James Leroy Wilson's blog

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Are Empires That Bad?

Paul Gottfried looks at the (dis-)similarities between the Hapsburg Austria-Hungary Empire and the Neoconservative American Benevolent Hegemony.

There's a certain appeal about empires that are contiguous - that is, that do not require occupying armies overseas and large navies. Some benefits of empire:

- tariff-free zone
- a large zone in which to travel freely
- uniform regulations; not that regulations are good, but one code is better than dozens
- greater national security
- ideally, religious and cultural toleration

But such benefits are conditional. The empire must be committed to local autonomy and individual liberty. The imperial bureaucracy small must be small, and taxes low. It must respect the cultural diversity within the empire, without forcing "multiculturalism" down people's throats.

These standards seem impossibly high for the progressives and moralists who crave power to "improve" people and Make The World A Better Place. That's why, if America doesn't shrink the size of the federal government down to its Constitutional limits, we'd be better off breaking the American Empire into smaller countries.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:10 AM PDT

    I'm sure Hans Herman-Hoppe would make an argument that the degree of "goodness" behind an Empire is dependent on who governs, a monarchy with a vested interested in the long term economic growth of the empire vs. an elite installed by a democratic process focused on giving their supporters as much loot as possible and fulfilling insane ideological goals.

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