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Thread: So are we fans of empires or not?

  1. #1

    Default So are we fans of empires or not?

    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?

  2. #2

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    Empires don't exist anymore, at least not in the traditional sense anyway.

    Humanity will move to a border free world at some point in the future, but we are not anywhere near ready for that yet and I dont think we will be for many generations. Frankly, there is too much corruption and inequality in the world to allow us to do this. The only way I see it happening is if the world abandons all monetary systems, which I dont see happening for a long while either.

  3. #3

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    Ok that's an interesting piece and whilst opinion is important you are correct it's how you view the word. For me an Empire rules over where as a community or union is to live alongside.

    Think the problem is the ideal can't be matched because of humanity and the desires of some driven by power and money which then leads onto corruption for personal gain.

    When you mention the US and the EU to me it's more to do with policy and what is for the greater good. For me Trump is a dangerous bigoted self serving sociopath. He has spewed out hatred to lots of different types of people and shown his disingenuous nature with trying to ban people coming into the country from areas considered a 'terrorist risk' yet this doesn't include Saudi where people who have carried out atrocities on US soil have come from, I'm sure it has nothing to do with his business interests at all and not hypercritical. :P

    I would much prefer the sound of a community and personally have never understood patriotism and the 'pride' people take from being from somewhere, it's not something I have achieved nor had a choice over so can't really take credit. I also don't understand why I would have more allegiance towards someone who I have never met from Hull over someone I've never met from Bratislava.

    The point regarding 'labour' and I'm guessing cost of goods to me relates to the differing progress throughout the world, whilst it's not ideal evening using cheap labour does help bridge the gap which is shown by the development in countries such as India and China. Again I will point out it's not ideal but places such as sweat shops offer better conditions and money, than working out in the fields all day.

    There is always going to be conflict between people due to 'cultural differences' (what people see as acceptable), and religious beliefs. I'm hoping things are progressing towards a secular society where religion becomes a thing of the past and everyone is treated as equal for things determined by birth, be that race, sex, sexuality, etc.. Sadly I don't see that happening for hundreds of years to come.

    ok went off on a bit of tangent, no not a fan of Empires as for me that is ruling over and being perceived to be better than others, I have no desire to be seen as better than others but as equals....except Chelsea fan

  4. #4

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    Thanks for writing a response Tim. "...to me it's more to do with policy and what is for the greater good.." 'For the greater good' is almost exactly what every empire in history has said, and often truly believed, and in many ways arguably they were. That's my point - whilst we often deride and fear the power of empire, we have nearly all at some point benefited from it.

    Much of my thinking on this was inspired by reading 'Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind' by Yuval Noah Harari. I can't recommend it highly enough. I promise you, you will see history in a new light!

  5. #5
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    I`m reading "Sapiens" and "The Earth Shall Weep" by James Wilson these days Both books are indeed real food for thought with regards to the thread title...
    QPR
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  6. #6

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    Originally Posted by Jeems
    Empires don't exist anymore, at least not in the traditional sense anyway.

    Humanity will move to a border free world at some point in the future, but we are not anywhere near ready for that yet and I dont think we will be for many generations. Frankly, there is too much corruption and inequality in the world to allow us to do this. The only way I see it happening is if the world abandons all monetary systems, which I dont see happening for a long while either.
    Oh, I think they do Jeems, they're just not so obviously delineated as in the past. But clearly states like the USA have their fiefdoms, their vassal and proxy states, that form part of their empire, and of course that empire extends to the economies of so many countries that are reliant or in hock to the US in some form or other. The same applies to Europe, Russia and China. Can I suggest to you that you also read Sapiens, as I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

  7. #7

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    Originally Posted by Shania
    I`m reading "Sapiens" and "The Earth Shall Weep" by James Wilson these days Both books are indeed real food for thought with regards to the thread title...
    Have you finished Sapiens yet Shania? I think it's a game-changer in how we view and understand history.

  8. #8
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    No Hubble, I have just finished a third of it. Evolution is a keyword so far...
    QPR
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  9. #9

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    Hey Hubs, I couldn't read all that as me eyes started to hurt. Could be missing what you are asking by a lot but care bear.but in answer to the question what I have now posed meself I feel that the cost of having a once great empire has massively bit us on the arris.after years of forcing our religion down the throats of all and sundry and raping and pillaging along the way the worm has well and truly turned and its now happening to us from within.
    "The kids missed everything from Queens Park Rangers to Conkers".

    London Pride has been handed down to us.
    London Pride is a flower that's free.
    London Pride means our own dear town to us,
    And our pride it for ever will be.

  10. #10

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    Originally Posted by Shania
    No Hubble, I have just finished a third of it. Evolution is a keyword so far...
    Evolution will never catch on.
    "The kids missed everything from Queens Park Rangers to Conkers".

    London Pride has been handed down to us.
    London Pride is a flower that's free.
    London Pride means our own dear town to us,
    And our pride it for ever will be.

  11. #11

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    Empires are based on Imperialism which I don't believe in.

    I believe in cultural identity, sovereignty, free trade and free movement. Yes free movement because without war and political coups most people would not leave their home.

    Let me leave you with a thought, does society actually need governance or would we be capable of looking after ourselves.

    No governance no central bankers, no central bankers no war, no war no displacement of people, no displacement of people (refugees) no loss of cultural identity, no loss of cultural identity no loss of sovereignty.

    That's a crude vision but if you're like me and you're a Libertarian and you believe in social and economic freedom then why do you need governance.

    One for your Accountant on Valentines...

    Roses are Red
    Violets are Blue
    Inflation is theft
    and Taxation is too!!!

  12. #12

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    Originally Posted by loneranger
    Hey Hubs, I couldn't read all that as me eyes started to hurt. Could be missing what you are asking by a lot but care bear.but in answer to the question what I have now posed meself I feel that the cost of having a once great empire has massively bit us on the arris.after years of forcing our religion down the throats of all and sundry and raping and pillaging along the way the worm has well and truly turned and its now happening to us from within.
    Too right Lone.

  13. #13

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    Originally Posted by W12_Ranger
    Empires are based on Imperialism which I don't believe in.

    I believe in cultural identity, sovereignty, free trade and free movement. Yes free movement because without war and political coups most people would not leave their home.

    Let me leave you with a thought, does society actually need governance or would we be capable of looking after ourselves.

    No governance no central bankers, no central bankers no war, no war no displacement of people, no displacement of people (refugees) no loss of cultural identity, no loss of cultural identity no loss of sovereignty.

    That's a crude vision but if you're like me and you're a Libertarian and you believe in social and economic freedom then why do you need governance.

    One for your Accountant on Valentines...

    Roses are Red
    Violets are Blue
    Inflation is theft
    and Taxation is too!!!
    Here's the conundrum W - the thing that has brought free trade and free movement to the world is Empire.

    The world you're talking about is theoretically possible, but whether it can happen is moot. It's also technologically possible since now we have the internet, and we are beginning to realise that we no longer need intermediaries between us and our political decisions - politicians will soon become redundant. But the only way what you describe can work - social and economic freedom - is with absolute transparency. Because this is inherent in the blockchain, we can see the possibility exists. But humans are not particularly fond of transparency, so it's going to take a paradigm shift in our social evolution for us to accept that.... will that happen? Maybe.

    Also, when you talk about cultural identity, pretty much all of our cultural identity comes from Empires... our language, customs and laws have all developed, particularly in this country, from the Roman Empire. Where once upon a time there were thousands of different tribes in Europe, each with their own identity and dialects, after the Romans took over, most of them disappeared and the rest adopted Roman customs to a greater or lesser degree. Even once the Roman empire was long gone, its core principles remained. So in Britain we are a strange mish-mash of cultures, those of the earliest tribes, those of the Celtic nation which dominated Western Europe for nearly 1000 years until the Romans, those of the Romans, and then the various waves of other conquering cultures - Viking, Saxon, Norman, Dutch.... So really, cultural identity is an illusion. The only thing we can say for certain is that we're all humans..... that's our culture... and once upon a time there were several different races of humans - like the Neanderthals and Denisovans - all living on this planet at the same time. Until Sapiens wiped them out.....

    Crazy to think that up to less than 30,000 years ago, neanderthals and sapiens lived side by side, here in this very country... but there is no trace of them left.... apart from in our DNA of course....

  14. #14

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    Originally Posted by TimPR78
    When you mention the US and the EU to me it's more to do with policy and what is for the greater good. For me Trump is a dangerous bigoted self serving sociopath. He has spewed out hatred to lots of different types of people and shown his disingenuous nature with trying to ban people coming into the country from areas considered a 'terrorist risk' yet this doesn't include Saudi where people who have carried out atrocities on US soil have come from, I'm sure it has nothing to do with his business interests at all and not hypercritical. :P
    Those countries are the ones Obama had placed on the watch list, not Trump. Trump just followed it through. Bear in mind too that the travel barring is only for 90 days until they attempt to get on top of the situation. It's not a permanent indefinite ban.

  15. #15

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    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

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