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Is the United States an empire?

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

Is the US an empire?

Yes
67
57%
Unsure
8
7%
No
43
36%
 
Total votes : 118

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Atheris
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Is the United States an empire?

Postby Atheris » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:53 pm

The matter at hand is simple: many people have claimed that the United States of America is an empire, and many have not.

The word "empire" has many definitions, however I feel like Brain4Breakfast's in "What the Gulf? - Nation Building" is the best;

An empire is a group of distinct people, called nations, all ruled over by one, in an asymmetric relationship.


However, there are other definitions of empire, which are different from B4B's definition in other dictionaries and by other creators, notably Wikipedia's who says nothing about nations but about ethnic groups:

An empire is a multi-ethnic or multinational state with political and/or military dominion of populations who are culturally and ethnically distinct from the imperial (ruling) ethnic group and its culture.


With these different definitions of empires and definitions of empire itself, this begs the eternal question: is the United States of America an empire?

Personally, I don't think the US is an empire. It may be imperialist, but that doesn't make it an empire; an empire needs a figurehead or a powerful, sovereign leader (especially a monarch) that can be seen as an embodiment of the state in my opinion. The US President doesn't fit that role; he's certainly not as powerful as an emperor and he's not a figurehead like Hitler or Caesar.

What are your opinions, NSG?
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The New California Republic
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Postby The New California Republic » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:56 pm

Superpower is a better label, if we really want to assign labels.
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Empire of Ur
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Postby Empire of Ur » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:57 pm

Yes. I say any imperialist nation is a Empire if large and diverse enough.
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Sovaal
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Postby Sovaal » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:58 pm

Sure, why not. Although I’d argue that an Empire is more than just a multinational state with one group at the top. Empires imho are as much Ed based off of their military/economical/optical light as they are their make up. Simply put the first definitions you have are too broad.
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Sovaal
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Postby Sovaal » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:58 pm

The New California Republic wrote:Superpower is a better label, if we really want to assign labels.

I honestly prefer the term hegemon.
Most of the time I have no idea what the hell I'm doing or talking about.

”Many forms of government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe.
No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is
the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried from time to time." -
Winston Churchill, 1947.

"Rifles, muskets, long-bows and hand-grenades are inherently democratic weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon – so long as there is no answer to it – gives claws to the weak.” - George Orwell

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Sundiata
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Postby Sundiata » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:59 pm

Yes, the United States is an empire that has a moral obligation to expand its influence globally.

The United States should promote a unipolar world order where it alone holds cultural, diplomatic, militaristic, and economic hegemony over all countries. The ideal: one currency, one government, one planet. Therefore, it is not just an obligation that we surpass China and Russia, but a definitive ethic.

I am in favor of "nation-building."
Last edited by Sundiata on Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Atheris
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Postby Atheris » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:59 pm

Empire of Ur wrote:Yes. I say any imperialist nation is a Empire if large and diverse enough.

But imperialism itself is not empire. The US may be imperialist, but that doesn't mean it's an empire; like how all oranges are fruit but not all fruit are oranges, empire is imperialist, but imperialism isn't empire. If imperialism alone is empire, then the USSR was an empire, the PRC is an empire, Indonesia was an empire after it annexed East Timor, and the British Empire still exists.
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Terroristen
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Postby Terroristen » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:59 pm

Yes

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Atheris
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Postby Atheris » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:59 pm

Sovaal wrote:Sure, why not. Although I’d argue that an Empire is more than just a multinational state with one group at the top. Empires imho are as much Ed based off of their military/economical/optical light as they are their make up. Simply put the first definitions you have are too broad.


What other definitions do you know of?
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I'm bi - not bisexual, but bi myself.
The name of my nation comes from the scientific genus of Bush vipers, the coolest species of snake.
Virginian, self-proclaimed vexillologist/vexillographer/vexillophile, learning German, trombonist, pro-choice, marching band, airsoft enthusiast, neutral good, dragon trainer. Expect swearing.
i make "music"
#PsychoticDictatorship2Anarchy
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I support Thermonuclear Warfare. Do you?
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New haven america
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Postby New haven america » Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:01 pm

Considering the most basic definition of an Empire is a multiethnic groups of states or countries under a single authority, yes.

Same thing goes for most of the countries in The New World.
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Empire of Ur
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Postby Empire of Ur » Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:02 pm

Atheris wrote:
Empire of Ur wrote:Yes. I say any imperialist nation is a Empire if large and diverse enough.

But imperialism itself is not empire. The US may be imperialist, but that doesn't mean it's an empire; like how all oranges are fruit but not all fruit are oranges, empire is imperialist, but imperialism isn't empire. If imperialism alone is empire, then the USSR was an empire, the PRC is an empire, Indonesia was an empire after it annexed East Timor, and the British Empire still exists.

Empires rule over multiple groups of people.The U.S rules over many Native American Nations, Former Mexican Land and Former Island nations like Hawaii.
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Sovaal
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Postby Sovaal » Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:02 pm

Atheris wrote:
Sovaal wrote:Sure, why not. Although I’d argue that an Empire is more than just a multinational state with one group at the top. Empires imho are as much Ed based off of their military/economical/optical light as they are their make up. Simply put the first definitions you have are too broad.


What other definitions do you know of?

The most popular other one I generally see is that the state has to be monarchal in nature; even to go as far that a true empire has to be ruled over legally by an emperor or equivalent. My problem with this is where as the first deduction is too broad, this is too narrow. For example, for all intents and purposes the USSR was as imperialist in many of the same ways as the Russian Empire, but wasn’t legally speaking a monarchy.
Most of the time I have no idea what the hell I'm doing or talking about.

”Many forms of government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe.
No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is
the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried from time to time." -
Winston Churchill, 1947.

"Rifles, muskets, long-bows and hand-grenades are inherently democratic weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon – so long as there is no answer to it – gives claws to the weak.” - George Orwell

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Sovaal
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Postby Sovaal » Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:03 pm

New haven america wrote:Considering the most basic definition of an Empire is a multiethnic groups of states or countries under a single authority, yes.

Same thing goes for most of the countries in The New World.

Ah, the great Ecuadorian Empire will finally revive the recognition it deserves.
Last edited by Sovaal on Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Most of the time I have no idea what the hell I'm doing or talking about.

”Many forms of government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe.
No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is
the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried from time to time." -
Winston Churchill, 1947.

"Rifles, muskets, long-bows and hand-grenades are inherently democratic weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon – so long as there is no answer to it – gives claws to the weak.” - George Orwell

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Samudera Darussalam
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Postby Samudera Darussalam » Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:04 pm

Sundiata wrote:Yes, the United States is an empire that has a moral obligation to expand its influence globally.

No, thank you. While it can be argued that the States' influence is better than the Russian or Chinese ones, we would prefer you to not intrude our business.

As of OP's post itself.....well, I wouldn't say it as an empire, since my definition of an empire is the one which is led by an emperor/other monarch with large territories.
I guess the term hegemon might be close enough.
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Ostroeuropa
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Postby Ostroeuropa » Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:06 pm

The most you can say for it is that it maintains the worst qualities of an Empire and gets off on a technicality. Either that convinces you or it doesn't. Personally i'd say it's an Empire. But if you disagree, you probably think the question is pointless as the technicality points are basically flavoring, and what really matters is that the US imposes governance, extracts resources, etc.
Last edited by Ostroeuropa on Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Emulation White
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Postby Emulation White » Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:06 pm

A tough question, where does the power of the US flow from? The military, multi-national corporations, elected officials and elements of international influence. I would say it is an amalgamation of oligarchies. Not an empire in the classical sense, I would vouch that would require a more cohesive mindset which I don't think characterizes the US. I would say it is the world's most powerful tool masquerading as a nation.

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Sovaal
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Postby Sovaal » Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:08 pm

Ostroeuropa wrote:The most you can say for it is that it maintains the worst qualities of an Empire and gets off on a technicality. Either that convinces you or it doesn't. Personally i'd say it's an Empire. But if you disagree, you probably think the question is pointless as the technicality points are basically flavoring, and what really matters is that the US imposes governance, extracts resources, etc.

I mean do empires have positive qualities that are not possessed by non imperial nations?
Most of the time I have no idea what the hell I'm doing or talking about.

”Many forms of government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe.
No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is
the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried from time to time." -
Winston Churchill, 1947.

"Rifles, muskets, long-bows and hand-grenades are inherently democratic weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon – so long as there is no answer to it – gives claws to the weak.” - George Orwell

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Postby Lunas Legion » Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:08 pm

In the 'traditional' sense of a large, territorial entity encompassing multiple national identities, usually possessing colonies a la the European Colonial Empires, no. Nor is it like the European Continuous Empires of a similar Russia or Austria-Hungary, or other such empires like Rome or the assorted Empires of India or Persia.

I personally, at least, have always likened the American 'Empire' to that of the Athenian 'Empire'; where a single state employs economic and military power through inter-governmental organisations and treaties to create an informal 'empire' around itself, even if really the term hegemon is likely more accurate and succeeds in carrying the nuances of such a system than empire does. It's what the term was roughly created to describe in the first place, after all.
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Postby Munkcestrian Republic » Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:09 pm

Sundiata wrote:Yes, the United States is an empire that has a moral obligation to expand its influence globally.

The United States should promote a unipolar world order where it holds cultural, diplomatic, militaristic, and economic hegemony over all countries. The ideal: one currency, one government, one planet. Therefore, it is not just an obligation that we surpass China and Russia, but a definitive ethic.

I am in favor of "nation-building."

"moral obligation" lol
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Ostroeuropa
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Postby Ostroeuropa » Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:10 pm

Sovaal wrote:
Ostroeuropa wrote:The most you can say for it is that it maintains the worst qualities of an Empire and gets off on a technicality. Either that convinces you or it doesn't. Personally i'd say it's an Empire. But if you disagree, you probably think the question is pointless as the technicality points are basically flavoring, and what really matters is that the US imposes governance, extracts resources, etc.

I mean do empires have positive qualities that are not possessed by non imperial nations?


The bantz is about all I can think of. Maybe you can argue "positive" in a systems theory sense, as in they are a necessary step along the development of human civilization.
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Samudera Darussalam
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Postby Samudera Darussalam » Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:11 pm

Sovaal wrote:
New haven america wrote:Considering the most basic definition of an Empire is a multiethnic groups of states or countries under a single authority, yes.

Same thing goes for most of the countries in The New World.

Ah, the great Ecuadorian Empire will finally revive the recognition it deserves.

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Postby Repubblica Fascista Sociale Italiana » Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:11 pm

New haven america wrote:Considering the most basic definition of an Empire is a multiethnic groups of states or countries under a single authority, yes.

Same thing goes for most of the countries in The New World.

Russia, China, Indonesia, India, and Philippines are all empires tbf
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Sundiata
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Postby Sundiata » Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:11 pm

Samudera Darussalam wrote:
Sundiata wrote:Yes, the United States is an empire that has a moral obligation to expand its influence globally.

No, thank you. While it can be argued that the States' influence is better than the Russian or Chinese ones, we would prefer you to not intrude our business.
American influence is superior to the Russian and Chinese.

By the force of what is right, all "business" is and must necessarily be, American business.
Last edited by Sundiata on Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Sovaal
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Postby Sovaal » Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:11 pm

Lunas Legion wrote:In the 'traditional' sense of a large, territorial entity encompassing multiple national identities, usually possessing colonies a la the European Colonial Empires, no. Nor is it like the European Continuous Empires of a similar Russia or Austria-Hungary, or other such empires like Rome or the assorted Empires of India or Persia.

I personally, at least, have always likened the American 'Empire' to that of the Athenian 'Empire'; where a single state employs economic and military power through inter-governmental organisations and treaties to create an informal 'empire' around itself, even if really the term hegemon is likely more accurate and succeeds in carrying the nuances of such a system than empire does. It's what the term was roughly created to describe in the first place, after all.

Well we did have that time with the Philippines, and we do have off shore territories that aren’t a part of the main political structure, namely Puerto Rico, but over all I agree, and think the Athenian empire is a good comparison.
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”Many forms of government have been tried and will be tried in this world of sin and woe.
No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is
the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried from time to time." -
Winston Churchill, 1947.

"Rifles, muskets, long-bows and hand-grenades are inherently democratic weapons. A complex weapon makes the strong stronger, while a simple weapon – so long as there is no answer to it – gives claws to the weak.” - George Orwell

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American Pere Housh
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Postby American Pere Housh » Tue Oct 15, 2019 4:12 pm

Superpower yes, Empire no.
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