[lit-ideas] Re: Ideology vs Experience

  • From: "Lawrence Helm" <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2006 16:46:39 -0700

The question of whether we are an empire is an interesting one.  I'd be
inclined to dismiss it as well were it not for the fact that a historian I
can't readily dismiss believes that we are one, namely Niall Ferguson.  Of
course he believes that we aren't a very good one.  He also believes that we
are in denial.  What would it take to be a good one?  It would take our
being more like the British Empire which Ferguson admires.  What would it
take to abandon our denial?  Now there is a very interesting question.  Can
anyone imagine how it would be possible for a majority in congress and in
the United States to say "okay, sure we can be an empire; so let's be a
responsible empire:  


Let's set up governors to rule all our colonies.  Whoops, we don't have any
colonies.  Okay let's go get some.  Well, shoot, that would interfere with
our Neocon idea of exporting Liberal Democracy because Liberal Democracies
not only can't war with other Liberal Democracies, they can't have other
Liberal Democracies as colonies.


IA (Imperial advocate): Okay, let's redefine Empire to be whatever it is
that we are.  


IN (Imperial Newby): Yeah, that makes it a lot easier except we don't fit
any of the earlier definitions of empire.


IA: Well, so what.  We are the new style empire.


IN: Okay, what are our Imperial powers?


IA: We get to be rich.  We get to have the most powerful military in the


IN: Great!  Does every other nation have to do what we say?


IA:  Well, no.  Actually none of the other nations have to do what we say


IN:  Hmmm.  What are our powers again?  


IA:  We get to be rich.  We get to have the most powerful military in the


IN:  Okay.  Right.  That's doable.




-----Original Message-----
From: Mike Geary
Sent: Friday, September 29, 2006 3:26 PM
To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Ideology vs Experience



EY: [responding to SW's post]

>You see "an 

> American Empire" in the making and oppose it. I don't see an 

> emergent empire, or even the desire to have one.



Lend me your glasses, please.


Mike Geary



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