From Empire to Global Fascism

EDITORIAL, 5 Mar 2012

#207 | Johan Galtung - TRANSCEND Media Service

In The Fall of the US Empire-And Then What?[i] a subtitle is US Fascism or US Blossoming?  Of blossoming there seems to be none, with the Dow Jones crossing the 13,000 border, the real economy still mostly in bad shape, the Republican candidates embracing the economic system that produced the crisis, and Obama running the progressive rhetoric trick that brought him into power in 2008.  By midterm 2010 the bluff was called, with a landslide. The OWS, Occupy Wall Street, is in the first three stages, consciousness-formation, mobilization and some confrontation; but not yet in the real struggle with massive nonviolent practice of alternatives.

Fascism?  There is a domestic and a global variety and the latter is Obama’s foreign policy, with domestic elements.  One thing is the massive spying on the US people; another is the annual National Defense Authorization Act. Last New Year’s Eve, “snugly ensconced in the NDAA came ratification by legal statute of the exposure of US citizens to arbitrary arrest without subsequent benefit of counsel, and to possible torture and imprisonment… Goodbye, habeas corpus”, writes Alexander Cockburn, “The Man Who Shot Habeas Corpus”, The Nation 23 Jan 2012.  A Rule of Law pillar.

A disconnect between speech and action is Obama’s trade mark.  A key to his global fascism: instead of acknowledging wrongs of US foreign policy, he hides his extra-judicial killings with drones and JSOC’s (Joint Special Operations Command) in, maybe, 120 countries. Covert, CIA, less overt, Pentagon; with little Congress control.

What happened to the fall of the US Empire?

It is falling.  An empire uses local elites to transport value from the periphery to the center. Those elites are now shaky in many places, like in Latin America, frightened in Africa, doubting in Europe-Asia, counteracting the US in China-Russia.  Global fascism bypasses them.

The USA is more educated than ever according to the Census Bureau; above 30 percent having a bachelor’s degree and women passing men.  And yet, as a metaphor for US foreign policy, a father in Albemarle, North Carolina, unloaded nine rounds of a .45 caliber gun into his daughter’s laptop, so upset with her complaining online about him, instead of solving the conflict–not on the education curricula– (The Japan Times, 19 Feb 2012).

Nick Turse, in the excellent International Movement for a Just World (JUST), edited by Chandra Muzaffar, writes: “Last year the Washington Post reported that U.S. Special Operations forces were deployed in 75 countries, up from 60 at the end of the Bush presidency. By the end of this year, U.S. Special Operations Command/SOCOM, established in 1987, spokesman Colonel Tim Nye told me, the number will likely reach 120. ‘We do a lot of traveling-a lot more than Afghanistan or Iraq,’ he said recently.”

And Turse continues:  “Joint SOCOM is a clandestine sub-command whose primary mission is tracking and killing suspected terrorists.–JSOCOM maintains a global hit list that includes American citizens.  It has been operating an extra-legal “kill-capture” campaign that a former counterinsurgency adviser calls “an almost industrial scale counterterrorism killing machine”.

The outgoing SOCOM chief, Navy Admiral Eric Olson, launched “Project Lawrence” named after “Lawrence of Arabia,” who teamed up with Arab fighters for a guerrilla war in the Middle East during World War I.  Mentioning Afghanistan, Pakistan, Mali, Indonesia, Olson added that SOCOM needs “Lawrences of Wherever”.

Yes, he fought the Turks for an Arab federation, only to see his work betrayed by the Sykes-Picot agreement and colonization of the Middle East.  Deeply disappointed, he changed his name and died in an accident.  The Wherever Lawrences will suffer the same fate.

Understandably, the classical invasion-occupation-dictation war is in trouble after Vietnam-Afghanistan-Iraq.  Covert targeted killing is in.  Drones combine observation and arms platforms, and have become very popular with US and its allies’ military.  But, not as precise as SOCOM killing:  “A Brookings institution analysis suggests that the ratio of civilian versus ‘militants’ killed by drone missiles is 10 to 1.  By that estimate anywhere from 2,170 to 2,750 civilians have already been killed.  Will President Obama decide the number is ‘huge’ when it reaches 3,000 – the number of people killed in the September 11 attacks–?” (Takamitsu Sawa in The Japan Times, 27 Feb 2012.)

No, he will probably not.  A crucial aspect of US moral supremacy and exceptionalism is that the lives of foreigners count only a fraction of US lives, being by definition exceptional and morally superior.  So drones are ideal: no US losses, no post-trauma-stress-disorder–as there is no contact with the victims, only with the computer–,politically and financially inexpensive.

As long as it works.  Sooner or later regimes still loyal to the US Empire will wake up, like Norway–but not France-Spain-Denmark-Netherlands–helping financing a US drone project, Global Hawks.

And yet, “After two wars, U.S. drums beat again over Iran” (headline, International Herald Tribune, 27 Feb 2012).  Sooner or later the US people will wake up to other concerns than their own serious economic fate.  They may even ask, why “U.S. stays firm on renminbi (yuan), despite its gains” (headline, International Herald Tribune, 17 Feb 2012; in fact the yuan is up 40 percent since 2005).  Answer:  US leaders worry less about rising prices to US consumers shopping Chinese goods at WalMart than US profit.  And Mitt Romney talks war (The Wall Street Journal, 17-19 Feb 2012).

The US Navy in the Pacific to counter China will offset US military savings elsewhere.  An empire in decline.  Killing all over will not stop that.


[i]. Johan Galtung, TRANSCEND University Press, 2010;

This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 5 Mar 2012.

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6 Responses to “From Empire to Global Fascism”

  1. An excellent expose on what dumbed down people (not only Americans)are not informed about by their Main Stream Media.

    Ancient Rome had its bread & circuses plan to distract & control its people & the U.S. is repeating the routine while it circles the drain.

    P.S. meanwhile never mind the “carbon footprint” the rush to overpopulate continues.

  2. […] The Fall of the US Empire-And Then What?[i] [La caduta dell’Impero USA – e poi?] un sottotitolo è Fascismo USA o Fioritura USA?  Di […]

  3. satoshi says:

    Have you ever seen how a snake sheds its skins? After shedding the old skins, the snake looks new, as if it was born as a new snake. The US Empire also sheds the skins. After shedding the old skins, it will become a new empire. So, it can be said that the old US Empire falls, and then what? The new US Empire will rise. Prof. Galtung might need to write another book on the US Empire, entitled, “The Rise of the New US Empire and Then What?”

    The old US Empire and the new US Empire are significantly different. The difference of the two Empires is not just a matter of old and new. One of the main differences is that the new Empire seems to become something like the land of “George Orwell’s 1984 (or perhaps by “2084”),” while the old Empire had a dream of the land of freedom and opportunities. “Guantanamo”, for example, could never be imagined when Madam Eleanor Roosevelt announced the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. When Berlin was blocked by the USSR in the same year, it was the US (and the British) airlifts that saved the lives of the West Berlin citizens. The US (and the British) airplanes were hopes for the West Berlin citizens at that time. (Please also note, however, that Israel was established, with the strong support by the US, in that year.) Those days were gone.

    Time has passed. Many things, if not necessarily all things, have changed since then. Ask any Iraqi citizens in the street, for instance, if they think that the US is the land of freedom and opportunities. Ask any Afghan citizens in the street, for instance, if the US is the hope for the average Afghan citizens. During the Vietnam War, Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” was frequently played. After “9/11,” Enya’s “Only Time” was frequently played. While “What a Wonderful World” indicates somewhat a reflective and yet positive forward-looking mental attitude, “Only Time” implies a deep reflective mental attitude. Were you aware of this symbolic and implicative difference? More than three decades of time exist between “What a Wonderful World” and “Only Time.” Enya was only seven years old when Armstrong released “What a Wonderful World” in 1968.

    Meanwhile, the old Empire is shedding the old skins. Prof. Galtung uses the expression “the fall of the [old] US Empire” to refer to the shedding of the old skins. Prof. Galtung points out fifteen contradictions of the US Empire. (See pp. 33 -34 of “The Fall of the US Empire and Then What?” by Prof. Galtung) After shedding the skins, and then what?

    Hereafter Prof. Galtung did not tell in his book; it is my own possible perspectives on the subject: When the contradictions are accumulated in the Empire, the skin shedding of the Empire will begin. In other words, the old Empire will fall (= the old skin shedding will begin and complete) and a new Empire will rise (= the new skin will appear). For some (or many) of you, the appearance of the new skin implies that the “dark night of the soul” is about to begin. Possibly, it is the dark night of human rights, the dark night of fundamental freedom, and/or the dark night of democracy. If you are a business person, it may be the dark night of the US dollar. The old/conventional US Empire will then no longer exist. Instead, however, a Global Empire as a new US Empire may emerge in front of your eyes. Who knows, therefore, that one day you will miss the old US Empire? You may laugh about it as a joke today but who knows tomorrow?

    Whereas the old US Empire encountered the USSR, the new US Empire will encounter the new formidable contender, China. Please be aware that while the US Empire lives in the world of the Western dualism (i.e. God vs. Satan, good vs. evil, peace vs. conflict, etc. = the two elements are opposing against each other; each element contains its own element only, nothing else = good contains only good, while evil contains only evil), China lives in the world of the Chinese dualism (i.e. yin-yang = the two elements are complementing each other; each element contains the other element in itself = yin contains yang, while yang contains yin). While the two political and economic territories were clearly divided in the Cold War Era, the political and economic territories of both the US Empire and China may vastly be overlapped.

    Meanwhile, the Islamic population is increasing rapidly and drastically. It is a matter of time – probably less than a few decades — that the Islamic population will be the largest religious population in the world. Many of them reside in the US Empire while others reside outside; a large Islamic portion both inside and outside of the Christendom. A critical remark in this context is this: Without that large portion of the Islamic workforce and consumers, the economy of the new US Empire will not function properly anymore. In other words, the Islamic population both inside and outside the Global Empire/the new US Empire is becoming the critical workforce and/or consumers who support the economy of the Empire whereas the (Caucasian) Christian population is decreasing steadily. As the economy of the Empire grows to be globally, more workforce and more consumers will be required. The rapidly increasing Islamic population, in addition to the huge Chinese population that is now in the slow pace of the increase, is becoming the one that supports the critical part of the global economy of the Empire.

    That is to say, eventually the Global Empire/the new US Empire will be supported by non-US imperial elements — a huge number of non-Western/non-American non-Christian workers and consumers. This will be one of the main outcomes of the globalized economy. In the foreseeable future – within half a century or perhaps within a few decades, the “package” will be still the new US Empire then but what or who will make the Empire as it will be? In that regard, think about your business as an example: You are taught that the customers are kings or queens for you. Who will be the largest percentage of your customers – your kings and queens — in the next few decades? And who will mainly be supporting the manufacturing sector of the global economy of the new US Empire? Look inside the “package,” then. You will know. The new US Empire in the future may be only skin-deep or the package only. And then what? Let history prove the rest.

  4. […] [Fonte originale:] […]

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