“A final question! Is the USA capable of becoming truly civilised, (that is, to look after all of its people) in order to receive the respect it needs as the leader of free peoples? What it needs to do at home, and how it has to treat other people, are surely self-evident.
What could be the legacy of the US Empire? What do the Monroe Doctrine nations show? What evidence is there of governments in these nations displaying adequate respect for basic human rights, viz. freedom from want, freedom from fear, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and gender equality? How would these compare with the legacy of the British Empire in India? How about good governance, education, employment opportunities, housing, health services, clean water, toilets, and caste equality?
Or, is it the case that an empire of political and cultural influence, a hegemonic empire, has no concern about such issues; that each government within the penumbra of US influence is autonomous in relation to human rights and associated institutions; that the policies within these countries of interest to the metaphoric ‘godfather’ relate only to international relations, access by the godfather to relevant resources and markets, the purchase of compatible armaments labelled ‘Made in USA,’ and a readiness to join killing ‘coalitions of the willing’ under the nominal leadership of the UN or NATO?
Yet, this neo-colonising nation is the only major power which has shown any inclination to protect a minority here and there in the world from being butchered. As well, minority peoples within the USA seem to enjoy equal opportunity, especially if associated with personal initiative, enabling them to rise to positions of some power. Is there any evidence that such opportunity is available in the former colonising nations for those of their coloured chicken who have come ‘home’ to roost?
Thus, the USA can become a moral leader for mankind. … … “
(The above extracts from ‘On empires – gone & going’ in ‘Musings at Death’s Door’ need the following caveats. The USA is not the first hegemonic human empire. As long as they paid tribute, subject nations in history remained free to govern themselves (eg. China’s rule in the time of Admiral Cheng Ho; and Genghis Khan of Mongolia).
Emperor Ashoka of India is said to have become a moral ruler after a terrible military campaign; I believe that he became a Buddhist as well. However, the USA stands tall when compared with the colonisers of Europe in recent centuries, especially the Spaniards in Central and South America.
This terrible question has to be asked: what was the role of Christian church representatives in the damage done to cultures which were unable to protect themselves from the colonising marauders from Europe?)