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Mason Green
Mason Green

The Breakdown

Souter's stated intention was to "illustrate the tendency nowadays for Jazz's influence to permeate our daily lives",[1] and to "suggest the fascination exercised by the primitive and savage upon the over-civilised".[5] The title of his painting was a twin reference to both "a musical breakdown," in which a jazz musician has the freedom to express their own improvised statement, and "a societal breakdown" in which women in British society could express a similar freedom now that gender roles had been redefined.[4]

The Breakdown

But the American Empire manifests itself not only by our implied or deliberate behaviour as unchallengeable rulers. It shows itself also in the burden it carries. As it is an empire of domination, it is also an empire of sacrifice. And it is here, at least, where it seems to be different from the empire of the Russians. Unlike the latter, we meet the principal cost of defending our sphere of influence not through our satellites but by our own efforts. While Russia fought the Korean war by not participating officially in it at all and letting the Chinese do most of the dying, we were in it up to our necks. Though we called it a United Nations war, the armies involved, even those of other countries, were equipped with material not from the United Nations but the United States, and the soldiers dying were in the main American soldiers, not those of the agency in whose name their battles were fought, as the following breakdown of casualty figures issued in April 1951 indicated: 041b061a72


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