View Poll Results: Is the U.S.A. de facto an empire?

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Thread: Is the U.S.A. de facto an empire?

  1. #51
    Advisor Hdreamz's Avatar
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    Re: Is the U.S.A. de facto an empire?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman123 View Post
    A few things:

    1. The fact that the US has historically behaved in a less than purely liberal fashion does not diminish the reality that we are a liberal hegemony. Our method of 'Imperial' rule is the exportation of democracy and the cementing of democratic peace. This was achieved by our exertions over the past century and include everything from our interventions in the Americas, the struggles of the World Wars, and the global campaigns of the Cold War. The fruits of these victories are evident in areas as far flung as Europe, East Asia, and South America.

    Today our power rests upon our military, economic, and political clout, but our security and the friendliness of our relations is secured by the democratic world order we have created.

    2. Whatever our past transgressions there is no evidence of such 'imperial' rule today. Puerto Rico is a vibrant democracy that has been free to choose its destiny and associations for decades, nor do we hold any colonial possessions.

    3. We are a democratic state, let's not resort to the school house arguments of 'we're not a democracy, we're a Republic!'. We have democratic government and popular self-rule and can be popularly (and universally...) referred to as a democracy.
    Okay,lets not idealize what we interpret. I am not an anti-U.S individual and do not say things to attack "the great satan".... But i think its important to try to be impartial, something i dont always manage admittedly.

    The U.S has not exported democracy and the cementing of a democratic process, it has simply sought to create an American sphere of influence for its own benefit. As have all other world powers before them. This is easily seen by the character of the many nations that the U.S has either propped up, allied with or had close ties with over the last century. You dont have to look far to see this with Saudi Arabia, or the rightwing S.American dictatorships of the 70's and on, and on, and on.....

    This is no different than what Britain/France did in their imperial height in regard to their own interests. In the scope of worldwide interventions when the U.S has worked with other nations, usually the result and goal has been the implementation of a semi-democratic order such as the previous wars in Iraq/Afghanistan (Though many conspiracy theorists would argue our reasons).

    I also dont believe the U.S has created a Democratic world order. That is not to take anything away from what the U.S has done in terms of WW2 and its role since as world police officer. I see most of a democratic world order coming out of the independence of previous colonial nations from their respective colonial powers.. Britain/France/Netherlands/Spain/Russia/Portugal. Just the independence movement from Britain and France brought Democracy to almost all of Africa, huge parts of Asia including China (Which didnt pan out too well).

    If there is a democratic world order then I see it as a result of the restoration of independence to previous colonial states that has allowed for this. Obviously the U.S was a large proponent of this but the U.S wasn't the reason there is one.

    As to Puerto Rico as an example, the U.S history on exporting democracy does not stand up... The Cointelpro program was directly aimed by the FBI at distorting, infiltrating, discrediting and disrupting political independence movements within Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is a territory under the sovereignty of the federal government, though Puerto Rican citizens have had U.S citizenship since 1917 they have no representation and have no vote on a federal level. This is not a portent of Democracy.


    And lastly, i dont want to have a "school house argument"... I simply want to be accurate, the U.S is not a democracy, the word has been warped over the years and no longer has the same meaning when used by the vast majority that it has previously. The electoral college and large issues within the U.S electoral system can result in severe minority rule (Though there is a small chance of this it has happened twice before, once a small minority in 2000 and second Andrew Jackson in 1828 who won with a small minority) which wouldn't be possible in a true Democracy. Im not trying to be pedantic, I think its important to understand the difference's and some of the disparity between what people think they have and what they actually have.


    P.S
    Apologies, didnt intend for this post to be so long
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  2. #52
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    Re: Is the U.S.A. de facto an empire?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hdreamz View Post
    Okay,lets not idealize what we interpret. I am not an anti-U.S individual and do not say things to attack "the great satan".... But i think its important to try to be impartial, something i dont always manage admittedly.

    The U.S has not exported democracy and the cementing of a democratic process, it has simply sought to create an American sphere of influence for its own benefit. As have all other world powers before them. This is easily seen by the character of the many nations that the U.S has either propped up, allied with or had close ties with over the last century. You dont have to look far to see this with Saudi Arabia, or the rightwing S.American dictatorships of the 70's and on, and on, and on.....

    This is no different than what Britain/France did in their imperial height in regard to their own interests. In the scope of worldwide interventions when the U.S has worked with other nations, usually the result and goal has been the implementation of a semi-democratic order such as the previous wars in Iraq/Afghanistan (Though many conspiracy theorists would argue our reasons).

    I also dont believe the U.S has created a Democratic world order. That is not to take anything away from what the U.S has done in terms of WW2 and its role since as world police officer. I see most of a democratic world order coming out of the independence of previous colonial nations from their respective colonial powers.. Britain/France/Netherlands/Spain/Russia/Portugal. Just the independence movement from Britain and France brought Democracy to almost all of Africa, huge parts of Asia including China (Which didnt pan out too well).

    If there is a democratic world order then I see it as a result of the restoration of independence to previous colonial states that has allowed for this. Obviously the U.S was a large proponent of this but the U.S wasn't the reason there is one.

    As to Puerto Rico as an example, the U.S history on exporting democracy does not stand up... The Cointelpro program was directly aimed by the FBI at distorting, infiltrating, discrediting and disrupting political independence movements within Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is a territory under the sovereignty of the federal government, though Puerto Rican citizens have had U.S citizenship since 1917 they have no representation and have no vote on a federal level. This is not a portent of Democracy.


    And lastly, i dont want to have a "school house argument"... I simply want to be accurate, the U.S is not a democracy, the word has been warped over the years and no longer has the same meaning when used by the vast majority that it has previously. The electoral college and large issues within the U.S electoral system can result in severe minority rule (Though there is a small chance of this it has happened twice before, once a small minority in 2000 and second Andrew Jackson in 1828 who won with a small minority) which wouldn't be possible in a true Democracy. Im not trying to be pedantic, I think its important to understand the difference's and some of the disparity between what people think they have and what they actually have.


    P.S
    Apologies, didnt intend for this post to be so long
    I'll itemize it:

    1.

    We have certainly exported democracy and in the words of Woodrow Wilson made the world safe for it. Our intervention during World War II prevented the fall of Western Europe and large swathes of East Asia from falling under the boot of the Soviet Union and international communism. That it served our interests as well as a byproduct of the fact that liberalism and democracy are the greatest guarantors of international stability and commercial well being.

    Successive campaigns and interventions that have been economic, military, cultural, and political have furthered the goal of spreading democratic rule, chipping away at rogue autocracies, and enhancing an environment that allows liberalism and open markets to survive and thrive.

    2.

    If you do not give great credit to the United States for the establishment of our present day global democratic order then you are willfully ignoring recent history. Without US intervention in the Second World War, and without a strenuous anti-Communist campaign the bulk of the decolonized countries you talk about would have either fallen under the boot of anti-democratic Marxist regimes (as many of them did) or had prolonged decolonization struggles without US pressure on European powers to withdraw.

    Our world would look dramatically different without the enormous exertions of the United States over the past century, and it certainly would not be as peaceful or democratic.

    3.

    COINTELPRO is the umbrella term for the FBI domestic espionage operations conducted from 1956-1971, some of which was illegal, most of which was deeply unappealing. However it targeted everyone from the Ku Klux Klan, the Civil Rights movement, Puerto Rican independence supporters, American socialists, Jewish Zionists, etc. To argue that the Puerto Rican independence movement is significantly hamstrung by these relatively modest intrusions is silly given their paltry showing at every modern poll of the past 25 years.

    The fact of the matter is that Puerto Rico today has democratic self-governance and has repeatedly voted on its final status with the United States with every successive vote returning support for the maintenance of the status-quo and an overwhelming majority in favor of association with the United States. If Puerto Rico wants federal representation it will get it the moment a clear majority votes for statehood, if it wants independence it will receive it the moment a clear majority votes in favor of it, and as clear majorities have voted in favor of retaining the status quo that is what they have received. The United States government will not take unilateral action on Puerto Rico without the clear will of the Puerto Rican electorate.

    4.

    It is a school house argument because it is pedantic and mostly wrong. Everyone who has ever cracked even a single book on political theory, democracy, or probably even US history will know we are not an absolute democracy. But only the most pedantic people will interrupt a discussion to say 'Oh the US isn't a democracy'. Of course it is. Democracy coming from the Greek demokratia simply means 'rule by the people' (demos is people, kratos is power/rule). Our Republican form of government and our system of democratic empowerment of citizens qualifies us a democracy.

  3. #53
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    Re: Is the U.S.A. de facto an empire?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman123 View Post
    I'll itemize it:

    1.

    We have certainly exported democracy and in the words of Woodrow Wilson made the world safe for it. Our intervention during World War II prevented the fall of Western Europe and large swathes of East Asia from falling under the boot of the Soviet Union and international communism. That it served our interests as well as a byproduct of the fact that liberalism and democracy are the greatest guarantors of international stability and commercial well being.

    Successive campaigns and interventions that have been economic, military, cultural, and political have furthered the goal of spreading democratic rule, chipping away at rogue autocracies, and enhancing an environment that allows liberalism and open markets to survive and thrive.
    I am not saying the U.S has not played a large part in the formation of the current world order, and i am definitely not trying to diminish its role in WW2. I just dont see the U.S as being the largest factor.

    That U.S interventions have led to democratic establishment is a selective view in that its interventions have only generally served to further U.S influence. Their are dozens of examples of U.S interventions creating autocracy and removing semi-democratic governments to go with the democracies they have created. It is a mixed bag, that the U.S exports its influence globally is where i can meet on neutral ground.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman123 View Post
    2.

    If you do not give great credit to the United States for the establishment of our present day global democratic order then you are willfully ignoring recent history. Without US intervention in the Second World War, and without a strenuous anti-Communist campaign the bulk of the decolonized countries you talk about would have either fallen under the boot of anti-democratic Marxist regimes (as many of them did) or had prolonged decolonization struggles without US pressure on European powers to withdraw.

    Our world would look dramatically different without the enormous exertions of the United States over the past century, and it certainly would not be as peaceful or democratic.
    I am not arguing with you as to the second world war, or the ideological war with the Soviet Union... The U.S was the bastion of Western civilisation over the last 70 years. What I disagree with is the view that the U.S solely created this world order and is the untarnished light of liberty many seem to see it as. I try to be a realist with regard to history. Take Britain for example, though there are examples of struggle for independence, the vast majority achieved this process peacefully and democratically.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman123 View Post
    3.

    COINTELPRO is the umbrella term for the FBI domestic espionage operations conducted from 1956-1971, some of which was illegal, most of which was deeply unappealing. However it targeted everyone from the Ku Klux Klan, the Civil Rights movement, Puerto Rican independence supporters, American socialists, Jewish Zionists, etc. To argue that the Puerto Rican independence movement is significantly hamstrung by these relatively modest intrusions is silly given their paltry showing at every modern poll of the past 25 years.

    The fact of the matter is that Puerto Rico today has democratic self-governance and has repeatedly voted on its final status with the United States with every successive vote returning support for the maintenance of the status-quo and an overwhelming majority in favor of association with the United States. If Puerto Rico wants federal representation it will get it the moment a clear majority votes for statehood, if it wants independence it will receive it the moment a clear majority votes in favor of it, and as clear majorities have voted in favor of retaining the status quo that is what they have received. The United States government will not take unilateral action on Puerto Rico without the clear will of the Puerto Rican electorate.
    There are many that would argue the resultant paltry showings are a direct result of the actions of COINTELPRO. My main point here though is that the U.S cant make statements that is waiting for the Puerto Rican people to decide their future when it has regularly engaged in subversive actions against political movements within Peurto Rico.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherman123 View Post
    4.

    It is a school house argument because it is pedantic and mostly wrong. Everyone who has ever cracked even a single book on political theory, democracy, or probably even US history will know we are not an absolute democracy. But only the most pedantic people will interrupt a discussion to say 'Oh the US isn't a democracy'. Of course it is. Democracy coming from the Greek demokratia simply means 'rule by the people' (demos is people, kratos is power/rule). Our Republican form of government and our system of democratic empowerment of citizens qualifies us a democracy.
    Look, as we are having the "School house argument" anyway here... I am not disputing that the U.S is democratic, that it has democratic systems is as you say obvious. Oh, and nice touch there by chipping a few insults into your argument, great way to gain credibility.... Regardless of how pedantic you may feel it is, it is still important. Mainly because their are many people and groups within the U.S that are trying to reform the electoral system so that it is:
    A. More reflective proportionally of the people.
    B. More transparent and culpable to actions not supported by the people.
    C. Reform of Financial activity and lobbying within the democratic process.

    And more.... That you disagree is fine, their are many that disagree with your view though.
    "Truly I was born to be an example of misfortune, and a target at which the arrows of adversary are aimed"

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    Re: Is the U.S.A. de facto an empire?

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Greece in many ways did the same thing. Was Greece (Macedon) not an empire at the time of Alexander the Great?
    Sure it was. But when the Greeks conquered land, they kept them as permanent fixtures of their ever-growing territory, right? The U.S. does not do that. We have, in effect, hundreds of "lily pads" around the world. While those bases are sovereign U.S. territory, they are, by no means, permanent fixtures nor the dominant culture. Besides, the U.S. has permission from the host country to house troops/equipment.

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    Re: Is the U.S.A. de facto an empire?

    Yes, we are. One can be an empire that relies on its sheer economic influence to control other powers.
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  6. #56
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    Re: Is the U.S.A. de facto an empire?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jango View Post
    Sure it was. But when the Greeks conquered land, they kept them as permanent fixtures of their ever-growing territory, right? The U.S. does not do that. We have, in effect, hundreds of "lily pads" around the world. While those bases are sovereign U.S. territory, they are, by no means, permanent fixtures nor the dominant culture. Besides, the U.S. has permission from the host country to house troops/equipment.
    Neither did Macedon keep exclusive control of the regions that it conquered, but its influence was undeniable. The same could be said about US invasions and occupations around the globe.

    The Diadochi controlled the empire after the death of Alexander.
    Last edited by phattonez; 11-22-13 at 06:18 PM.

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    Re: Is the U.S.A. de facto an empire?

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Neither did Macedon keep exclusive control of the regions that it conquered, but its influence was undeniable. The same could be said about US invasions and occupations around the globe.

    The Diadochi controlled the empire after the death of Alexander.
    Yeah, my ancient Greek history is rusty (non-existent).

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    Re: Is the U.S.A. de facto an empire?

    Quote Originally Posted by Canell View Post
    So, is it?
    We might pass as one if we exacted some kind of tribute from our allies. The only thing we get from our allies is a mild about of deference, and at times not even that.
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    Re: Is the U.S.A. de facto an empire?

    I don't think it 'should' be. But the government is treating it like one.

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    Re: Is the U.S.A. de facto an empire?

    Quote Originally Posted by Morality Games View Post
    We might pass as one if we exacted some kind of tribute from our allies. The only thing we get from our allies is a mild about of deference, and at times not even that.
    And if you still want to be called an empire on these grounds, so be it
    Quote Originally Posted by poweRob View Post
    Stats come out and always show life getting better. News makes money in making you think its not.
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