The United States began as a republican confederation. With Appomattox it came a consolidated regime the most important symbol of which was $. With conquest and occupation of the Southern states the ruling element began to get a taste for empire, which Europe seemed to demonstrate to be a profitable affair. Thus annexation of Hawaii and the Philippines and various interventions in Latin America and Asia. World War I created a widespread anti-imperial reaction. The instincts and institutions of republicanism continued to have some hold on the people.
World War II and the Cold War completed American conversion into an imperial state, possessing of a worldwide empire, with bases and client states across the globe. (Imperialism is always covered with blather about spreading “democracy,” whatever that means.) There has never been in history an empire with leaders as flabby, arrogant, unpatriotic, and clueless as the American ruling class. Their empire is bound to be challenged by other rising powers, in response to which they likely will create events disastrous to humanity---the extent of which will be only limited by their incompetence and delusions.
Empires do not have citizens. They have subjects. The bizarre events of recent times are part of solidifying the empire internally. We are all being made into subjects, although some subjects are more favoured than others. The Bidenites may well succeed in their project. If so, what will be left will be a regime that no civilised person can love.
Clyde Wilson is a distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at the University of South Carolina He is the author or editor of over thirty books and published over 600 articles, essays and reviews