Fight the Empire

We live in an empire that began 500 years ago with the European conquest of the Americas. This program looks at how the empire permeates our lives.

 

What are we doing in the world? What are we doing to the world?

George Kennan was an influential US diplomat during the Cold War years. It was he who devised the containment strategy against the Soviet Union (as opposed to a more aggressive rollback policy). In February 1948 Kennan presented a document to President Truman, Presidential Policy Statement #23, which includes the following:

"The US has  50 percent of the world's wealth, but only 6.3 percent of its population. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which permits us to maintain this position of disparity...To do so we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming, and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives.

"We should cease to talk about vague and unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are hampered by idealistic slogans the better."

Some have claimed that Kennan was speaking as a foreign policy "realist," and arguing against an ideological anti-Communist crusade. That may be so, but his words are clear, as Noam Chomsky has pointed out. The US intends to keep for itself an unfair share of the world's resources. The main difference between the realists and the ideologues is one of tactics in pursuing this ignoble goal.

 

 

 

 

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Episode Archive

Fight the Empire on 12/20/12

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Fight the Empire
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Thu, 12/20/2012 - 9:30am - 10:00am
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History and events in Syria

As the year comes to an end we'll look at events in Syria, their links to past and future, and the chaos spreading beyond borders.

Fight the Empire on 12/06/12

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Fight the Empire
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Thu, 12/06/2012 - 9:30am - 10:00am
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Tamim Ansary about his new book Games Without Rules: The Often Interrupted History of Afghanistan

 Host Per Fagereng speaks with writer Tamim Ansary about his new book Games Without Rules: The Often Interrupted History of Afghanistan.

In GAMES WITHOUT RULES Tamim Ansary draws on his Afghan background, Muslim roots, and Western and Afghan sources to explain history from the inside out, and to illuminate the long, internal struggle that the outside world has never fully understood. It is the story of a nation struggling to take form, a nation undermined by its own demons while, every 40 to 60 years, a great power crashes in and disrupts whatever progress has been made.

Fight the Empire on 11/15/12

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Fight the Empire
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Thu, 11/15/2012 - 9:30am - 10:00am
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Alfred McCoy on “Beyond Bayonets and Battleships, Space Warfare and the Future of U.S. Global Power”

Host Per Fagereng speaks with historian and author Alfred McCoy, about his recent piece on TomDispatch.com about the Pentagon’s dreams and plans for maintaining U.S. preeminence on planet Earth from the ground to outer space via an array of new robotic weaponry now in development.  McCoy is famous for his book on the CIA and heroin (which the Agency tried unsuccessfully to suppress). McCoy's latest book is Endless Empire.

Fight the Empire on 11/01/12

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Fight the Empire
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Thu, 11/01/2012 - 9:00am - 10:00am
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Hurricane Sandy and climate change

Per Fagereng hosts a special hour-long edition of Fight the Empire on Hurricane Sandy, climate change, unusual weather patterns, energy and more.

Fight the Empire on 10/18/12

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Fight the Empire
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Thu, 10/18/2012 - 9:30am - 10:00am
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Connecting history with the latest world events

Fight the Empire on 10/04/12

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Fight the Empire
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Thu, 10/04/2012 - 9:30am - 10:00am
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Tough Talk for America, A Guide to the Presidential Debates You Won’t Hear

Host Per Fagereng speaks with Mattea Kramer, senior research analyst at the National Priorities Project and lead author of the new book A People’s Guide to the Federal Budget. She just wrote the piece “Tough Talk for America, A Guide to the Presidential Debates You Won’t Hear,” which states: “Five big things will decide what this country looks like next year and in the 20 years to follow, but here’s a guarantee for you: you’re not going to hear about them in the upcoming presidential debates.

Fight the Empire on 09/20/12

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Fight the Empire
Air date: 
Thu, 09/20/2012 - 9:30am - 10:00am
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Journalist and author Hedrick Smith on his book Who Stole the American Dream?

Host Per Fagereng speaks with Hedrick Smith, Pulitzer Prize-winning former New York Times reporter and editor and Emmy award-winning producer/correspondent whose career spans fifty years. His new book Who Stole The American Dream? is an account of how, over the past four decades, we have become two Americas. Smith takes us across America to show how seismic changes, sparked by a sequence of landmark political and economic decisions, have transformed America. He starts with Lewis Powell’s provocative memo that triggered a political rebellion that dramatically altered the landscape of power in Washington from then until today.

Fight the Empire on 09/06/12

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Fight the Empire
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Thu, 09/06/2012 - 9:30am - 10:00am
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Gareth Porter on Iran's reducing the amount of enriched uranium

Host Per Fagereng speaks with Gareth Porter, investigative historian and journalist specialising in U.S. national security policy, about his recent article on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) report called "IAEA Report Shows Iran Reduced Its Breakout Capacity." They will also talk about the US warnings to Israel, the non-aligned nations meeting, and Romney's foreign policy team.

The paperback edition of Gareth Porter's latest book, Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam, was published in 2006.

Fight the Empire on 08/16/12

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Fight the Empire
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Thu, 08/16/2012 - 9:30am - 10:00am
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$21 Trillion the Wealthy are Hiding: The Shocking Facts -- and the Great Opportunity

Host Per Fagereng speaks with  James Henry, lead researcher for a new report by the Tax Justice Network that finds that the super-rich are hiding at least $21 trillion in accounts outside their home countries. The wealth hidden in these tax shelters is the equivalent of the United States and Japanese economies combined, according to the report, 'The Price of Offshore Revisited.'" PDF summary of report: http://www.taxjustice.net/cms/upload/pdf/The_Price_of_Offshore_Revisited_Presser_120722.pdf

Fight the Empire on 08/02/12

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Fight the Empire
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Thu, 08/02/2012 - 9:30am - 10:00am
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Connecting history with the latest world events

 

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