The United States is an empire, even if its citizens don’t all realize it. That is the conclusion from historian and political scientist Aaron Good, who joins Alan MacLeod on this week’s edition of “MintCast.” Today, Good walks us through the history of how the United States came to dominate the world and the organizations it uses – especially the CIA and NATO – in order to enforce its control over the planet.
He notes that as Europe and Asia were destroying themselves in conflict, the U.S. gave the powerful business think tank, the Council on Foreign Relations, the task of planning America’s entry into World War II.
The idea was to:
Enter the war, win it, and establish dominion over global capitalism. They are going to essentially take control of Western imperialism. It’s not stated that way, but that’s what ends up being the consensus of people at the top of the U.S. And that consensus of the U.S. as the global hegemon of capitalism worldwide is the story of our time.”
In this, the U.S. has been very effective dominating the planet for the past 75 years, although Good does later note that China’s growing role is loosening the American grip on the world. And while the U.S. is clearly attempting to intimidate China with the strength of its military, he does not see war with China as particularly likely. Good describes the U.S. as a “paper tiger,” explaining that:
In a sense, the U.S. is musclebound to the military, meaning that we may have all these bases and all these billions. But there are two things that the U.S. does not have the ability to do. One is actually using its nuclear arsenal because it would kill everybody. It is a non-starter.”
“The other…is fielding a military. When they talk about the U.S. potentially entering a war in Ukraine. Good luck with that!… Who in the world is going to fight in some World War One-style battle?! In Iraq, the U.S. lost fewer than 10,000, and that was very unpopular. By some estimates, 400,000 have died in Ukraine. How could you possibly expect Americans or Europeans to want to die in that way?”
Today, Good and MacLeod also chat about the power and purpose of the CIA, how the United States laid the groundwork for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and the use and misuse of the term “the deep state.”
Aaron Good is a historian and former political organizer. His book, “American Exception: Empire and the Deep State,” was published in 2022. He is also the host of the American Exception podcast, which can be found on most major podcast platforms.
Alan MacLeod is Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent, as well as a number of academic articles. He has also contributed to FAIR.org, The Guardian, Salon, The Grayzone, Jacobin Magazine, and Common Dreams.