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So are we fans of empires or not?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Hove Ranger View Post
    For an empire (In the way we recognise the term) to thrive there has to be domination/exploitation. So it depends how that sits with you. It also has distinct military connotations. Comes from the Latin Imperium

    Also democracy isn't a legacy of European Empires
    It is in India and many African states Hovis....


    • #17
      But the idea of democracy predates any european empire


      • #18
        Originally posted by Hove Ranger View Post
        But the idea of democracy predates any european empire
        That wasn't my point mate, what I said was that the empires left that legacy.... which they did.


        • #19
          The rise and fall of the latest iteration

          In this case the American Empire.

          One of the main roles of art is to be a reflection of society.

          Don Henley expressed the rise and fall of the North American empire in two allegorical classics, recorded 30 years apart.

          The first was called 'The Last Resort', depicting the rise:

          "The Last Resort"

          She came from Providence,
          the one in Rhode Island
          Where the old world shadows hang
          heavy in the air
          She packed her hopes and dreams
          like a refugee
          Just as her father came across the sea

          She heard about a place people were smilin'
          They spoke about the red man's way,
          and how they loved the land
          And they came from everywhere
          to the Great Divide
          Seeking a place to stand
          or a place to hide

          Down in the crowded bars,
          out for a good time,
          Can't wait to tell you all,
          what it's like up there
          And they called it paradise
          I don't know why
          Somebody laid the mountains low
          while the town got high

          Then the chilly winds blew down
          Across the desert
          through the canyons of the coast,
          to the Malibu
          Where the pretty people play,
          hungry for power
          to light their neon way
          and give them things to do

          Some rich men came and raped the land,
          Nobody caught 'em
          Put up a bunch of ugly boxes,
          and Jesus people bought 'em
          And they called it paradise
          The place to be
          They watched the hazy sun, sinking in the sea

          You can leave it all behind
          and sail to Lahaina
          just like the missionaries did, so many years ago
          They even brought a neon sign said "Jesus is coming"
          Brought the white man's burden down
          Brought the white man's reign

          Who will provide the grand design?
          What is yours and what is mine?
          'Cause there is no more new frontier
          We have got to make it here

          We satifsy our endless needs
          and justify our bloody deeds,
          in the name of destiny
          and in the name of God

          And you can see them there,
          On Sunday morning
          Stand up and sing about
          What it's like up there
          They call it paradise
          I don't know why
          You call someplace paradise,
          kiss it goodbye


          And the second was called 'Long Road Out Of Eden', depicting the fall:

          Eagles - Long Road Out of Eden by ariefb

          "Long Road Out Of Eden"

          Moon shining down through the palms
          Shadows moving on the sand
          Somebody whispering the twenty-third psalm
          Dusty rifle in his trembling hands

          Somebody trying just to stay alive
          He got promises to keep
          Over the ocean in america
          Far away and fast asleep

          Silent stars blinking in the blackness of an endless sky
          Cold silver satellites, ghostly caravans passing by
          Galaxies unfolding, new worlds being born
          Pilgrims and prodigals creeping toward the dawn
          But it's a long road out of eden

          Music blasting from an suv
          On a bright and sunny day
          Rolling down the interstate
          In the good ol' usa

          Having lunch at the petroleum club
          Smokin' fine cigars and swappin' lives
          He said: "gimme 'nother slice o' that barbecued brisket!"
          "gimme 'nother piece o' that pecan pie!"

          Freeways flickering, cell phones chiming a tune
          We're riding to utopia, road map says we'll be arriving soon
          Captains of the old order clinging to the reins
          Assuring us these aches inside are only growing pains
          But it's a long road out of eden

          Back home i was so certain
          The path was very clear
          But now i have to wonder: "what are we doing here?"
          I'm not counting on tomorrow
          And i can't tell wrong from right
          But i'd give anything to be there in your arms tonight

          Weaving down the american highway
          Through the litter and the wreckage and the cultural junk
          Bloated with entitlement, loaded on propaganda
          And now we're driving dazed and drunk

          Been down the road to damascus,
          The road to mandalay
          Met the ghost of caesar on the appian way
          He said, "it's hard to stop this bingeing, once you get a taste."
          "but the road to empire is a bloody stupid waste."

          Behold the bitten apple - the power of the tools
          But all the knowledge in the world is of no use to fools
          And it's a long road out of eden....


          If art, all art, is concerned with truth, then a society in denial will not find much use for it.

          If art reflects life, it does so with special mirrors.


          • #20
            Love it Stan.


            • #21
              Originally posted by Hubble View Post
              Love it Stan.
              Thanks Hubs.

              Henley was a master of allegory in lyrics IMO.

              Not a bad singer and drummer either


              • #22
                Originally posted by Hubble View Post
                It seems many of us love and admire the current European empire and many of us don't, and some of us are fans of the latest incarnation of the American empire and many of us aren't. Apparently most of us (but by no means all of us) did love the American empire when its figurehead was a handsome and well-educated man of Kenyan/American/European origin, but we are not so enamoured of it now its figurehead is a strange looking man of Scottish/European origin.

                We're generally not fans of the Russian empire except when it threw off the communist yoke and embraced capitalism (although we're ambivalent about that), although some of us appreciated its efforts in bringing an end to many of the horrors of the Syrian civil war, and some of us didn't (we seem to have forgotten about Syria by the way), and most of us are happy to use the gas supplied by the Russian empire. Similarly, most of us are not fans of the Chinese empire, although we are more than happy to use its cheap goods.

                We are no longer fans of the former European empires (well many of us aren't, although plenty are), including the British empire, although we are fans of many of its legacies, such as liberalism, human rights, the judicial system, democracy and so on.

                When it comes to religious empires, we're not particularly fans of those, unless we are members of those religions, then we're big fans, except Christians, many of whom seem conflicted about this.

                So my question is, do we want to be part of an empire or not? Would it be preferable if we called it a community? If the community is run by a banking/corporate cabal, does it really matter, as long as we continue to live in relative peace and prosperity? Does it matter if the goods and lifestyle we enjoy is predicated on the oppression and misery of millions outside our empire who service our economy through their labour? Do we want everyone to be part of one big, happy empire - community - with one government, or do we prefer the unpredictably of national sovereignty and diversity?

                In Star Wars the Empire is universally bad, but is that fair? What do we think about empires?
                problem with formal communities is that they lead to unions. the EC became the EU. the original (edit)united(edit) states were a confederate community which became a union. later, when additional states with some of the original states formed a confederation they were forced back into the union. (the civil war and the subjugative inhumane policies by the victors on the south in the "peace"). the problem with political communities is that without fail individuals become invisible and dispensable. that is why scottish fishermen are not allowed to fish in scottish waters under the EU. ruined lives caused by inhuman decisions made from a distance. it is individuals who are your loved ones and those are the group who will help you. to the state you are a number. this is what thatcher meant when she said "there is no society". that is why gorbachev called the EU "the european soviet". . "he who reads the media is misinformed".. Twain. read disinformation by Ion Mihai Pacepa
                Last edited by QPR71; 06-04-2017, 07:27 PM.