Monday, December 20, 2010

The Fall and Rise of Empires

Empires rise and fall. The Byzantine Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and before The Soviet Union was called the Evil empire, Russia had an empire extending down into what is now Poland.

Correct my history if necessary. Russia was beaten back by the emergence of the Polish empire, which extended toward Western Europe. They were driven back by the rise of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which collapsed with WW I.

However, in each case, the empire, as it grew to include vast and divergent territories, became not merely too large to manage, but too fractious. What played well in Italy, closest to Rome, did not play well in France. Less so in Egypt and England.

In addition, we all remember, The Sun never set on the British Empire. I always wondered how that Sceptred isle set in a silver sea managed to dominate the world. India, Australia, Hong Kong, Canada...It may well have been the delegation of authority.

The Evil Empire collapsed because Eastern Europeans grew weary of a system that destroyed what they had spent centuries to build. The U.S. however, never really had an empire. Too often, we've been isolationist. We have not been networking.

Wouldn't it be lovely if nations had Linkedin accts and Facebook pages? Germany could ask Portugal to join its network on Linkedin. China could friend Brazil on Facebook. Japan could friend India. Pakistan could friend Canada.

Our problem lies not in the empire we don't have. Our problem is conspicuous: our problem is our lack of allies. Our lack of metaphorical Facebook friends. We still have an isolationist mentality.

The delegation of authority? We can't even accept the concept of the 10th Amendment in The Bill of Rights, the concept of States Rights.

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

With apologies to Charles de Gaulle:

It's a good thing we have only three political parties. We have only three kinds of cheese.*



* [American, Cheddar, and Cream]

Coipyright (c) 2010 Slim Fairview