A war that has killed over a million Iraqis was a 'humanitarian intervention', the US army is a force for liberation, and the main threat to world peace is posed by Islam. Those are the arguments of a host of liberal commentators, ranging from Christopher Hitchens to Kanan Makiya, Michael Ignatieff, Paul Berman, and Bernard-Henri Levy. In this critical intervention, Richard Seymour unearths the history of liberal justifications for empire, showing how savage policies of conquest - including genocide and slavery - have been retailed as charitable missions. From the Cold War to the War on Terror, Seymour argues that the colonial tropes of 'civilization' and 'progress' still shape liberal pro-war discourse. and still conceal the same bloody realities.
I am a socialist, writer, teacher and neurotic. I write regular columns for the Guardian and occasional pieces for other publications, and am the author of, most recently 'Against Austerity: How We Can Fix The Crisis They Made' (Pluto, 2014).
Previous books include 'The Liberal Defence of Murder' (Verso, 2008), 'The Meaning of David Cameron' (Zero, 2010), and 'American Insurgents', 'Unhitched: The Trial of Christopher Hitchens' (Verso, 2012).
I have also contributed to 'Christopher Hitchens and his Critics', 'The Ashgate Research Companion to Political Violence', 'On Utoya: Anders Breivik, Right Terror, Islamophobia and Europe', and 'Race and Racism in International Relations: Confronting the Global Colour Line'.
I was born in Ballymena, Northern Ireland in 1977, and grew up in Protestant squalor and small town idiocy. I have lived in London since 1996, and am currently researching a PhD in sociology at the London School of Economics.