48 Following


An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire

An Ordinary Person's Guide to Empire - Arundhati Roy Arundhati Roy is a social justice advocate with solid non-violence credentials and a lucid view of globalist corporatism. When Ordinary Persons' Guide to Empire (OPGE) came out, it was received as an anti-Bush/Cheney polemic. Given the September 2004 release date (right before Bush's bid for reelection) that may be understandable, but it is erroneous. Although much of OPGE does relate to the conflict in Iraq and Bush's "war on terror", trying to force this book into the framework of partisan politics completely misses the point. For one thing, there is no significant difference between Democrats and Republicans on these issues. More importantly, Iraq and the war on terrorism are incidental to the overarching chronicle of the Empire Roy describes. The Empire is not America, or even "the West"; it is an interlocking network of stateless predatory finance/defense/media conglomerates. If the Empire seems to have a strong American character lately, it is only because America currently holds the strongest node in the network. Before that, it was Britain (see The House of Rothschild: Volume 1: Money's Prophets: 1798-1848). In the future it may be China. In point of fact, nation-states and supranational organizations (e.g. the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and World Trade Organization) do not drive the Empire. They are merely tools to carry out a geopolitical agenda. Through lobbyists, campaign donations, and purchase of treasury notes, corporations garner great political power. Under this perverting influence, nations can be steered in unexpected directions... frequently onto paths contrary to citizens' best interests, which may violate national ethos, or contravene founding principles. John Perkins and Alan B. Jones describe the mechanisms of predation in Confessions of an Economic Hit Man and How The World Really Works, respectively. That is not the focus of this book. OPGE is about ground-level resistance, particularly in the realm of information exchange. Speaking truths is the bedrock revolutionary act from which all other forms of opposition follow. Speaking truth to power is part of this, but even more important is speaking truths to each other. Pointing out the hypocrisies, lies, and inconsistencies of Empire is an empowering act. Roy tells plenty of truths in these pages, pulling back the curtain on the coalescing corporatist global order. The challenges of rebuffing our would-be oppressors are great, but readers should be inspired. The financial and political might of the Empire cannot stand in the face of an informed civil society. Radio host Alex Jones frequently refers to the "infowar" ("there is a war on for your mind."). This includes the struggle to speak and spread truths outside the controlled mainstream media. Arundhati Roy is one of the bright shining stars in the constellation of info-warriors exposing the Empire.