After far right fascists and supremacists stormed the Capitol this month, it is little wonder that the American Empire would ramp up the security state. It is on steroids now, with more troops in DC than there are in Iraq. But whatever one might think of the necessity of increased security at the Inauguration tomorrow, it should seem pretty clear by now that, although democracy never really existed in any true form in the US republic, the very pretense of it is now officially dead.
The American Empire has long used its power, at the behest of wealthy corporate interests and in a bipartisan manner, to disrupt, dismantle and suppress democratic governments all over the world, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, to Iran, to Honduras and beyond. It has used its military to decimate nations and regions that dared defy its hegemony. And it did all of this while employing platitudes about its own supposed democratic greatness. The alleged “city on a hill” trope.
But the American Imperial brand has been tarnished. Given the state of our world, it is unlikely to recover. No platitudes can erase what has happened. No corporate media whitewashing can sponge away what we have seen. No political speech can steer the American Empire clear of the looming cliff of climate catastrophe and its myriad ramifications for society in general.
And perhaps that is a good thing. Trump, as vile as he is, may have served as a catalyst for tearing the veil from the noxious falsehood once and for all. And if there is any lesson to be learned, we don’t have any time left for the empty mythologies of the past.
Kenn Orphan January 2021
*photo is from MSNBC