PCFR Member Only Event
Topic of Discussion
Day of Empire, How Hyper Powers Rise to
Global Dominance and Why They Fall
7729 E Greenway Road, Suite 300
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
(one block south of Greenway Hayden off 73rd St)
Thursday, March 14, 2019 | 7:30-9:00 am
Professor Chua briefly takes us for a journey through such empires as Persia, Rome, China’s Tang Dynasty, the Mongol and the Ottoman Empires, Nazi Germany, India, the United States and the European Union.
If you are interested in the future of the United States for yourself, your children and your grandchildren and why wouldn’t you be, don’t miss the next March book review session. The book is available in both new and used paperback.
The famous humorist Mark Twain writes “reports of the demise of the West might be greatly exaggerated”. Twain could have easily used the word ‘empire’ for ‘West’. A member of our book review group wonders why famous empires in history have risen and fallen. Since she is not the only one who has thought about this question, we all decided it was time to dedicate a session to this topic. Our objective will be to determine if there are any lessons to be learned for the United States. Interestingly, the Romans and later the British were quite proud of the title empire, however, today the term empire is viewed negatively like such terms as imperialism and colonialism, however, not negatively by all.
The noted British historian, Nail Ferguson, takes a quite different point of view. He writes “Without the spread of the British rule, it is hard to believe that structures of liberal capitalism would have been so successfully established in so many different countries around the world. Those empires that adopted alternate models---the Russian and the Chinese---imposed incalculable misery on their subject people. (Empire, The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power, 2002, p.358). As to why some nations recently have been able to rise to empire status, he claims that it has been due to the possession of what he calls six killer apps: science, medicine, a huge work ethic, competition, property rights and a strong well developed consumer society.
Yes, technology has significantly advanced some nations over others but, at least one other app should be included in the list of ingredients for success. According to Yale law professor and historian Amy Chua in her book Day of Empire, How Hyper Powers Rise to Global Dominance and Why They Fall, 2007, that ingredient is tolerance. Chua says that her book is a tribute to American tolerance which drew her parents to this country and enabled them to flourish. She says her book is about ethnic pluralism in the United States which has experienced unprecedented tolerance with obvious exceptions, but today more than ever before, we are in danger of losing our way. (p. xviii). Chua goes on to say that older empires acquired territory by military might, however, the key to successful military might was ‘strategic tolerance’. When strategic tolerance is lost, empires fall. The good news, she claims is today military might is a less viable means of economic growths, but the bad news is that because the United States is a democracy, unlike her predecessors, she may assist other nations to work toward democracy, but she is not interested in permanently occupying these territories. In other words, “Outside its borders, there is no political glue binding the United States to the billions of people who live under its shadow”. ( p. 328) Can we see this dilemma in our foreign policy today?
Don’t miss this very exciting book review session!!!