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America as Empire: Global Leader or Rogue Power?

America as Empire: Global Leader or Rogue Power?

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Foreword by John Naisbitt
Introduction From Republic to Empire
1 America and the World
2 A Mighty Fortress on Shifting Sands
3 America's Journey to Empire
4 The Roots of American Preeminence
5 Empire and Its Discontents
6 The Rise and Fall of Empires
7 The Roman Achievement
8 America at the Choice Point
9 The Final Empire
About the Author
About State of the World Forum
In America as Empire, Jim Garrison urges us to face up to the complexities and responsibilities inherent in the indisputable fact that America is now the world's single preeminent power. "America", Garrison writes, "has become what it was founded not to be: established as a haven for those fleeing the abuse of power, it has attained and now wields near absolute power. It has become an empire."Garrison traces the roots of the American empire to the very beginnings of the republic, in particular to the historic willingness of United States' to use military might in the defense of two consistent --- if sometimes contradictory --- foreign policy objectives: protection of American commercial interests and promotion of democracy.
How long can the American empire last? Garrison looks at American history within the context of the rise and fall of empires and argues that the U. S. can gain important insights into durability from the Romans. He details the interplay between military power, political institutions, and legal structures that enabled the Roman empire at it's apogee to last for longer than America has as a country.
But the real question is, what kind of empire can and should America be? As the sole superpower, America must lead in shaping a new global order, just as after World War II Roosevelt and Truman took the lead in shaping a new international order. That international order is now crumbling under the pressures of globalization, persistent poverty, terrorism and fundamentalism. Garrison outlines the kinds of cooperative global structures America must promote if its empire is to leave a lasting legacy of greatness. Garrison calls for Americans to consciously see themselves as a transitional empire, one whose task is not to dominate but to catalyze the next generation of global governance mechanisms that would make obsolete the need for empire. If this is done, America could be the final empire.

Mehr zum Thema

    Politics / Current Events; POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General; HISTORY / United States / General


Autor: James A. Garrison
ISBN-13: 9781576752814
ISBN: 157675281X
Einband: Buch
Seiten: 192
Gewicht: 508 g
Format: 243x162x22 mm
Sprache: Englisch
From Republic to Empire

I WRITE THIS BOOK AS A TENTH-GENERATION AMERICAN. My people on my father's side were Huguenots from southern France, an entrepreneurial Protestant group persecuted under King Louis XIV. In 1686 they fled to the New World, landing on the shores of North Carolina. They were among the earliest settlers of America, helping to shape colonial life through trading, farming, preaching, and writing. My forebears fought in the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. They joined the westward expansion as pioneers, and my immediate family arrived in California during the Great Depression of the 1930s. There, my father married my mother, a second-generation immigrant from Sicily.

My family's history has been America's history, for which I am grateful and proud. I deeply value the freedom to be uniquely myself without constraints imposed by government or class. America represents this freedom. It is this light that America shines on the world. I have lived this freedom, and in this sense, I am American to the very marrow of my bones.3

I also write this book as a citizen of the world. My parents were Baptist missionaries in China, where I was born in 1951. They then moved to Taiwan, where I grew up attending a missionary school, speaking Chinese as fluently as English. As a child, I traveled throughout Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, coming to realize at an early age that the earth was indeed round and humanity rich with exotic diversity. I came back to the United States when I was fifteen and attended high school in San Jose, California, but then went abroad again for most of my university education, traveling through Africa, Latin America, Europe, and Russia. I have subsequently spent most of my professional life working and traveling internationally.4

It is out of the interaction between my American roots and my international activities that this book arose, especially as I became aware of the dynamic power of the United States in the world and the growing alienation of the world from the United States. When I was a child in Taiwan in the 1950s, being American elicited respect and emulation, even envy. Now, fifty years later, being American elicits resentment and suspicion, even hatred. People used to think of America as a global leader. Now a majority of the world thinks of America as a rogue power. Why?

The answer to this question has to a large degree to do with what America has become: America has made the transition from republic to empire. It is no longer what it was. It was founded to be a beacon of light unto the nations, a democratic and egalitarian haven to which those seeking freedom could come. It has become an unrivaled empire among the nations, exercising dominion over them. How it behaves and what it represents have fundamentally changed. It used to represent freedom; now it represents power.

It was when I began to realize that my country had crossed the threshold from republic to empire that I began to study the history of empire-the only concept large and dynamic enough to explain what was going on. In many ways, this is the intent of the book, simply to provide a larger framework, a more complex metaphor with which to understand America and the world. Republic implies a single nation democratically governed, which is what America was founded to be. In contrast, the very essence of empire is one nation's control over other nations. Although America remains a republic inside its own borders, it has become an empire in relationship with the rest of the world. In this sense, America is an imperial republic. 5

The inordinate power of the United States disturbs people on the American left and excites people on the American right. Liberals are uncomfortable with the notion of an American empire because they are uneasy with the fact that the United States has so much power, especially military power. They would prefer that the United

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Autor: James A. Garrison
ISBN-13:: 9781576752814
ISBN: 157675281X
Erscheinungsjahr: 01.01.2004
Gewicht: 508g
Seiten: 192
Sprache: Englisch
Sonstiges: Buch, 243x162x22 mm