Imperial Meltdown

«The painful truth is there is no Donald Trump without Barack Obama, no neofascist stirrings without neoliberal policies—all within the imperial zone. Obama was the brilliant Black smiling face of the American Empire. Trump is the know-nothing white cruel face of the American Empire. Obama did not produce Trump, but his Wall Street-friendly policies helped facilitate Trump’s pseudo-populist victory. Obama’s reluctance to confront race matters in a serious and substantive manner did not cause the ugly white backlash, but Obama’s hesitancy did not help the opposition to white-supremacist practices. And, more pointedly, both Obama and Trump—two different faces of the imperial meltdown—supported military buildups, wars against Muslim countries, drone strikes, the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and people, illegal imprisonments of innocent people, night raids on poor Muslim families, and inhumane detention camps. These war policies and war crimes have come back to devour what is left of America’s democratic soul.


Imperial meltdown is a reminder that we reap what we spent on bombs dropped abroad (as in Somalia, Yemen, Syria) result in decrepit schools, indecent housing, unemployment, and mass incarcerations regimes at home. Both Obama and Trump supported military establishments whose very aim is to maintain “full-spectrum dominance” on land and sea or in the air, outer space, and cyberspace.»

Cornel West, Race Matters (25th Anniversary), New Introduction xix.

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