Home | About | Donate

Imperial Privilege: On War and Violence Near and Far


Imperial Privilege: On War and Violence Near and Far

Rashna Batliwala Singh, Peter Matthews Wright

“Imagining politics as a form of war,” writes political scientist and philosopher Achilles Mbembe, “we must ask: What place is given to life, death, and the human body (in particular the wounded or slain body)? How are they inscribed in the order of power?” When it comes to presidential elections in the United States, the answer is “not much”—especially when those bodies are in faraway lands and wounded or slain not by “terrorists” but by state actors. The ability of the American electorate to shrug off the plight of those who suffer as the direct result of U.S.


From the very founding of the United States it has been permissible to kill and mistreat people of color.


The American electorate does not have much of any voice in preventing the horrors the U.S. government wreaks.


"Americans enjoy the luxury to turn away from pictures of violent conflict: of children smeared with blood and mud, of refugees living in desperate conditions. "

And the only time we see these images is when they want to get us angry against whoever the current two minute hate is aimed at.

The larger theme of the piece is spot on. Americans rarely see the consequences of our actions abroad - and when we see a refugee kid washing up dead on a beach, no one mentions our 'interventions' are largely responsible for creating the power vacuums that made refugee's countries so chaotic that they risk death trying to get away from them.

Don't encourage more humanitarian disasters caused by 'humanitarian' interventions by voting for a candidate who supports more of the same.

Vote Sane: Vote Green.


You really are a very funny mother******.
Or a very odd one.


What did you think, that this was a democracy or something?


The educational system?




True conscience cannot be compartmentalized


Excellent article, very happy to see it here. i've grown less dedicated to following the writing at Common Dreams through this endless presidential campaign, since the primary focus here is on the campaign.

Articles like this are sorely needed, to broaden the main focus of this site beyond duopoly electoral politics, toward more complex understandings of how political change happens, and what is required for truly transformative politics.

There are always good articles here, but it gets wearing for anyone whose primary focus is not US presidential candidates. i look forward to the end of the campaign.


The doctrine of human potency is subjective but ancient. International policy directives and the origination of the motives are simple while in essence a part of the global agenda. Deriding and dehumanizing one culture or many is still an ancient political practice, the only thing that has changed is the method and the ever so subtle means to achieve those goals. The best and most readable form of describing the power of states and the method of their compacts, policies and exchanges is a site and book called 'Power Kills' authored by the late R.J. Rummel. POWER KILLS .It is a very extensive study on cause, purpose and effect. We are finding for ourselves with a price that may be worth it just for a temporary convenience in human terms for a little self serving superiority. Yet we are still classed as expendable as economic and predictable herds. I think we should consider Carthage a lesson not learned, in their particular case the Romans were the barbarians and Roman law AKA post industrial comity in Blacks law is very much the order of the day. Today as the titans of empire building play statecraft, the only thing to consider in the case of where the brown bearded people live is whether they can keep their lands from the oil currency preservation directives. In the current case ultimately Russia needs the Syrian pipelines in production as an economic weapon, America does not in anyway desire that happens. Caveat emptor.


Excellent article, making a very important point.