This is an exchange I had recently. It all started with someone posting a picture of a map of Europe without France. Its in reverse order. I edited the e-mail addresses. Here it goes:
Haha! Yeah I rarely check my G-Mail account either.
As for my imperialism comment… its a tough argument. Going back to Teddy Roosevelt and his big stick policy, the USA has consistently made sure its sphere of influence abroad, whether close promixity physically or capitalist in venture, was secure. It all depends on the definition we use of imperialism too. If we use the 19th century edition, perhaps that is too strong of a word. But if we use today’s version as defined by well known political scientists:
“Imperialism is characterized by monopoly corporations and the compulsion to export capital abroad (for higher profits). Unlike capitalism in earlier stages, in the imperialist stage, capitalism has no more progress to bring the world, only the continuous threat of extinction through world war and environmental catastrophe.”
So why did we really invade Iraq when being hit by “wag the dog” propaganda from our government? We know all those documents proving a military threat were doctored. Why is it we didn’t intervene in Rwanda when 10s of thousands were being massacred in ethnic clensing? Or invade North Korea? They are a bigger threat than Saddam Hussein. Oil? I don’t have these answers, but in a government where bribery (yes, I believe lobbying is bribery) makes the rules, the big bucks are the ones that win. Big bucks like the oil companies, military industries, banks, and whatever.
No, “imperialism” doesn’t require statehood or annexation. Indirect control through military or forcing our way of government on others seems to be today’s standard. Why is democracy the best for everyone? It isn’t quite simply. The “free Englishman” was where it started for us colonialists. The rest of Europe slowly went along with it. But it can be argued the Arab world isn’t ready for it. They have been a sparsely populated collection of tribes and cultures that need stronger central government. Maybe not, but again, who are we to impose our form of government and to embargo other view points. Sounds a little hypocritical. Saying Fidel Castro is bad for human rights, however unfortunate, doesn’t legitimize our own government from performing some terrible deeds of misinformation and manipulation of people.
As far as 90% of France’s population being “assish”, I am not sure. Their isolationist policies seem to have worked. 50 years of interventionalism on our end has indoctrinated many to hate us, bomb our cities, and kill our civilians and troops aborad while our government spends almost 40% of the world’s spending on military. That’s over $300 billion a year (2004). Add all the foreign aid we give, and you have a staggering amount of spending to enfuriate our enemies. And all this spending hasn’t protected our civil liberties or made us any safer. On the contrary. Civilians are now being disarmed left and right, our personal information scrutenized, people being restricted from freedom of travel by some mysterious “no fly” lists, and people being imprisoned in secret. Our “free” way of life is dieing. Our president and government pass many of these laws almost as if they are saying “this will be good for you” rather than “do you really want this” and our judicial branch is made a mockery of being nothing but a rubber stamp to a stream of unconstitutional laws.
If anything, soon we will become just like France. So instead of making fun of them, we should embrace our future where talking about Jesus Christ in public is considered “mind control” and can warrent a prison sentance.