“I believe in American exceptionalism, just as I suspect that the Brits believe in British exceptionalism and the Greeks believe in Greek exceptionalism.” So said the philosopher-king of the Pax Americana, once again the ‘last great emperor’ of a dying empire lashing out with senseless aggression before everything once again went to shit. Barack Obama and Marcus Aurelius were both afflicted by the same awful curse: to be the poor tragic soul of a ruler burdened unlike all his foolish predecessors with actually understanding the terrible nature of the bloodthirsty machine atop which he sat, and through which his most deeply-held values were ultimately devoured by all the lies of his empire.
Empires are never just built abroad. American exceptionalism, Britain’s “white man’s burden,” the Pax Romana, the German “place in the sun,” French Laïcité… all of them have the same ancient decay, the same necessity of empire: practice oppression there, perfect it here.
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