Stratfor and the neutrality of Imperialism

This is from a recent STRATFOR intelligence report:

The world is a dangerous place, and violence and threats of violence have always been a part of the human condition. Hadrian’s Wall was built for a reason, and there is a reason we all have to take our shoes off at the airport today. While there is danger in the world, that does not mean people have to hide under their beds and wait for something tragic to happen. Nor should people count on the government to save them from every potential threat.

The problem with statements like this is that they assume imperial agression (in this case, the Roman conquest of England) to be part of “the human condition”. It is only against the “neutral” backdrop of imperial violence that counter-imperial terrorism appears as something from which “the government” must save us.

In fact, we should recognize that “the [imperial] government” is in fact the cause of anti-imperial terrorism – both in the case of resistance against Rome, and in the case of violent Islamic resistance against the United State’s (and before that, the British Empire’s) domination of the middle east.

We should not take “imperial agression” to be a neutral part of the human condition. The state is, after all, quite a new phenomena in human history. We might take seriously the possibility that how long the human species last might be related to our ability to overcome this expansionistic, and structurally exclusionary form of social organization.


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