The Age of Empires Redux?

This from Sumantra Maitra in The Federalist is very interesting.

“The world order of tomorrow is not a world order based on nation-states or countries, it’s a world order that is based on empires,”said former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt, the current leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe in the European Parliament, in a barn-storming speech in the Liberal-Democrat conference in London.

“China is not a nation, it’s a civilization. … The U.S. is also an empire, more than a nation — maybe tomorrow they will speak more Spanish than English, I don’t know what will happen. And then finally, the Russian Federation,” he continued. “The world of tomorrow is a world of empires, in which we Europeans and you British can only defend your interests, your way of life, by doing it together in a European framework and a European Union.”

Interestingly, he is right in his own way, and I at least respect his sense of history and unabashed imperialism, although I am confused why, according to him, the British should join a European empire and not an American empire, since Brits are culturally and historically more compatible with the Anglosphere than with continental Europe. But at least he is not a fraud and is refreshingly honest about the ultimate endgame of global governance and “perpetual peace,” to borrow from Immanuel Kant.

I’d say he’s not entirely wrong. And I  too respect his honesty. America has always been sort of a quasi-empire, composed as it is of quasi-independent states, I’d be very surprised if our base language changed from English though.

I would not call China a civilization at this point, I would call it an empire, much like where the EU is tending, very authoritative, and little freedom.

Russia as well is an empire, composed, like the US of formerly independent countries. It’s problem is twofold. A lot of it is second world at best, and it sits between two other prototypical empires, the EU and China. It is more democratic than China and less than than the EU, but they are converging and may cross.  Vladimir Bukovsky, in a speech to the House of Commons, made this very point. So have many others. There is a very good explanation of his reasoning here.

In The  Federalist article, the point is made that the EU will eventually run afoul of the United States. I agree and would say that is already happening, although on a limited scale. Nor does it necessarily mean militarily, although it’s possible. It’s more likely to be like Sino-American relations, where both sides push at the fringes.

And that brings us to Great Britain, the leader of the two greatest empires of the modern world, and the progenitor of not only the United States, but almost all of what we could call Oceania, but might be better described as the Anglosphere in a looser meaning than we usually mean.

And that is kind of what is as stake with Brexit, will Britain remain in the authoritarian EU, almost all of which conflicts with British tradition, or join the much looser confederation, following for the most part British precedent and tradition, led, but not coercively, by the United States.

Read both linked articles, and I think you will see why this is such a basic decision, and why it is being so hard-fought. In truth, it may be as fundamental as when Henry VIII took England out of the Catholic Church and tuned the English gaze out onto the wider world, rather than stultifying in Europe.

It is also why the Democrats in the United States are going to lose, we’ve always gone our own way, but some of our people have always inordinately worshipped Europe. They really should move there, as should the remainers. Both we and they would be happier.

About NEO
Lineman, Electrician, Industrial Control technician, Staking Engineer, Inspector, Quality Assurance Manager, Chief Operations Officer

7 Responses to The Age of Empires Redux?

  1. Accidental typo spotted NEO; ‘authoritative EU’ would be better and more accurate as ‘authoritarian EU’ in first line of 3rd para from end (And that is kind of…)

    Liked by 1 person

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