To me .mergeMap(() => getJSON()) is “listing the commands or steps” to be performed in the outside world.
Here’s the definition of “declarative programming” from Wikipedia:
Luca Matteis

It is not. Creating a new XMLHttpRequest object, setting all of its callbacks, and firing send and manipulating the responseText would be the imperative form. Part of your quoted text supports that:

rather than describe how to accomplish it as a sequence of the programming language primitives[2]

We aren’t describing how to accomplish an HTTP request; we are declaring that we want one to occur. There are no list of steps on how to set up and manage said request; it’s just “I want an HTTP request to occur here.”

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