| Main |
"What's the point of being the greatest, most powerful nation in the world and not having an imperial role?"...,
Unfortunately, Johnson offers no coherent theory of why the United States seeks empire. ... There is no discussion, however, of the forces within U.S. politics that resist or reject empire. As a result, Johnson finds imperialism everywhere and in everything the United States does, in its embrace of open markets and global economic integration as much as in its pursuit of narrow economic gains. ... Johnson neglects the broader complex of U.S.-supported multilateral rules and institutions that give depth and complexity to the international order."
Snicker. Responding backwards: When does the global judge, jury and executioner ("global cop" is a false premise) follow its own rules, or apply them consistently? The United States does not embrace open markets unless there's a case for narrow economic gain (and anyway, there's "winners and losers"). The forces against empire have been losing the war for over a century - see this disparagement of said forces, remember Mark Twain, or the 60s anti-war movement, so successful that we were still effectively at war with Vietnam and Cambodia into the 1990s.
Johnson offers no coherent theory for why because there is no coherent theory for why: empire is an institution, the reason is its own existence. Institutions might produce theories but don't have them. E.g. the neo-cons embrace imperialism for reasons they spell out plainly but plainly don't believe in - e.g. Wolfowitz's response to Turkey's response to the war - as leading bit players in the "vast complex of interests, commitments, and projects"; the military and its supporting industries embrace it for fun and profit; liberal hawks embrace it in fits of self-induced ariel condescension; members of all parties may be encouraged by self-serving interest: be it the prestige of being "serious minded" (vanity!) or on the dole at Haliburton (cheney!).
"Moreover, countries do have other options: they can, and often do, escape U.S. domination simply by asking the United States to leave. The Philippines did so, and South Korea may be next."
How cynically foregetful: do we need to recount the 90 years of Filipino-American relations required for us to grant the request? Should we bother noting that we're still there? Is this anybody's idea of a "liberal empire that upholds rules and institutions and underwrites public goods"? Are the Iraqis asking us to leave?
:: posted by buermann @ 2004-05-03 11:23:45 CST |