Why Empires Don't Work

The United States has been the world's "guardian of the state system, and of open expression and free trade." Should the United States cease to be this "guardian," it would cause a turn of events that would lead to empires.

Article written by guest writer Rin Mitchell


What’s the Latest Development?

The United States has been the world's "guardian of the state system, and of open expression and free trade." Should the United States cease to be this "guardian," it would cause a turn of events, leading to empires. Neoconservatives refrain from using the term when referring to the United States; however, those on the outside view it as an empire and make no secret about it. This insinuates these "outsiders" believe the United States acts like an empire. “It is harder to use such an approach in a more modern, interconnected world. It is harder to put down an imperialist, civilizing, humanitarian, value-expanding mission by which an empire has defined itself, without being seen—by those within the empire as well as by others—as in decline.” 


What’s the Big Idea?

In this day in age, to be a successful empire is not easy, and to act like one can cause a "moral overload." The main characteristic identified and "that distinguishes successful empires, such as those of the Romans and ancient Han Chinese, from ones that quickly broke apart, such as the Macedonian and Mongol empires, is that at some point the imperial rulers determined that further expansion of the empire was unnecessary." 

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