Indian Country Today reports Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is suing to dispossess Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiians) of their ancestral lands to build his multimillion dollar fortress of solitude. The Social media giant is the latest insult in the history of US colonial oppression of the Kanaka Maoli people. The new colonialism is led and controlled by the neoliberal corporate elite. Fukuyama’s prediction of the universalization of Western liberal democracy, i.e. the Westphalian sovereign state and the political economy of capitalism, as the “end of history” might soon be overturned in light of the declining power of the state.

Violence and legitimacy

The authority of the sovereign state is traditionally defended by the state’s monopoly on the legitimate use of violence, but no longer. The world witnessed extreme violence in defense of the decidedly private corporate interest of the Dakota Access pipeline with state agents acting as total corporate subordinates. Fascism has one generally agreed upon definition; i.e. a corporate state. It is already here and multinational corporations, over which citizens have no democratic control, are rapidly supplanting the sovereign state as the new global colonial master. Historically only non-Western peoples need fear the colonialism of the Westphalian state, but everyone in the world is subject to subordination to the corporate state.

Its power is economic rather than political, i.e. extra territorial.

Critical miscalculations

Before the infamous 1953 US led coup democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh misread the US as an anti colonial society. Mosaddegh tried to nationalize Iran’s oil which its former British colonial masters could not tolerate.

The UK asked the US to intervene leading to the 1953 coup, the installation of the brutal regime of Shah Pehlavi and ultimately the end of secular nationalism and the institution of religious theocracy in the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Similarly, Vietnamese revolutionary leader Ho Chi Min wrote many letters to US citizens and Presidents, even modeling the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence on the American Declaration.

The US responded by aiding Vietnam’s French colonial masters subsequently invading Vietnam in a brutal neo colonial war. How did they get the US so wrong?

US anti-colonial facade

The American story is presumably that of liberation of the American colonies from the tyranny of Britain. One would assume then that as a liberated formerly colonized society, the US would naturally support other national liberation movements of other colonized peoples. Had Mossadegh and Min looked more closely at the US they might have realized it is itself a settler colonial society actively engaged in the enclave colonialism of hundreds of internally colonized indigenous peoples. Indeed, US anti-colonial rhetoric has generally had the ulterior motive of the US seeking to insert itself as the new colonial master.

Such as when the US replaced Spain in the Philippines, but before the Philippines there was the Sovereign Kingdom of Hawaii.

Illegal foreign occupation

Native Hawaiian Kamana Kinimaka responded to Zuckerberg’s suit by saying, “You’re occupying land in an illegally occupied Nation....” The US illegally annexed Hawaii from the UK in 1893 (the UK never controlled Hawaii). During World War I US President Woodrow Wilson espoused Wilsonian anticolonial rhetoric that British Prime Minister Winston Churchill understood as a US attempt to supplant Britain as a global superpower, it worked. The US demanded global decolonization, but it unilaterally removed Hawaii from the list of non-self-governing territories.

It held an illegal plebiscite without impartial international supervision leading to Hawaii’s US statehood. The Kanaka Maoli continue to resist forcible political integration into the US. They defend their legal right to self-determination. Zuckerberg’s suit is an assault on the territorial integrity of the Native Hawaiian nation.