Any anti-imperialist project must confront the sociopolitical place of the US military and the changing nature of civil-military relations.
I'm a Navy veteran currently working as a civil engineer in Louisiana. Most of my coworkers at least lean conservative, although I haven't engaged in any truly personal/political conversations with them. Whenever topics such as poverty or foreign intervention do happen to come up in conversation, I am kind of a soft leftwing foil to their perspectives (only "soft leftwing" because I'm only around them in an office or professional environment), and I know that my status as a veteran gives my opinion disproportionate purchase in this crowd.
So this is my bias and all I can offer are anecdotes, but I think it's absolutely worth tailoring socialist recruiting efforts to military personnel, if for no other reason than that they hold much more cultural capital among those who are inclined to be conservatives or reactionaries.
I think this one piece of a much broader effort that's needed to make leftwing causes cross-cultural. I think I've made all of my brothers at least disillusioned with the American Experiment by introducing them to Street Fight Radio, which imho is a much bigger feat than nudging a left-liberal college student into socialism by helping them connect the dots between systematic racism and the role of capitalism in colonialism.
I guess I don't have a specific question here, but I've loved all of your contributions to FX so far Daniel, and I'm interested in any further insights you have on American Empire.
Hey folks, Derek here. As usual, if you've got questions for Daniel the comments section will be open for two weeks and he'll try to answer you sometime within that window. Thanks!
In his book How to Hide an Empire, Daniel Immerwahr calls the contemporary US a pointillist empire because of its global archipelago of military bases. Curious if (and how) folks here see us potentially generating solidarities and organizing in those satellites of US empire—individuals and communities both dependent and often actively harmed by occupation and outsized political influence of US military and its bases. Feels like there are as many potential comrades there as amongst the military's ranks. Also, should we be salting all the various and sundry contractors/profiteers? Are there future Snowdens waiting to be agitated and organized there too?
"implemented absent the at least tactic support of the American military."
I think you meant tacit? Great read, by the way, been loving this column.