How to Confront Empire?


At the World social forum in Brazil, the Indian writer Arundhati Roy was asked to speak on "How to confront Empire?"

Just as her novel The God of Small Things grabbed millions of readers the world over, so her speech drew a growing crowd, as she asked: "Does 'Empire' mean the U. S. Government (and its European satellites), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, and multinational corporations? Or is it something more that that? In many countries, Empire has sprouted..some dangerous byproducts-nationalism, religious bigotry, fascism and, of course terrorism. All these march arm in arm with the project of corporate globalization."

"It is a myth, she said that the free market breaks down national barriers. The free market does not threaten national sovereignty, it undermines democracy."
To win it's fight to corner all our resources, she argued, corporate globalization needs governments that do what they're told, courts that "pretend to dispense justice " and "a press that pretends to be free."

What can we do in the face of such force?
We can, she said, "come up with a million ways of becoming a collective pain in the ass."

Our strategy should be not only to confront empire, but to lay siege to it. To deprive it of oxygen. To shame it. To mock it. With our art, our music, our literature, our stubbornness, our joy, our brilliance, our sheer, relentlessness and our ability to tell our own stories. Stories that are different form the ones we're being brainwashed to believe.

The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons their notion of inevitability. remember this: We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day I can hear her breathing."