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America’s Superpower Status May Threaten its Democracy


Aired 4/19/09

Tom Fudge: Empire. It's not a word we like to use to describe U.S. influence in the world. But Chalmers Johnson, a retired professor at UCSD, says it describes America's global influence quite well. He's not just talking about Iraq, but also about the hundreds of U.S. military bases spread all around the world.

In his latest book, he argues that this country will soon have to choose between keeping its democracy and keeping its empire. Johnson's latest book is called Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic. The book is the third in a trilogy he's written that includes Blowback and The Sorrows of Empire. In Blowback, many people believe Chalmers Johnson foretold the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Will his book, Nemisis, also prove to be prophetic?


Chalmers Johnson,author of Nemesis: The last days of the American Republic.

He is also the author of Blowback and The Sorrows of Empire.

Dr. Johnson is professor emeritus of the Graduate School of International Relations at UCSD. In the 1960s, he was an intelligence analyst who contracted with the CIA.

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Avatar for user 'GeraldFnord'

GeraldFnord | December 2, 2010 at 10:14 a.m. ― 6 years, 4 months ago

I fear that a nation that does war better than anyone, but nothing else better than anyone, will inevitably be a predator. Some, of course, believe that this already happened while back (see Butler, Smedley), but I'd rather give my native land's people the benefit of a doubt, and I think for a long time we both were militarily supreme and actually productive. Our industry made things people wanted, and our culture produced artifacts other nations' cultures valued, to one extent or another. But now I am concerned, given the short shrift science and the arts are given in our culture, that either of these will be true.

Moral objections aside, predators have to worry both about every other predator and about (in a plastic species like ours) the prey's changing and organising into a threat.

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