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Signs of a Dying Empire
(06-27-2019, 12:56 PM)Bill the Piper Wrote: India could be another democratic superpower, the Indian economy could be the largest in the world by 2050. If so, I'm looking to US-UK-India alliance, all three nations share the English language as well.

Down with China and their social credit sySStem!

I agree that the Anglosphere and India will ally, at least in the medium term.  Once India and China are both fully 1st World that may decay, but that should take a few decades at a minimum.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
(06-25-2019, 12:32 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: This topic needs a definition of the USA "empire." Strictly speaking, the USA has divested itself of much of its empire already, after its conquests in the 1890s. It still holds some conquered territories though. It absorbed Hawaii into itself, and holds on to Puerto Rico and Guam. It let the Philippines go in 1946, after successfully seeking to hold on to it in 1899-1902. It let Cuba go sometime ago, and it has stopped joining the other powers to enforce their will on China after the Boxer Rebellion.

By scale alone the United States has been an empire since 1783, when it extended 'only' to the Mississippi River. The British conceded territory nominally theirs but that they could never control between the Appalachians and the Mississippi and south of the Great Lakes, and nearly doubled in size again by buying some land that Napoleon didn't really want or could not control. The tricky part of that deal was New Orleans, with everything from Baton Rouge to what are now Great Falls, Denver, and the Twin Cities as throw-ins.

In this sense, "empire" is not a reference to the form of government. If the question is the form of government, then the comparison after 1815 in Europe was to Switzerland. which modeled its political system upon ours. One spoke of the French and Portuguese colonial empires even though France was a republic after 1871 (if you ignore the Vichy regime, an obvious dictatorship) and Portugal was a nominal republic most of the time after 1911. Reference to the blatantly-undemocratic Soviet Union as the "Evil Empire" suggests the nature of the system as "evil", with "empire as a reference to scale and military power.

The United States of America is one of the most impressive political entities to have ever existed.
Even if there have been empires of greater scale, including the British Empire at its peak, the Chinese Empire and the People's Republic of China, the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, and the Spanish Empire when it controlled almost everything from what is now the 42nd parallel of latitude in the current American Northwest  or such places as New Orleans and Jacksonville farther east to Tierra del Fuego except for Brazil or is less populous than India, it has few comparisons for power. Two of the most obvious are the Roman Empire when it stretched from roughly Liverpool to Kuwait (neither of which existed at the time) and the Caliphate. It is already one of the most durable. Giving 1776 as its inception, the United States of America has existed continuously for 243 years. If Lincoln could speak of America as "a new nation conceived in liberty... four score and seven years ago"... much time has passed since then. The United States of America has outlasted all but a few dynasties of China, and is 'only' sixty-four years away from surpassing the Romanov dynasty in Russia. The Roman Empire? It lasted a little over twice as long as the United States of America has already lasted -- but with plenty of overthrows of formal leadership until Odoacer found it not worth saving even as a puppet state in AD 476. (The Roman Empire was a rotten entity from its inception). Donald Trump may be rot, but I can't imagine him starting a dynasty as did Julius Caesar. America at its best has been an Empire of Liberty, as in its simultaneous jihad against Nazi Germany and Thug Japan.

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I once told a former Marine a joke. 

"Do you know what the best course of action is if you face the Marines?

Raise both arms and drop you weapons."

Quote:Since WWII, American imperialism revolved around the Cold War and then the War on Terror, so-called. It has not conquered territory directly, but going back to TR has demanded what kind of government some other countries must have. This process was stepped up after FDR. The USA kept South Korea from being conquered by the Communist North, but failed to keep the manufactured country of South Vietnam from being conquered by their Communist North. The USA conducted coups in such countries as Guatemala, Iran and Chile to keep them from going communist, and helped repress a movement in Honduras for much the same reason. It supported right-wing contra rebels in Nicaragua who failed to recaptured the country from a native left-wing Sandanista movement, but Nicaragua went moderate on its own anyway. It imposed sanctions on Venezuela against the allegedly socialist government here, and has recently stepped them up under Trump to drive the country and its people to total ruin. It conquered Panama to topple the Noriega dictatorship and then let it go, and had already relinquished the Canal Zone that TR had conquered. It helped prop up Israel in a region whose regimes were largely allied with the Soviet Union.

It continues to support Israel from the terrorist movements against it, starting in the 1970s. It waged campaigns against Palestinian terrorists in the 1980s, and recaptured Kuwait by organizing and leading a coalition against Saddam Hussein of Iraq in 1991. Then in 2001 the USA supported an alliance against the Taliban regime in Afghanistan after 9-11, and eventually invaded the country to keep the Taliban out of power. Then in 2003 it invaded Iraq, deposed Saddam, and imposed an ineffective parliamentary government there. It re-invaded Iraq and Syria with Kurdish and Iraqi support and participation to roll back the Islamic State conquests in 2014-2017. It has continued to impose its military influence in various and limited ways in parts of such regions as the Sahel in Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and South-east Asia.

But all this has not resulted in any further direct territorial conquests by the United States of America. So what is the empire today? Is it our campaigns to influence other countries? Is it the dominance of our currency, especially in regard to oil (the petrodollar)? Is it the worldwide economic control by multi-national corporations, many of whom originally grew and became wealthy and powerful in the USA, and benefited from free trade agreements?

From Persia, Egypt, China, and Babylon in antiquity to the United States and China today, empires have used client states to do their bidding, whether economic or cultural, when outright annexation would be distasteful or unduly costly.

It's about what politicians often called "American interests abroad", meaning American corporate investments overseas. Consider that the US toppled Salvador Allende when Kennecott Copper saw trouble with a democratically-elected government started talking about nationalizing its copper mines in Chile. See also what happened to Mossadegh in Iran and Arbenz in Guatemala.

Quote:If so, what are the consequences of the "fall" of this "empire" of world-wide military and economic influence? Does it mean that the USA will break-up or lose territory? Does it mean it will decline in power and influence?

For now America seems to be splintering along cultural lines, but those lines are not so obvious as lines on the map as they were in the Soviet Union or Yugoslavia. Detroit has more in common with Atlanta than Detroit has with rural Michigan or Atlanta has much to do with rural Georgia.

Quote:Or will divesting itself of much of this role as world cop and decider, and by gaining regulatory control of and re-distributing the wealth and power of the multi-national corporations, and their trade/currency behavior and offshore tax evasion, as the progressives and green new dealers propose, actually benefit the United States and its wealth and power by allowing it to become a more middle-class and more peaceful country again?

The best that we can hope for is "capitalism with a human face" very different from what our current pathological leaders of business and the Right side of the political spectrum offer. Such is within our political heritage or something that might transfer well here, like what we imposed upon Germany and Japan after liberating those countries from nightmarish regimes that sought to impose their nightmares where such was unwelcome -- like the United States. The alternatives to "capitalism with a human face" look like either a pure plutocracy in which the whims of entrenched elites are the objective the rest of us -- or else... or a Socialist revolution that establishes a madhouse. Consider what Russia was in 1900 and what it was in 1935, and you see both nightmares.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.

(09-21-2017, 09:28 AM)David Horn Wrote:
(09-20-2017, 08:27 PM)Kinser79 Wrote:
(09-20-2017, 05:27 PM)pbrower2a Wrote: Speaking of conservatives -- the Party once associated with political and economic conservatism   used to be for small-scale government and against debt. They thought competition adequate for economic justice. They believed in rational thought and expected it to overpower superstition and ignorance because of the advantages of objective learning. There would be room for big as well as small players in the economy. Now the last two 'conservative' Presidents stand for monopoly, debt as a generator of income and a promoter of consumerism, and heavy involvement of the government in private-public partnerships -- guaranteed profits to gougers with high costs for us all to bear.

The way you speak I'm pretty sure you're stuck in some sort of time warp where the Trump hostile take over of the GOP never happened.  Of course this could just be a canned response you've been dishing out since the 90s. Shy

Trump won an unexpected victory, is under investigation for collusion with an adversarial foreign power and has no governing philosophy I can discern.  In what way is that a dominant position in the long term?  That said, ,the Dems are splashing around and clueless, so we have no solid party at the moment.

Let's see how this plays out.  I doubt 2018 will be a tide-turning event, so it's all about 2020.

Update: in what proved largely a status-quo election the electorate 'fired' Donald Trump in his bid for a second term. He tried to blame liberals for the personal restrictions that COVID-19 made necessary if hundreds of thousands more people were not to die of a respiratory infection that supposedly does not bedevil First World countries. He resorted to violence against political protesters, something new in American history for a President, even to the point of encouraging people with the same sort of vehicle with both a US flag and a Trump banner harassing protesters. The latter looks like what one might expect with a secret police. I mocked the scenario as having introduced the "Trump-Trump Macoutes", an allusion to a nasty secret police in Duvalier-era Haiti.

Some conservatives turned against him on his misdeeds.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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