A response to Michael Gibson's Western Civilization Is Not the Roman Empire
August 9th, 1945.
40,000 people were killed in an instant. Silhouettes flash burned into the ground was the only evidence they had lived at all. Six days later, on August 15th, the Empire of Japan surrendered.
And like that, with the God-like power of the atom harnessed by man, the free world was unified under the enlightened embrace of the United States and her allies. The glorious reign of a new Rome founded not on offensive conquest but defensive liberation had begun.
Today this global order is crumbling its elites as corrupt and cowardly as the Roman Emperors who drove the Roman Empire to destruction. What we need not is the international order to descend into a Hobbesian struggle of national primacy that harkens back to the days of archaic city states but instead, a spirit of internationalism and global cooperation must be restored. With that said globalization, in its modern incarnation, must be confined to the dustbins of history.
On the rhetorical sleight of hand that is modern globalization, I find myself in agreement with Micheal. Though couched in terms of lifting people out poverty or connecting the world, it’s hard to see the execution of globalization that's taken place over the past decades has been anything but disastrous.
Corporations, who owe their ability to hawk their goods globally due to American might and money, flee the nations of their origin hiding their ill-gotten gains in capital gains utopias where the commas are large and civic virtue nonexistent. And the elites of society? They have corrupted a global order founded on defending liberty and spreading prosperity throughout the globe. At a glance, a striking trait of these elites emerge. Regardless of their national origin, they have more in common with each other than the people they claim to rightfully rule.
Examine within our own house and we see the longest war in American history, that three presidents failed to end, continue. Signs of a gilded age abound, the middle class that fought for and forged this nation in the 20th century is being eradicated. Want to get ahead?
A few $50,000 pieces of paper, credentials we call them, is the “only” thing it takes to be able to compete. Education is just one example. The foundations of our society from healthcare to housing have been captured by bureaucratic and corporate rent seekers each taking a piece of the proverbial pie. And thus the American Dream is being subject to death by a thousand cuts.
Abroad we have a most mighty adversary in China rising, populist movements swell in popularity throughout the world, and the European Union itself threatens to disintegrate.
Yet the answer cannot be to descend into an international state of nature where nations engage in perpetual combat for the right to conquer or to merely exist. Though I’m sure Micheal had international commercial and intellectual competitions in mind I find such a theory unworkable in reality. Once a state has realized commercial gains and summited the heights of intellectual achievement, the ability to wage war is never far behind. And with such an ability comes the temptation to wield it. In the words of Madeleine Albright, “what's the point of having this superb military...if we can't use it?”
The genius of modern forefathers such as Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, and George Marshall was the ability to craft institutions and rules that supported bringing the less fortunate peoples of the world into the modern era and defend weaker nations from predatorial neighbors. Under this order nations brought into modernity such as China and Korea, rebuilt such as Japan and Germany enjoy a cornucopia of steadily improving life that their ancestors could have only dreamed of.
As we look back at this decades-old global experiment we must ask; are we better off now than we were before? Why have some nations, such as the United States, fared worse? The causes vary and the answers difficult to find yet find them we must if this experiment is to continue. The world must have a leader and one way or another it shall. Power abhors a vacuum and, if not us, who else?
Learn but don't copy directly ;)