Oppressive empires - a false argument of liberals?

innonimatu

the resident Cassandra
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I just noticed one of the resident liberals trying to justify his hatred of Russia with the like "we got rid of oppressive empires in Europe, now we must dismantle those in the peroiphery."

I think that the topic of Empires is worth analysing in depth. Because plenty of people display much shoddy though about them, politically.

1. The idea that europeans voluntarily abandoned the idea of Empire is false.

"We" in europe didn't get rid of empires. They natives (the regional native elites specifically) rebelled and kicked us out. "we" lost empires. in the 1940s the dutch liberals, like everyone else in the netherlands, wanted to drown the indoonesian rebellion in blood and reestabelish their empire there. It was the Japanese that put an end to the dutch empire. Not the dutch liberals.
But perhaps the left, the socialists, you will argue? Well the socialist in France for many decades argued that Algeria was an integral part of France and inalienable. There was unanimity along the whole political spectrum for most of the 20th century there.

2. the idea that empires are political oppressive is presented in contrast with the nation-state being liberating. But does that resist historical examination?

This required a answer to the question of what liberal ideology is. Its main claim is individual liberation, and usually framed as "from the state as the oppressor". Empires being worst than nation-states would then suppose that empiores are necessarily politicaly more oppressive than nation-states. But is that true?

The nation-state, in political thory (practice is another matter...) a 19th century political fashion that caught on ideologically among european and europeized liberals and got realized during the 20th century. But the historical models are few. It was France that other would-be states copied. And France took many centuries to centralize, involving quite a few wars and much bloodshed and repression. The south of France was first submitted to the crown in Paris with the Albigensian Crusade, which would match today's description of a genocide. But that was incomplete, and France remained a kingdom with strong regional institutions and local dialects for centuries. It was only the republic that forced uniformity - and that too was enforced by wars and slaughter of wrong-thinking peasants and independentist regional elites. This model nation-state was in fact a little empire forged through war.
It is unsurprising then that Germany too got forged by war. Same with Italy. The formation of these actually supressed nations, reducing a number of historical polities to a single nation. The opposite also happened in Europe, the breakup of one large polity: the end of the austro-hungarian empire started a series of wars that haven't yet ceased. "Liberation" as in fall of empires did not produce homogeneous nation states. And the proponents of the nation-state theory turned out to be warmongers doing ethnic cleansings of any people deemed "non-nationals" within thee shares of the old empire they managed to occupy militarily.

The curent installement of this oppression by the nation state is happening in Israel. A would-be nation-state is now attempting to wipe out one of the peoples in its territory in a bid fo fulfill the political ideal of the nationan-state.

3. Are there in fact any teleological views that propose the nation-state as an end of history?

The previous two points questioned the desirability of the nation state as opposite to ("multi-ethnic") empire. Imo it is not a given.
But the nation-state is also often defended as as inevitable politlcal conclusion. The bloodshed of its creation is justified away as being inevitable.
Why?

Are nation-states politically more stable? Who can say, as the vast majority are such recent constructs?
Are nation-states less likely to involve themselves in wars? It is true that the post-ww2 era did not have many wars in Europe. But the whole 18th century era of empires didn't have many in Europe either. 1815-1914 had only a few wars and those were about creating nation-states by swallowing smaller estates. Histpry is not conclusive in this and cannot back the idea of nation-states as more peaceful.

Are nation-states less repressive internally?
This is a very interresting question. I think the answer is also: inconclusive. There are plenty of nation states oppressing "non-nationals" or "non-ethnics". And there is also the greater ability of a government to force individual conformity on a population shose members are all part of a shared culture. Thing Japan where "the nail that sticks out gets hammered" and the justice system has a near-100% conviction rate. There are also plenty of empires that are repressive out of fear of rebellions. But neiother of these things is inevitable.



So: can the liberals who fetishize the nation-state as the desirable political organization justify their preference? Or are they just unthinkingly parroting the ideas currently in fashion, predominant now in media discourses?




 
I just noticed one of the resident liberals trying to justify his hatred of Russia with the like "we got rid of oppressive empires in Europe, now we must dismantle those in the peroiphery."

I think that the topic of Empires is worth analysing in depth. Because plenty of people display much shoddy though about them, politically.

1. The idea that europeans voluntarily abandoned the idea of Empire is false.

"We" in europe didn't get rid of empires. They natives (the regional native elites specifically) rebelled and kicked us out.

That's me. The Native Liberal Elite.

My ancestors kicked out the Romans, the French, the Spanish, the Austrians and the Germans, several times.

And then reformed the remnants into the EU, just to annoy you :p

 
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That's me.

Yes, my ancestors kicked out the Romans, the French, the Spanish, the Austrians and the Germans, several times.

And then reformed the remnants into the EU, just to annoy you :p

Let's not mention the helping hand in Congo :)
Besides, Belgium has its own constituent states, which wouldn't have remained in it if first Benelux and then Eu had not formed.
 
Accident de parcours, The Berlin congress gave it to Leopold as his private property and then they almost forced us take it on as a colony.

We told him to go to Berlin, stand up, and demand "a piece of the cake".

Never thought they'd say "Yes. Please."
 
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He also argued for all of Denmark to become a state in the german empire - supposedly as compromise. Hardly an example of belgian rulers arguing against invaders and oppressive empires in Europe.
 
just noticed the other day that some oilfields were discovered somewhere and the Americans did not tell the Dutch , despite Shell being a major player and whatnot . Until 1965 . Apparently because it was quite a field that might have supported ... Wait , looked it up . Discovered in West of the Guinea in 1939 by Shell . The Anglosaxon segment does not tell the Dutch (segment of the Shell) . Too much oil at the time . The Japanese learn it after invading . The Dutch Goverment is still not told . Will support Netherlands for decades ! This is at a time when CIA is TRYING to bring down Sukarno or whomever , an enemy of the West and so on . Indonesians are even defeated in a "naval battle" . UN vote to kick the Dutch out . America somehow succeeds in toppling Sukarno , because they now can grab the oil without the dirty hands of a NATO member and on and on . This states the Colonial Empires fell only because the American Empire was stronger and might choose to disengage at relevant moments to increase the cost of being Imperialists . France does its way most of the time but the rest has chosen to be American puppets to exploit their "own backyard" . Yes , this only means more deaths . In Europe and stuff . Like everybody sees how Israelis can NOT fully geno whatever . Things seen are just a bit of what Israel could have done if they weren't trapped , getting 100% negativity without the 100% effect .
 
He also argued for all of Denmark to become a state in the german empire - supposedly as compromise. Hardly an example of belgian rulers arguing against invaders and oppressive empires in Europe.

The early Coburgs were more Germans than Belgians, one of them wanted to annex Holland, iirc.

He was told to go invade alone and reconsidered.

Since then they have been better bred.
 
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impressive for peaceful Belgians to have shot down the head of the UN .
 
I agree with most of your points. In my opinion, the key distinguishing factor between a national state and an empire lies in what I would term "natural national cohesion".
I believe this inherent cohesion is why empires often exhibit more oppressive tendencies compared to national states.
This oppression typically involves disrupting these "cohesions", fueling thesis that liberal ideology can exist only within a national state.
 
impressive for peaceful Belgians to have shot down the head of the UN .

Belgians have made great assasins since Roman times, should surprise you not, if you read history.

These days we have Belgian-Turks too, people with both Belgian and Turkish nationality.
 
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The decline of the European empires was both in my opinion involuntary in one sense but at the same time the costs of maintenance were outstripping the potential rewards, so native rebellions or not the postwar world made for most countries decolonization a practical necessity if undesired in a perfect world.

edit: I think I should say this broadly speaking while recognizing some countries like Portugal held on to theirs for as long as they could at not just financial but also great military cost. I’m not sure about the Dutch case, I know they were extracting considerable wealth from the Indies but ultimately had to give in to an untenable military and diplomatic situation.
 
contrary to some ı do know a lot of crow will be eaten . By those who have been winning all the time . Bring some pals for critical mass . Personally also aware that starting stuff is good for having stuff closed down . Like attacking some Nationalist or whatever with remarks centering on breed as if dogs . Now that ı also know on human level New Turkey still balks of facing stuff in hotter climates . Let us see if they can win Congo for Belgium before ı ever become so infamous for some treatise on Eben Emael . Every sentence in this paragraph is on topic for what has become the topic .
 
then clearly there is no breed that will suit Belgium , right ?
 
Sure there is - the modern royals are completely cured from insane ideas like invading foreign nations.

That's the exclusive domain of elected "leaders" now.
 
but , but , you are supposed to have a combined gene pool of leaderships and whatnot . Will get no Republican ire now in stating there is no Belgian or whatever in PM's family and unless you are ready to name some other Royal family and "Ottomans" clearly know the dangers of trying to run Arabs , especially the Ihvan prevalent in New Turkey ...
 
I just checked, they ceased to be Saxe-Coburgs in 1920, and now are van België, de Belgique or von Belgien (“of Belgium”) in the country's three official languages (Dutch, French and German).

That's how a royal line is "made", how would you call it ?
 
when you are supposed to speaking in some guy's name you pay attention to stuff . So , after claiming Belgium had access to powers for proxy use , powers that speak Turkish , you have amended the idea to a family or two . Which is clearly not related to PM's , the single arbiter of power in New Turkey ... Who are these guys ? Oh , uh , ah , please pay attention that (especially and clearly) Queen Elizabeth II did not claim any links and whatnot , too . You might feel like you have been putting your feet in your mouth . Later or so . What these people think do not match anything "Western" these days .
 
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