Monday, January 31, 2011

The Hypocrisy of Empire

Consider the following recent events:
  • The U.S. response to the imprisonment of Liu Xiaobo
  • The U.S. response to the uprising in Egypt
  • The U.S. response to the Wikileaks revelations
In the first case, the U.S. is doing a tolerably good job of defending the principle of freedom of speech. Of course, the speaker in this case is criticizing a U.S. rival, so in now way is he doing anything to upset the interests of the Empire.

In the second case, the Empire has been caught between its rhetoric in support of "democracy" and support for our chosen dictator in this part of the world. As a result, the U.S. response has been weak and ineffectual, and it is hard to imagine that the gap between rhetoric and action will endear Empire to the population of Egypt.

In the third case, because the interests of Empire have been directly attacked (or more accurately, the U.S. hasn't been attacked, Wikileaks has merely been shining a flashlight into dark corners that the government would rather not have investigated), the principle of freedom of speech clearly has no applicability here, at least in the eyes of the Empire.

So, we learn from these examples that the U.S. only supports freedom of speech that is agreeable to the U.S. government. Furthermore, these examples are hardly unique: of hundreds of examples I could choose from, I picked these because they are fairly recent.

I am convinced that even more than thuggish behavior, the thing that most upsets people is hypocrisy, and the Empire is drenched in hypocrisy. Of course, to maintain an Empire, perhaps it is necessary to engage in widescale hypocrisy - otherwise, there would be no justifiable rationale for the Empire.

One way or another, I expect this Empire will eventually collapse. When it does, I hope that whatever nation arises in its place in Cascadia has enough sense and humility to deal with the world honestly, so that even if not powerful, it is a nation that can be respected.

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