Growing up solidly middle class in an American mid size town, imperialism was not something that was very evident. As a mixed race person of color, racism and classism seemed more salient.
Naturally these systems are all nicely interlocking, and sometimes in a way that makes getting to the route quite confusing. Academically like many intellectual leftists I gained a good dose of theory from university, teach-ins and considerable reading. I greatly appreciated the privileges of the 1990s when so much new literature became accessible from smaller printing houses and eventually the Internet. Getting to read first hand accounts of people around the world created a global context brought which I could more easily identify patterns of imperialism.
I am still only on the verge of identifying as an anti imperialist, still needing to do more intentional personal work to consider my values and political orientation. While my work has many marking of countering capitalism, I still struggle with bourgeois attitudes and behaviors. I am greatly impressed with so many peers, youth and elders who live with such intentionality.
I’m trying to discern more clearly what economic system at the root is effective enough to realize a more just and equitable world. Pragmatically it requires persistent redistribution of resources and capable leadership to help us aspire to a better future and to fight corruption.