I want to go out of my way to say this isn’t an “attack” on Dan McCarthy. (It would be ironic to launch an airstrike from an antiwar website.) I respect Dan’s views greatly, and frankly was somewhat shocked when I read his article making a qualified case for U.S. empire. In any event, here’s my response. An excerpt:
[T]he (classical) liberal order that survived briefly under the heyday of the British Empire was snuffed out by World War I; the existence of a British empire did not guarantee the survival of liberalism. Further, we know that US entry into World War II brought the US itself to the brink of outright central planning during the war, and that the emerging Security State in the postwar era was the antithesis of a democratic Republic.
Although I generally respect his writings, I must sadly conclude that McCarthy’s recent article in support of US empire was woefully deficient. Indeed, I would argue the exact opposite of what McCarthy tried to demonstrate. Specifically, if you allow your government to maintain an empire abroad, then you can’t possibly expect a free and open society at home. This fact is staring us in the face as police departments across the country accept the surplus military equipment used in foreign occupations.