Tag Archives: Chalmers Johnson

“Empire rots the brains of imperialists, is driven by hubris, racism and arrogance”—R.I.P. Chalmers Johnson

“Imperialism is a form of tyranny, it never rules through consent of the governed. …We talk about the spread of democracy, but we talk about the spread of democracy at the point of an assault rifle.”—Chalmers Johnson

Via Rich Gibson:

So Long Chalmers Johnson (Died November 20, Saturday, San Diego):

“Empire rots the brains of imperialists, is driven by hubris, racism and arrogance.”

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Johnson was always an anti-communist, which he equated with Soviet and Chinese communism (he quickly identified the latter as little more than peasant nationalism, rightly so). Probably recruited by Hannah Arendt as a CIA asset, Johnson targeted the east, Japan (“US puppets”) and China. With the implosion of Soviet social fascism, Johnson expected a peace dividend which never materialized. Turning his eyes on the US empire of bases (800 plus), he foretold 9/11/2001 in “Blowback,” then built a trilogy with the later “Sorrows of Empire,” and “Nemesis.” In print and in person, he repeatedly said the US is now a fascist state, one of the few truly reputable scholars with the courage to do so. In “Nemesis,” he said bankruptcy would be the key to the end of the US empire–but warned it would not die with a whimper. He had two suggestions for citizens. The first, take your cat and go to Vancouver. Later, he suggested the US just dissolve its own might, as he said the Brits did. The US, however, does not have the US to hide behind. Johnson’s almost reflexive rejection of a Marxist analysis of imperialism (born almost simultaneously with capitalism, a relentless quest for cheap labor, raw materials, markets, regional control–empire) led him to view imperialism as hubris plus militarism–meaning a change of mind could upend the vampire’s desires. It cannot. Nevertheless, Johnson’s incredible prescience creates a field of land-mines for any of his critics. His research methods should be studied by everyone serious about social change. His book on Revolution, opposing it, inspires those who are for it. Finally, his insider knowledge coupled with a razor wit made encounters with Chalmers Johnson a challenge. He never backed down. So long, and “adios” (his habitual farewell) Chalmers. What you did counted.

Good luck to us, every one.


Democracy Now!: Chalmers Johnson, 1931-2010, on the Last Days of the American Republic

Audio interview March 2010 on Media Matters with Bob McChesney

John Nichols The Nation Blog: Chalmers Johnson and the Patriotic Struggle Against Empire

Rouge Forum Update: Come to Ypsi!

Dear Friends,

Less than one week to the Rouge Forum Conference in Ypsilanti, Michigan at Eastern Michigan University. Keynote speakers include Staughton Lynd, author, radical historian, civil rights leader; Greg Queen, winner of the National Council for the Social Studies “academic freedom award,” and Rebecca Martusewicz, eco-justice educator and activist.

Education News

Students at Los Angeles’ Crenshaw High walked out of school last week in protest of budget cuts

People are being positioned so that the fight-back is almost inevitable. The question is: Will it make any sense and win?

Call it paranoid but it is not entirely coincidental that the L.A. Times is running a series of articles on “bad teachers” and UTLA (which may well be true) just days before the planned UTLA walkout on May 15. The walkout, unfortunately, is scheduled for that date in order to not disrupt district testing, but it is one of the first direct-action responses to come from any large NEA or AFT local. The walkout came to being after considerable rank and file struggle inside the union, demanding collective action.

The L.A. Times does not have much to say about the reasons for rising inequality and the real promise of perpetual war, that is, capital’s relentless quest for profits. Nor does it deal with the daily lives of children in Compton and when it does mention them, it does so in terms of being under privileged, not super-exploited.

But, come to think of it, UTLA doesn’t speak in those terms either.

Its parent body, CTA, is working with the Gropenfuhrer to pass the anti-working class tax hikes, trying to panic voters into taxing themselves rather than the rich. A recent CTA news spends most of its glossy pages telling teachers how to adjust to the financial crises, rather than how to fight back, dealing with the consequences of the crises rather than to address the causes at the root.

There are alternatives, such as the Rouge Forum.

Here is The New Yorker‘s abstract of an article touting the partnership of the American Federation of Teachers and Steve Barr, of Green Dot charter fame; and a response from Susan Ohanian.

But the fact is that the education agenda is a war agenda, and vice versa.

Industry, Finance, War, and Pedagogy

Chrysler Gets Judge to Allow The Bankrupt Company to Borrow $4.5 Billion from USA! Huh?

Don’t forget those Good For the Rest of Your Life Rouge Forum Posters.

Chalmers Johnson on the Signs of Decay

The banks behind the meltdown (Center For Public Integrity)

One-half million people are now fleeing the Swat Valley in Pakistan. Whether the guerrillas will stand and fight or melt away is yet to be seen.

In April and May, 1975, US forces fled Vietnam, the world’s most powerful empire forced out by peasant nationalists who fought imperialism for decades, making huge sacrifices. The US defeat was caused, mainly, by Vietnamese military and political operations, but also by the actions of soldiers in the US military and civilians in the anti-war movement. Here is a clip from the film, Sir No Sir, as a reminder that people can resist, under harsh conditions, and win.

May 9 is Victory Day (May 8 in the US—Victory in Europe Day) seemingly forgotten in America now. But the sacrifices of the people of the world in defeating fascism should be remembered.

Thanks to Joe B and the entire Ypsi gang for pulling together a great conference and to Adam and Gina Renner for taking the lead in developing the most recent edition of the Rouge Forum News: It is the only clear expression of education radicalism in the US.

Thanks too to Susan H and O, Amber, Diego, Ernesto, Lucy W and S, Jesus, Joseph, Amilia, Candace, Bob and Tommie, Wayne and Perry, Steve, Big Al, Nancy, Lisa, Marisol, Ricio, Chantelle, The Wailers, Harv, Ned, Ray, Earl, Sandy and Van, Mickey, Jim, Phillip and his entire gang, Selene and Frank, Carolina, Maria, Bruno, Daniel, Natalia, Nereyda, Edgar, Edwardo, and Gil

All the best and good luck to us every one.