Saturday, July 01, 2006

Empire, Pragmatism, and War A Conversation with Cornel West

It’s both. We’re in the moment where the American empire is devouring American democracy and we have to fight it. But it’s both. The United States has 650 military facilities in 132 countries, a ship in every major ocean, a presence on every major continent other than Antarctica, and 1,450,000 soldiers around the globe. It is the uncontested military power and the cultural mover in terms of shaping people’s utopian desires and ideals and so on. Starbucks and Wal-Mart and McDonalds, you go right across the board because the dollar is the currency other nations invest their financial resources in for security. It is an uncontested empire and yet, at the same time, domestically, there are democratic procedures and processes that are not dead. They’ve been deeply assaulted, but they’re not dead. And so we’ve got this simultaneity: Democratic practices constituting still a kind of republic representative government and at the same time this empire. And they’re in deep tension—both creative and destructive tension—right now the Bush administration of course is the deep imperialist strain that is claiming to be the defender of democracy.more...

Found at Logos Journal


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