One thing that most “radicals” in North America (other than tankies, Third Worldists, a few libertarians, and some far-rightists) do not understand is that there is only one system, i.e. the global capitalist-imperialist empire in which the American ruling class is the senior partner. Even a cursory look at the location of US military bases, troops, allies, client states, proxy forces, mercenaries, drone targets, etc. indicates this. Supposed “rivals” to the empire, like Russia, China, and Iran, are completely surrounded by US and US-allied forces. Russia has the GDP of South Korea, China is a Western economic colony that appears to be impressive only because of its large population, and Iran’s “nuclear program” is a hoax cooked up by the Mossad, Likud, CIA, and their domestic propagandists in the USA. Any supposed “radical” tendency in the US, the capital of the empire, that does not have anti-imperialism as its foremost area of focus is not “radical” at all but just another kind of social club or cult.
By Caitlin Johnstone
The new imperialism doesn’t look like old-school ground invasions, it looks like multi-front cold wars, economic warfare, blockades and starvation sanctions, drone strikes, arming proxy militias, CIA-backed coups, sprawling tech surveillance networks, mass psyops of unprecedented sophistication and narrative management systems to facilitate them. Peace activists need to be looking in this direction, especially as the US gets a new Secretary of State who advocates this exact approach to imperialism.
Imperialism 2.0 is designed to operate so invisibly we don’t even notice it’s happening. No mass troop deployments, no flag-draped bodies flying home in planes, and (they hope) no potent antiwar movement in response to it.
In the new imperialism there are still troops deployed all over the world, but they’re there with the “permission” of the puppet regimes they installed and they exist primarily to protect the infrastructure of the invisible imperialism (so it can’t be countered with conventional warfare).
The more powerful and expansive the empire becomes, the more invisible imperialism can be. In theory it could eventually have so much control that any population which rises up against it can be silently choked off from the entire world economy and starve to death very quickly.