Monday, July 24, 2006

Western Hemisphere Deep Integration - Hemisphere as Empire - Part 1

Whatever borders and lines men arbitrailly draw on a map there are always powers in operation that wish to see them altered. All too often those powers are strong enough to attempt to do so. Borders separating peoples that have a natural affinity and relationship of language, colour, religion or otherwise are always being look at enviously by some power wishing to bring those divided peoples back together. One need only look at the history of Ireland and Northern Ireland, North and South Vietnam, North and South Korea, China and Taiwan, Pakistan India and Kashmir, Turkey Iraq and Kurdistan, Germany and the former east Germany, and more. In any large national area there are always those powers within the nation that seek to divide it, usually along lines of language or religion or ethnicity. Witness Canada and its factions for Quebec and Western separatism, the U.S. and its civil war and continuing separatism pressures in the south, in California, in the Pacific northwest, and others, the desires and attempts to divide Iraq into autonomous Sunni, Shia and Kurdish regions. The separatist pressures of areas like the Gold Coast in Australia. The frequent separatist efforts in the Normandy region of France, the Basque region of Spain. Pressures for autonomy in Brazils Amazonia region, Argentina's Pategonia region, the disintegration of Yugoslavia, and of course the political implosion and break up of the former Soviet Union into independentent nations.
Not unexpectedly, whenever there is a serious difference in power - whether that be political, military or economic - between the different parties involved, and particularly when that power is gained due to an inordinate amount of external support, the party with that upperhand of power will generally use that power to have its way in the conflict. Ireland and Northern Ireland are still separate because of the disparity of power that Britain brings in its claims for and support of Northern Ireland. The Soviet Union broke up because it became economically and militarilly impotent against the powers working to destroy it. Quebec is still part of Canada, as is western Canada, because there is not sufficient support, both social and economic, to effectively push the desire for separation. Yugoslavia broke down because the powers seeking division strengthened and the external support from the Soviet Union for holding the nation together disintegrated. North and South Korea remained separated because of the balance of power between their separate supportes, China in the North and the US in the south. The falkland Islands are not part of Argenta because the passion and power that Britain chose to put into the defence of those islands could not be matched by Argentina, despite their proximity. Each such situation of desired union or separation can be analyzed to find out the reasons that it has either succeeded or failed.
The methods used to attempt to bring separate regions of cultural, ethnic or religious similarity together or to break down the unity of a country and drive the cause of separatism are as numerous as the examples. Two key constants to success, however, are money and military power. A well financed rebel army with passion and a will to fight for their cause, and a willingness to wait for the right opportunity, can achieve its aim, when the time is right, with relative ease and speed.
But I want to look at the opposite side of the coin, the building of a large nation or an empire from politically, ethnically, and culturally disparate entities. The building of a nation like Canada or the United States or China or India, or the building of an empire like the British Empire, the Roman Empire, The Soviet Union, the Spanish conquest of almost all of Latin America, save for Brazil. At various times in Human history a nation that has been a pre-eminent power on the planet (or at least the generally recognized "civilized" portion of it) succumbs to the desire to increase their national stature by building an empire. This generally, and unfortunately, is achieved by the invasion, capture, oppression or subjugation of other nations, states and peoples. The Roman Empire at its peak covered almost all of what then was recognized as "the known world". The British Empire was built on sea power, military power, cultural discipline and economic power and covered much of the planet. The Soviet Empire was built in much the same way as the Roman Empire, military conquest and cultural and financial domination of nations around them as they spread out from their core. Hitler attempted to do the same thing by turning Europe into an expanded German empire.
But empire building today is very different and very complex. The Soviet Empire disintegrated because the Soviet Union attempted to hold the empire together with military might, and the political, economic and cultural subjugation of the disparate peoples of the empire. It was probably the last empire where those methods would be used to try to hold the empire together. It was not, however, the last attempt at empire. There are at least three empires being built in the world today. One is relatively obvious, that being the European Union. It is an empire unlike any of the past.
The other two empire builders in operation today are, of course, the United States and China. Both are using very different empire building methods than have ever been employed in the past. Both are being driven by the same objectives: global economic domination and global control of energy resources. And both, I believe, will only pursue the present techniques as long as they gain them those objectives. When, not if, those techniques fail to deliver I believe both will then pursue more traditional and agressive means of achieving the empires they are trying to build. That will be the subject of part 2.

1 comment:

KarlaElisa said...

PNAC IS NOT GOING TO ALLOW CHINA TO DOMINATE THE WORLD.
IT IS UNCLEAR HOW THE IMPERIALIST AMERICAN REGIME WILL DEAL WITH THIS RIVAL, BUT FOR NOW THEY ARE FOCUSED ON CREATING INSTABILITY IN VARIOUS PARTS OF THE WORLD TO FURTHER EXPLOIT THEIR PEOPLE AND RESOURCES.
WITH ANY LUCK, THE EU WILL PLACE SANCTIONS ON THE USA AND WITH THE UNRAVELING OF IRAQ, IRAQ'S NEW BUDDY IRAN AND THE US CITIZENS DISGUST FOR THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT, PERHAPS A MORE CENTRIST, HUMANE GOVERNMENT WILL PREVAIL IN THE USA IN THE FUTURE.