Archive for March, 2005

Self-serving Imperialism

“The ignorance of the dominant country about the position, circumstances, and interests of the dependency is productive of numerous evils. The evils arising to the dependency, from the ignorance of the dominant country respecting it’s concerns, are enhanced by it’s indifference. Not only does the dominant country know little of those concerns, but it has little desire to know anything of them. Men’s sympathies are in general too narrow to comprehend a community which is distinct from their own, although it may be ultimately subject to the same supreme government. Accordingly, the maxim that government exists for the benefit of the governed, is generally considered by the immediate subjects of a supreme government as applicable only to themselves; and it is often proclaimed openly that dependencies are to be governed, not for their own benefit, but for the benefit of the dominant state.”

– George Cornewell Lewis
Government of Dependencies, p. 152

Published in: History | on March 20th, 2005 | 1 Comment »

We do not want to learn too much about ourselves, too quickly

“The fact is that the present state of domestic disorder in the United States is not the product of some destructive quality mysteriously ingrained in the substance of American life. Is is a product of a long sequence of particular events whose interconnections our received categories of self-understanding are not only inadequate to reveal but are designed to conceal. We do not know very well what kind of society we live in, what kind of people we are. We are just now beginning to find out, the hard way…”

–Clifford Geertz, “Is America by Nature a Violent Society?”, New York Times Magazine, 28 April 1968

Published in: History | on March 11th, 2005 | No Comments »

international morality

“The only effectual security against unjust wars between independent communities is to be found in an improved international morality, and in the general existance of a conviction that the interest of such communities is not promoted by a system of mutual aggression and rapine.”

–George Cornewell Lewis

Published in: History | on March 8th, 2005 | No Comments »

Disadvantages of Dependencies, Number 2

Another evil arising from the possession of dependencies is, that they tend to involve the dominant country in wars. A dependency may be situated at a great distance from the dominant country; or it may have a long and vulnerable frontier confining on the territories of other independant states. For these and other reasons it often happens that a dependency is difficult of defense, and that foreign governments are therefore tempted to invade it.

George Cornewell Lewis
Chapter VIII, Disadvantages Arising to the Dominant Country from the Possession of a Dependency

Published in: History | on March 5th, 2005 | No Comments »

Disadvantages of Dependencies, Number 1

[T]he dominant country can rarely succeed in compelling or inducing a dependency to contribute to the expenses of the supreme government; and, consequently…the dominant country generally defrays from its own resources the expenses caused by the protection of the dependency in peace and in war. These expenses are a disadvantage to the dominant country, even if they should be more than compensated by advantages which it derives from the possession of the dependency. It may be added, that the possession of a dependency often proves a powerful incentive to improvident and useless expenditure on the part of the supreme government.

In consequence of the prevailing errors respecting the nature of the advantages arising from trade, it is usual for the dominant country to grant commercial privileges, by discriminating duties and other similar regulations, to its dependencies… Moreover, as commercial privileges granted by the dominant state to its dependencies imply corresponding prohibitions against other independent states, they provoke the governments of those states to foster the trade and manufactures of their own dominions by granting similar privileges to their own trading and manufacturing subjects. They therefore prevent that extensive commercial intercourse between independent communities, which would not only secure to each of them the greatest possible advantages of a merely economical nature, but would bind them together in mutual amity by the strong ties of common interest.

George Cornewell Lewis
Chapter VIII, Disadvantages Arising to the Dominant Country from the Possession of a Dependency

(Emphasis added)

Published in: History | on March 4th, 2005 | No Comments »