I came across a term thrown out by fellow writer Alexandru Constantin:
In the spirit of cultural exchange and expediency, I’m appropriating it.
The United States is an Empire – we don’t have to get into the technical details of why this is so – but what exactly is it an empire of?
This has been, in one sense, its strength. Individuals unbound by borders, restrictions of status, obligations to lord and land, and unencumbered by tradition were the perfect group to spread across a mostly empty land and settle it, forming the semblance of a nation where there was none before.
However, these people were settlers, not imperial citizens. Empires do not settle as much as they conquer and rule over diverse peoples. From the outset this was part of the United States, which pushed out the fragmented Native Americans or else restricted them to small areas of reserved land, settling the best themselves. Once the expansion was done, it was natural for the conversion to full empire to begin.
Formally, the American empire begins in the 1860s, when the federal government that ruled the separate states determined that none of the separate states were, in fact separate. With the end of the civil war, the southern states were annexed into a new empire, one in which opting out of rule from Washington was strictly forbidden. Like the Roman empire, the various provinces and puppet states that make up the empire have a portion of local control, but they’ll always have to pay their tribute and can never leave except through armed rebellion.
The process of imperialization is the process of domestication, and it continued into the 20th century. By the mid 20th, the last vestiges of local identity had been wiped away through imperial programs such as compulsory schooling and replaced with a monolithic “American Identity.” The rugged, independent farmer or rancher was slowly replaced by the industrial worker – with lots of that replacement coming from foreign migration, originally from Europe. It continues now with immigration from other countries.
Independent pioneers made way for atomized worker cogs. People who left security and comfort for a life of self-actualization and freedom were replaced by people who sought the security of the Empire and the comfort of a small amount of material wealth. The descendants of those pioneers inherited a spirit of independence that is capable of binding people together only through force of will – and now they lack the force of will.
Atomized individuals are powerless against the empire, and so they bend to the will of those who rule it. Resistance would be possible, but only if people could somehow organize themselves into groups, which they can’t, because they don’t know their neighbors and have nothing in common with them.
So this is what is now at the heart of the empire: nothing.
No common culture, not even a common language. No common experiences. No common goals or values. No common religion.
The Spanish empire eventually collapsed, but Spain never stopped being Spain. When the American experience ends, what will be left over? Nothing. There is no meaningful “California” – it’s now just another province of the empire, being wholly Americanized and domesticated.
Domestication is a big problem for anyone wanting some sense of revival – the modern American is incapable of attending to his physical needs on his own or in small groups, relying instead of a vast economy of extremely finely divided labor and expertise to exist. Imagine if sanitation workers stopped showing up to work – people literally wouldn’t know what to do with their own shit.
The real conflict in the empire is between the Imperial and Corporate, and the Local. The local is losing, not because there is no such thing as local culture, but because the faction is full of highly individual people who have a hard time collectivizing themselves. In the end, though, that will have to be successful side of the conflict, because the Imperial cannot continue indefinitely. Sooner or later the debt will cause the whole thing to collapse, or else it will come up against a people that actually unified, and it won’t know how to conquer them.
This, by the way, is one of the silliest things about the Imperial faction in America – they obsess over spreading “American Values,” such as “Democracy,” across the world. How ridiculous to think Democracy is a value! And what else is there? Freedom to engage in sodomy? Abortions? Compulsory western-style schooling that turns people into industrial cogs, soon to be obsolete themselves? Free hormones to turn men into women?
You have to laugh or you’ll cry!
But I will not end on a black pill.
The way forward is through the local – natural communities of extended families and people with common values, lifestyles, habits, views of virtue, culture, and religion. Ironically, it is the imperial which may allow this to flourish. The Caronavirus lockdowns have shown that people can exist in one location and work in another, so people will going forward have the option of living around those they are similar to while working in the imperial machine. When the machine breaks down, the local support is already in place to form a micro-economy, because the trust and common care is already there.
So find people who think like you and form communities in both virtual and physical form. In the immediate future, you can enjoy social tranquility; in the future, you have a robust system to protect you from volatility. In addition, you can be the change you want by contributing to culture through production of art.
I am in independent creator of music and books, you can support me (and hopefully get some entertainment for yourself) by buying my books and music: