Our Imperial Future

2007-09-10

Steve Brown recently relocated to the District of Columbia and his first impressions are interesting:

Some years back a friend of mine who's Irish and an architect, told me about his trip to the capitol. He said you cannot see it without thinking, "This is the capitol of a mighty empire."

I have the same feeling whenever I go to D.C. -- which is why I try to avoid the place. The conclusion seems increasingly hard to avoid: the American future will be imperial.

And how will normal folks adjust to an imperial future? It seems to me that they will try to find freedom and community in the interstices. They will be attracted to more private or quietist philosophies like Taoism, Buddhism, and Epicureanism. They will tend to their own gardens rather than put up a futile fight against the larger trends of corruption and ethical decline. They will become less engaged in public affairs, even positively apathetic. They will let professional centurions fight the war and hold the peace.

Or so it seems to me. I hope to be proved wrong.


Peter Saint-Andre > Journal