Words of Empire

September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: View of the World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty. (Credit: National Park Service)

September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: View of the World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty. (Credit: National Park Service)

Blunt Words

Conquest, Control, Supremacy, Rule, Domination, Power, Hegemony

Definition: an extensive, often multinational territory under the economic, cultural, and/or military rule of a central authority.

The United States is an “empire in denial,” Nial Ferguson, Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire (New York: Penguin Books, 2004).

U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, “We don’t seek empires. We’re not imperialistic. We never have been” (April 28, 2003).

Euphemisms

Inspiration, Influence, Security, Defense/Spread (of freedom, justice, democracy, civilization)

“The routine lust for land, markets, or security became justifications for noble rhetoric about prosperity, liberty, and security,” William Appleman Williams, Empire as a Way of Life, (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996).

Antonyms

Anarchy: confusion, disorder, lawlessness, riot, rebellion, revolution, disintegration

OR

Democracy: equality, community, freedom, enfranchisement, citizenry, polity, politics, self-rule

RLI

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