This Dark Age

A manual for life in the modern world.

By Daniel Schwindt

NOTICE:
This Dark Age is now available in paperback on Amazon. The print version is MUCH cleaner than this online version, which is largely unedited and has fallen by the wayside as the project has grown. If you’ve appreciated my writing, please consider leaving a review on the relevant paperback volumes. The print edition also includes new sections (Military History, War Psychology, Dogmatic Theology).

Volume 1 | Volume 2 | Volume 3| Volume 4 | Volume 5 | Volume 6

Summary of American empire building

At the beginning of the 20th century, the situation was thus: American had been engaged in successful imperialism from Central America to the Far East, and was isolated in the sense that other world powers were not perceived as a threat. These powers were: England, France, Germany, Austria, Russia, and Japan. American could not easily be attacked by any of these, nor could America pose any imminent threat to them except through allies or by proxies, this latter becoming the preferred instrument over time. This meant that America, although established as a world power, could only play a subordinate role in the world war that was to come.

We can summarize by saying that American empire-building was non-traditional in kind. It was not religious or explicit. It was achieved on the basis of a feeling, and the American success-feeling has always been centered on the economic. America did not need its empire declared openly or structured as such, all lands annexed to itself. It only needed certain tiny islands, ports, avenues of trade, and a canal. That is perhaps why Canada was left as Canada and Mexico left to be Mexico. America was content to leave political entities intact so long as it could be more powerful than any other world power in a sphere larger than that of any of its competitors. It could be content in this because this kind of imperialism allowed for a profound economic advantage, and an economic empire proved to be more powerful than any political empire ever constructed. A further advantage to this style of empire-building, wherein economic interest is sought above any political ordering, and wherein political chaos in a neighbor can be more advantageous than to actually  conquer them, is that the entire project can be realized without ever mentioning it to oneself or to anyone else, and where it can actually be denied with some success.

As an example of America’s ambivalence and in most cases outright confusion about its actions and motivations, we can cite the doctrine of ‘non-recognition,’ whereby America stated that it would refuse to recognize territories taken by force of arms. It did not matter that the entirety of the American empire, and America itself, was the result of armed force. This remains true even when there were ‘purchases’ and treaties made, since these were in almost every case only transacted due to the fact of American military power and the willingness of the government to use it should diplomacy ever fail to get it what it deemed advantageous.

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