World in View: U.S. imperialism comes home

August 30, 2014

From the September-October 2014 issue of News & Letters

It was revelatory, back in 2003, to see that one of the sick, brutal guards in those infamous photos at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq had been recruited right out of the U.S. prison system—he had been a brutal guard at State Correctional Institution-Greene, in Pennsylvania. It was a vivid demonstration of how imperialist oppression is tied to domestic repression in the U.S.

This was also shockingly apparent in the heavily militarized police presence in Ferguson, Mo. Militarily decked out police are attacking those protesting the murder of Michael Brown. Much of that gear has been given for free by the Defense Department to local police forces who bulk up on these steroids and become the equivalent of state security services that bolster dictatorships around the world.

It’s important to remember that imperialism grows from the oppression of the worker at the point of production, but that whatever is done in its name “over there” will ultimately be used to control workers “here.” Imperialism is the great school of unscrupulosity.



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