Speaking Freely: Chalmers Johnson

Chalmers Johnson was one of the most insightful critics of the American Empire. It has been years since I came across his work back in the 2000s at the height of the Iraq War. I still have some of his books which I have been rereading lately since watching the momentous retreat from Afghanistan.

Note: The most interesting part is when Johnson discusses what is likely to happen when the dollar ceases to be the world’s reserve currency and the container ships stop coming and the hollowness of the American economy and the rot that we see all around us is exposed for what it has always been.

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22 Comments

  1. Yes, I was drawn to Chalmers Johnson’s work back in the mid 2Ks during the Bush years as I drifted more libertarian to rebuke the 2 party (uniparty) system. I’ve referenced him many times in our circles. He never came across to me as innately leftist or Shitlib, but at the same time, his work tended to intersect with Chomsky’s work, just less in a directly Marxist way.

  2. I think his last book was called “Blowback” or something like that? I never actually read any of his books, just watched lectures and interviews.

    • I should have added I don’t agree with his thesis in that book. Also, his CIA and military background should not be overlooked – as with President/General Eisenhower who warned about the MIC AFTER he retired from it, and Smedley Butler who went on his speaking tour AFTER he finished doing what he warned against.

      • I meant: Johnson seems to oppose imperialism but is not opposed to the system to which imperialism is integral. What he is doing is recommending lightening the load of world-wide military bases and militarism, to save the system. He is not anti-system; he is a reformer of the system. I know he was not involved in the military as a career, just as an ordinary soldier; nor was he an actual agent of the CIA, only a consultant; but as he says, he was a full-fledged cold warrior and does not regret it. His criticism of imperialism is constructive not revolutionary.

  3. Interesting stuff. The dollar system is really the lynchpin for everything. So many of our problems come down to that.

      • What would you actually want to restore? You would have to go back 100 years plus to find that core culture. We have been stripped of it. Most women aren’t smart enough to even know anything is missing.

        • @KT88 – Most women I know are smart enough, and DO know what’s missing. You need to find more intelligent people to associate with in your daily life.

  4. Not once did he mention anything about the malign influence of Zionism or the problem of race. So much for “speaking freely”.

    • His claim that you can be either “democratic or imperialist not both” is wrong. Imperialism is integral to the system. It is the very nature and logic of the system to expand usury beyond borders and exploit as much of the world as possible, and the entire world if possible. He is just a reformer who issues a warning that the U.sury S.ystem needs to take a step back, lighten the military load and regroup. He was a cold warrior against socialism and he still opposes it.

      • I am not saying that Populists and other reformers are not any better or closer to the truth than Neocons/Neolibs and other radical capitalist-imperialists. Populism-reformism is beneficial to the working class in the short run. From a short-range, narrow perspective, what Johnson is recommending is very good.

        • Imagine that capitalism-imperialism is like the appearance of an invasive “superweed” in a field, that has potential to cause immense loss to agriculture. What Johnson is recommending is to prune that weed heavily to keep it from spreading, but not to dig it up and eradicate it entirely. Johnson accepts the original trunk and root system but opposes any further expansion of the weed for the weed’s own safety, because as it spreads it will become a nuisance and draw attention from those who are able to exterminate it with herbicide.

          • I know what you mean. Professor Johnson was a product of his particular time and generation, ie, the Cold War. He could not objectively see beyond that.

  5. Even the short introduction in his Wikipedia bio has prophetic words:

    Quoting Chalmers Johnson…”A nation can be one or the other, a democracy or an imperialist, but it can’t be both. If it sticks to imperialism, it will, like the old Roman Republic, on which so much of our system was modeled, lose its democracy to a domestic dictatorship.”

    I see that he wrote several other books beyond Blowback in his final years. I really should read those works.

  6. Thanks for the mention of Chalmers, was not overly familiar with him — the first linked video is one every American should watch and then contemplate.

    • . . . except that Mr. Johnson neglects to mention the prime driver of U.S. foreign policy vis a vis the Near East: Our Greatest Ally. Were it not for Our Greatest Ally the U.S. footprint in the Near East would be negligible and all the troubles that followed wouldn’t exist.

      Also, living in San Diego he has had a front row seat to the Third World invasion of squat monsters from south of the border yet not a peep out of him about this. The Third World invasion via immigration and illegals is what is really destroying the nation. How about turning over that rock, Professor? He is stuck on “. . . all Men are Created Equal” except that ship sailed back in 1964 – 1965 with Hart-Cellar and so-called “Civil Rights” laws.

      He is like that idiot Tucker has on his show sometimes, Victor Davis Hanson, another college professor who whispers some bad things about “immigrants” sometimes especially after they commit endless crimes. VDH tries to have it both ways; if only they were legal all would be right with the world, they’re not all bad, “we” (who exactly is “we”?) need to help them assimilate, blah, blah, blah.

      No, VDH, they need to be expelled, all of them.

  7. Kikes, billionaires & globalist race traitors of all stripes constitute The Disease that causes literally all the symptoms.

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