From The Last Ditch,  Whole Number 14, October 28, 1996

 

The U.S. Empire digested the chicken-roosting of 911 the way an athlete would gulp a bottle of steroids. But that can't have come as any surprise to historical writer Phil Collier, who penned this observation for TLD 14 almost five years before the events of September. It's very short, but for "protein content" it can't be beat. Unfortunately for us victims of empire, it's also timeless — except maybe for that "debate" business Collier talks about. It looks as if most debating has ended among our supervisors.

Nicholas Strakon
November 14, 2001


Limited-government empire:
A confederacy of oxymorons

By PHIL COLLIER

 

A three-sided debate about U.S. foreign and domestic policy is going on in Washington these days. The three sides can be represented in easily understandable form as the democratic-socialist Left, the Cato Institute, and the Heritage Foundation along with the Republican establishment.

Since the Vietnam War the antiwar Left has argued that America needs domestic socialism and that in order to afford it the regime must reduce overseas commitments and get out of the empire business. The Cato people, along with paleoconservatives, argue that America needs limited government at home, and therefore the regime needs to get out of the empire business.

Whichever one of those arguments you accept, each makes logical sense. What makes no sense at all is the position of the Heritage Foundation and the Republican establishment. They take the position that America can have limited government at home combined with empire abroad. That has never worked. When the Roman Republic tried it, it turned into the Roman Empire.

Expanded sea empires such as the British, French, and American have always been coupled with a powerful centralized state. The idea of a limited decentralized government running such an empire is absurd. It is a measure of the blindness of our established media that almost no one points that out. In a sense, one can say that the welfare state is a bribe to keep the population in line to support the empire. No one should take seriously the Republicans' promises to reduce government until they show some signs of retreat from their imperialist pretensions.

© 1996, 2001 WTM Enterprises.
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