I appreciate the public theologizing available at https://www.westarinstitute.org. Their latest conversation was about Empire. A book referenced may be of interest to you — Caste: The Origins of Our Discontent, by Isabel Wilkerson.

Of note is how an Empire and its representatives will use everything at its/their disposal. This includes me and you and every form of faith. No practice will exempt anyone from being a tool of the Empire. That same Empire will use even resistance to the Empire for further genocide, slavery (by various names), and conquest. Whether resistance is passive or active, those who participate will be publicly lynched (hung on a cross) as a warning not to follow that way or privately incarcerated in solitary confinement (left in a deep, dark, dank dungeon).

One of the techniques of Empire is to work through innocence. Individuals can comfort themselves by considering their goodness is on a higher moral plane than any injury caused by Empiric structures. Secure in their innocence, they do not have to stoop to politics of resistance in homes or on the streets. Even if the structures of an Empire are blatantly obvious in their hurt of peoples and creation—individuals can claim a benefit of relative safety by not raising questions or visions of a compassionate future of common good. Empire is freed to promise one benefit or another in return for safety (law and order), only to abrogate that whenever it suits the Empire or those representing it. People and places will continue to be caught and destroyed if they should stray beyond the limit of being of utility for expansion (gaining more land or capital for a ruling few).

In the end, every Empire falls. Fantasies of eternity dance in Empire’s heads. Whether it is Manifest Destiny, American Exceptionalism, or a final Nazi Reich, Empires project a strength they do not have. In the end, Emperors are naked power-grabbers, and each dies.

Empire desires its subjects (who think of themselves as citizens) to live in personal innocence (plausible deniability that they have agency) and public fear. “Fear Not” is an antidote to Empire.

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