Gilbert Mercier Discusses His New Book, The Orwellian Empire
Gilbert Mercier’s elegant book, The Orwellian Empire, has been well worth the wait. For years, Mercier has worked as a writer-journalist, well sought-out geopolitical analyst, and the founding editor-in-chief of News Junkie Post to bring his public the truth. Here he guides the reader in time and space, through his adopted home, the United States, turning over every stone in the unbalanced and crumbling world that this relatively young country has created around itself. From Afghanistan to Detroit, we are shown the ravages of the global corporate empire and its mechanisms, yet this is a hopeful book. Empires never last and, as Mercier reminds us, their shelf life keeps getting shorter. The book’s grounding in history, and its scholarly and impassioned observations, beckon the informed reader to dismantle the edifice, clear the rubble, and build a better world. Mercier’s superb style make this generous offering of ideas riveting, from beginning to end. In time, The Orwellian Empire should figure among the books that endure and change readers.
Dady Chery: You wrote that, unlike France, the US never had a revolution. Would you say that your book is meant to kindle the US revolution?
Gilbert Mercier: That would be a tall order! I think that the main reason the erroneous term “American Revolution” was used in historians’ and ideologues’ lexicon, to describe a colonial war between what would become the United States and the British Empire, was precisely to prevent a real revolution from occurring in this land. After all, the premise is simple: if you already had a revolution, you do not need to have other ones. Real revolutions imply turning a social structure upside down by a drastic redistribution of power and wealth. In the phony so-called American Revolution, most of the leaders were rich and powerful slave owners. What kind of revolution can be run by the plantation owners? France, Haiti, and Russia had real revolutions where the ruling classes lost their ill-acquired prerogatives and quite often their heads, but that being said, if you look at those countries now, it seems that they have drifted back to societies where privilege, inequality, and exploitation are the norms. Revolutions are never finished; they always need new revolutions. There is, unfortunately, something small, selfish, and even destructive in human behavior that always seems to induce certain individuals, in any society, to try to dominate others by the accumulation of wealth and power. Therefore, revolutions cannot be won once and for all, but they instead should be considered like works in process, with new battles that must be fought. In the best-case scenario, I hope that my book can work as one of the catalysts to trigger a global systemic change that can be defined as a global revolution. The United States of America, because of its role of central nervous system of the empire, will be tough to challenge, but eventually all empires, Orwellian or not, come to an end.
DC: September 11, 2001 and fall 2008 come up in your book as being recent turning points for the Orwellian Empire. Is there a connection or synergy between the two?
GM: They are both important markers. September 11, 2001 and the financial crash of 2008 impacted all of us, individually and collectively. They have branded our collective psyche in many ways and are still affecting our lives. 9/11 especially permitted the rise of an omnipresent Big-Brother police state where individuals are presumed suspect unless proven innocent. There is indeed a synergy between 9/11 and the 2008 crash: both were used as trigger events for coups. 9/11 was a fear and paranoia big-brother anonymous global coup against freedom and liberty, while the 2008 crash was a disaster capitalist Ponzi scheme to make the rich richer. But both markers, either 9/11 or the 2008 crash, did not come out of nowhere. The seeds of 9/11 started to germinate somewhere in Afghanistan 20 years earlier, when the Reagan administration started to invest in jihadists against the archenemy communism. As far as the crash of 2008, it was rooted in the 1990s economic policies of the Clinton administration, with NAFTA and massive financial deregulation. Things do not happen in a vacuum; there is a complex chain of causes and effects. The event itself is often not that important; what matters is the spin afterward coming from the mouthpieces connected to the reptilian brain that sustains the Orwellian Empire.
DC: You have coined words and phrases like “bankster” and “disaster capitalism” that have become very much a part of the leftist lexicon. Your ideas about the generation of a sort of controlled chaos by the world’s elite are also catching on. How do they fit into the grand scheme of things?
GM: I did indeed “coin,” and this is especially appropriate for the term bankster, several words and phrases. One of them in 2010 was: “When will the 98 percent tell the 2 percent enough is enough?” This defined the early stage of what would become the Occupy movement. The notion of disaster capitalism occurred to me in early September 2005 while I was covering New Orleans post-Katrina. I guess sometimes notions or words succeed in capturing the essence of a moment. To stay vital and active, notions that can capture people’s imagination cannot become trivial. Otherwise they are not any different than advertising slogans. Ideas are supposed to be shared widely, but if the concepts they generate are twisted or put into a different context than the original intention, the result can be disastrous. This is the strategy of what can be called the “rubber-stamp left”: the message is plucked out of the original bottle to be repackaged in a deceptive form. The job of those you call the “colonialists of the mind” is to neuter any form of radicalism.
DC: What is the way out of this conundrum? Is it possible for democracy or even sensible language to emerge from a world construct straight out of Orwell and Kafka?
GM: We are, as you know, running out of time. As a species, we must find a way out of the Kafkaesque Orwellian construct. If we stay on the course of global disaster capitalism we are condemning the young and future generations to a nightmarish world where they would have to fight for food and water while permanently on the move. It is not even about lofty notions such as democracy; it is about humankind’s survival. Unless the Orwellian Empire is toppled, misery will be so widespread that our children will curse us for bringing them to life in a hellhole. We have no choice. When there is nothing left to lose, there is no more fear. I think that the people, the world citizenry, will rise to the occasion. My book, The Orwellian Empire, is meant to be a wake-up call, and perhaps one of the catalysts in what needs to be a very powerful global chain reaction. The people will rise once misery reaches critical mass.
DC: What’s next on your plate?
GM: Well, considering that News Junkie Post Press has published two books in six months, we should probably take a break. But this is precisely what we are not going to do. We will publish or translate more quality non-fiction books. Our global magazine, News Junkie Post proper, will bring our readership original analyses or essays from worldwide native perspectives. A longer-term goal is the launch of News Junkie Post Radio Network, which will broadcast live and will be strictly independent from any corporate or state entities. Our plate is therefore rather full, but our glass is not quite half empty!