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The Provincialism of Empire Style Internationalism and The Other

One paradox of empire is that it brings people from different origins into contact with each other while elevating one group above the rest. It’s at once international and provincial. It amounts to a provincial internationalism. One in which the central focus is still on a particular nation-state, but one that interacts with the rest of the world in the manner of an empire. The “exceptional” nation remains the “superior” colonial power while the occupied nations are considered the “inferior” ones. The latter are expected to obey and conform to the dictates of the government of the colonial nation-state.

This sense of the “inferiority” of the other is a crucial part of empire. It’s what makes it so provincial. One is basically insular in adopting this attitude towards the colonially dominated. This contradicts the outward seeking internationalism of empire – albeit one marked by conquest and domination. The practitioners of empire are outward looking in the sense of seeing people external to themselves to be conquered. This is hardly a humane internationalism, but a perverse form of it nonetheless.

It’s important for friends of liberty to not be sucked into support for this type of internationalism. One should avoid falling for the imperialist canard about bringing human rights and democracy to the people of the world. Something that masks the exploitative interests of the imperial government in question. It’s unfortunate that even some libertarians and anarchists have fallen for the promises of the imperial state.

Some have even fallen for the liberatory promises of the American state. The American provincial imperial state has been rampaging throughout the world for some time now. It’s thus no surprise that it has developed defenders over time. It’s disheartening that some libertarians and anarchists have made excuses for the most imperialist and nationalistic state in the world. One can only hope they eventually renounce their apologia for it.

People residing in the territory controlled by the U.S. government should focus some of their efforts on opposing the provincial empire of the U.S. This involves doing away with the contradictions of provincial internationalism and embracing anarchistic internationalism. The kind that seeks equal relations among the individuals populating the world. An internationalism that doesn’t embrace conquest or aggressive violence as the way to interact with others in the world. This is the ideal that internationalism aims at. One can start making it a reality by conversing with other people and encouraging them to join in opposition.

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