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Is There an American Empire, Yes or No.

Evilroddy

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Is Modern-Day America an empire or not? I say yes. Others say adamantly no. Let's hash this out.

The definitions of empire according to the Oxford English Dictionary are:

Noun:

1) An extensive group of states or countries ruled over by a single monarch, an oligarchy, or a sovereign state.
in names ‘the Roman Empire’

1.1) A mass noun: Supreme political power over several countries when exercised by a single authority.
‘he encouraged the Greeks in their dream of empire in Asia Minor’
...
1.2) An archaic mass noun: Absolute control over a person or group.

2A) A large commercial organization owned or controlled by one person, group or state.
‘her business empire grew’

2.1) An extensive sphere of activity controlled by one person, group or state.
‘each ministry, each department had its own empire, its own agenda and worked to protect its turf’
Given those definitions and providing supporting proof can you answer the question to the satisfaction of others here?

Cheers.
Evilroddy.
 

ecofarm

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Liberation is not imperialism.
 

Checkerboard Strangler

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Is Modern-Day America an empire or not? I say yes. Others say adamantly no. Let's hash this out.

The definitions of empire according to the Oxford English Dictionary are:



Given those definitions and providing supporting proof can you answer the question to the satisfaction of others here?

Cheers.
Evilroddy.
Wiggum.jpg

'We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors...and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do'.
---Karl Rove
 

Evilroddy

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My case is that there are in fact two American Empires. One is a traditional territorial empire taken by force during the late 19th Century and throughout the 20th Century. Places like Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, The Marshall Islands, Guam, the Virgin Islands, Cuba (for a time), etc. are or were part of this traditional territorial empire. For the sake of clarity I will not address lands seized by force from native Americans and Spanish/Mexican states on the continental USA.

The second empire is an invisible one which does not appear on maps or in geography textbooks but is very real nonetheless. This invisible empire is a commercial one, held together by person to person ties (remember corporations and conglomerates are persons), by common business interests with some segment of a foreign population, by money and often by military or political intervention. This is where US diplomats co-opt local elites or rulers with money and business opportunities that best serve the interests of the USA and are less favourable to the local peoples' and state's interests. This used to be called dollar diplomacy but that phrase has gone out of fashion recently. If the local elites won't play ball, then the money which would have bought their cooperation goes to their ouster through regime change in order to find locals willing to play ball. The regime change may be done by strictly diplomatic means, by covert intelligence operatives in country or by external military intervention by the USA or its funded and trained proxies.

The commercial empire is held together by money, business interests and by the aggressive exportation of American ideals, ideology, law (legal principles and extrajurisdictional laws) and the relentless marketing of American culture, consumerism and American style capitalism to the gently captive nations and states under the American Empire's influence. If something threatens that soft-power control, then political, economic, or military intervention is used up to and including full-blown state on state military confrontation, in order to remove obstacles to the Americanisation of the international hinterlands of the Empire. Control of the seas and airways is essential for this kind of commercial empire as is control of the financial and exchange mechanisms which enable international trade. America controls these with aircraft carrier task forces, attack submarines, foreign military and air bases, control of financial and trade exchanges and by trying to control of the sources or routes by which resources flow globally. Sometimes instead of imperialism we like to call it political, economic and military hegemony but it really boils down to soft-power imperialism coupled with sharp-stick, hard-power militarism, if the soft power does not take or hold.

So, America has two empires. A vestigial territorial empire left over from the late 19th and early 20th centuries and a far larger and more profitable commercial empire which is very much a going concern right now. The commercial empire is being challenged by Europe, China, Russia (as a bit player) and even India. So when will the hard power start again I wonder?

American imperialism - Wikipedia

How the United States Reinvented Empire: A review of Daniel Immerwahr'''s "How to Hide an Empire" | The New Republic

How the US has hidden its empire | News | The Guardian

Cheers.
Evilroddy.
 
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Evilroddy

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Liberation is not imperialism.
ecofarm:

No one said it was, but is America an empire? Make a case.

Cheers.
Evilroddy.
 

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Is Modern-Day America an empire or not? I say yes. Others say adamantly no. Let's hash this out.
.


Puerto Rico and Guam are our empire.

If Puerto Rico becomes a state, that leaves just Guam.

It's a modest empire at best.
 

ecofarm

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ecofarm

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Puerto Rico and Guam are our empire.

If Puerto Rico becomes a state, that leaves just Guam.

It's a modest empire at best.
Their association is at their request. Not imperial.
 

Jesse Booth

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Liberation is not imperialism.
We regularly establish military dictatorships, my dude. Maybe we've been more interested in simply installing power vacuums in the last few years, but very few of the places we intervene in militarily end up more prosperous and free. Our best success in living memory is basically South Korea, which was basically just juche with capitalist characteristics for a decent part of the late 20th century.
 

ecofarm

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We regularly establish military dictatorships, my dude. Maybe we've been more interested in simply installing power vacuums in the last few years, but very few of the places we intervene in militarily end up more prosperous and free. Our best success in living memory is basically South Korea, which was basically just juche with capitalist characteristics for a decent part of the late 20th century.
Our enemies in war become democracies and experience, for the first time (except Germany), self determination. That's not imperialism. Imperialism is the opposite of self determination. Empire and liberator are antonyms.
 

Jesse Booth

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Our enemies in war become democracies and experience, for the first time (except Germany), self determination. That's not imperialism. Imperialism is the opposite of self determination. Empire and liberator are antonyms.
Mhm. So how's that worked out for all the burgeoning democratic revolutions we've quashed in South/Central America? Are our allies like Saudi Arabia getting more democratic?
 

Evilroddy

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Their association is at their request. Not imperial.
That is false. Both Puerto Rico and Guam's indigenous populations were ignored when Spain ceded PR to America and when America liberated Guam from Japanese military rule. In PR the people supported a Bolivarian liberation movement and in Guam the local assembly was so angry with US Navy rule that they walked out on mass and the assembly was dissolved by the US authorities who then absorbed Guam as an organised territory of the USA against the will of the people of Guam.

So in these two cases liberation was imperialism.

Cheers.
Evilroddy.
 

ecofarm

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Mhm. So how's that worked out for all the burgeoning democratic revolutions we've quashed in South/Central America? Are our allies like Saudi Arabia getting more democratic?
For most of the 20th Century, US foreign policy against violent neighbor-invading belligerents was stagnation via destabilization. That provided white noise everywhere and allowed us to develop relatively unfettered. But that didn't work out. The chaos out there started affecting the Western world and even the US. So, the US changed policy to something much better and much more ethical. Policy for some time has been nation building. Some people don't like it, but leaving behind chaos didn't work in the long run.

The US and the Western world, to include all legitimate democracies (I'm looking at you, Russia), are liberators and not empires. Self determination is not an imposition. Nations are sovereign, not regimes.
 

ecofarm

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That is false. Both Puerto Rico and Guam's indigenous populations were ignored when Spain ceded PR to America and when America liberated Guam from Japanese military rule. In PR the people supported a Bolivarian liberation movement and in Guam the local assembly was so angry with US Navy rule that they walked out on mass and the assembly was dissolved by the US authorities who then absorbed Guam as an organised territory of the USA against the will of the people of Guam.

So in these two cases liberation was imperialism.

Cheers.
Evilroddy.
You missed it. They held a vote.
 

Jesse Booth

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For most of the 20th Century, US foreign policy against violent neighbor-invading belligerents was stagnation via destabilization. That provided white noise everywhere and allowed us to develop relatively unfettered. But that didn't work out. The chaos out there started affecting the Western world and even the US. So, the US changed policy to something much better and much more ethical. Policy for some time has been nation building. Some people don't like it, but leaving behind chaos didn't work in the long run.

The US and the Western world, to include all legitimate democracies (I'm looking at you, Russia), are liberators and not empires. Self determination is not an imposition. Nations are sovereign, not regimes.
What about the nations that weren't being belligerent to their neighbors? The governments in Iran and El Salvador, for example, were democratically elected, and were not showing any hostility to their neighbors. Additionally, most of our nation building efforts have been fairly miserable failures (albeit ongoing ones) that have resulted in unpopular governments with unstable militaries, and the proliferation of radical Islamist sects. We've literally caused a net increase in terrorists.
 

Surrealistik

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What about the nations that weren't being belligerent to their neighbors? The governments in Iran and El Salvador, for example, were democratically elected, and were not showing any hostility to their neighbors. Additionally, most of our nation building efforts have been fairly miserable failures (albeit ongoing ones) that have resulted in unpopular governments with unstable militaries, and the proliferation of radical Islamist sects. We've literally caused a net increase in terrorists.
Not to mention Bolivia, and Chile, among many others; peaceful democratic countries whose only crime happened to be a left ward shift in governance thought incompatible with American economic interests or influence.
 
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ecofarm

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What about the nations that weren't being belligerent to their neighbors? The governments in Iran and El Salvador, for example, were democratically elected, and were not showing any hostility to their neighbors. Additionally, most of our nation building efforts have been fairly miserable failures (albeit ongoing ones) that have resulted in unpopular governments with unstable militaries, and the proliferation of radical Islamist sects. We've literally caused a net increase in terrorists.
50 years ago... Democratically elected? The US did plenty of what I'd consider bad stuff, but let's not put everything on the democracy.

70 women elected to provincial office in Afghanistan.
 

Evilroddy

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50 years ago... Democratically elected? The US did plenty of what I'd consider bad stuff, but let's not put everything on the democracy.

70 women elected to provincial office in Afghanistan.
ecofarm:

Making non-Americans/non-Westerners adopt American/Western values and political systems is imposition, not enlightened nation building and liberation. How long will those 70 women or their successors hold office if Afghanistan reverts to its post 1979 form. You are forcing social engineering on societies which are either not ready for it or who reject your systems out of hand. That is the arrogance and the hubris of imperialism and it continues in the American invisible empire of today. You cannot make Pashtun tribesmen into Americanoids nor force Turkomen or Uzbeks to embrace your Western model of a centralised state.

Cheers.
Evilroddy.
 

Evilroddy

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You missed it. They held a vote.
No, I did not miss anything. There was never "a vote" held in Guam and there have been many votes held in Puerto Rico which have been ignored by American authorities. However there has never been a vote in Puerto Rico endorsing the American invasion of 1898. The votes have been over continued status as a unincorporated territory, statehood, or independence and a political association with the USA. Never true independence because that could lead to economic nationalism and gravitation away from US alignment, which is anethma to the US commercial empires interests. Most of those votes have been utterly ignored by the US Government as well. So you're peddling hogwash here.

This is also a tangent which gets us off the intention of the thread, which is to discuss whether there is an American empire or not.

Cheers.
Evilroddy.
 

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Is Modern-Day America an empire or not? I say yes. Others say adamantly no. Let's hash this out.

The definitions of empire according to the Oxford English Dictionary are:



Given those definitions and providing supporting proof can you answer the question to the satisfaction of others here?

Cheers.
Evilroddy.
The thing is that the world has changed a lot in the last 100 years. Empires are out and in place of this you have countries who attempt to get other countries to be their puppets. The Cold War was the height of this, you were either with the Soviets or the Americans.

From 1990 to the process after 9/11 this didn't exist so much, the world was becoming a better place. After 9/11 and the emergence of Putin and China, the world is going back to that. Africa is becoming China's, the US is slipping away with Trump but quite a few countries are just waiting for him to disappear. The EU is rising too, though in foreign policy it isn't doing what the US or the Soviets did, or what the Chinese are doing now.
 

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Not to mention Bolivia, and Chile, among many others; peaceful democratic countries whose only crime happened to be a left ward shift in governance thought incompatible with American economic interests or influence.
Oh yeah, Bolivia, where that psychotic thug Che bit it. Yeah, as it turned out they weren’t real interested in Revolution. As for Allende, the Mitrokhin Archive lets us know that he was actively working with the KGB.
 

Surrealistik

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Oh yeah, Bolivia, where that psychotic thug Che bit it. Yeah, as it turned out they weren’t real interested in Revolution. As for Allende, the Mitrokhin Archive lets us know that he was actively working with the KGB.
Just to be clear as to what I'm talking about: United States involvement in regime change - Wikipedia

The U.S. government supported the 1971 coup led by General Hugo Banzer that toppled President Juan José Torres of Bolivia.[189][190] Torres had displeased Washington by convening an "Asamblea del Pueblo" (People's Assembly or Popular Assembly), in which representatives of specific proletarian sectors of society were represented (miners, unionized teachers, students, peasants), and more generally by leading the country in what was perceived as a left wing direction. [/B]
As to Allende working with the KGB or not, that doesn't justify a coup of a peaceful, democratically elected government; it doesn't even really rationalize it (by the way, we work with the intel agencies of horrid state actors all the time, as do most countries in the world). America's involvement with and creation of both coups were inexcusable from an ethical standpoint, predicated entirely on a desire for economic or influential gain, and from a strategic standpoint both coups didn't even ultimately secure a meaningful advantage, and certainly nothing that would warrant such an ethical breach.

American Empire is littered with the bodies of democratically elected heads of state and democracies who dared to move in a direction other than what was thought to be in America's immediate strategic and economic interests, and in many if not most cases the gains were either minimal or negative as a consequence of long term destabilization, or eventual divergence of interests with the new management.
 
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Tigerace117

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Just to be clear as to what I'm talking about: United States involvement in regime change - Wikipedia



As to Allende working with the KGB or not, that doesn't justify a coup of a peaceful, democratically elected government; it doesn't even really rationalize it (by the way, we work with the intel agencies of horrid state actors all the time, as do most countries in the world). America's involvement with and creation of both coups were inexcusable from an ethical standpoint, predicated entirely on a desire for economic or influential gain, and from a strategic standpoint both coups didn't even ultimately secure a meaningful advantage, and certainly nothing that would warrant such an ethical breach.

American Empire is littered with the bodies of democratically elected heads of state and democracies who dared to move in a direction other than what was thought to be in America's immediate strategic and economic interests, and in many if not most cases the gains were either minimal or negative as a consequence of long term destabilization, or eventual divergence of interests with the new management.
“Despite Torres' best intentions, his marked leftward drift did not stabilize the country. He called an Asamblea del Pueblo, or People's Assembly, in which representatives of specific "proletarian" sectors of society were represented (miners, unionized teachers, students, peasants). The Assembly was imbued with all the powers of a working parliament, even though opponents of the regime tended to call it a gathering of virtual soviets. Torres also allowed the legendary (and Trotskyst-oriented) labor leader, Juan Lechín, to resume his post as head of the Central Obrera Boliviana/Bolivian Workers' Union (COB) and to operate without a single restraint. To his surprise, Lechín proceeded to cripple the government with strikes.”

So basically the dude took a massive gamble and it failed to pay off, which meant that the rest of the army jumped down his throat. Hardly uncommon in Cold War Latin America.

Considering that one of the main actions the KGB undertook on Allende’s behalf was bribing people not to run against him....”democratic” was on shaky legs, and “peaceful” is a joke, again, considering the kind of crap the KGB conducted. For all the shrieking about the CIA it was the KGB and it’s allies which actively aided and assisted international terrorists such as Carlos the Jackal.

Giving that he was toppled before the KGB was able to fully secure his power a lot of this is obviously hypothetical, but there’s plenty of evidence from elsewhere in the world to show what a huge problem it was. Not that Pinochet was an improvement, but he got the chance to solidify control. Allende didn’t. That’s the only reason he has been turned into this martyr figure for some on the left.
 

Surrealistik

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So basically the dude took a massive gamble and it failed to pay off, which meant that the rest of the army jumped down his throat. Hardly uncommon in Cold War Latin America.
Nor is the aid the CIA provided in support of the dictatorship that followed, and the conspiracy that occurred prior.

Considering that one of the main actions the KGB undertook on Allende’s behalf was bribing people not to run against him....”democratic” was on shaky legs, and “peaceful” is a joke, again, considering the kind of crap the KGB conducted. For all the shrieking about the CIA it was the KGB and it’s allies which actively aided and assisted international terrorists such as Carlos the Jackal.

Giving that he was toppled before the KGB was able to fully secure his power a lot of this is obviously hypothetical, but there’s plenty of evidence from elsewhere in the world to show what a huge problem it was. Not that Pinochet was an improvement, but he got the chance to solidify control. Allende didn’t. That’s the only reason he has been turned into this martyr figure for some on the left.
Which specific acts of war or aggression did Allende partake in that would make 'peaceful' as a descriptor a joke?

What of American involvement in and manipulation of foreign elections, including the Chile elections?

What of American support for horrific and unsavoury allies of convenience all over the world, many of which could be considered terrorists and performed acts of terrorism? Iran Contra? Afghanistan Taliban?

What of the direct, extensive and ongoing American involvement in Allende's overthrow? Their support for Pinochet and his military coup/dictatorship both before and after the war?

The bottom line is that Allende was elected (despite attempts at electoral manipulation on all sides), he didn't oppress his people, he didn't wage war or engage in acts of aggression, and the CIA banked and backed an unlawful armed military coup that then transitioned into a brutal dictatorship, and it did this in pursuit of American economic interests and expansion of its sphere of influence. It is completely inexcusable from any ethical standpoint.
 
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Mircea

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Is Modern-Day America an empire or not? I say yes. Others say adamantly no. Let's hash this out.
Of course the US is an empire.

In times past, you needed boots on the ground, then you could get around that by having a navy, and then get around that with air-power, and then with money.

You are either subordinate to the US, or you are an enemy. There is no middle ground.

That should be obvious, since the US attempted to murder Prime Minister Nehru of India for the heinous crime against humanity of Declaring Neutrality While Non-White/Non-Christian.

The US attempted (but failed) to overthrow the Syrian government for the heinous crime against humanity of Declaring Neutrality While Non-White/Non-Christian.

The US attempted (but failed) to murder or overthrow Nasser of Egypt for the heinous crime against humanity of Declaring Neutrality While Non-White/Non-Christian.

See, only White Christian countries like Sweden, Finland, Austria and Switzerland are allowed to declare neutrality. Everyone else has to pick a side.

Truman overthrew the Greek government in 1948; LBJ overthrew the Greek government in 1967; Truman wanted to murder President Arbenz of Guatemala for the heinous crime against humanity of Building an Electric Power Plant While Non-White/Non-Christian; Eisenhower commuted Arbenz' sentence to just overthrow; Obama/Clinton illegally overthrew the Honduran government in July 2009...the 14th time the US has illegally overthrown a Honduran government since 1900; repeated overthrows of Nicaraguan governments; Eisenhower installed Castro to overthrow Batista and then Eisenhower and JFK (and other Presidents) attempted to overthrow Castro for committing the heinous crime against humanity of Nationalizing While Non-White/Non-Christian*; invaded the Dominican Republic; assassinated Ngo Diem and has half-witted brother; overthrew the government of Libya and installed Ghaddafi, then protected Ghaddafi from 11 counter-coup attempts, then ultimately overthrew Ghaddafi; overthrew the Tunisian government; gave money to Pakistan to buy weapons from Iran to give to the Contras to overthrow a Nicaraguan government; gave money to Pakistan to buy weapons from Iran to give to al-Qaida lieutenant al-Zawahiri to smuggle weapons from Albania into Kosovo-Metohija and Bosnia; bombed Serbia to overthrow the government; used Task Force 74 to threaten India during the 1971 Pakistani-Indian War; overthrew governments in Chlle, Argentina, Venezuela and Brasil for the heinous crime against humanity of Nationalizing While Non-White/Non-Christian*; overthrew governments in the Philippines; overthrew governments in Mexico; planned to invade Mexico and seize the oil and natural gas fields in 1940 because President Cardenas committed the heinous crime against humanity of Nationalizing While Non-White/Non-Christian*, but didn't because WW II was looming on the horizon; used General Qasim to assassinate King Faisal II of Iraq for committing the heinous crime against humanity of Nationalizing While Non-White/Non-Christian* then murdered General Qasim for committing the heinous crime against humanity of Nationalizing While Non-White/Non-Christian* then installed Saddam Hussein then sold chemical weapons to Saddam who used them against Iran and his own people and sat silently by; cajoled Saddam into a war with Iran'; attempted to assassinate Prime Minister Mossadeq of Iran three times (but failed) for committing the heinous crime against humanity of Nationalizing While Non-White/Non-Christian*; overthrew or assassinated Pakistani governments, presidents or presidential candidates....

I could go on for days, but you get the point...that's what empires do.


*Only White Christian countries are allowed to nationalize anything.
 
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