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Foreign Policy Analysis
The Face Of Imperialism – Review (ft. Will Griffin)

The Face Of Imperialism – Review (ft. Will Griffin)


hey I know you do that jaywalking punk
anarchist do that gene walking poking Hello this is the radical viewers
taking a look at the face of imperialism by Michael Paren… oh excuse me I thought
I was doing the intro well okay you can do it wait wait I’m I’m confused
all right you just do it okay sounds good hmm hello well this is the radical
reviewer taking a look at the face of imperialism by Michael Parenti paradigm
publishers 2011 the key idea of this text is that despite pretending
imperialism no longer exists or pretending its existence is benevolent
or altruistic the truth is that the US is an evil empire evil empire people in
that u.s. imperialist policy seeks to destroy the antenna me of the nations of
the world and bring them under neo-colonial control that dominant
investor interests in one country bring to bear military and financial power
upon another country in order to expropriate the land labor capital
Natural Resources Commerce and markets of that other country that national
security state its function is to make the world safe for the fortune 500 and
for the people in Group A let’s take a look at the text in depth chapter 1
thinking about Empire this chapter is about the discourse around Empire and
foreign policy first print he explains that what is considered objectivity is
often just the dominant or Orthodox opinion limiting the understandable
discourse for example he states many of our political perceptions are
shaped by culturally prefigured templates implanted in our minds without
conscious awareness to become critically aware of these ingrained opinions and
images is not only an act of self education it is an act of self-defence
an example of a dominant or Orthodox opinion might be the general public’s
opinion that the US is generally a force for good in the world defeating tyranny
in the Revolutionary War defeating slavery in the Civil War defeating the
Nazis in World War two fighting communism in Southeast Asia and now
fighting terrorism in the Middle East frenzy continues the heterodox view has
a special task to contest the prevailing orthodoxy to broaden the boundaries of
debate to wake people up to unearth suppressed data Parenti takes this
stance to explain that the u.s. is role as an empire is kept outside the realm
of acceptable discourse so for example if I wanted to argue against the claim
that the u.s. is generally a force for good in the world I might mention the
fact that the US has sponsored torture in over 20 countries that the US has
bombed over 30 countries since World War two none of whom attacked to the US in
fact here I’ve shown this before but I do recommend making a little map like
this for yourself it really gives a good scope of US intervention ISM abroad and
it’s a great conversation piece when company comes over even with this said
however the dominant narrative can find ways to defend itself but in those
countries x y&z happened supporting terrorism tyrannical leader spreading
communism or whatever and so we had to do something
you see those US military actions were justified well firstly no but also did
the thing the US had to do need to be bombing bombing which kills innocent
civilians bombing countries which never invaded the US or what about the use of
torture surely you find these things objectionable well uh Venezuela or I I
mean it’s a crazy world out there there are a lot of bad guys some bad hombres
doing bad things and well would you prefer some bombing and torture of the
baddest bad guys in the world or would you prefer the overthrow of Western
society by terrorists Islamic cultural Marxism um what sometimes I don’t even
know where to start with you listen what you’re saying is patently false and the
rest of the text will clearly demonstrate this so let’s continue next
Parenti defines imperialism stating by imperialism I do not mean just power and
Dominion I mean the process of transnational investment and capital
accumulation for those familiar with imperialism the highest stage of
capitalism this is certainly getting into the capitalists monopoly
imperialism type stuff Parenti argues that according to the dominant narrative
you’re not supposed to look at Empire or imperialism in this way rather when you
see the grave injustice –is you’re supposed to conclude that the u.s. is
misguided bumbling reckless driven by false assumptions etc that’s what I was
trying to explain to you Prunty then further defines imperialism he states in
this book imperialism is defined as follows the process whereby the dominant
investor interests in one country bring to bear military and financial power
upon another country in order to expropriate the land labor capital
Natural Resources Commerce and markets of that other country hey it’s your turn
oh is it is it my turn ok all right oh yeah chapter two the omnipresent
arsenal in this chapter Michael Parenti argues why the American
Empire requires immense quantities of military might quote an empire finds us
birth growth and perhaps even its eventual death in its force majeure it’s
irresistible armed power born of its own aggrandizement an empire lives in a
world of real or imagined enemies who must be subdued with force and violence
from the perspective of the US Empire or the current imperial nation there only
exists two kinds of nations beyond its borders satellites or vassals
and then there are enemies potential and actual Parenti defines the satellite
state as a vassal state bonded to the Imperium Parenti also defines the enemy
state among the enemies is any country that seeks to chart an independent and
self defining course to use its land natural resources capital labor and
markets for its own development and possibly for regional hegemony Michael
Parenti gives two main reasons why the US requires such a large army precint
arsenal even in the absence of a comparable opponent one keeping the
world safe for global capital accumulation requires a massive military
establishment and to a massive military itself constitutes a source of immense
capital accumulation Parenti explains the class exploitation of the Empire’s
Arsenal the Empire feeds off the Republic the people who pay the cost of
empire are not the same as those who reap its rewards the gains of empire
flow into the hands of the privileged business class the large overseas
investors while the costs are extracted from the general Treasury that is from
the industry of the rest of the P Chapter three why Wooler seek global
dominion this chapter looks at what policies get a given country us support
and what kinds of policies receive us repression Parenti starts the chapter
explaining how government and corporate power supports imperialism he then
states these u.s. leaders have consistently supported rightist regimes
and organizations and opposed leftist ones Parenti then lists right-wing
capitalists abusive oppressive regimes that the US has supported such as
Pinochet in Chile Batista and Cuba Somoza and Nicaragua and the Renault MOU
in Mozambique and the Contras in Nicaragua etc etc Parenti then argues
when trying to determine the intentions of policy makers we should look not only
at whom they support but whom they attack us rulers have targeted just
about all leftist governments parties leaders political movements and popular
insurgencies that is any political entity that attempts to initiate
equitable reforms egalitarian programs for the common people restraints on
corporate capital and self development of their own countries Parenti explains
methods of domination employed by the US Imperium to subvert and defeat reformist
and leftist governments are as varied and ruthless as the opportunities of
intervention may allow and he names these methods bribes collusion secret
prisons destroying protest groups mercenary armies financial divisions
propagating propaganda sabotage rigged elections imposing embargoes etc etc etc comrade will wake up ok come on alright
Chapter four deliberate design this chapter argues that Empire and thus
imperialism is not a coincidence accident for some sort of MIS leadership
as most liberals would conclude but rather the goal of global hegemony is a
planned and deliberate mission imperialist Parenti concludes a chapter
with in short us political corporate elites have long struggle to make the
world safe for transnational capital accumulation to attain control of the
markets lands natural resources and cheap labor of all countries and to
prevent the emergence of revolutionary socialist populist and hidden
nationalist regimes that refuse to submit to this arrangement to achieve
global hegemony a global military machine is essential the goal is to
create a world populated by vassals known also as client states and
compliant populations completely open to transnational corporate penetration on
terms that are completely favorable to the transnationals it is not too much to
conclude that such a policy is produced not by dumb coincidence
but by conscious effort and deliberate design Chapter five
how moneyed interests create poor nations this chapter is about the
function of the parasitic relationship that is the first world’s exploitation
of the third world right off the bat printing makes this
argument how is it that as transnational corporate investments and trade with
poor countries and international aid and loans to these same countries have all
increased dramatically over the past half-century so has world poverty now
you may be thinking the capitalism lifts people out of poverty and that people in
the third world countries are getting richer but this isn’t the case the
YouTube channel Hakeem covers this subject very well in this video let’s
have a look some economists even go further and
advocate an international poverty line of five dollars or even ten dollars
which is the upper boundary suggested by the World Bank add to this level at this
standard we see that some 5.1 billion people nearly 80% of the world’s
population would be living in poverty or are living in poverty as of 2014 this
number has only risen since then there is evidence to show that pretty much any
improvement has happened in China and only in China with other reasons in the
world either staying as poor as they were 30 years ago or getting much much
worse Parenti then explains that third-world countries are not
underdeveloped but in fact over exploited this is because their current
poverty is not their original condition in fact these countries weren’t
relatively rich with relatively good standards of living before they were
exploited into poverty under development what’s called under development is a
condition which is forcefully imposed on these countries through history this
reality has several historical examples the kingdoms of Africa versus the
dividing up of Africa by European powers the industrial centers of India vs.
England forced the industrialization of India the standard of living in
Afghanistan versus u.s. support for the Mujahideen standard of living in Iraq
vs. u.s. interventions in 1991 and 2003 etc etc see the Shock Doctrine by Naomi
Klein for understanding how this process continues to exist and develop in our
modern world explaining capitalist imperialism functions in the world
Parenti States by displacing people from their lands and robbing them of their
self-sufficiency corporations create labor markets overcrowded with desperate
populations forced into shanty towns to toil for poverty wages when they can get
work often in violation of the country’s own minimum wage laws corporations do
not outsource to far-off regions so that US consumers can save money they
outsource in order to increase their margin of profit we saw this drive for
capitalism to keep standards of living low in foreign countries in imperialism
the highest stage of capitalism where Lenin stated as long as capitalism
remains what it is surplus capital will never be utilized for the purpose of
raising the standard of living of the masses in a given country for this would
mean a decline in profits for the capitalists
Parenti continues working hand in hand with these transnational investments are
the foreign aid programs US aid to other countries subsidizes construction of the
infrastructure needed by corporations poor its highways and refineries and
here we come to some of the largest changes in imperialism since Lenin’s
1917 book imperialism the highest stage of capitalism Parenti states in 1944 the
United Nations created the World Bank in the International Monetary Fund voting
power in both organizations is determined by a country’s financial
contributions as the largest donor the United States has a dominant voice the
World Bank and the IMF were supposed to assist nations in their development what
actually happens is another story the World Bank will lend money to this
or that country to finance a huge dam project that displaces thousands of
families while providing cheap irrigation for export agriculture and
cheap power for a private company we will identify a country that has
resources our corporations covet like oil and then arrange a huge loan to that
country from the World Bank or one of its sister organizations but the money
never actually goes to the country instead it goes to our big corporations
to build infrastructure projects in that country power plants industrial parks
ports things that benefit a few rich people in that country in addition to
our corporations and Parenti concludes the function of overseas investments
loans and aid is not to uplift the masses in other countries there’s no
profit in that it is to advance the imperial interests of the global
capitalist accumulators to help them take over the lands and local economy of
third world peoples monopolize their markets depress their wages and enter
their labor with enormous debts privatize their public service sector
and prevent these nations from emerging as trade competitors by depriving them
of normal development man this book is so good well well it’s your turn all
right let’s go chapter 6 globalization for the few
in this chapter Parenti shows how free trade is at odds with public service how
free trade agreements have spread poverty faster than to create jobs and
more prosperity for the people globalization diminishes the living
standards of working people not only in the third world but in major industrial
countries as well he exposes how these free trade agreements are not a natural
development of globalization and that they have been consciously planned by
big business and its government minions over a period of years in pursuit of a
totally deregulated world economy that undermines all democratic checks on
business practices he also talks about how democratic sovereignty itself is
being surrendered to a secretive plutocratic trade organization that
presumes to exercise a power greater than that of the people and their courts
and legislatures part of the process of globalization is to place the
transnational corporation above sovereign power of any particular nation
while at the same time being served by the sovereign powers of all nations
through the process of globalization this is accomplished by promoting the
idea of so-called free trade some more commonly known agreements might be the
North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA and the general agreement on
tariffs and trade or GA TT get these agreements empower anonymous
international trade committees such as the World Trade Organization or the WTO
with the authority to overrule any nation state laws that are deemed a
burden to the investment opportunities of transnational corporations Parenti
explains the basic capitalist perspective of globalization in early
times there were only village markets these eventually expanded into regional
markets then national ones then international ones
and now finally global agreements that cover the entire world globalization is
presented to the public as a means to create jobs and prosperity by abolishing
restrictive regulatory laws and by integrating nation state economies into
a more open and active trade system in fact these free trade Arrangements
represent a kind of coup d’etat by the giant business interests of the world what is called free trade is neither
free nor really about trade as such free trade is certainly not fair trade it
benefits strong nations at the expense of weaker ones and rich interests at the
expense of the rest of us circumventing what little democratic sovereignty we
have been able to achieve free trade elevates property rights above every
other right among the nations of the world chapter 7 free-market servitude this
chapter is about what it’s like for a debtor nation exploited by the u.s. to
start printing explains in the free market society of a third-world country
like Honduras or Indonesia the peon is little more than a slave his or her life
is of no value apart from its capacity to create value for the owner through
hard work at a subsistence wage that is what the free market is about the
freedom of plutocrats to do whatever they want to those in economic servitude
whose lives have become expendable and easily replaceable or as Vandana Shiva
put it and yet even Indian peasants who believe in the next life are committing
suicide because death has become so unbearable in the new context these are
death earlier but it used to be the kind of death they knew they could pay off
with a little hard work they could pay off with going off into the city for a
migratory job and coming back the debt today is so high
it’s 200 thousand rupees 300 thousand rupees for peasants who have no cat and
they know within a year or two and they accumulate that kind of debt they’ll
never be able to pay back Parenti then explains what neo liberals want to do in
other nations namely selling off public services and property to private
investors deregulating the economy and opening up the country to foreign
investment now why would US policymakers you really
think US policymakers are motivated by some need to abolish the social programs
the public sector services and Yugoslavia why would they want to do
that do you think they are such nefarious evil intended individuals they
would want to abolish their social programs come on Parenti are you being
paranoid well why would they want to abolish our
social programs as they have been doing and Parenti concludes when next you hear
individuals singing the praises of the free market remind them that the market
is free only for the global empires moneyed patrons and this brings us to
chapter eight target Cuba in this chapter Parenti uses Cuba as an example
of a nation who has both withstood and resisted the aggression of the US
Imperial Empire the Empire justifies its aggression with a familiar mantra Cuba
is a communist regime a threat to our freedom and an oppression to its own
people therefore we must strive for regime
change Parenti lays out cleverly the u.s. modus operandi or methods and
strategies used by the empire to achieve regime change which can be applied to
any other country besides Cuba these are important to note Hiep criticism on the
targeted government for imprisoning the oppressors and assassins of the previous
US back reactionary free-market regime denounced
the newly installed revolutionary or reformist government as dictatorial for
failing to immediately institute western-style politics or for showing
friendly relations and trading with the then Soviet Union demonize the
revolutionary leaders labeling them as fanatical brutal genocidal power-hungry
and even mentally imbalanced accuse the targeted country of posing a threat to
regional peace and stability impose economic sanctions to cripple and
destabilize its economy do whatever possible to make the economy scream give
aid and money to subversive elements within the country when the targeted
government responds with angry criticisms about US aggression treat
such charges as evidence of hostility towards America deny harboring any
aggressive designs justify us actions as defensive measures against terrorism or
communist anger dyes myths or both attack the country with surrogate
mercenary forces trained equipped and financed by the u.s. national security
state or if necessary with regular US Armed Forces chapter 9 satellites or
enemies this chapter is about explaining the two types of nations that exist in
global imperialism they are of course complicit exploited satellites or
enemies parentis key argument here is this the face of imperialism today is of
an American Empire reaching into every corner of the world served by
cooperative allies and other satellite nations an empire whose transnational
corporations control the markets investments and resources of entire
regions accumulating hundreds of billions of dollars in yearly profits
that national security state its function is to make the world safe for
the fortune 500 and for the people in Group a Parenti continues enemies are
forever conjurer to stir fear in the hearts of the
American people so that they might continue to support a US Imperium that
bleeds the Republic in order to rule the planet but the u.s. is a force for
democracy in the world for example after overthrowing Iraq’s
democracy and installing Saddam Hussein and then giving him weapons and and
funds to attack his people and then overthrowing Saddam and installing Paul
Bremer to make dictatorial decisions for the country and then installing Bremer’s
hand-picked Iraqi government the u.s. brought democracy to Iraq mission
accomplished well it is important to look at this
question of democracy here’s what Parenti has to say about it
us rulers find electoral democracy useful when it helps destabilize
one-party socialism or derail a reformist movement or when it serves as
a legitimating cloak for capitalist restoration but when democracies start
to successfully advance a Galit Arian economic reforms when it becomes a
barrier to an untrammeled capitalism then it must be undone or diluted in
some way in fact 20 addresses the Iraq example in
the false reasons for the 2003 invasion Iraq supporting al-qaeda not true
weapons of mass destruction didn’t exist war crimes sure plenty but that was when
the US was providing Iraq with money and resources for creating chemical weapons
Parenti then explains that the CIA helped overthrow progressive movements
in Iraq in the 1950s and then the Gulf War invasion in the 1990s and the u.s.
bombing of Iraq for over a decade after that Parenti then addresses North Korea
Iran and Venezuela it’s important to understand these arguments certainly
Printy has a sort of Marxist Leninist style anti-imperialism to his state
we’re because the u.s. invasions are about destroying something positive in
another nation then the other nation has positive aspects of waiting destruction
now I’m not currently nor have I ever been to North Korea Iran or Venezuela
but I do imagine if you can believe it that these countries are not horrible
hell holes where death is the only solace from utter misery but at the same
time these places aren’t perfect a little nuance imagine that and so it’s
important to note some of the positive elements of these countries that the US
has often stood in opposition against both at home and abroad because it often
turns out the u.s. foreign policy will justify its actions in response to a
country’s negative qualities as an excuse to get rid of its positive
qualities years–what Parenti has to say Korea less publicized in the US media
where North Korea’s repeated overtures dating from the early 1990s for a
bilateral non-aggression pact with the United States all rejected by Washington
prenta continues after years encirclement and demonization by
Washington the Pyongyang leaders were convinced that the best way to deter
superpower aggression was by developing a nuclear arsenal it does not really
sound so crazy having been pushed to the brink for so long the North Koreans by
2010 were taking a gamble pursuing an arguably sane deterrence policy in an
otherwise insane world configured by a voracious Empire Iran Iran had other
traits akin to pre-invasion Iraq a high literacy rate a better than usual
third-world living standard a recycling of some of the oil profits into the
social wage and a leadership that was charting an independent course and as we
might expect iranian President Mohammad Ahmadinejad was diagnosed by US media
pundits as dangerously unstable and crazy
Venezuela not long after being elected president of Venezuela in 1998 Hugo
Chavez was being denounced as a dictator and a threat to American interests here
are some of the measures taken by the shabbos Government Printing names quite
a few things land reform to assist small and poor farmers environmental
protections and restoration policies increased access to education a more
equitable federal banking system increased access to medical services etc
etc prenta explains that the u.s. funded millions of dollars into media
manipulation in Venezuela now obviously Venezuela has changed a
lot since this was written in 2011 Venezuela is now obviously a terrible
place where people eat rats example you know Venezuela right a majority of the
country is currently eating rats eating rats beer and it’s also a complete
embodiment of all socialist theories ok well that’s not true if you want to know
more about Venezuela I recommend these videos now these things are important to
understand especially as the current administration is eager to work with
Brazil in regards to Venezuela yes Brazil who recently elected a right-wing
fascist sympathizer president who praises brazil’s right-wing dictatorship
period so anticipate us action in Venezuela either through direct invasion
or through supporting an invasion regardless the US working with a
right-wing reactionary government like Brazil to overthrow a left-wing
government such as Venezuela is exactly the kind of thing this text is all about
and finally chapter 10 rogue Imperium here Parenti reaffirms that the overall
aim of u.s. rulers is to promote a global order dedicated to private
ownership of the world’s financial and industrial wealth expropriation of its
natural resources and advantageous control of its consumer and labor
markets this is a world where the gap between the wealthy few and the many
poor grows ever greater where the masses are experiencing a drastic
decline in living standards he also reaffirms his position against liberals
where US global policy has been ruthlessly rational the Imperium is
ruled not by fools but by liars manipulators murderers and other
criminals all of whom tend to believe in their own virtue the Imperial state
often functions accountable to no one Parenti distinguishes between Imperial
diplomacy and traditional diplomacy defining traditional diplomacy as the
process of settling disputes by looking for workable compromises finding
solutions that might leave both sides less than completely satisfied but
satisfied enough to avoid armed conflict and he defines imperial diplomacy as
usually begins with a set of demands that is implicitly treated as a
non-negotiable even if presented as proposals if the other side is resistant
to the proposal then Washington denounces them as uncooperative
if concessions are made by the weaker nation the Empire then escalates its
demands in addition printing notes at Imperial diplomacy is inclined to ignore
treaties and international law accepting only the limitations imposed by
self-interest and power Parenti brings up the idea of a collapsing Empire and
how many writers historians political scientists and others predict they
collapse upon their horizon but Parenti urges that we should not underestimate
the Empire’s capacity for durability and regeneration despite losing the Vietnam
War u.s. imperialism became stronger in the years that followed he says an
empire dedicated to boundless corporate plunder is unfortunately more likely to
undo the global ecosphere before it undoes itself meaning the u.s.
plutocrats will sacrifice everyone and everything before giving up its power
this book ends with addressing the reality of the curve
situation reality is a problem for the ruling class reality has to be
consistently finessed and misrepresented because reality is radical the Empire is
only as secure as the lies it can sell by becoming aware of this we have a
better chance of moving against the tide in resisting the deadening hand of
free-market plutocracy a better chance of exposing the dominant Imperial
paradigm for the suffocating dirty little box that it really is a better
chance to build a real enviable democracy amid a family of Nations in a
peaceful and sustainable world conclusion as we’ve seen this text is
similar to Vladimir Lenin’s 1917 text imperialism the highest stage of
capitalism yet where Lenin’s text is much more theoretical and about
addressing a newly developing phenomenon and analyzing its methods structures and
motivations Michael parenthese the face of
imperialism is much more matter-of-fact being that this text is from 2011 and
has come long after World War one and World War two and the dirty war period
and cold war interventionism in the fall of the Soviet Union and the creation of
global controlling institutions such as NATO and NAFTA and the IMF from the
World Bank and the development of over a thousand US military bases all over the
globe we can see in the face of imperialism how Lenin’s theories and
predictions have come true to violent horrific results during seceding radical
theory looking for a book recommendation or whatever and get your radical views
here at the lab four of you that’s watching

22 comments on “The Face Of Imperialism – Review (ft. Will Griffin)

  1. Parenti's description of the US modus operandi fits perfectly with what the US has done to Venezuela under both Democratic and Republican administrations.

  2. The eternal anthem of the international proletariat will always be W. A. Mozartโ€™s Violin Sonata in C Major K. 303, first movement โœŠ๐Ÿป

    But seriously, thanks for amazing video reviews comrade! Parenti is still such an eye-opener for me! ๐Ÿ˜

  3. Thank you all for watching and for the solidarity comments! And thanks to Radical Reviewer, this was my first collaboration on YouTube and I couldn't be any happier!
    Solidarity,
    Will

  4. Wow…i really need to get that book. I am relatively new to the "real" left (I have been pushed to anarchism) and have just been watching alot of videos. I think it is about time I read up on stuff. Thanks. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Beautifully done and unfortunately hard to deny. I don't like to be absolutist but more information and obvious outcomes point to mostly 3 countries ruining the world.

  6. Obviously perfect song choice, but I gotta also add:
    Die Young (TX) – "Fuck The Imperialist"
    Ryan Harvey – "Global Economy" and "Your Poverty Is Our Profit"

    I could go on but I'll save some for a more recent vid lol

    Very few can touch brother Parenti on the subject of imperialism. His talks are amazing. Poor dude can't catch a break with a mic though ๐Ÿ˜‚

    My only critique of him is one I've had of a lotta Marxists and that's their strange ability to ignore or dismiss the importance of anarchists and orthodox/ left-Marxists or really anyone left of Lenin. I never can understand why their roles are so often entirely overlooked or omitted in scenarios that they played an central part in when told by certain people. I can't tell ya how many times I've heard the USSR school flip-flopped version of the Russian Revolution where the Bolsheviks lead the charge from the very beginning and the other parties and organizations are either very secondary or absent entirely despite the opposite being true for the most part and the Bolsheviks not even being capable of winning elections in the Soviets lol But whatever.

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