Through its commitment to militarism and global imperialism, the elite class that controls the United States is risking global catastrophe. In his new book Who Rules the World?, Noam Chomsky examines US policies from the drone assassination program to nuclear weapons, from Iraq and Afghanistan to Israel and Palestine, to show the workings and consequences of undemocratic imperial power. Order the book today by making a donation to support Truthout!
“Who rules the world?” This is one of those perennial questions. In the past, it has been empires or dominant states that dictated the course of history. The United States was able singlehandedly to influence developments and outcomes economically, politically and ideologically in much of the world throughout the post-war era. Although we are now witnessing the end of “Pax Americana,” the US remains the most powerful and destructive imperial state in the history of the world.
However, states are not abstract entities or neutral institutions of human creation. On the contrary, while they may have a logic of their own due to their huge built-in bureaucracies, the policies they pursue reflect above all the interests of the dominant social classes and seek to reproduce the existing social and economic relations. In other words, states work on behalf of what Adam Smith called “the masters of mankind” whose “vile maxim” is “all for ourselves, and nothing for the other People.”
Indeed, in the case of the United States, one of the most disturbing and dangerous developments is the growing insulation of the elite from any system of democratic…