How the USA Lost Its Anti-Imperial Foreign Policy Tradition and How it Can Be Recovered (Mahan vs Gilpin Unpacked)
Compared the great initiatives taken on behalf of freedom and anti-colonialism throughout the past 250 years, today’s USA appears to be a strange and foolish creature running roughshod over the dignity of people and nations in a race for mass nuclear extermination.
Such is the image projected by Mark Milley’s ranting anti-China attacks or the relentless demonization of Russia sweeping across mainstream media ever day- both nations who have repeatedly called for cooperation and friendship with the USA. If it were simply belligerent words then we could brush off these childish attacks as mere foolish rhetoric, but sadly these words are backed by extraordinarily dangerous action. From escalating military maneuvers on Russia’s border, to belligerent military expansion in China’s backyard, everywhere one looks, we find the same lemming-like commitment to playing a nuclear game of chicken in the hopes of psychologically breaking the Multipolar Alliance.
However, as China’s former Ambassador Cui Tiankai recently stated, “China and the USA need to recapture the spirit of cooperation from WWII and join hands to confront our common enemies in the new era.”
I couldn’t agree more.
As the Ambassador invoked the spirit of Lincoln citing the martyred President’s beautiful insight: “the best way to predict the future is to create it”, I think it’s wise to revisit the two opposing global policy options the USA had available to it at the turn of the last century while the Civil War hero William McKinley still presided in the office of the presidency in 1901.
At this crucial moment in world history, it was still undetermined whether America would hold on to its anti-imperial traditions or slip into the trap of a new imperial identity.
Monroe Doctrine or Empire?
As Martin Sieff eloquently laid out in his recent article, President McKinley himself was an peacemaker, anti-imperialist of a higher order than most people realize. McKinley was also a strong supporter of two complementary policies: 1) Internally, he was a defender of Lincoln’s “American system” of protectionism, internal improvements and black suffrage and 2) Externally, he was a defender of the Monroe Doctrine that defined America’s anti-imperial foreign policy since 1823.
The Monroe Doctrine’s architect John Quincy Adams laid out this principle eloquently on July 4, 1821:
“After fifty years the United States has, without a single exception, respected the independence of other nations, while asserting and maintaining her own.
That the United States does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.
That by involving itself in the internal affairs of other nations, the United States would destroy its own reason of existence; the fundamental maxims of her policy would become, then, no different than the empire America’s revolution defeated. It would be, then, no longer the ruler of itself, but the dictator of the world.”
America’s march is the march of mind, not of conquest.
Colonial establishments are engines of wrong, and that in the progress of social improvement it will be the duty of the human family to abolish them”.
It was an aging John Quincy Adams whom a young Abraham Lincoln collaborated with in ending the imperial Mexican-American war under Wall Street stooge James Polk in 1846. When Adams died in 1848, Lincoln picked up the torch he left behind as the London-directed “proto deep state” of the 19th century worked to d
Article from LewRockwell