The new generation of public intellectuals and pundits owes a lot to guys like Chalmers Johnson, who died yesterday at 79. This guy was one of the foremost experts on both America’s ascension as an empire and its inevitable decline, and he wrote the now-classic books Blowback and The Sorrows of Empire
Like Noam Chomsky and Gore Vidal, Johnson’s formed his worldview during the Cold War; his friend the progressive realist Steve Clemons calls him “a one time hard-right national security hawk” in the great piece he wrote today about the man. Most of us discovered Johnson after the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and he’d cultivated his views about American imperialism. The Left in this country loved the irony of this academic with the old-school-Establishment-wonk demeanor breathing fire against Yankee hegemony. He’ll be missed.