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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/27/22

The contradictions within U.S. imperialism that could lead to its final demise

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Illustration by Matt Rota for Foreign Policy

The U.S. empire's hubris, its fundamental opposition towards rectifying the evils it's built upon, will be its final undoing. This year, around the anniversary of the January 6th storming of the Capitol, Foreign Policy's Stephen Marche concluded that "The U.S. military isn't ready for civil war." Quoting professor of military history at Ohio State University Peter Mansoor, Marche assessed that for the U.S. armed forces to triumph over the anti-colonial domestic insurgency which sociologists have begun predicting, the injustices which are producing this risk of civil war will themselves need to be addressed:

For Mansoor, a successful counterinsurgency is next to-but not quite-impossible, a vital distinction. For one thing, insurgencies fail when they are unpopular with the local population, as in the case of the Shining Path in Peru or Che Guevara in Bolivia. "The most important thing is to get the politics right, and if you get the politics right, you're going to be able to win a counterinsurgency," Mansoor said while acknowledging that "the reason these insurgencies occur in the first place is because of politics." The role of the military, in Mansoor's view, is to clamp down on violence so that political progress can be made. "If you have so much violence going on, the politics is frozen," he said. That need for stability to promote dialogue was the assumption behind the 2007 surge in Iraq. And there, an expanded counterinsurgency strategy did make politics possible. It's just that the parties found themselves exactly where they started before the violence. The solution to the next U.S. civil war would be the solution to the crises America already faces.

That crucial requirement for the state to prevent a successful overthrow by the rebel groups which will emerge in the coming decades, where the conditions driving the revolt get changed, will not be met. This is because U.S. imperialism will never do the right thing, it will only do the profitable thing.

The crises America already faces, & why the state won't address them

There are innumerable crises in this country. But according to sociologist Temitope Oriola, the crisis that will set off a civil war is our increasingly inhumane police and carceral state. The militarization of police, which continues to accelerate, is subjecting colonized peoples to an ever worse version of the police violence that they've always been targeted by. Consistent with the prospect Foreign Policy describes of the U.S. military being unable to build legitimacy at home due to the masses seeing it as an occupier, this amounts to a military occupation of impoverished black communities.

Just because this is called the "United States," and the armed forces here are supposedly exercising jurisdiction over the territories they have a "right" to in international law, doesn't change the material nature of what they do. That nature is aggressive, obtuse, and anti-democratic. And I talk about police as if they're military forces because with the decline of the U.S. empire, and the subsequent explosion of military aid to police amid an expanding global militaristic reaction, law enforcement here has quite visibly become an occupying army. As if it wasn't that way from the start, given that all U.S. institutions only exist due to the theft of indigenous land. The occupation is just becoming more noticeable.

This reality of increasing provocations from the police state exacerbating the tenseness of our racial climate is multiplied by the impacts of mass incarceration. Those locked up are just one part of the population in this country that's living under the thumb of our bloated and tyrannical penal system. Around two-thirds of them are on probation or parole, making for over 4 million overwhelmingly poor, disproportionately nonwhite people who are subject to the employment obstacles, surveillance, and voter disenfranchisement which come with being classified as a lawbreaker in the United States.

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Rainer Shea is writing articles that counter the propaganda of the capitalist/imperialist power establishment, and that help move us towards a socialist revolution. Donate to me on Patreon here:

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