Can humanity reject imperialism and empire?

Imperialism is not in the past. It is with us. Today.

It might help to break down the differences between democratic ways of life and imperial ways of life.

Here are the ways in which democracies and empires differ:

Democracies preserve sacred human rights; empires violate and ultimately reject human rights entirely. Empires rule by fear and violence, which are fundamentally incompatible with human rights. The boils of empire are the same no matter the nation: concentration camps, indefinite detention, secret prisons, summary executions and hatred of an Other.

Democracies preserves human relationships; empires destroy them. Empires build prisons instead of schools, because they insist on the right to isolate people from other people. And empires suffocate communities, culture, diversity and differences in order to impose a unitary culture of fear and oppression.

Democracies work for peaceful coexistence with other countries; empires do the opposite. Empires invade and carve other nations in two because it suits them, no matter the families or communities that are destroyed in that process.

Empires are always at war.

Democracies are restorative. People are happy and healthy in democracies. Empires are built on suffering, even extreme suffering. Exploitation, misery, tyranny: this is the essence of empire.

Democracy is symbiosis. Imperialism is parasitic.

Look around today and be honest about what you see. Do you see democracy? Or do you see empire?