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Old 09-07-2012   #1
 
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Democracy or the American Empire?

Democracy or the American Empire?
By Eric A Blair

When the word empire is used in the United States it is generally used to describe things like the Roman Empire, or the 19th Century European empires, or the Galactic Empire in the movie Star Wars. The idea that the U.S. might be an empire is a foreign concept. Empire is a term that is derived from the Latin, Imperium. And that is why we hear political scientists using the term imperialist, or imperialism when speaking about empires. Imperialism is what empires do. The most basic examples of imperialism that are currently taught in U.S. history and political science classes is what has become known as the “Age of Imperialism” in which nineteenth century empires would dominate and exploit weaker states, generally in the underdeveloped world, and would set up colonies in them to maintain control of their resources.

One thing that is clear is that the old way of empires engaging in colonial imperialism is no longer in existence. But does that mean that imperialism simply ended after World War II? Some experts who have studied and written about imperialism argue that the amassing of colonies by the stronger state is the only way the term imperialism can be applied. Therefore, the U.S. cannot be considered as a genuine empire that engages in imperialism. Chalmers Johnson, professor emeritus at the University of California, argued persuasively that those who suggest imperialism is no longer in existence are using an “historically circumscribed view” and that “today imperialism manifests itself in several different and evolving forms and no particular institution – except for militarism – defines the larger phenomenon.” Professor Johnson defines imperialism when he wrote, “The simplest definition of imperialism is the domination and exploitation of weaker states by stronger ones” (Johnson 2).

So what exactly is the United States? What definition should we give to a country that has more than one thousand military bases (or lily pads), located in over one hundred fifty countries, spends more money per year on military expenditures than the top twenty other countries combined, and is actively dropping bombs in at least five different countries (Vine)? Sheldon Wolin, professor emeritus of politics at Princeton University, writes:

While all empires aim at exploitation of the peoples and territories they control, the United States is an Empire of a novel kind. Unlike other empires it rarely rules directly or occupies foreign territory for long, although it may retain bases or “lily pads.” Its power is “projected” at irregular intervals over other societies rather than institutionalized in them. Its rule tends to be indirect, to take the form of “influence,” bribes, or “pressure.” Its principal concerns are military and economic (i.e., access to bases, markets, and oil) (191).


Think about that. One of the most brilliant political theorists in this country, supported by one of the more prestigious universities in this world, is openly writing about the U.S. as being an “empire of a novel kind.” So why isn’t President Obama and Mitt Romney, or the Democrats and Republicans, or any of the mainstream media sources, talking about the American Empire? The word empire is rarely ever mentioned by politicians or media pundits even though they do speak about it. However, the language they use to describe the American Empire consists of euphemisms like, “the lone superpower,” or “indispensable nation,” or “reluctant sheriff.” And the euphemisms used to describe imperialism are “spreading democracy and freedom,” or “humanitarian intervention,” or “globalization.” Regardless of these euphemisms, the U.S. has become an empire that engages in imperialism, and the creation of terrorism, the erosion of our Constitutional rights, and the country’s bankruptcy issues are all consequences of empire.



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Old 09-07-2012   #2
 
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I did not read the entire thing, but as an answer to your original question: Neither. we are a Constitutional Republic.
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Old 09-07-2012   #3
 
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I did not read the entire thing, but as an answer to your original question: Neither. we are a Constitutional Republic.
Not anymore. And you'd see why if you'd had read on...
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Old 09-07-2012   #4
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I am going with "American Empire" just because we the people hate democracy. I mean in theory we think we like democracy, but when 51% of the people vote one way, the other 49% never say; "the people have spoken." and then support what the majority voted in. We just continue to fight and bicker and bitch and moan and say the system is broken. So, Empire here we come. By default that is. and thats my 420th post at 4:20 pm
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Old 09-07-2012   #5
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If its 4:20 then you arent in Idaho.

Interesting expansion on Wolins work.
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Old 09-07-2012   #6
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If its 4:20 then you arent in Idaho.

Interesting expansion on Wolins work.

Green bay for the football game this weekend. GO, 49'ers!
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Old 09-07-2012   #7
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Good read. I think Ron Paul would agree and to bad someone like him can't be elected.
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Old 09-14-2012   #8
don't bogart that
 
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Marketing to the masses

It might be NBC, CBS, CNN, or the local sermon at the mega church down the road. People are being treated as mushrooms and they like it. They do not have to think of the bad stuff and believe that somebody is watching out for them. We have a problem that is hard to acknowledge. As the middle class is extinguished many of us drop a class. I believe we have the upper class, the 1% and then the working class, of whom has consumed the doctors and lawyers, then with the working poor. Who used to be the lower middle class. America is a country of great people, lead by a horrible system driven by money that is soon to be made worthless by the system for the system. We citizens should be just as angry as the rest of the world with ourselves
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Old 09-14-2012   #9
 
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It might be NBC, CBS, CNN, or the local sermon at the mega church down the road. People are being treated as mushrooms and they like it. They do not have to think of the bad stuff and believe that somebody is watching out for them. We have a problem that is hard to acknowledge. As the middle class is extinguished many of us drop a class. I believe we have the upper class, the 1% and then the working class, of whom has consumed the doctors and lawyers, then with the working poor. Who used to be the lower middle class. America is a country of great people, lead by a horrible system driven by money that is soon to be made worthless by the system for the system. We citizens should be just as angry as the rest of the world with ourselves
Right on, and well said!
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