Sheldon Richman on Whether Freedom Requires Empire


Obama speaks to troops
White House

In a startling article, Daniel McCarthy, the admirable editor of The American Conservative magazine (TAC), writes, "Successive British and American empires created and upheld the world order in which [classical] liberalism could flourish." In other words, as he writes in "Why Liberalism Means Empire," "liberalism and empire reinforced one another in manifold ways." Therefore, if we want an enduring liberal democratic society, we must acknowledge the necessity of a U.S.-enforced global empire. It's a startling article, Sheldon Richman writes, because for years TAC has been the place to find solid critiques of George W. Bush/Barack Obama–style interventionist foreign policy. But this is a call for American global policing, albeit not as Bush or Obama would have it.