Saturday, February 25, 2012

Mistress of the World

"The world may politically, as well as geographically, be divided into four parts.... Unhappily for the other three, Europe, by her arms and by her negotiations, by force and by fraud, has in different degrees extended her dominion over them all. Africa, Asia, and America have successively felt her domination. The superiority she has long maintained has tempted her to plume herself as the mistress of the world, and to consider the rest of mankind as created for her benefit. Men admired as profound philosophers have in direct terms attributed to her inhabitants a physical superiority and have gravely asserted that all animals, and with them the human species, degenerate in America—that even dogs cease to bark after having breathed awhile in our atmosphere. Facts have too long supported these arrogant pretensions of the European. It belongs to us to vindicate the honor of the human race, and to teach that assuming brother moderation. Let Americans disdain to be the instruments of European greatness! Let the thirteen States, bound together in a strict and indissoluble Union, concur in erecting one great American system superior to the control of all transatlantic force or influence and able to dictate the terms of the connection between the old and the new world!"

The above was written back when our present constitution was being debated. It is the last paragraph from "Federalist #11" by Alexander Hamilton.

How times change! How situations reverse themselves! This was written about Europe (and particularly about Great Britain probably) but how much it now describes the foreign policy of the United States today! Read this part again: "... tempted her to plume herself as the mistress of the world, and to consider the rest of mankind as created for her benefit."

People, we've got to change.

"Be the change you want to see in the world."


  1. "It was ever thus," said Ashurbanipal.

  2. Ashurbanipal, Ninevah, Mesopotamia, I learnt all that once upon a time. Lost and gone forever.

    America, (America, really? Who drew that map?) I know about that. Big.

  3. That map would make me laugh uproariously if it weren't such a good example of American thinking.

    I agree with you.

    The self-absorbed I-can-do-anything-because-I'm-the-most-powerful thinking many in this country are so proud of have played on many times before. And always - ALWAYS - before a drastic fall from power. From Far Eastern and Near Eastern conquered domains that lasted but a generation or two to the Roman Empire to the bravado of European nations that shamelessly laid claim the rest of the world notwithstanding the people already there.

    The notion that any nation is too formidable to fail is as false as the claim made for the Titanic and, history demonstrates, all but guaranteed to preceed a fall.

    Perhaps that conceit is actually a symptom of the corruption and judgement that lead to the end.

    Which means, again, I agree with you.

  4. @Stephanie Barr - Well said. I am a little afraid of agreeing so much though. You don't supposed I am being converted?

  5. @A. - Thank you. :)

    I don't think this map was drawn by an American. Americans, by and large, don't realize they are doing this and that the rest of the world perceives them like this.

  6. If one American, indeed two, realised, it is conceivable that others could too. Be careful, the idea could catch on.

  7. @ Max You said it first. I'm agreeing with you.

    But I don't consider myself converted, per se. I listen to any opinions and use my own judgement on what I think sound. In this case, it was yours.



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