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Fri Feb 8, 2013, 12:16 PM

A question regarding empire?

Just because I've been on so infrequently for the past 3 weeks and I've been getting a headache this morning trying to wade through what is being protected here and why. I gather some think it is empire.

What does "empire" mean to you? What does getting rid of the American empire mean to you? What are you willing to give up to do so? I think lots of people talk out of both sides of their mouths when it comes to issues like this. What are you willing to give up?

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Arrow 35 replies Author Time Post
Reply A question regarding empire? (Original post)
Skidmore Feb 2013 OP
el_bryanto Feb 2013 #1
Junkdrawer Feb 2013 #2
Skidmore Feb 2013 #4
Junkdrawer Feb 2013 #9
quinnox Feb 2013 #3
Skidmore Feb 2013 #5
Junkdrawer Feb 2013 #10
Tierra_y_Libertad Feb 2013 #6
Skidmore Feb 2013 #13
Tierra_y_Libertad Feb 2013 #14
Skidmore Feb 2013 #15
Tierra_y_Libertad Feb 2013 #16
Recursion Feb 2013 #17
Tierra_y_Libertad Feb 2013 #18
Recursion Feb 2013 #19
Tierra_y_Libertad Feb 2013 #20
polly7 Feb 2013 #24
Recursion Feb 2013 #25
polly7 Feb 2013 #26
Recursion Feb 2013 #30
polly7 Feb 2013 #31
Lurker Deluxe Feb 2013 #27
polly7 Feb 2013 #28
Lurker Deluxe Feb 2013 #32
JaneyVee Feb 2013 #7
Skidmore Feb 2013 #11
bemildred Feb 2013 #8
Skidmore Feb 2013 #12
bemildred Feb 2013 #22
Lurker Deluxe Feb 2013 #21
Starry Messenger Feb 2013 #23
leveymg Feb 2013 #29
Junkdrawer Feb 2013 #33
leveymg Feb 2013 #35
LWolf Feb 2013 #34

Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 12:21 PM

1. Interesting question

I don't know - on the one hand our interference in the middle east has created a hell of a lot of problems. On the other hand we have a position in the world that could be used for good things - particularly in environmental issues (I know we aren't - and thanks to republicanoids we might not - but we could).

Complicated

Bryant

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 12:26 PM

2. As long as Empire meant "Cheap Raw Materials".....

many in Big Labor supported imperial aims. And then Empire meant "Cheap Foreign Labor". Ooops.

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Response to Junkdrawer (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 12:32 PM

4. It still begs the question of what part of "cheap"

are you willing to give up? My mama taught me that nothing is free and if you buy cheap, you get what you pay for. What part of the goods and services brought to you by American empire can you live without? It is as much a cultural question as a political or economic one.

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Response to Skidmore (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 12:41 PM

9. Most citizens of industrial economies do MUCH better than US citizens do....

50 years of massive defense budgets. All the best technical minds tapped by the military-industrial complex. It's impossible to say what the world (and the US) would have looked like had we chosen to not go down that road. I'm thinking better.

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 12:30 PM

3. I'm willing to give up many of our military bases that are

 

unnecessary in friendly cities around the world. I'm also willing to give up half of the defense budget, for starters, and put that money toward better things such as human welfare and social programs.

I'm willing to give up this strange need the United States feels to control the world, and instead focus on making this country a whole lot better.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 12:34 PM

5. Why does America need to control the world?

Did this just arise mystically? What do we gain from that control? How does it affect your daily life? That need to control is not divorced from what you consume and how you live.

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Response to Skidmore (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:01 PM

10. At this point. WHEN (not IF) we withdraw our empire, our currency will plummet....

It's currently not backed by anything other than its position as reserve currency which, in turn, is propped up by the corrupt mineral regimes we keep in place with our military and CIA.

And like an addict, we have two choices:

1.) Continue the addiction and suffer a slow decline.

2.) Quit and go through Hell for a period before things get better.

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 12:37 PM

6. I'll give up the same things the Canadians and Swiss gave up.

When they gave up their empires.

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:39 PM

13. What did the Canadians and Swiss give up?

How did they replace the needs or wants met by having empire with not having it?

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Response to Skidmore (Reply #13)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:42 PM

14. Gosh, they must have gotten along without ever having an empire.

While we idiots have built one we have come to depend on and have to protect from those who may threaten our exploitation of it.

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #14)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:45 PM

15. You made a statement that you would give up whatever these peoples gave up.

I'm curious as to what you think it was they gave up. What did they displace beyond having an ideological shift? There were reasons for which they built empire to begin with.

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Response to Skidmore (Reply #15)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:50 PM

16. They gave up being the badasses of the universe. I'm willing to do the same.

In answer to your original question: We don't have to give up anything willingly. We're losing it whether we want to or not. We can no longer compete economically, our standard of living is dropping, and we'll soon be too broke to defend what's left.

Which renders your question moot.

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:52 PM

17. They both had larger "friends" to protect them

In Canada's case, the UK and then the US. In Switzerland's case, generally France but sometimes Austria; whoever didn't want the other to cross the alps at that moment. (And when did the Swiss have an empire to give up?)

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Response to Recursion (Reply #17)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:57 PM

18. Which demonstrates they're a helluva lot smarter than we are.

We've managed to get this super-duper empire, usually by blackmail or force, which we can't afford to maintain and no longer is willing to pay tribute to us. While the Canadians and Swiss (and, numerous other empire deprived countries) are getting along just fine, often better, than we are.

And, as I recall, about the only time the Brits had to defend Canada was from the French who wanted it for their own empire and from us..who wanted it for our own empire.

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Response to Tierra_y_Libertad (Reply #18)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 02:16 PM

19. 99% of empire is just signalling willingness and capability to defend

That's why Australia is in our sphere of influence and not the UK's so much anymore.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #19)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 02:42 PM

20. How about we switch roles and fall under somebody else's sphere of influence?

Which amounts to a protection racket.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #17)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 04:51 PM

24. How has the U.S. protected Canada?

Can you give an example of us calling for military aid?

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Response to polly7 (Reply #24)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 04:53 PM

25. Err... the entire past 60 years?

We're the reason Canada never had to develop a deterrent to the Soviets.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #25)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 04:58 PM

26. LOL

Anything at all .... other than 1812 ..... you can reference, specifically?

We do actually have our own military, are an important part of NORAD, and, until Harper's psychotic gov't, have actually had pretty good relations with most of the world.

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Response to polly7 (Reply #26)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 05:11 PM

30. The entire cold war

Yes, all of NATO contributed some, but part of the reason the rest of them could afford social democracy is because the US was footing the free world's defense bill.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #30)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 05:16 PM

31. Bullshit. Social democracies function because they've got gov'ts that are more concerned with their

citizens welfare than making trillions selling military weapons to the rest of the world and fighting endless wars for empire and profit.

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Response to polly7 (Reply #24)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 05:02 PM

27. Pretty sure it is a given

No need to call for aid, if anyone tried to land some forces on Canadian soil they would get bitch slapped pretty quickly. Founding member of NATO and the largest trading partner of the US. Plus sharing the largest undefended border in the world.

F'n with Canada would be considered a direct attack on the US. All lip service to other, Israel et al, there is no doubt of the US's unwaivering support of Canada.

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Response to Lurker Deluxe (Reply #27)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 05:06 PM

28. Probably, smacked by us. And I'm assuming, it would be our

perogative whether to accept aid from anyone, or not.

I'm pretty sure if the same were to happen in the U.S. military aid would be reciprocated. I find it really insulting when I see these poor pitiful, defenseless Canada posts, considering the number of men who fought and died in both world wars years before the U.S. entered ..... my own family members included.

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Response to polly7 (Reply #28)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:50 AM

32. I get it ...

I am assuming at this point that you are Canadian.

From that point of view any suggestion that the US does in fact defend Canada is an insult. I understand your feelings, Canada is a wonderful place and is certainly capable of defending it's people from threats.

My point, simple as it is, is that any attempt to place forces on Canadian soil would most likely come from the sea. Certainly if they actually made it to Canadian soil they would be handed a certain ass whooping. Such as it is though, the most powerful force on the face of this planet is the US Navy, and any attempt to invade the territorial waters of Canada by a hostile nation would never get close enough to let your more than capable military kick their ass.

I am also aware that your country does have a capable Navy and is a valuable ally in the general defense of North America.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:HMCS_Algonquin_(DDG_283).jpg

Seen here is a great example of our two nations working well together. Canada has a very capable military, along with the treaties and the fact that our countries are such great friends, any actions toward one would be taken as actions to wards both.

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 12:40 PM

7. Empire means the MIC's tentacles stretch from continent to continent, even where we're not welcome.

It chooses imperialism over the needs of our citizens at home.

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:36 PM

11. So how do you meet the needs of people at home

when the people at home consume vast resources to support their culturally identified needs? Isn't that the basis for imperialism? It sure was for the Greeks and Romans. When a nation does not have adequate resources to meet the demands of its population, it turns elsewhere and takes from others, either by trade, treaty, or by force.

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 12:41 PM

8. It means living up to our ideals instead of down to our wants and fears. nt

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Response to bemildred (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 01:38 PM

12. That is unsatisfyingly vague.

I don't even know what it means? Whose ideals? Whose wants? Whose fears? Whose needs? What are wants? What are needs?

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Response to Skidmore (Reply #12)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 04:28 PM

22. Your question seems kind of vague too?

You asked what giving up empire means to us?
Then you don't like my answer and you want me to fix it?

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 03:32 PM

21. American empire

The debate over the "American Empire" is not just as simple as one would think. While we certainly are the bully, we are also a peacekeeper in certain areas.

What would I personally be willing to give up?

Tough question.

If I were to say I wanted the US to remove all of our troops from foreign countries immediately would that mean I am willing to give up millions of South Korean lives, as certainly without the threat of retaliation from the US the fourth largest army in the world roll over the DMZ with little restraint.

The shining city on a hill metaphor is something that I think I would be willing to give up, I do not think that we should set ourselves up as the example of how the world should be. We have our strengths, we have our historical issues (as does pretty much everyone), but I think that we are beginning to show that our system has flaws that run deep.

I do believe that the US is a force for good in some areas and without our presence chaos would follow, however I would be willing to give up the attitude that our way is the best and only way to prosper.

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 04:47 PM

23. What am I getting from empire?

I live in an apartment, my car is 10 years old, gas is already up to $4 here, food bills are nuts, no health care for 12 years/dentistry for 20 and I have to decide every morning whether I can face another month of high electric bills from putting on the floor heater on cold mornings. I'm still lucky I have a job and am not homeless and I'm grateful every day.

I'd like to give up my Latino students being worried about their families being sent to ICE. I'd like our "free trade" agreements reformed so that they don't ruin the countries south of my state. That would be cool.

I'd like industries to come back to the US, unions to burgeon again, the rich and/or corporations to not hide their money in off-shore tax-havens.

I'd like our military to be used to defend actual democracy in countries that are being bullied, instead of being the bully.

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Fri Feb 8, 2013, 05:10 PM

29. What did Russia give up? The Brits? France? The Dutch?

They were all empires. They all went through a period of decline and relative deprivation compared to their height, but stabilized within more limited horizons.

Why should the US be any different, as will the ascendant powers -- China, India, KSA/GCC, Turkey -- who will also have their moment of hubris and eventual fall.

What else do you think Americans should give up, other than our continuing illusions of world dominance?

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Response to leveymg (Reply #29)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 10:55 AM

33. Note the presumption that Empire = Economic advantages for the masses.....

It always STARTS that way, but very quickly, empires mean great advantages for the few at the cost of unemployment for the many.

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Response to Junkdrawer (Reply #33)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 03:20 PM

35. Empires in decline, however, do mean the poor suffer first and disportionately -

the exception to that rule is, perhaps, Britain which was a fully developed social democratic welfare state from 1946-1980.

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Response to Skidmore (Original post)

Sat Feb 9, 2013, 12:13 PM

34. Empire

means, to me, a capitalist authoritarian control over, not just our own people, but as much of the rest of the world as we can force ourselves upon.

Getting rid of the American empire? To me it means that we will stop trying to bully and police the rest of the world and focus on domestic priorities; on the best service we can offer our own people. On creating a thriving, healthy, socially and economically just society within our borders, and offering to share what is working for us with the rest of the world, but not trying to dominate them.

What would we give up? Maybe capitalism. Definitely neoliberalism, definitely corporate influence on government. Definitely a greater part of the MIC. We might have to give up shopping as a hobby, the collection of cheap, foreign produced goods; we'd consume less, have less, but what we'd have would be better quality. I hope we'd give up "free" trade, which is not "free."

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