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Domination or control, by one country, of one or more other countries or territories

Imperialism is a state policy, practice or advocacy of extending power and dominion, especially by direct territorial acquisition or by gaining political and economic control of other areas. Because it always involves the use of power, whether military force or some subtler form, imperialism has often been considered morally reprehensible, and the term is frequently employed in international propaganda to denounce and discredit an opponent's foreign policy.

Why We Fight


An American Empire! If You Want It instead of Freedom, Part 1, by Richard M. Ebeling, Freedom Daily, Apr 2003
Examines Garet Garrett's 1952 essay "The Rise of Empire" and contrasts it with Charles Krauthammer's "The Unipolar Moment Revisited" and his concept of "unilateralism"
Garrett summarized what he considered the requisite signs of the emerging American Empire. First, the executive power of the government becomes increasingly dominant ...
Second, domestic-policy issues become increasingly subordinate to foreign-policy matters ...
Third, Empire threatens to result in the ascendancy of the military mind over the civilian mind ...
Fourth, Empire creates a system of satellite nations ...
Fifth, Empire brings with it both arrogance and fear among the imperial people ...
And, finally, Empire creates the illusion that a nation is a prisoner of history.
Americans Are No Imperialists, by Charley Reese, 18 Dec 2006
I've always argued that the American people are not cut out to be imperialists. We lack the sophistication, the language skills and, to our credit, the ruthlessness that running a global empire requires. Furthermore, our main interests are in our own country. ... For most Americans, there is no place on earth they'd rather be than right here in the U.S.
Americans Should Be "Anti-American", by Sheldon Richman, 21 Jun 2006
Examines Robert Kagan's statement that the Iraq War "made anti-Americanism respectable again" and what "anti-Americanism" is supposed to mean
[W]hen Kagan writes about anti-Americanism, he's deliberately using an equivocal term in order to elicit unthinking, knee-jerk anti-anti-Americanism in his readers. He likes the imperial U.S. foreign policy, so when foreign people express their hatred for it, Kagan and his ilk misdirect us to think the foreigners hate us as individuals. The apologists for empire count on you not to examine the matter too closely, because ... you might see the merit in what the foreigners are saying ... [I]f, as Kagan believes, Americanism now means imperialism, then good Americans should be "anti-American" too.
The Antimilitarist Libertarian Heritage, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 19 Sep 2014
Reviews writings by Herbert Spencer, "Government Colonization" (in Social Statics (1851)) and "Patriotism" (in Facts and Comments (1902)), on the subjects of war, militarism, colonization and patriotism
[Spencer's] first book ... contains a chapter, "Government Colonization," that examines the effects of imperialism on both the home and subjugated populations. While formal colonization has gone out of style, many of its key characteristics have been preserved in a new form ... He starts by pointing out that the "parent" country's government must violate the rights of its own citizens when it engages in colonial conquest and rule ... Spencer proceeds to demolish the argument that foreign acquisitions increase the wealth of the parent society, as though such acquisitions are analogous to voluntary trade relations.
Confronting the Empire, by Justin Raimondo, 5 Jan 2007
Comments on the 2007 Iraq War troop surge, prior to its official announcement on 10 Jan, and suggests the antiwar movement camp out and protest in Washington, DC, to make the city unlivable and thus get the politicians to notice the "will of the people"
Culturally, Washington, D.C. has been thoroughly corrupted by the virus of imperialism: these guys (and gals) like the idea of running an empire. Dazzled by their own importance in the scheme of things, and hypnotized by their own hubris, the denizens of the Imperial City disdain any suggestion that we might return to our humble republican roots. Why, that's "isolationism," and, in any event, an impossibility: too much money and prestige is tied up in maintaining the illusion of imperial glory. Get out of Iraq? Heck no! What do the American people know about foreign policy, anyway? They can't even find Iraq on a map.
Does Freedom Require Empire?, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 5 Sep 2014
Critiques Daniel McCarthy's "Why Liberalism Means Empire" (July 2014), which attempts to justify British and American imperialism by insisting that "power is the basis of the peaceful order upon which liberal democracy rests"
Where libertarians and classical liberals historically have viewed empire as inimical to domestic freedom ..., not to mention the freedom and well-being of those ruled by colonial powers, McCarthy makes a historical case for reconsidering this position. Without the secure space provided by a liberal empire—first British, now American—liberal democracy could not have emerged and flourished, he insists ... What's to keep the imperial apparatus from falling into the hands of politicians who see war and conquest as the keys not just to security but also to glory, manliness, and national greatness?
Eisenhower Was Right, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 16 Feb 2004
Comments on the announcement of a 30,000 person increase in U.S. military, not authorized by Congress, but under "emergency" power by the Secretary of Defense and reflects on the wisdom of Eisenhower's 1961 warning about the military-industrial complex
Ted Galen Carpenter, vice president ... at the Cato Institute wrote, "Chalmers Johnson's searing indictment of America's flirtation with imperial foreign policy should be required reading for all concerned citizens. One need not agree with all of his arguments to conclude that The Sorrows of Empire is an extremely important and disturbing book." ... if you haven't read Johnson's previous book, Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire, I recommend purchasing it as well. In Blowback ... Johnson explained how U.S. foreign policy was destined to produce major counterattacks against the United States.
The Empire Is Over, by Charley Reese, 29 Sep 2007
Compares the current U.S. government to the characters in The Wizard of Oz and discusses the signs of an empire ending
A friend of mine, a classical scholar, sometimes tells his students, 'No one woke up one morning in 476 A.D. and said, "Gee, I'm in the Dark Ages."' The transition from the heyday of Roman power to a stage of barbarism was a gradual process. We are in a process of change. No one is going to announce on TV that the U.S. is no longer a superpower.
Empire on Their Minds, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 14 Mar 2014
First compares recent Russian and U.S. imperialistic behavior, then delves into the imperial tendencies of the Founding Fathers and early U.S. Presidents
Historian William Appleman Williams's extended essay, Empire as a Way of Life, provides many details. Clearly, these men had empire on their minds. Before he became an evangelical for independence from Great Britain, Benjamin Franklin proposed a partnership between England and the American colonists to help spread the enlightened empire throughout the Americas. His proposal was rejected as impractical, so he embraced independence — without giving up the dream of empire in the New World. George Washington spoke of the "rising American empire" and described himself as living in an "infant empire."
Empire or Liberty: The Antifederalists and Foreign Policy, 1787-1788 [PDF], by Jonathan Marshall, The Journal of Libertarian Studies, 1980
Describes the arguments regarding foreign policy made during the period of ratification of the United States Constitution by the Federalists and the counterarguments, "largely ignored" by historians, from the Antifederalists
[A] single government could not rule a large empire and still be responsive to the people. "Empire" in the sense in which Americans used it in the late 18th century referred to any large territory governed by a strong, centralized government. Many Antifederalists believed that their opponents' real goal was to achieve ... a constantly growing, glorious empire ... The military and political exigencies of such an empire would snuff out the flame of liberty, and substitute glory and might for the republican ideals ... [T]hey saw the ratification debate as a contest between liberty and empire.
Felix Morley: An Old-fashioned Republican, by Joseph R. Stromberg,, 7 Dec 1999
Biographical and bibliographical essay
Morley soon turned to the Administration's newly acquired habit of bullying foreign neutrals. In an address to the American Society of International Law ..., he branded Secretary of State Cordell Hull's attitude as "antagonistic to the orderly development of international law." "[A]n assertive American imperialism" might result from this posture of might makes right. We should remember that "the glory that was Greece can easily pass over into the far more ephemeral grandeur that was Rome." Morley ... recalled the encounter between the Athenian empire and the sinfully nonaligned island of Melos.
Foreign Policy, by John Bright, 29 Oct 1858
Speech given to the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce; criticizes British militarism and imperialism, pointing out the effects of several 19th century wars on national debt, poverty and families
Yet, though we have these troubles in India—a vast country which we do not know how to govern, and a war with China—a country with which, though everybody else can remain at peace, we cannot—such is the inveterate habit of conquest, such is the insatiable lust of territory, such is, in my view, the depraved, unhappy state of opinion of the country on this subject, that there are not a few persons, Chambers of Commerce to wit, in different parts of the kingdom ..., who have been urging our Government to take possession of a province of the greatest island in the Eastern seas ...
A Foreign Policy by and for Knaves, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 10 Oct 2014
Further thoughts on Richman's "Does Freedom Require Empire" (5 Sep 2014) prompted by Daniel McCarthy's counterpoint article as well as David Hume's and Leonard Read's writings
McCarthy argues the development of liberalism ... requires security, and only a global empire (as exemplified by Great Britain and then the United States) can provide that security ... Even if we accept ... McCarthy's vision as desirable ... The private interests of the political class — and those in the "private" sector for whom the political class acts — virtually guarantee that the power to police the world will be put to perverse objectives. McCarthy's criteria for a good intervention may be impeccable, but what grounds have we for confidence that the policy makers and their patrons will share those criteria?
Frank Chodorov: A Libertarian's Libertarian, by Joseph R. Stromberg, 30 Nov 1999
Biographical essay on Frank Chodorov with emphasis on his foreign policy views, and his debates about the Cold War with William F. Buckley Jr. and William S. Schlamm in the pages of The Freeman
As a result of successful campaigns for intervention in the past, we had ... a nation "committed to a program of interference in the affairs of every country in the world." Alexander had imposed Hellenism on western Asia, the Romans imposed the pax Romana wherever they could, and Napoleon imposed "liberty, equality, fraternity" on Europe. Hitler spread Aryanism. Britain gave "a taste of English civilization" to natives the world over. Chodorov saw folly in all these imperial forms ... I hasten to add that I doubt Chodorov found each empire the exact moral equivalent of the other.
Garet Garrett (1878-1954) On Empire, by Joseph R. Stromberg, 5 Aug 2000
Biographical and bibliographical essay, focusing on the essays in The People's Pottage
Garrett saw six major characteristics as defining the imperial syndrome. The first was executive supremacy within the state. ... Fifth: 'A complex of fear and vaunting.' This is Garrett at his most subtle. He had seen the Imperial Overlords vacillate between giddy fits of grandeur and sharp attacks of fear, as if they believed their own propaganda. They were very good at inducing these feelings in the people. For further research into the complex of fear and vaunting, I suggest a program of occasional reading of the New Republic and the Weekly Standard, where the syndrome is on regular display.
Hell-Bent on War, by Justin Raimondo, 14 Feb 2007
Discusses propaganda and other efforts by the George W. Bush administration and neoconservatives to launch military action against Iran, and relevant commentary from a professor of international relations as well as Russian President Putin
Putin ... challenged the neocon vision ...: "... [W]hat is a unipolar world? ... [I]t refers to one type of situation, namely one center of authority, one center of force, one center of decision-making. It is a world in which there is one master, one sovereign. And at the end of the day this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within." History is full of ironies, but to be told by an ex-KGB officer that we are in danger of ... succumbing to the temptations of empire–are we to be spared nothing?
Related Topics: George W. Bush, Iran, War
How Empires Bamboozle the Bourgeoisie, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., Mises Daily, 28 Oct 2006
Speech at the Mises Institute Supporter's Summit; comments on two issues related to the U.S. population reaching 300 million: what kind of economy is needed to support that population and do all these people need to live under the same central government
The revolutionary generation spoke of the high debts of the British government ... and all of these were seen as the inevitable consequence of empire, which is nothing more than the attempt to rule too many people over too large a territory under rules and laws that favor interest groups in league with the imperial state. The colonists spoke aggressively about liberating the colonies from the grip of the British Empire. They spoke of how a revolution against the empire would ultimately prove to be beneficial to Britain itself, because it would help to return it to its first principles.
Imperial Hopefuls, by Sheldon Richman, 22 Feb 2007
Reflects on the intial stages of the 2008 United States presidential campaign, likening it to show biz and suggesting the candidates are running for the job of emperor
The U.S. government has been building an empire for decades. Different administrations have had different styles, but the underlying theme has been the same: America, because it ... has been anointed by history, must lead the world. To do so it must maintain a worldwide network of political and economic interests ... Those interests must be continuously protected ... preferably through local leaders, but if necessary by direct intervention ... Empire doesn't mean only foreign affairs. It also has a domestic counterpart: the constant encroachment of the national government on our private lives.
Related Topics: Politics, Television Shows, War
Independence Day Propaganda, by Anthony Gregory, 4 Jul 2011
Argues that the American Revolution, albeit of a libertarian flavor, had several unsavory shortcomings both before and after 4 July 1776
The American Revolution was, at best, a revolt against empire ... The colonial rebels ... resented Britain's status as the hypocritical world power, which closely resembled the modern United States—an empire claiming the mantle of liberty while smashing its colonial subjects ... In our own time, true independence would mean Washington, DC, releasing control of its satellites and colonies worldwide ... In the first five U.S. presidencies, we see the American empire, albeit in embryonic form, begin its centuries-long crusade of aggressive expansion and centralization of power in the capital.
Leonard P. Liggio (1933–2014), by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 17 Oct 2014
A memorial tribute to Richman's "favorite teacher"
I remember Leonard's lectures at the Cato seminar very well. Among other things, he lectured on the history of Western imperialism. This left a permanent impression on me. I recall that he explained that the imperialists in Africa compelled indigenous individuals to work in the mines by requiring payment of taxes in a currency obtainable only by doing such work. Leonard's insights on imperialism and war—and the long-standing classical-liberal opposition to those horrors—account for my passion for these subjects.
Liberty or Empire?, by Patrick Henry, 5 Jun 1788
Excerpt of speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention; criticizes several clauses of the proposed Constitution and warns about the possibility of a U.S. President becoming even worse than a king
Shall we imitate the example of those nations who have gone from a simple to a splendid government? ... If we admit this ... it will be because we like a great, splendid one. Some way or other we must be a great and mighty empire; we must have an army, and a navy, and a number of things ... But now, sir, the American spirit, assisted by the ropes and chains of consolidation, is about to convert this country into a powerful and mighty empire. If you make the citizens of this country agree to become the subjects of one great consolidated empire of America, your government will not have sufficient energy to keep them together.
The Meaning of Haditha, by Justin Raimondo, 2 Jun 2006
Comments on the Haditha massacre shortly after it was disclosed by major news outlets and also responds to critics of congressman John Murtha
The ugly truth is that we have been corrupted by dreams of empire: our foreign and military policy of "preemption" is the doctrine of a swaggering bully. To claim preeminence on every continent, to strut and preen on the world stage and demand applause at gunpoint, this is evidence of a collective mania, a severe psychological affliction, and, I might add, a mortal sin – the sin of hubris. ... Back in October 2002 ... as the likelihood of an American invasion of Iraq grew into a certainty, I warned about the "corruption of empire" that would inevitably infect every aspect of our culture.
Related Topics: Haditha Massacre, Iraq War
The Middle East Harvests Bitter Imperialist Fruit, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 20 Jun 2014
Describes how the seeds of the current turmoil in the Middle East were planted a century ago by British and French imperialists
The arbitrarily drawn "national" boundaries cut through sectarian, ethnic, and tribal lines, planting the seeds of future conflicts that continue to this day. (The imperialists had done the same thing in Africa.) ... It is important ... that throughout this process, the Arabs, Kurds, and other indigenous people were never consulted about the imperialists' disposition of their lands. No wonder: what they wanted—independence from foreign powers—conflicted with the objectives of British and French politicians. But by what authority did they decide the future of the people in the Middle East?
The New Communism, by Lew Rockwell, Mises Daily, 13 Aug 2001
Comments on the antiglobalization protests, such as at the G8 Summit in Genoa, the WTO meeting in Seattle and the World Economic Forum in Davos, and the protestors manifesto and intentions
All over Europe, resentments against the consolidation of the international bureaucracies are coming to a boil. Intimately bound up with this concern is growing opposition to US military imperialism. The US has most of the guns and cares least about the effects of their use. ... How can [the antiglobalists] be beaten back? ... f we fear them, there is only one path to victory over them: the US military empire. Withdraw the troops. Dismantle the nuclear weapons. Scrap plans to build a provocative shield. ... Withdraw from international agencies and mind our own business, while trading with the world.
Related Topic: Communism
Non-Marxist Theories of Imperialism, by Alan Fairgate, Reason, Feb 1976
Examines writings of critics of imperialism that are not based on Marxist analysis
A major reason for this failure has been the lingering taint attached to theories of imperialism by those who continue to view them as necessarily the product of a (fundamentally flawed) Marxist economic analysis. ... Studies are now needed which will systematically analyze ... the more sophisticated and subtle political means that have tended to replace colonial annexation at the international level, particularly focusing on the impact of such intergovernmental institutions as the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
Obama Follows Bush's Iraq Playbook, by Sheldon Richman, 10 Sep 2014
Examines the validity of Obama's arguments for going to war against the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) in response to the beheadings of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff in Aug/Sep 2014
If the U.S. government is to have the power to protect or avenge [Americans] abroad, it will have to be able to exercise military power globally. Such imperial power, which the government has long exercised, should disturb peace- and freedom-loving Americans precisely because it creates the potential for perpetual war, invites retaliatory terrorism, and requires high government spending and borrowing ... [W]ar correspondents, should be on notice that they travel at their own risk. This may sound callous, but the alternative is a global empire that we cannot afford either in blood or treasure.
Obama's Iraqi Fairy Tale, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 28 Mar 2014
Examines, in detail, Obama's 26 March 2014 remarks about the 2003 Iraqi invasion compared to Russia's annexation of Crimea
Let us count the lies. ...
We did not claim or annex Iraq's territory. We did not grab its resources for our own gain.
No, they didn't, but in many respects the Bush administration sure tried. America's savvy rulers long ago realized that old-style empire building was passé. Subjugated populations wouldn't stand for it, and that raised the already considerable costs of empire maintenance. So a new, softer imperialism was born. No more annexations. No more UN mandates or protectorates. No more de jure colonies. But this says nothing about de facto control, which was the Bush regime's objective in Iraq from Day One.
The Open Society and Its Worst Enemies, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 16 Jan 2015
Considers the 7-9 January 2015 attacks in Paris and contrasts the choice between an open, free society and imperialistic, militaristic foreign intervention
It really does come down to a stark choice between full freedom and empire ... To the extent that the state consumes resources (passing them along to the military-intelligence-industrial complex), we have fewer opportunities to create prosperity through peaceful exchange ... Chalmers Johnson was right:
A nation can be one or the other, a democracy or an imperialist, but it can't be both. If it sticks to imperialism, it will, like the old Roman Republic, on which so much of our system was modeled, lose its democracy to a domestic dictatorship.
Our Patience on Iraq Should Be Exhausted, by Sheldon Richman, 4 Apr 2007
Comments on George W. Bush's request that the 2007 Iraqi troop "surge" be given a chance and on congressional efforts to impose a 2008 withdrawal deadline
But even if the war were "going well" it would be morally and politically objectionable. It must be viewed as one piece of an imperial program that has placed U.S. military bases in 130 countries, according to Chalmers Johnson ... When are ordinary Americans going to realize they are financiers and fodder for a worldwide empire? ... We're told the network of far-flung interests is for our own security, but as Johnson and others have shown, global military and political intervention makes enemies for the country, invites terrorism ("blowback"), and hence endangers Americans at home and abroad.
Out of Iraq, Etc.!, by Sheldon Richman, 13 Aug 2014
Examines the origins of the arbitrary country subdivisions in the Fertile Crescent after World War I and the continuing problems in the region
[The] losers' colonies would become the winners' colonies. British and French politicians would judge when the Arabs (and Kurds) were fit to govern themselves. Until then, they would remain under the loving care of enlightened Europeans. On the few occasions when Arabs failed to appreciate their good fortune and resisted, their benefactors had to punish them with tough love ... aerial bombardment and other means of modern warfare. It was for the natives' own good, of course. Or that's how the imperialists told it. Only a cynic could believe that their economic and political interests lay behind this neocolonialist system.
Pathetic Arguments for Foreign Intervention, by Sheldon Richman, 25 Jan 2008
Criticizes comments made by The Wall Street Journal's Bret Stephens about Ron Paul's call for a full U.S. withdrawal from the Middle East
For decades U.S. presidents have sought to manage the world in behalf of what they call "American interests," and all it has brought is death, mayhem, anti-Americanism, and a price tag that would blow the average citizen's mind ... Proponents of America-as-world-policeman think they can get away with sneers and slogans—and they may be right. The media stars who seem so incredulous and amused when interviewing a noninterventionist such as Representative Paul are like putty in the hands of American imperialists such as John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards.
Patrick Henry: Enemy of the State, by Ryan McMaken, 2 Dec 2003
After brief mention of Henry's more well-known speech, discusses his role and oratory in the Constitutional ratification debates
In his final stand against the new order, Patrick Henry presented his audience with a choice—a choice between empire and liberty:
... But now, Sir, the American spirit, assisted by the ropes and chains of consolidation, is about to convert this country to a powerful and mighty empire.
And quite an empire it has become. Today, as Americans, half our incomes are taxed away to that consolidated government; we send our sons to die toppling dictators armed and financed by those same taxes; we bleat like sheep for protection from each other and every foreign bogeyman near and far, and we call it liberty!
The Price of Empire, by Sheldon Richman, 26 Apr 2006
Discusses U.S government efforts to end coca production in some Andean countries by funding crop eradication programs, and the consequent increases in cultivation in neighboring countries
Empire—sorry, benevolent hegemony—has its price. Terrorism is one. Every empire in history probably had terrorism directed at it, because it's one of the few weapons available to relatively weak nonstate adversaries. Another, less dramatic price is the determination of other countries' rulers to go their separate ways. This can range from major moves to establish spheres of influence to sticking a thumb in the empire's eye. In the latter category comes word that the likely president of Peru, Ollanta Humala, has promised to end the U.S.-financed program to destroy the coca crop in his country.
Road to Empire, by Justin Raimondo, 28 Nov 2007
Discusses the "Declaration of Principles for a Long-Term Relationship of Cooperation and Friendship Between the Republic of Iraq and the United States of America" signed on 26 Nov 2007, after the U.S. Congress went into recess
It is ... good old-fashioned imperialism of the sort embodied by the British East India Company. ... Jonah Goldberg complains that "the word 'empire' substitutes for an argument; there are no good empires ..." ... The British routinely point to their imperial past as a source of pride, as do American Anglophiles. The French, the Spanish, and the Italians all revel in the supposed glory of their past conquests: it's only the Americans who disdain the very idea of having an empire, and, indeed, instinctively sense something profoundly un-American about the whole concept of Washington, D.C., as the capital of a global imperium.
The Smell of Empire, by Steven LaTulippe, 4 Mar 2004
The Spanish-American War: The Leap into Overseas Empire, Part 2, by Joseph R. Stromberg, Freedom Daily, Jan 1999
Discusses the Philippine-American War, that followed the Spanish-American War, and the actions and writings of the Anti-Imperialist League, William Graham Sumner and other opposed to the war and colonialism
The Spanish-American War launched the United States on just such a path: that of a modern nonaristocratic empire founded on state power but oriented towards commercial gain for well-connected friends and associates. By expanding the horizons of U.S. foreign policy in the pursuit of export markets through formal empire (the Philippines) and informal empire (Latin America and, eventually, everywhere), the Spanish-American War enhanced the role of government in American life and the role of the presidency in American government.
The Spanish-American War: The Leap into Overseas Empire, Part 1, by Joseph R. Stromberg, Freedom Daily, Dec 1998
Describes the political and other forces that led to the Spanish-American War, the military actions in Cuba and the Philippines and the immediate aftermath
Fashionable theorists combined self-satisfaction with Darwinism to prove that Anglo-Saxons ... were uniquely qualified to dominate and uplift the whole planet. ... The American government would have to apply political and military power and pressure abroad to guarantee access for American goods and investment capital in all possible markets. ... In the end, ... Cuba became an American protectorate – and the working model of informal imperial control. ... Rudyard Kipling, the great fount of pro-imperialist crambo, even wrote a poem on 'the White Man’s Burden' to welcome the United States to the club of real powers.
The State of the Movement [PDF], by Leonard Liggio, The Libertarian Forum, 15 May 1970
Examines the history and status of the (New Left) Movement, in particular of the Students for a Democratic Society and the involvement of libertarians and socialists in SDS
The Movement is defined by the central issue of American politics—foreign affairs. American imperialism, abroad and imposed on the Black nation on this continent, establishes the American political spectrum. The Movement is the opposition to that imperialism. While the issues were not presented as clearly in the first half of the 1960's, in 1965 it became unquestioned ... The Movement's progenitors were the remnants whose commitment to anti-U.S. imperialism survived the New Deal's intervention in 1941: the Old Right, pacifists, and independent socialists ... Draft resistance is the major focus of anti-imperialist activity.
Related Topics: Libertarianism, Vietnam War
Terrorism Comes with Empire, by Jacob G. Hornberger, 8 Jul 2005
Reflects on the 7 July 2005 London bombings (and 1993 and 2001 attacks in New York and the Pentagon) and why England and the U.S. were the targets rather than Switzerland
If people choose to continue the empire—and the diplomatic and military glory that comes with being the world's sole remaining empire—then they must resign themselves to the fact that their lives and freedom will be under perpetual assault by both terrorists and government officials. For those who want lives of freedom, normality, peace, prosperity, and harmony, there is but one solution: Dismantle the empire; bring the troops home ...; stop meddling in the affairs of other nations; stop trying to dominate and control the world; ... stop trying to be the world's policeman.
There Are Two Ways To Gain Cooperation, by Gary North, 9 Mar 2006
The central factor of the demise of empire is cost. It costs too much to organize an empire in comparison to the cost of undermining it. ... The costs of maintaining legitimacy for an empire involve both force and propaganda. Both factors are under siege by modern technology, which is not only radically price competitive but is also feature competitive.
Two Libertarian Classics, by Murray N. Rothbard, Reason, Mar 1974
Reviews of Albert Jay Nock's Our Enemy the State and John T. Flynn's As We Go Marching
It is unfortunate that now when we hear charges of "imperialism," we automatically condemn the speaker as Marxist—not realizing that the original anti-imperialists of the nineteenth century, the Cobdens and Brights and Sumners, were libertarian laissez-faire thinkers who saw deeply and correctly that war and militarism would be the death not simply of free markets and a free society but of the classical liberal movement itself. Flynn's AS WE GO MARCHING applies these antimilitarist and antiimperialist insights to the New Deal, and by clear implication, to the entire postwar American System ...
The Urge to 'Surge', by Justin Raimondo, 15 Dec 2006
Discusses reactions to the Iraq Study Group suggestion supporting "a short-term redeployment or surge of American combat forces to stabilize Baghdad"
As an alternative to withdrawal, launching a War on Poverty in Iraq may win plaudits in Congress, and even in The Nation, but it is just another form of imperialism – one that is doomed to fail, but in the meantime will cost American taxpayers a pretty penny. ... We are learning just how costly imperial ambitions can be: empires, after all, don't come cheap. And then there are the nonmaterial costs: the corruption of politics and of the spirit ... My point is that the political dynamics here in America give life to the empire-building impulse, in spite of the growing national distaste for foreign wars.
The U.S. Empire Provokes Terrorism, by Sheldon Richman, 8 Aug 2013
Examines the claims and behavior of the Obama administration in response to "terrorist chatter" supposedly intercepted by them and counsels changing the interventionist foreign policy
Does that mean the U.S. government must maintain a global empire in order to eradicate the sources of anti-American terrorism? Absolutely not — quite the contrary. It is the global empire that provoked the al-Qaeda attacks in the first place. Contrary to the popular notion that the organization struck U.S. "interests" out of the blue ... the U.S. government for decades has supported violent regimes in the Middle East and North Africa ... the best way to dramatically reduce, if not eliminate, the threat of terrorism is to dramatically change U.S. foreign policy — from imperial intervention to strict nonintervention.
UpdWe Were Warned about the Rise of Empire, by Sheldon Richman, The Goal Is Freedom, 13 Jun 2014
In light of calls for U.S. re-intervention in Iraq, revisits Garet Garrett's 1952 essay "The Rise of Empire" discussing Garrett's five traits that are "the true marks of Empire" and their applicability to the United States in 2014
Garrett made a point that is entirely relevant today: "a time comes when Empire finds itself—a prisoner of history." ... We're told, however, that American empire is unique because it is dedicated to freedom and peace. This claim cannot withstand scrutiny: look at the regimes American administrations have supported and support today. But Garrett said that even if this claim were granted, the case for empire would be self-defeating because its price is bankruptcy. So even if "this is Imperialism of the Good Intent," he wrote, it would also have to be the "Empire of the Bottomless Purse."
UpdWhy They Hate Us, by Sheldon Richman, Freedom Daily, Feb 2008
Examines the myth that the United States is hated because Americans "are free and represent democracy", suggesting Americans ought to "get curious" about what their government has done to foreigners over the last century
The last century-plus of U.S. foreign policy has largely been a story of aggression and empire-building. American presidents have intervened and interfered in every region ..., not in self-defense, but in the name of U.S. "national interest," which in reality means the interest of well-connected corporations and their ambitious political agents ... An imperial force can wreak all kinds of havoc in a weaker foreign country, but there is no outrage in the domestic population until the victims strike back, usually with pathetically meager force compared with what the aggressive power employed.


An Empire Built of Paper, by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr., The American Conservative, 27 Mar 2006
Review of Empire of Debt: The Rise of an Epic Financial Crisis (2006) by William Bonner and Addison Wiggin
The impulse to empire helps make sense out of our huge deficits and debts or such costly and obvious blunders as the invasion of Iraq or the war on terror ... Since the days of the Great Khan, and the barbaric clarity of his claim that the gods had given him the earth and everyone and everything in it, empires have resorted to rosier delusions, if no less fatal to victims—and sometimes citizens ... From the Romans to the Fourth Crusade (and their Venetian and French aggressors) to Genghis Khan to the Spaniards and Napoleon and the British, Bonner and Wiggin teach us the lessons of empire ...

Cartoons and Comic Strips

The First "World Policeman", by Wiley Miller, Non Sequitur, 8 Oct 2013


Peace Kills: America's Fun New Imperialism
    by P. J. O'Rourke, 2004
Contents: Why Americans Hate Foreign Policy - Kosovo - Israel - 9/11 Diary - Egypt - Nobel Sentiments - Washington, D.C., Demonstrations - Thoughts on the Eve of War - Kuwait and Iraq - Postscript: Iwo Jima and the End of Modern Warfare


Eddie Izzard - Do you have a flag?, 14 Oct 2007

Empire or Humanity?: What the Classroom Didn't Teach Me about the American Empire, by Howard Zinn, 28 Mar 2008
Narrated by Viggo Mortensen, art by Mike Konopacki

Pirates and Emperors - Schoolhouse Rock, 17 Sep 2006
Related Topics: Iran, Iraq, Nicaragua

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Imperialism" as of 23 Nov 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.