Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Currently residing in the "where are they now file"...

or more specifically, the "where did it go" file...

I'd like to give a big reminder to all those who have forgotten (or consigned to the past) an important component of American history, a component that rests on a belief in our founding principles and destiny to improve the lot of mankind. That component: manifest destiny.

For the first half of our nation's history, we were not shy about stating our goals to expand. From Florida, to Loozana, to Tejas, to Alta California, to 54'40 (Polk sold us out!), Hawaii, Alaska, Gadsen, Philippines, Cuba, etc., we've had many forays into territorial conquest or purchase. To be fair, there was never a consensus definition of what "manifest destiny" really called for, in terms of territorial limits. Whether it meant simply reaching the Pacific; or as John Quincy Adams had it, all of North America; or something even bigger--was undefined and an item for debate. What is not open for debate was that, for this period of time, we consistently sought to broaden the reach of the American experiment; and spread the freedom and prosperity it brought our people and the world.

It's interesting to me that we've abandoned this philosophy. We're quite willing to fight far-flung battles that are incredibly expensive in both blood and treasure, in defense of principles, with no tangible gain to our national wealth.

At the same time, we're willing to spend tons of effort to secure our huge land borders, and do it ineffectively. This is not surprising, given our current land borders are not naturally defined and defensible, and hence are extremely difficult to police.

But in a world where resources are becoming increasingly scarce, and that scarcity (expressed in prices) will likely increase in an exponential way, why do we no longer seek to expand opportunity for the American people and economy, by growing our territory? And as a result, grow our natural resources and human capital?

I'd like to know why this thought is off the table.


Fredo said...

Canadians would make great Americans, too. We just need to teach them how to talk.

ManBeast said...

I see what you're getting at, I just think we need a period of relative isolationism to get our act together before we even think about anything like this.

I believe the reasoning behind actions like Iraq, is that creating a new democracy that's at least neutral to us, if not allied, is beneficial to us in trade and future savings in military and intelligence spending.

Plus, imperialism isn't so much ok as it once was. We'd piss off a good chunk of the developed world.

Now, colonizing, claiming and mining the moon. That's a good idea. It would have to at least be started by private citizens to have a chance of being legal:


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Always sniffing for the truth

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