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  • holderlin66
    lightsearcher1 wrote: Lightsearcher sits on a one peg stool; His comments on Spain alone we could easily swamp, but just for the
    Message 1 of 10 , Mar 19, 2004
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      "lightsearcher1" <lightsearcher1@y...> wrote:

      Lightsearcher sits on a one peg stool; His comments on Spain alone
      we could easily swamp, but just for the thinkers on board, try to
      imagine if this person Sumner could see ahead, just imagine what
      Steiner was looking at. Aside from the fact that Steiner saw 1933
      with prophetic clarity and Ahriman saw both Steiner and Goethe in
      Weimar. People with vision have a disease if they use Bush as their
      icon.

      William Graham Sumner on War and Peace
      by Murray Polner

      In 1965 I edited and wrote the introduction to William Graham
      Sumner's work, The Conquest of the United States by Spain and Other
      Essays (Regnery). While there is still no comprehensive, modern
      biography of him he was remarkably prescient about the vast
      bloodletting and worldwide anarchy to come in the 20th Century, the
      bloodiest in recorded history. And given our current government's
      contempt for the constitution, its failed and amateurish foreign
      policies, the baneful influence of neoconservative living room
      militarists, an endless and futile drug war, and the efforts to
      infuse our secular, generally tolerant society with strands of
      religious absolutism, Sumner long ago predicted that long after he
      and his generation were gone, the nation would have a vastly
      strengthened and centralized government, unaccountable
      bureaucracies, unbridled militarism and its alliance with arms
      makers and what retired Marine Colonel James A. Donovan once aptly
      described as a "blind enthusiasm for military actions."

      Nothing is more worthwhile recalling today than his excoriation of
      American imperialism, which speaks directly to our times. While
      fellow Darwinians were sanctioning expansion and military
      adventurism as a corollary of the "struggle for existence" and "most
      favored races," Sumner turned angrily against the new aggressive
      spirit in the country following the Spanish-American War and the
      invasion of the Philippines and its bloody, four year war that left
      250,000 Filipinos and more than 4,000 U.S. soldiers dead and 3,000
      wounded. After the peace treaty ending the Spanish American War was
      signed in 1898, transforming the Caribbean into an American lake,
      Sumner was unimpressed. His essay, The Conquest of the United States
      by Spain is a searing and thoroughgoing condemnation of American
      imperialism. It may be the most acute and thoroughgoing criticism
      ever written by an American. "My patriotism," he wrote, "is outraged
      by the notion that the United States never was a great nation until
      in a petty three months campaign it knocked to pieces a poor,
      decrepit, bankrupt old state like Spain." The invasion of the
      Philippines, a third-rate guerilla war reminiscent of later wars in
      Vietnam and Iraq, outraged Sumner in part because both required a
      powerful central government since it imposed more "burdens than
      benefits" while the resulting militarism inevitably seriously
      threatened free government, not to mention loss of U.S. troops and
      countries and civic structures often left shattered, their future
      uncertain.

      He and other anti-imperialists were denounced in the 1900 Republican
      platform as "copperheads," much as pre-Iraq War extremists tended to
      label antiwar critics as virtual traitors. Teddy Roosevelt, the war
      lover, once called him a liar to which the imperturbable Sumner
      replied caustically that if he ever voted for T.R., "I shall be
      disgraced forever." Then there was the arch-imperialist and
      premature neoconservative Senator Albert Beveridge of Indiana who
      thundered at the turn of the 20th century, "[God], has made us
      the "master organizers of the world…He has marked the American
      people as His chosen nation to firmly lead in the regeneration of
      the world… We are trustees of the world's progress, guardians of its
      righteous peace." Nonsense, Sumner roared. "Grand platitudes," he
      scoffed. And, of course, he accurately predicted what lay ahead for
      unsuspecting Americans: "war, debt, taxation, diplomacy, a grand
      governmental system, pomp, glory, a big army and navy, lavish
      expenditures, political jobbery." With it would arise a legacy of
      political rulers who would always be able to find a war "whenever
      they [thought] it [was] the time for us to have another." Before
      American's entry into World War I, wars erupted with Great Britain,
      native Indians, Mexico and Spain and the Philippines. After the war
      there were interventions in Panama, Puerto Rico, Haiti, the
      Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Cuba. Following World War II, which
      left at least 50 million dead and many millions crippled in mind and
      body, there were interventions in Guatemala, Iran, Korea, El
      Salvador, Grenada, Nicaragua and Haiti and Panama again, Vietnam,
      Cambodia, Laos, Chile by proxy and now Iraq – and if our militarists
      have their way, in Iran and Syria. Now there are U.S. soldiers
      and "advisors" stationed in some 130 nations.

      Imperialism, Sumner argued, led to chauvinism, an aggressive
      outgrowth of mindless patriotism manufactured by the arrogant
      truculence of men and women relying on emotional sloganeering
      ("Support Our Troops in Iraq") and threats against dissenters and
      traditional civil liberties (what George Orwell once
      called "orthodox sniffery" – or are you loyal?). Who can disagree
      with Sumner's credo that, the 20th century would bring a "frightful
      effusion of blood in revolution and war?"

      More than all else, his importance lies in the fact that he
      anticipated the lethal rise of false utopianism, highly
      sophisticated mass propaganda techniques, two world wars,
      concentration camps and gulags, religious and nationalistic hatreds
      that have murdered many millions of human beings in the 20th century
      and threaten to reoccur in this century.

      Sadly, though, Sumner (1840–1910) has been largely forgotten. Few
      read him anymore or discuss and debate his views. Four years after
      he died of a stroke in 1914, E.L. Godkin, The Nation's irrepressible
      editor wrote that Sumner's vigorous and biting prose ("like a strong
      wind – it exhilarates") was still effective, still relevant, still
      capable or provoking intelligent and rational debate.

      When he died in 1910 his views were beginning to fade. The rise of
      an American empire in the Caribbean and Pacific left Sumner a
      lonely, carping, bitter, critic and scholar, an individualistic
      anomaly of his time. And yet to his everlasting credit he sensed
      correctly what lay ahead. Shortly before his death he wrote, "I have
      lived through the best years of this country's history. The next
      generations are going to see war and social calamities. I am glad I
      don't have to live on into them."
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