For those who know that Empire exists as deliberate policy and believe that it is deadly for any kind of democracy, Chalmers Johnson was not just an inspiration but a primary source. Johnson was an establishment insider and an academic heretic whose studies led him to our side and set the example of an ethical position at the heart of power. His work on the Japanese developmental state debunked neoliberal free-trade ideology and then, more importantly, his Blowback trilogy, launched before September 11, revealed the consequences of the Pentagon’s black budgets and its swollen network of overseas bases. I refer directly to Johnson’s work in my article on Dongducheon and the system of American military bases in South Korea; but he has influenced eveything I’ve written for the last decade, he helped me grasp the architecture of the postwar world order and its evolution since 1989. Thanks, man. Here are some initial obituaries, the last one goes the furthest. I will look for some more in-depth hommages later on.
Tome Englehardt in The Nation