Is the U.S. an Empire?News Abroad
And even these issues alone could not separate empire from leadership or ascendancy and preponderance or hegemony. To choose empire would confirm internal transformations, some of which Americans liked without facing up to their implications, others of which would not be openly accepted. To accept empire would be to confirm the trends toward inequality and toward further emphases on the public status of elites, whether of money, of advanced education, or of celebrity status. It would be to confirm the capacity of the executive -- what Arthur Schlesinger had called the imperial presidency -- to further evade control by other branches of government. It would give greater strength to the instruments of plebiscitarian consultation -- public opinion polls and focus groups and television audiences -- at the cost of congressional deliberation. None of this was inevitable, however. David Hume had once speculated that absolute monarchy might be "the easiest death, the true euthanasia, of the British constitution," but still preferable to a democracy riven by factionalism. His concern proved excessive, and to envision empire as the inexorable euthanasia of the American Republic might well be alarmist as well.
Still, just as Hume might envisage absolutism as a lesser evil, so imperial tendencies were not totally repugnant and indeed might prove attractive. Empires eroded individual liberties and marginalized dissent, but encouraged cosmopolitanism. To slide toward empire would still allow an ever more diverse American society to persevere in its growing acceptance of multiculturalism and its toleration of immigrants and minorities. To sidle toward imperial institutions might facilitate an activist intervention abroad on behalf of the rule of law and against human rights abuses. Separation of powers, after all, had often made America stingy and self-regarding. The commitment to spread democracy outside the United States, as advocated by the ambitious presidents of the past century -- Woodrow Wilson, the two Roosevelts, Truman, Reagan, and the second Bush -- might thrive under an imperial regime. Adversaries who resorted to terrorism, whether in the Middle East or in Manhattan, would render the evolution toward empire even more acceptable. The idea that their country was, or might become, an empire still repelled, and, what is even more fundamental, struck Americans as intuitively at odds with their institutions and community. Nonetheless, the trajectory had its attractions, and therein lay the openness of the moment.
comments powered by Disqus
Stephen Kislock - 12/28/2007
The United States, with with it's Ally Israel, is in the business of Empire Building.
The "New World Order" has it's counterpart in "New Middle East" courtesy of the United States Army and Lieutenant-Colonel Peters, who is was posted to the Office of the Deputy Chief for Intelligence.
Only the Current Empire and the Blood to prove it, the United States of America, has a New Map of the Middle
East. The term "New Middle East", was coined by United States Secretary of State Ms. Rice, June 2006 in Tel Aviv. The "Birth pangs" of this "New Middle East", was the Destruction of Lebanon, by Israel and United States Weapons.
Yes, Professor Maier, It's Only Israel that, the United States will risk WAR!
For the Story see, http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=NAZ20061116&article
Stephen F. Kislock III
Carol Hamilton - 12/26/2007
Ron Paul talks a good deal about our having an empire, not a republic.
John D. Beatty - 12/17/2007
OK, now, exactly what point the writer was trying to make in this essay? Is it:
A. America IS an empire?
B. America is HEADING FOR empire?
C. "Empire" is an expression of all the writer dosen't like?
D. All the above?
E. None of the above.
Maybe I'm missing something, but this ressay is a waste of time.
- Rubio Surges Into Second In New Hampshire
- Branstad Says Cruz Ran ‘Unethical’ Campaign
- Christie Highlights Santorum’s Endorsement of Rubio
- Portman Comes Out Against Trade Deal
- Megyn Kelly Gets a Book Deal
- A Big List of the Bad Things Clinton Has Done
- An Unambiguous Sign Sanders Won Last Night’s Debate
- Still Friends at the End
- Quote of the Day
- Trump Still Leads as Clinton Slips
- Clinton Can’t Shake Image as Wall Street’s Friend
- Maddow Doesn’t See Sanders Winning
- Why Does the Media Still Shield Chelsea Clinton?
- Bush Jokes His Mother May Have Abused Him
- Rubio Closes the Gap in New Hampshire
- We asked 6 political scientists if Bernie Sanders would have a shot in a general election
- The price of oil has plummeted and with it Russia’s finances
- Legal scholars at Harvard debate Cruz’s eligibility to serve as president
- Has one of Sally Hemings’s siblings been neglected by history unfairly?
- Retired historian George Dennison remains on the payroll at the U. of Montana while faculty are cut
- The Atlantic profiles exciting ways to teach history
- LDS Church has gone from 0 to 4 historians specializing in women’s history
- Israeli historian Yair Auron lays out details of a massacre in 1948