Liberals: Neo-Imperialists

Much of the anti-American sentiment prevalent in liberal circles centers around “American imperialism.” Examples might include the westward expansion and plight of native American Indians, “nation building” e.g. “wars for oil,” and our history of military projection.

Regardless of where you lie in the debate over American imperialism, I doubt that anyone would say the proper counter to imperialism is more imperialism, yet that’s exactly what liberals do.

Let’s consider what imperialism is. Is it the taking over of an inhabited territory? Perhaps, but consider if a group of people physically overtake a territory, then realize they like the local culture more than their own. They discard their own culture and adopt that of the overtaken territory. Has the territory really been overtaken?

It can be argued then that the act of occupying a territory isn’t imperialism unless the occupiers enforce their own culture over that of the previous occupants. And that is why liberals can be characterized as “neo-imperialists.” Liberals don’t move into an area and adopt the local culture. Liberals don’t reside in an area and allow the culture to remain intact. They agitate for change. They expend effort into changing the culture to accept what they think is acceptable and reject that which is not acceptable.

I found this realization ironic, as the very characteristic that compels may liberals to believe counter to “traditional” American culture is a distaste for the “imperial” nature of American governmental action, yet they gladly embrace American imperialism when it sponsors their belief system. In a typical display of liberal hypocrisy, liberals are perfectly fine with government takeover of a culture, as long as the takeover reflects their values.

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