United Discontent

Globalism and American Empire, its roots up till 2001

“Both ’empire’ and ‘imperialism’ derive from ‘imperium’ a latin noun reffering to ‘power’ and ‘command’.  After the long reign of Caesar August that marked the final demise of the Roman Republic in the early first century CE, imperium signified the Emperor’s ‘legal power to enforce the law’ a function he would routinely delegate to his chief military leaders and civil magistrates.  Operating within a Hellenic cultural framework, the Roman inherited the Stoic conception that an empire was universal, in the sense of partaking of universal reason, and, therefore, valid for all societies.  Hence, the concept of imperium implied a universal humanitarian mission of “Spreading civilization” to the rest of the World.  Romans were convinced that only the complete conquest and civilization of all “barbarians” residing beyond the borders of the empire would ultimately lead to a harmonious union of the world’s peoples under Roman leadership, thus establishing peace, order, and justice on earth.”

“With the modern spread of liberal capitalist democracy and its professed ideals of freedom, equality, and national self-determination, ’empire’ aquired the rather undesirable connotation of political oppression and coercion–a charge most vehemently rejected by those powers that seem to deserve it the most.  With the end of the colonial era after World War II, the world’s powers claimed to seek benign influence rather than domination.  American and Soviet leaders eagler attempted to substantiate their assertion that their respective nations were not involved in an “imperialist” enterprise by pointing to the lack of what had always been seen as the hallmark of empire: direct or indirect political rule over formally annexed or incorporate external terrorities”

– Manfred Steger

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