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P.Clodius

Rome and the USA

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If I thought you wrote with sincere conviction, I'd be really ticked off by this rubbish...

 

Good, because at least that would break any complacency and make you argue your case....

 

I may have exaggerated for effect - it doesn't mean I don't thinkl there is force behind my words.

 

Phil

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What foreign territories does the USA rule? How can we speak of the USA as an imperialist culture?

Well... the entire US Midwest is colonial territory wrested from the Native Americans in exactly the same way that African and Indian colonies were gained from their indigenous peoples by the British and French. I am not saying that the US should give these territories back - like the French and English did in the 50's and 60's, but the fact that these territories were 'cleared' of indigenous peoples and then annexed suggests to me that they are held in exactly the same way that we held Kenya, Tanzania, India and others. I believe that answers the above two questions.

 

We now consider the Dakotas, Wyoming, Idaho, Colarado, Nabraska and others are part of the US, just as we now consider Tibet to be part of China.

Edited by Northern Neil

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American imperialism is plain, the American empire has always been concealed in the main.

(Then, how do you know about it?)

 

What was "manifest destiny" but imperialism writ large, or the Munro Doctrine (To keep European powers from 'raping' the Americas) but hegemony spelled out?

 

The US - on whatever pretext - has raped Mexico repeatedly, greedily bought Louisiana from the french, ( The French wanted to sell Louisiana for fear that the Brits would take it.) occupied the Philippines, (There were three fleets, French, British and German making sure that each other didn't take over. U.S. fleet sailed in, as this was OK with the other three.) Cuba, (Freed from Spanish tyranny.) Puerto Rico (Ditto. And have been given three opportunities to leave.) etc (Bought the Virgin Islands from Denmark.) at various times. This, of course, all in a state set up by self-seeking aristocrats on false pretexts (So what? Did the Colonies have any representation in Parliament? Could the Colonies break the Mercantile system?) for their own sends. Quite often the actions are the results of policies decredd by "another crooked president" (see MP Cato's post for the reference, if you missed it!!). (Where does MPC say this?)

 

Modern US imperialism is economic in nature and they are now exploring the possibilities of being a sole global super-power. (Exploring? The U.S. IS.) Half the world sees their action in Iraq as related to US economic and natural resource ends, rather than about truth, freedom and the American way.

 

Now, let me say that I am actually a life-long Americophile, a supporter of the UK's special relationship - and much of what is said above is "tongue-in-cheek". But not all, (Which, then?) and increasingly, I find myself disillusioned. I spent part of the weekend talking to well-read historians and people interested in politics, who are also long-standing lovers of the USA. But they too are beginning to question things.

 

The US and Rome are hardly similar at all, except in the extent that all empires rise and fall and all nations have similar histories. But I think there are lessons to be learned - not only by the US but by the "west" as a whole, from the fall of Rome. I set out those parallels in another post a while back.

 

"Would to God the gift t' gi' us; to see ourselves as others see us" wrote Burns (or something roughly similar). I think the perception of the US from outside - and maybe from minorities inside - is very different from the rather deceptive self-congratulation that often passes for analysis in the States it seems. Would a native American, (Started with Brits.) an Empire Loyalist, (Traitor.) an ex-slave, (Started by Brits.) a modern black American necessarily see the same things or reach the same conclusions?

 

I write to ferment debate. Please come back to me - that is why I have written in a flagrantly confrontational way. (There are lots of statements that you could have made, but didn't bother.)

 

Phil

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Personly I dislike using the ancient world for contempry political comparision, however if you such comparision I think it's should be between the USA and the Athenian Empire.

 

Both states prefered to rule as head of a strong alliance (Delian League and NATO) rather than direct occupetion, democrasy was the founding of both states and they acted to spread it (althought they had no problem making an alliance with an un-democratic goverment).

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