The Making of the US Empire at the Dawning of Its End
As the Exceptional Empire gets ready to brave a destructive – and self-destructive – new cycle, with dire, unforeseen consequences bound to reverberate across the world, now more than ever it is absolutely essential to go back to the imperial roots.
The task is fully accomplished by Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of U.S. Global Supremacy, by Stephen Wertheim, Deputy Director of Research and Policy at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft and a research scholar at the Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies at Columbia University.
Here, in painstaking detail, we can find when, why and especially who shaped the contours of US “internationalism” in a roomful of mirrors always disguising the real, ultimate aim: Empire.
Wertheim’s book was superbly reviewed by Prof. Paul Kennedy. Here we will concentrate on the crucial plot twists taking place throughout 1940. Wertheim’s main thesis is that the fall of France in 1940 – and not Pearl Harbor – was the catalyzing event that led to the full Imperial Hegemony design.
This is not a book about the U.S. industrial-military complex or the inner workings of American capitalism and finance capitalism. It is extremely helpful as it sets up the preamble to the Cold War era. But most of all, it is gripping intellectual history, revealing how American foreign policy was manufactured by the real flesh and blood actors that count: the economic and political planners congregated by the arch-influential Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the conceptual core of the imperial matrix.
Behold Exceptionalist nationalism
If just one phrase should capture the American missionary drive, this is it: “The United States was born of exceptionalist nationalism, imagining itself providentially chosen to occupy the vanguard of world history”. Wertheim nailed it by drawing from a wealth of sources on exceptionalism, especially Anders Stephanson’s Manifest Destiny: American Expansion and the Empire of the Right.
The action starts in early 1940, when the State Dept. formed a small advisory committee in collaboration with the CFR, constituted as a de facto proto-national security state.
The CFR’s postwar planning project was known as the War and Peace Studies, financed by the Rockefeller Foundation and boasting a sterling cross-section of the American elite, divided into four groups.
The most important were the Economic and Financial Group, headed by the “American Keynes”, Harvard economist Alvin Hansen, and the Political Group, headed by businessman Whitney Shepardson. CFR planners were inevitably transposed to the core of the official postwar planning committee set up after Pearl Harbor.
A crucial point: the Armaments Group was headed by
Article from LewRockwell