Viewed in this light, the economic imperialism of the present day is a sophisticated form of militaristic imperialism of yester-centuries; United States being at the forefront of this wave. It was not simply a matter of plundering wealth, but of preserving long-standing systemic conditions for retaining power and privilege within the neo-imperialist society. In the American context (the only remaining superpower), almost all Presidents, including McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge were party to this phenomenon. Though masked in the rhetoric of aversion to old-fashioned imperialism and its hopes for world peace, the centerpiece of its strategy remains economic expansionism. And, to execute that strategy the imperialist government will do all it can in “pushing and holding open doors in all parts of the world with all the engines of government ranging from polite coercion to the use of arms” (Anderson, 2005).
A retrospective analysis of the history of colonialism and imperialism can conceal or twist facets of that history which needs to be understood on its own terms, rather than with the added knowledge of “later preconceptions and preoccupations”. To see those societies in the backdrop of their own times as opposed to viewing from the privileged vantage-point that is afforded to present investigations is not to excuse their crimes and follies. As the tragic stories of indigenous peoples across the world makes it clear, the empires of old and new ages are stained by innumerable horrors (Anderson, 2005).
To rectify this state of affairs the United States must: 1. Pledge its actions to international law; 2. Commit itself to a consensual mode of decision-making as opposed to an independent one. 3. Upkeep policies of moderation as against extremism. 4. Successfully preserve harmony and prosperity within the union of democratic nations.
The United States, by virtue of being the only superpower, has the responsibility to protect and spread democratic values to all parts of the world. Its foreign policy should be much more than “defending and promoting material national interests”. Such was the vision of its founding fathers. In order to maintain the noble traditions of its early years, American policies should avoid making a distinction between foreign and domestic. This way, the standards applied to others will apply to themselves as well, ensuring justice to all (Gaddis, 2005).
Anderson, R D (Spring 2005)., Lessons from history on the limits of imperialism: Successful small state resistance to great power aggression., Journal of Third World Studies, 22, 1. p.21(20).
Chomsky, Noam., Hegemony or Survival: America’s quest for Global Dominance., published in 2003.
Ciment, J. (Dec 12, 1998). Iraq blames Gulf war bombing for increase in child cancers, British Medical Journal, 317, 7173. p.1612(1).
Daalder, I. H., The Preemptive-War Doctrine Has Met an Early Death in Iraq, Los Angeles Times, 2004.
Gaddis, J.L., The Cold War: a new history, 2005, retrieved from www.foreignaffairs.org Nye, J.S., US Power and Strategy After Iraq, Foreign Affairs, 2003.