What an American empire would cost | Bleader

Monday, October 2, 2006

What an American empire would cost

Posted By on 10.02.06 at 12:31 PM

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

click to enlarge 197.jpg

I hereby apologize for ever saying anything nice about historian Niall Ferguson. His enthusiasm for an aggressive American empire overrides his moral sense. I had to read to page 292 of his 2004 book, Colossus, to have this rubbed in my face. I'll spare you the effort:

"There is undoubtedly something perplexing about the apparent lack of American combat-effective troops at a time when the U.S. population is growing at 1.25 percent per annum, unemployment is proving stubbornly resistant to economic recovery, and the American prison population exceeds 2 million--1 in every 142 American residents.  If one adds together the illegal immigrants, the jobless, and the convicts, there is surely ample raw material for a larger American army. One of the keys to the expansion of the Roman Empire was, after all, the opportunity offered to non-Romans to earn citizenship through military service. One of the mainsprings of British colonization was the policy of transportation that emptied the prison hulks of eighteenth-century England into ships bound for Australia. Revising the draft would not necessarily be unpopular, so long as it was appropriately targeted."

WWOS--What would Orwell say? It only takes Ferguson one sentence to slide, serpentlike, from an "opportunity" to earn citizenship to a "draft." I'm not qualified to judge his history, but this man worships at only one shrine, and it ain't liberty.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Harold Henderson

  • The Recyclable House

    The Recyclable House

    If Ken Ortiz has his way, no one in Chicago will ever simply "demolish" a building again.
    • Jul 24, 2008
  • Sympathy for the Devil?

    Sympathy for the Devil?

    Progressive scribe Rick Perlstein made his reputation finding the good in conservatives. Then they really started screwing up the country.
    • Jan 24, 2008
  • Dynamic Flash for Democrats

    Dynamic Flash for Democrats

    Wanna raise funds to run for office? Nag Schwarzenegger about health care? Or just make fun of Bush? Call Articulated Man.
    • Jan 10, 2008
  • More »

Tabbed Event Search

The Bleader Archive

Popular Stories