Without American Imperialism and Its Evils, the World Faces Anarchy

In 1935, the anti-Nazi writer and Austrian-Jewish intellectual Joseph Roth published a story, "The Bust of the Emperor," about an elderly count at the chaotic fringe of the former Habsburg Empire, who refused to think of himself as a Pole or an Italian, even though his ancestry encompassed both. In his mind, the only mark of "true nobility" was to be "a man above nationality," in the Habsburg tradition. "My old home, the Monarchy, alone," the count says, "was a great mansion with many doors and many chambers, for every condition of men." Indeed, the horrors of 20th century Europe, Roth wrote presciently, had as their backdrop the collapse of empires and the rise of uni-ethnic states, with fascist and communist leaders replacing the power of traditional monarchs.Empire clearly had its evils, but one cannot deny its historical function: to provide stability and order to vast tracts of land occupied by different peoples. If not empire, what then? In fact, though very few will admit it, a rules-based international system and the raft of supranational and multinational groupings such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, European Union, International Monetary Fund, International Court of Justice, World Economic Forum, and so on are all attempts to replace -- to greater and lesser extents -- the function of empire.  Continue reading...

Copyright The Dallas Morning News
Contact Us