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New Book: Good Intentions (Norms and Practices of Imperial Humanitarianism)

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How do “good intentions” pave the road for empire? There is some confusion around this question, especially in North America, that reflects the dominant ideological charter for interventionism abroad and increased moral regulation at home (that is, politics masked as morality), with one result being increased militarization in order to forever be at the ready to intervene. The confusion is deliberate by those doing the work of mystification, feigned by those who spin multiple simultaneous contradictions in order to distract and distort, and innocent on the part of those who trust experts and authorities. The confusion in question has multiple facets that take the form of various myths and inaccuracies:


a) that the intentions are good, and thus they justify all actions taken, while expressions of anti-interventionism are to be judged as born of malice and ill-will;

b} that the motivations have little to do with protecting or enhancing corporate power and neoliberal socio-economic restructuring;

c) that our violence is civilized, while the violence of others is barbaric;

d) that our political systems are democracies, while brutal regimes rule others;

e) that there really is no imperialism, and if there is then it is both eternal and a fundamental part of an unchanging human nature;

f) that we must never stand idly by while others suffer, except for when it is suitable to our leaders, especially when we commit atrocities;

g) that there is no basic, underlying political uniformity within our dominant political and media institutions;

h) that we practice good governance, both transparent and accountable, without pandering to private interests; and,

i) that we encourage and tolerate a broad range of views, and do not narrow down discourse to a select few allowable perspectives.


These myths and a few more form part of the orthodoxy of what is now a post-liberal society.


Full article by Professor Maximilian Forte:



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