MINNEAPOLIS — Throughout history, some of the world’s most influential empires have also been the most brutal. In turn, their legacy has turned “empire” into a very dirty word.
The Roman, British, Ottoman, Spanish and Soviet empires come to mind readily. And in school, we learn about the glories of these civilizations, their cultural triumphs and their contributions to the world we live in today.
But what’s often left out is the devastating truth that empires are built on the atrocious foundations of sex and migrant slavery, military expansion, land and resource theft, genocide and overall intimidation.
And while history is littered with the atrocities of empires built and toppled, “empire” is certainly not a thing of the past.
In fact, today, not only is the United States an empire in every sense of the word, it’s the biggest empire the world has ever seen.
We may not have a monarchy living in a giant gleaming castle, ruling over the land from their velvet thrones. Or an elite that feeds off of the wealth of a working class structure based on race, sex and religious ideology. Or a military conquering lands across borders, brutally killing natives, toppling leaders and stealing their resources.
Actually. Hm. That all sounds like exactly what we have now.
While the look of empire may have changed, empire remains fundamentally the same. The swords and horses of the empires of antiquity have been replaced with shiny metal guns, drones and tanks. And our rulers are made up of a 1% elite and multinational corporations aiming to totally dominate the world — a world where they own 60% of the wealth.
The tentacles of empire today stretch throughout the world via U.S. military alliances with institutions like NATO. The U.S. works with the U.N. and big banks like the IMF and World Bank to exploit resources and wealth, and to topple democratically-elected governments and prop up dictators instead.
Yet the corporate media will never refer to the United States as an empire, nor will it cover the horrors of exploitation at home and abroad.
“The Empire Files,” a new show from TeleSur, is tackling the issue on both fronts. Here to talk to me more about how the U.S. empire operates is Abby Martin, the host of the new show that’s taking on the horrific policies of the empire at home and abroad.
Take a look…
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