backing an increasingly unpopular genocide in Gaza, starting a cold war with China, or tempting nuclear armageddon with Russia.

And the answer is that these aggressions are not happening because they benefit the US as a nation, or even because they serve the political agendas of any elected officials. The nonstop violence is a means to a completely different end, and is almost an end in and of itself — benefiting war profiteers, shoring up geostrategic control, and expanding the sphere of the US empire’s particular brand of global capitalism.

There’s the nonstop worldwide military operation, and then there’s the theatrical set pieces of an official government slapped together in the foreground which we’re all meant to pretend has something to do with all the wars and militarism we are seeing. In reality the war machine just does what it’s going to do while the official elected suits in Washington put on these performances where they argue about abortion and Donald Trump to make it look like the US has a real government that’s making real decisions.

It was decided long ago that war is too important to be left to the will of the electorate, so now there’s this fake dummy political system that the American people are given to play with so they won’t meddle with the gears of the imperial machine. The local inhabitants of the hub of the globe-spanning empire are kept too propagandized, entertained, distracted, busy, poor, and sick to have a truth-based relationship with what’s being done in their name around the world, and if they do make some space in their life to become politically engaged they are herded into a kayfabe two-party system where both factions support war, militarism, imperialism, plutocracy and ecocidal capitalism but put immense amounts of energy into empty culture warring over issues that nobody with any real power cares about.

Trying to talk about this to people who are still plugged into the mainstream imperial worldview is like if Amazon had a children’s cartoon show called Andy Amazon & Friends, and the public believed the cartoon show was Amazon — they didn’t know anything about the sprawling trillionaire megacorporation that’s devouring the global economy. You’d try to talk about the gargantuan e-commerce company and they’d think you were talking about the cartoon, and object that what you’re saying doesn’t line up with what they know about the show and its characters. 

Once you see the corporation behind the cartoon, once you see the empire behind the performative puppet show of official politics, you see it everywhere. You see it in the movements of the imperial war machine. You see it in the news headlines. You see it in the phony justifications and narratives that are being spouted by the western political-media class. You see it in our education system. You see it throughout our vapid mainstream western culture of interminable diversion and capitalist indoctrination.

And you stop caring about the puppet show. You stop caring about presidential elections, about Stormy Daniels and Donald Trump, about the culture war wedge issue of the day and the latest hot topic that everyone’s saying you need to take a position on. It becomes as interesting to you as some Youtube video your kid has on in the background when you’re busy dealing with a home emergency.

And the behavior of the empire absolutely is an emergency. The escalations against Russia and China that these freaks are pushing have the world on a trajectory that’s going to get us all killed, and the horrors they are inflicting in Gaza and elsewhere are creating a nightmare on earth right here and now. The empire is only getting crazier and more violent as its planetary domination becomes more challenged, and until people can see it for what it really is, it’s going to be very hard to build up the necessary public opposition against it to use the power of our numbers to force them to stop.

Reprinted with permission from Caitlin’s Newsletter.
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