Sunday, June 15, 2003

America's imperial delusion

Historian Eric Hobsbawm (author of books on the "short twentieth" and "long nineteenth" centuries) has a few words to say on the subject in the Guardian. One of the comments that caught my eye was this:

Few things are more dangerous than empires pursuing their own interest in the belief that they are doing humanity a favour

Hobsbawm makes the obvious connections with post-revolutionary France and Communist Russia, both of which were driven by universalist principles to try and impose their ideologies on the rest of the world by force - for our own good, of course. Those who think that America is somehow different might want to check out 'We're Good People': A Play In One Act...