2 votes

Felix Morley, Old Right Author, On Empire

Felix Morley, the great Old Right author and journalist, in his book, Freedom and Federalism (1959), defined several characteristics of empire, which seem prescient today. What follows are choice quotes from Felix Morley describing these characteristics.

First characteristic:

“…[E]mpires get their start from military conquest. This conquest leads to territorial aggrandizement, which is followed by the establishment of military alliances to secure or protect the conquered territory…”

“…[T]he ally of one empire today may always be the ally of its enemy tomorrow…”

Second characteristic:

“Allies must be continuously subsidized from the imperial treasury, both with military and economic aid. Once undertaken, these subsidies can never be stopped and are more likely to require increasing outlay in order to keep the ally bought.”

Third characteristic:

The third characteristic “is hostility to the theory of neutrality.”

“Thucydides tells how, during the Peloponnesian War, the Athenians demanded a ‘we or they’ decision from the little island of Melos, then seeking to preserve neutrality as between Athens and Sparta…”

“One strong indication of the American shift to imperial thinking is the way India has been criticized for upholding a neutrality which was a cardinal point in our own foreign policy less than half a century ago.”

Fourth characteristic:

“A fourth characteristic of empire is the argument that there should be no political debate over foreign policy. Politics, it is said, should stop at the water’s edge, because the intricacies of imperial policy demand the most expert direction and it is dangerous to have them criticized and impeded by those without inside knowledge. This theory of nonpartisanship depreciates what we call the democratic procedures, by suggesting that these work only in issues of secondary importance. It thereby emphasizes again that once democracy has served to centralize government, the executive will assume the right to interpret ‘the general will.’ “

Fifth characteristic:

“Still a fifth characteristic of empire is to dilate in grandiose terms about its blessings for mankind.”

“There has never been an empire, from that of the Hittites to that of Hitler, that could not and did not justify itself in terms of Manifest Destiny—more manifest to the Imperator than to anyone else.”

Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Interesting assessments.


Think I'm going to have to

Think I'm going to have to read that book. :)

Highly recommend!

Highly recommend!

malo periculosam libertatem quam quietum servitium

I am an aristocrat. I love liberty; I hate equality. - John Randolph of Roanoke