Who or What Is Empire?

The American Empire is not America. It's not even the United States Government

It is the United States Government, but it is also less than that, and more than that

The hegemon of our day, the American Empire, is powered by American power and run from Washington. But it is not synonymous with the USA — not with the country, nor with its people, or even its government.

Obviously a sales lady in a Milwaukee donut shop or a mechanic in Topeka are in no way the Empire. Their taxes may help fuel the Empire’s war machine but taxes ultimately rest on coercion and are not freely given.

To a lesser extent, even the taxes extracted from a Romania shepherd go toward aiding Empire’s adventures yet it would be absurd to claim he is part of the Empire as opposed to merely living under it.

Our Milwaukee sales lady and Topeka mechanic are in fact victims of the Empire, albeit the level of their victimization is infinitely smaller than for example that of a Yemeni child withering away from cholera under a US-Saudi blockade.

Aside from being coerced into paying taxes the pair is spied upon and propagandized to. Moreover, the Empire needlessly amplifies their exposure to the danger of terrorism and forces them to live under the constant background threat of a mushroom cloud.

The American people are not the American Empire, but neither is the United States Government. You may have a positive or negative view of government, but there is no doubt that for example the US National Park Service or municipal councils — albeit part of the American state — are not imperial institutions.

Of course, there are other branches of the United States Government which are very much institutions of the American Empire: the Presidency, the State Department, the Pentagon, the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve, Congress, the CIA, the DHS, the DEA, the FBI and the Department of Energy.

Most of these started out as national institutions and for a few (eg the DEA, the FBI, Energy) that is still the majority of what they do. Still others, chiefly the military, and the diplomatic service, have been almost completely hijacked and they now almost exclusively serve the Empire, to the near-total exclusion of serving the nation. (The CIA has the dubious distinction of having been founded from the start as an instrument of the Empire.)

But it’s not only government institutions which form the American Empire. Equally important are the defense industry, the mercenaries (Blackwater, Halliburton…), the think-tanks, the lobbies, the Democratic and Republican parties, the oil companies, and the press.

All of these are ostensibly private institutions but only in the sense that they’re not part of US government. In fact, their fate is intertwined with the fate of the American Empire of which they are an integral part. Much like the East India Company of yore, they are not the government, but they are the Empire.

Powered by America’s power but not quite the same thing as it

A number of international organizations dominated by the US are likewise aspects of the American Empire. Chief among them are NATO, the IMF, and the World Bank.

Moreover, the US is often able to co-opt otherwise benign international organizations and make them into appendages of the Empire. For example the IAEA, the OPCW, OECD, even WADA, and sometimes even the UN.

Many of the client states of the Empire, chiefly the NATO members, time and time again voluntarily and eagerly share in the adventures, the saber-rattling, and the atrocities of the Empire. Nonetheless, their governments and their private pro-Imperial constituencies are not proper internal components of the Empire because their influence on its decision-making is non-existent.

The Europeans, the Canadians, and the Australians may be invited to lend additional bodies and an impression of legitimacy to Washington’s global interventions but they do not get to set or influence the agenda.

At the very most they may be permitted by Washington to take on some particularly unimportant part of the world and run it as they please. Thus France today gets to impersonate an empire in its former colonies in the Sahel, and the running of Bosnia has been outsourced to the EU.

They remain as they were in the Cold War, client states, dependents, auxiliaries.

There are two exceptions however. The governments of Israel and Saudi Arabia.

These two wield enough influence in Washington that the Israeli cabinet and the Saudi court are able to influence the course of Empire’s actions. They are not mere dependents on the Empire, but a part of its brain. Their influence should not be overstated since they are only two decision-making centers out of dozens, but unlike the NATO Europeans, the Israelis and the Saudis are players in the Imperial Capital.

Moreover, it does not follow these are any more nefarious than the native power centers of the Empire. True enough, the Saudis and the Israelis do not care an iota about the interest of the American nation, but then neither does any American imperial institution.

The Israelis and the Saudis still do however — just like the Pentagon or Congress — very much welcome the expansion of American power (since they get to influence how it is applied).

So in fact, the functional difference for American citizens is none. Either way, their interest falls second to the interest of the institutions which form the Empire’s brain.

All of this to say that the Empire is the American Empire, but that does not mean it is synonymous with America, the US or even just its government. The Empire is both less and more than the United States Government.

So yeah, Saudi Arabia’s MBS and NATO’s Jens Stoltenberg are the Empire. A Milwaukee donut lady or even a US park ranger are not.

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  2. chris chuba says

    Basically, we want a world of vassal states where a few like Israel, the UK, and the Saudis have a privileged status.
    Read an interesting article on ‘soft power’ which is usually defined as using non-military force to get what you want. The author redefined it as getting other countries to ‘want’ to do what you want.
    sanctions – this is coercive and NOT soft power, in fact it would get countries to ‘want’ to use an alternative to the dollar.
    freezing bank accounts – coercive, this deters countries from parking money in U.S. banks.

    Russia. China and Iran are the masters of soft power. We shall see who wins. I don’t know, I hope soft power wins because I hate bullies and the U.S. will be a better country if we actually did use soft power but it looks like coercion works, at least in the short term.

  3. disqus_3BrONUAJno says

    The American Empire is the extension of the failed British Empire.

    1. Damforeigner says

      Did the British Empire fail? Or did it morph into the current empire through mergers and acquisitions?

  4. cechas vodobenikov says

    sociological ignorance—as Durkheim wrote, “the state always reflects the values and desires of its people”. after USA invaded Iraq, Bush achieved an approval rating above 90%

  5. plamenpetkov says

    if the Milwaukee donut lady and the US park rangerdo NOT protest and go out and protest against the empire, then they are as much part of the empire as MBS and Jens Stoltenberg are.

    1. James Willy says

      Exactly. These yankys elect these parasites to represent them so that makes THEM 100% at fault for the rest of the planet suffering under them.

      1. San Antexan says

        if they did protest, would the media inform you of it? How do you know they didn’t protest among we the people. The ones who protested higher up the food chain are unlikely still there. The ones seeking change from within find themselves without or, worse, corrupted themselves.

  6. Wayne says

    There are two governments operating in the District of Criminals, The Vatican Municipal Gov and The British Territorial Gov, both answer to the Pope. The Vatican is the Empire.
    Read Anna Von Reitz at theamericanstatesassembly.net

  7. Mikhail Garchenko says

    …respectfully, I would delete “sometimes even” in this sentence: “For example
    the IAEA, the OPCW, OECD, even WADA, and sometimes even the UN.”

    1. Robert Mcconnell says

      The UN is permanently occupied territory.

  8. ryaffle says

    Having read both the article and John Chuckman’s response I cannot but say how much I enjoyed reading John’s reply. Yes, we get the governments we deserve. Yes, in the main, we are a bunch of sheep seeking ONLY for our own good. Yes, there are individuals who stand apart from the herd, who, rather than through a glass darkly, see things as they are in reality. Their voices are drowned out by the sounding brass and the tinkling symbols.

    Edward Bernays knew a thing or two about mass psychology and mass thought control. That was a hundred years ago. A lot has been learned since then. Is there an escape? Yes, of course. Nature will prevail. We have a new Four Horsemen: global warming, nuclear radiation, genetic engineering, and artificial intelligence. How they are welcomed by the modern man; how blindly they are cheered on – like women smoking all those years ago in a demonstration of Bernays, insight into Human Nature.

    1. SteadFastSpirit says

      I agree with you whole heartedly; however, I think 2 of your horsemen have gone miss labeled and/or undetected by most peoples radar.

      Nuclear radiation is along the same lines but it doesn’t pose nearly as big as a threat as the Frequency kill grid they are constructing. For half a decade they have been pumping us full of graphite oxide, nanoparticles, and other highly conductive heavy metals. Through vaxes, our food, the products we use, and chemtrails (geoengineering). The physical and psychological ramifications are staggering. Sources: pubmed and xtremererealitycheck.com

      As for global warning due to humans, this is a farce. Yes the earth is heating up… But so is the rest of the solar system. We are experiencing a geomagnetic pole shift and this is what us causing the crazy weather. It’s the same thing that caused the great flood and other puzzling geophysical biblical accounts and anomalies. This is what they are truly distracting us from. Our earths cynical cataclysms. Evident by entire civilizations under the ocean and marine life atop the highest mountains. Sources: Diefold foundation, suspicious observers, world in peril by major white, and the declassified Adam and Eve story.

      1. jay says

        The us versus them narrative is mostly to be blamed because it paints us as the victims and them as the aggressors when in reality all you have to do is look at how much food and gifts and TV time rules our families across the planet without a single thought as to transcending to the levels that Jesus speaks of by accepting our hopeless state and requesting forgiveness through him. Is this not what differentiated America centuries ago when no one was paying attention to us believing we are just a bunch of illiterates and simple farmers/trappers?

        The solution has not changed for us, we need to return back to what we did correctly and abandon what we have been doing when we got fat and lazy and complacent slaves aka employees.

  9. CHUCKMAN says

    I disagree. And fairly strongly.

    The old saying that you get the government you deserve has a lot of truth in it.

    And without the Topeka mechanics and Milwaukee sales ladies, there could be no empire and no Pentagon.

    They staff the armed forces. They fill government offices. They pay taxes. They vote. They do political work. They tolerate and even often act as a cheerleading section for the wars. For the most part, they never protest, in any form.

    There were no meaningful protests in America when Iraq was illegally invaded and a million people killed. The Arab world’s most advanced society was reduced to broken poverty, a position it still holds.

    Except for a limited period of rising conscript deaths in the late mid-1960s, there really were no meaningful protests while the United States killed three million people in Vietnam in a ten-year war, and killed them in the most grotesque and horrifying ways. The US lost a relatively small number of soldiers over that long and intense war by comparison.

    Do you know that just the total mass assassinations of the CIA’s Operation Phoenix – non-military village leaders throats slashed by night-crawling special forces under CIA direction in a true program of intimidating and demoralizing mass terror – over that period killed nearly as many as the Americans killed in combat?

    American combat losses were “light” by the standards of serious war because the Pentagon used overwhelmingly brutal force with carpet-bombing, napalm, and early cluster bombs – everything they could think of to raise the “body count,” a common expression of the time in America’s military.

    The CIA and special forces joined in with terror and torture. And don’t forget such often-used horrors as throwing a man out of a helicopter when he wouldn’t give the expected information. A complete nightmare, from beginning to end, and to no purpose (except throwing your weight around), achieving nothing.

    Ending the old form of conscription shut most of the protests right up. A well-paid professional army – a mercenary force, really – put an end to them for all the future. Indeed, the job and pay became another avenue for little Tommy or Sally, perhaps not overly well educated or talented, to directly benefit from empire. As they do today from something on the order of 800 military bases abroad.

    I see in these and other examples, a people with a good deal of selfishness, not a great deal of empathy for others, so long as they and theirs are spared. And/or benefit.

    They are, after all, people who for a long period benefitted from empire with far above-average jobs and pay when compared to the world. It was called The American Dream in the postwar period.

    There was, unquestionably too, a sense of entitlement assumed by a lot of ordinary Americans in their speech and on their travels. I know because I lived through it.

    I worked one summer when just out of high school at a steel mill in Chicago, in the first half of the 1960s. Those workers were not only paid extremely handsome salaries, especially by world standards, but they enjoyed unbelievable benefits, like 13 solid weeks of annual paid vacation with some seniority. That is why they hired students like me.

    Imagine, the humblest steel workers with homes, cars, vacation trips, and even small boats? Unheard of living anywhere else on the planet. That’s why it was called, The American Dream. It didn’t last, of course, and for decades America’s middle class has relatively declined as many countries grow and compete.

    So how do ordinary Americans react to that fact sinking in? They elect and support a savage in a suit who literally makes it American policy to try ripping benefits from other countries, trying desperately (and in the end, hopelessly) to recreate The American Dream as MAGA, the political and economic and social equivalent of a televangelist religious revival.

    The 1950s and early 1960s American industrial workers were the privileged workers of the world, and always with privilege comes a certain degree of arrogance. And besides, they were subjected to corporate and government propaganda around the clock. As kids in grade school, every single day, we recited the Pledge of Allegiance and sang the Star-Spangled Banner, and on “movie day,” each week, we saw corporate and government films in the assembly hall.

    The anthem, an unsingable one for most people, might have been okay, but the Pledge was like something from an authoritarian government. Indeed, it was born in that very era. It had no long history. And it is very unpleasant, loaded with social pressures, to demand that children “pledge” their loyalty every single day. It is really an offspring of McCarthyism, and it is alive and well.

    Remember, too, Trump, a remarkably ignorant and aggressive and intolerant man, has the support of nearly half of America’s people. Some polls even say fully half.

    Obama, an equally grotesque killer and a proven liar, although one with more style and a really nice smile, could be said to hold the other half’s loyalty.

    Saying that pledge every day, plus a whole lot more, sure seemed to have done its work for the later adult attitudes and critical capacities.

    Look at something so ordinary as a football game. Not only is the game itself much styled after combats and with military-style marching bands and cheerleaders, but any interference is met with serious social disapproval.

    As we very much saw with black players respectfully kneeling at the National Anthem in protest over police brutality, a grave reality in America with an average of three Americans a day killed by their own police. They were vilified by tens of thousands. Literally vilified, including by their President and Vice president. And all they were doing was exercising their rights, and doing so quite respectfully.

    No, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus, just as there is no innocent Jimmy Stewart American people just being ruled over by the plutocrats and thugs. No country, even in a dictatorship, functions without at least the tacit approval of the majority of its people.

    1. disqus_3BrONUAJno says

      There won’t be a need for human Americans after the Pentagon fields its robotic military.
      Like George Carlin said, it is called the American Dream because it only exists when we are asleep.

    2. John Patrick says

      Man you’ve got a seriously unhinged view of life. Loyalty to God and state is divine law. It’s to the former where modern man has failed and exposed himself to the enemy who rules over him, both in his government and in his passions.

      So when, then, were the mechanics and sales ladies innocent? Pre WW2? Pre WW1? Pre civil war? Were they innocent when they overthrew the crown and subjected themselves to freemasons?

      Bad rulers are symptoms, not causes. There’s nothing wrong with marching in protest, as long as one realizes there are much more important duties to attend.

    3. Mikhail Garchenko says

      Sadly true…

    4. Margaret Swift says

      thank you for that spot on informative reply

    5. The Globalist says

      I have to agree with you.

    6. Robert Mikulewicz says

      The Pledge of Allegiance was written by a socialist. Before class started, we would stand and recite it with our arms outstretched in what is now called the Nazi salute. That didn’t last long when pictures in the papers and newsreels in the theaters began showing the Nazi aka fascist salute. That little nugget ‘under God’ was inserted during the cold war.
      Thank you Mr Chuckman, you are right on!

    7. antitermite says

      What a fantastic response to a most enlightening article. Certainly grounds for a good debate.
      (offtopic: but why is your post dated 3months before this article?)

      In recent times we can see the blatant abuses of power – the disappearance of Epstein, the Skripal saga, Soleimani assassination, terrorism sponsorship in godknows how many foreign lands, persecution of Assange – the Empire is barely hiding it’s hand with the flimsiest of pretenses as if to say “whaddyagonnadoaboudit?”.
      It feels powerful enough to prepare for evolution towards a fascist entity. They are now starting to mobilise the national guard and ICE are conducting “illegal” raids (warrant or no warrant, no-one in their right mind says “no” to authority wielding a gun these days).

      Your other comment on parallels to the Third Reich and its enablement by a willing society are spot on.
      Israel, the sole apartheid nation (for now – I fear for places like Bolivia) with an even more appalling popular approval of government thuggery is the direction that America is heading. It is the very definition of an entitled populace. Which side of the wall do you want to end up in?

    8. San Antexan says

      You go on and on about things that you figure the readers on this site do not know about. How on earth do you expect the heavily propagandized peasantry of the United Soviet States of America to understand? Are ordinary Russians to blame for the atrocities of Soviet Communism? I suppose you would say they were, and to a degree I suppose so. But the state goes out of its way to marginalize critical thinking, whether in the USSR or USSA. So I think you know that the points you teach in your comment are not taught in the schools, TV channels or elsewhere in the MSM. Blame applies to some, and they are not prosecuted, but the vote for Trump was to weed out the corruption and send Hilary to jail. That it hasn’t happened shows what well-meaning Americans are up against–a two-tiered system of justice in which crime among the elites is welcome, just not from we the people.

    9. pooi-hoong chan says

      You are absolutely right when the ordinary American is voting for the gov’t during elections. That makes them doubly responsible.

    10. Robert Mcconnell says

      Your description of school days reminds me of a few old people I know in Deutschland talking about the Hitler youth, they loved it, and they were conditioned as you were.
      BTW this destruction of innocence is a daily occurrence today in schools all over the world. It is sickening.

    11. David Chu says

      Jimmy Stewart is a WAR CRIMINAL. He flew on many bombing mission over Germany. That is why the Jimmy Stewart BEFORE WW2 is not the same Jimmy Stewart AFTER WW2. He was a changed man, because of the War Crimes he and his fellow Yankee bombers committed against the German civilians.

      1. bob says

        You need medical help….URGENTLY

      2. SteadFastSpirit says


        My grandfather was a Nazi. He did not love it. He surrendered first chance he got. He did not eat as a German soldier.

        My grandmother was devastated when she saw her best friends house blown up but was relieved to see the American planes.

        They forced the children to the river banks to salute Hitler as he floated by down the rhine.

        My other grandfather served in WWII on two renowned naval ships before he became a highly decorated police officer in SF.

        Where I was born and raised a patriot and a conservative and remained that way to this day. Go figure, right?

        My saving grace is God and his holy spirit, my father teaching me about the treasonous democratic party and the banking system at a young age, and something I now know was a blessing in disguise: not attending a 4 year university.

        Hope is not lost for the youth.

        These kids nowadays are starved for God. They need something besides this toxic world and it’s establishment and institutions. It’s depressing and discouraging and seems hopeless. Thats probably because it is… But they are not and God alone will shine the light to the truth and the prize in the sky with him. They need to know this is not all that there is!

        Pull them out of schools, no TV, teach them real history, economics, math, gardening, engineering, chemistry, or just nurture the thing they love to do and have it grow into a skill they master. That’s how it use to be, a capitalist market made up of master tradesmen. It fuels the community and innovation.

        God, No fluoride in water or toothpaste, organic foods, and lots of love. It’s gonna be an adjustment at first but life saving in the end.

    12. Damforeigner says

      The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie. “One word of truth outweighs the world.”All I aim to do, all I CAN do, is to keep myself from believing and/or bearing witness to lies. The empire, and all its forebears, is terrified by me.

  10. Mary E says

    Wow! Quite the eye-opener! Thanks for the Empire 101 class!!
    Love the new name too!

  11. Dean Michael says

    I believe you should check this out. http://www.primarytherulingclass.com

    1. cechas vodobenikov says

      u believe voting matters in a military dictatorship police state oligarchy? Marx was correct—the masses are gullible

  12. alterEd says

    Hey Marko, you call your blogg Anti-Empire and you have your quasi-moronic own definition of the word Empire. You think you are so much better than anyone else, to the point that not only you can control the flow of words as you are the owner of the meanings of the words you favor: I am the boss, I call the shots, words mean what I want them to mean! Perhaps you have been reading Alice a bit to much…

  13. Brion Adair says

    It’s obvious that America has become a fake country supporting the corporate objectives of the East India Company mentioned in your article. For what other reason would they flying the Company flag?

  14. James Willy says

    These yankys elect these parasites to represent them so that makes THEM 100% at fault for the rest of the planet suffering under them.

    1. San Antexan says

      What did Stalin say? It matters not what votes are cast, what matters is who counts them.

    2. XRGRSF says

      EXACTLY !!

  15. Garry Compton says

    Good article – I agree – there are a few countries lately that the Empire has touched , that has gone to shit including part of the old USA. The average populace doesn’t see it, in most instances because the media propaganda is sooo sly and the politicians of those countries are bought off. And PS – the Empire does Not need the donut lady’s and mechanic’s tax money , since they own the Federal Reserve and can print enough money for both the Empire and the USA . There are no more rules about printing money – they print anytime they want – except to bail out the public. Was there ever a Good Empire ?

  16. Robert Mcconnell says

    Wow, not a mention of the talmudic hegemon? Who is behind the empire?

    1. XRGRSF says

      Marko doesn’t like to PO Israel, and he’s firmly of the opinion that most Jews are just like most Americans, and innocent of the actions of their governments.

  17. Raf says

    Saudi is not an influencer. It is a milking cow for the empire and when she runs out of milk, they will chop her up and toss her on the grill.

    Israel, Zionism, Organized Jewry are the not just influencers, they are the leaders of the empire and America, like Britain and France are the hosts carrying out the empire’s bidding.

    Aside from that your article is spot on!

  18. David Chu says

    The hegemon of our day, the American Empire, is powered by American power and run from Washington. But it is not synonymous with the USA — not with the country, nor with its people, or even its government.

    That is complete bullshit!

    The people of the Unites States are completely responsible for the Evils and War Crimes and Genocides committed in their name and by their expressed or tacit agreement.

  19. alterEd says

    I am a little disappointed to learn that you do not even mention the City of London in your description. So the Empire is just an American thing? Sorry, I don’t think so!

  20. cechas vodobenikov says

    power, freedom and influence r amorphous terms—as is authority—examined by everyone from Plato, Foucault, Shestov, Kojeve, Sennet, Nietzsche, etc—I doubt that either Israel or SA has much influence for the US empire; rather they serve as US proxies to destabilize the ME….obviously, anyone familiar w historians of empire—Tainter, Gibbon, Toynbee,simmel etc r fully aware that empire fully comports w the national character of its’ people—indeed Arthur Koestler compared amerikans to 5th century Romans, when the Roman Empire was collapsing…”a similarly contactless society populated by automatons…a similarly soulless, politically corrupt, everybody for themselves society”
    In all respects the amerikan people reflect what is found in collapsing empires—increasing jingoism, a stupefied population, shallowness (“fewer than 3% of the US adult public is literate enough to comprehend irony”. Morris Berman). to find an amerikan that has read Leskov, Lermontov, Balzac, Stendhal, Flaubert, Heine, Schiller, Goethe, Hafiz, Ovid, Karl Kraus, etc is nearly impossible…u will not find an amerikan that can identify Scraibin, Borodin, Wagner, Umberto Saba, Borges, Corizar, Bulgakov chuang Tzu, Levinas, Lacan, etc
    money worshipping, people bereft of feeling and morality, antagonist, insecure…r expected in an empire near collapse….the peculiar amerikan character has been examined by many from Tocqueville, Richard Hofstadter, Geoffrey Gorer, David riesman, Philip Slater, Slavoj Zizek, Alan bloom, Christopher lasch, Richard Sennet, erich Fromm (previously the danger was that people would become slaves–now the danger is that they will become robots”—amerikans have lost the capacity for spontaneous feeling”, etc
    “nothing can thrive in amerika unless inflated by hyperbole and gilded w a fine coat of fraud. amerikans cannot think except by means of slogans—they identify garbage as quality. the stupidity and ignorance of amerikans has long been a topic of hilarity in Europe”. Paul Fussell

    1. Robert Mcconnell says


    2. James Willy says

      It is good to know this wrinkled up POS will soon be burning in Hell. FOREVER & FOREVER. I hope Jesus has the best seat waiting for him and the rest of these rotten satanists. If nobody will take him out here, then God will SOON. POS.

      1. tapatio says

        His children and grandchildren are just as evil.

  21. CHUCKMAN says

    ‘The American Empire is not America. It’s not even the United States Government’

    Sorry, that’s pretty close to nonsense.


    The Third Reich has nothing to do with the German people or even their government.

    If you don’t take responsibility, nothing ever changes.

    1. Canosin says

      I fully agree

  22. Miguel Barrera says

    Deep state and empire are synonymous?

  23. Mojorisen says

    I have been following the Larouche blogs/websites for years and they state categorically the US is run by the British empire. The British empire is a financial empire. The royals of Europe and particularly the British royals appear to be at the top of the pyramid.
    I have also followed David Livingstone a Canadian author for years and he makes a compelling case that secret societies dominate world governments, finance, think tanks, media and their influence goes back centuries.

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