Failed Empire

Chronicling the collapse of a failed society

A brief word about influences

It might already be readily apparent to some what my influences are, but in the interest of intellectual honesty, let me divulge a little bit about my reading habits.

Sadly, with the sad state of our media I have had great difficulty in locating what I would consider to be reliable sources of information. As a result, when I find one such source, I tend to rely on it perhaps a little too heavily. Case in point: Noam Chomsky. I read anything by Chomsky that I can get my hands on, and my world view is heavily shaped by his writings. Now, some people may deride Chomsky and question the veracity of his work. My typical response to such critics is this: open any given Chomsky book, find some point you find particularly unbelievable, locate his source using one of the plethora of citations he unfailingly includes in every publication, and check the accuracy of his statement for yourself. I’ve issued this challenge more times than I can recall, but never has anyone returned to me with a single example of a factual error or distortion in Chomsky’s work.

Aside from Chomsky, I often peruse the NY Times for a sampling of the MSM’s mood on any issue on any given day. For a more accurate perspective, although woefully limited in scope, I am a regular reader of Alternet.org. In terms of historical perspective, I was a big fan of Howard Zinn and his People’s History of the United States. Beyond that, I read an assortment of what would be considered “leftist” blogs, which I will inevitably end up linking to here.

My political views are decidedly left-leaning; some might even consider my views “extreme.” I would like be dubbed a socialist, Marxist, or pinko-commie scumbag by a broad range of the American public. However, I generally try to avoid such shallow political labels, and instead prefer to deal with broader ideas and ideals. I have not read the works of the great political thinkers of the past. I have not read Marx or Engels, Adams or Locke. Undoubtedly some of their ideas might surface in my writing, but I have not read them. I am not claiming to be privy to any unique or fantastic insights; countless others undoubtedly share my views and ideas, but until now I’ve encountered very little sources that openly proclaim them. And so I write this blog, to fill what I see as a drastic void in the American – indeed global – cultural dialogue. We need to stop focusing on the trivial and start dealing with broader themes and concepts. In other words, we must cease our squabbling over minute details of the present and instead envision the world we want to live in, regardless of how unrealistic it seems, and then reverse-engineer that world in order to devise the steps required to realize it.

And that, my friends, is the lofty task I have in mind in writing this blog. It is my sincere hope that others will join me in my utterly naive and seemingly impossible task.

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