Friday, August 20, 2004

The End of the Age of Empire - Finally.

This morning TomDispatch has an amazing correspondence between Jonathan Schell and Tom Englehardt, one that makes me think they've dialogued on the subject more than once. Thanks to ASZ Constant Reader NEPAJim for pointing me in there.

The Empire That Fell as It Rose

From Tom to Jonathan: "...Part of our problem, I suspect, lies in conceiving of an empire-less world ... I think we're hobbled by having no other script. We don't quite know what to do without the idea of empire. We simply can't imagine a functional world that lacks the imperial element, or if you prefer (as we Americans liked to say before we got so briefly but thoroughly into the imperial spirit), a global policeman. A world without its sheriff still seems a fearsome prospect to us. You might say -- with a bow to the original Manchurian Candidate rather than its bankrupt modern cousin -- that we've been imperially brainwashed in certain ways. Whether we hate the global policeman or love him, all we can imagine is a kind of chaos without him, not the possibility of new kinds of order as yet unimagined (and perhaps still unimaginable), as yet, as you've said to me many times, "to be invented."
There is far too much meat to do much quoting. I hope you appreciate it as much as I do.