“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.”
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