Forging of the American Empire

Socialism 2014

June 26, 2014

There is a widespread myth that the United States is a unique world power that reluctantly uses military force to benevolently spread democratic ideals and to fight for the rights of others. But as historian Sidney Lens writes, “American the benevolent…does not exist and never has existed.”

From the dispossession of Native peoples to the conquest of Mexican land and the seizure of the Philippines, Cuba, and Puerto Rico in late 19th century, the US has since its beginnings been a violent and rapacious power. In the 20th Century, it used its vast military and industrial might to catapult itself into being the world’s leading superpower—a power that arrogates to itself the right to impose its military might and its political and economic priorities all over the globe like no other state. In its bid for world dominance, and in its struggle to maintain it, the US has used every available means—political, economic, and military—to dominate other peoples.

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