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RISE OF EMPIRE: PROPERTIES OF EMPIRE: III

RISE OF EMPIRE: THE ANCIENT DESIGN: II

A second mark by which you may unmistakably distinguish Empire is: "Domestic policy becomes subordinate to foreign policy."

That happened to Rome. It has happened to every Empire. The consequences of its having happened to the British Empire are tragically appearing. The fact now to be faced is that it has happened also to us. It needs hardly to be argued that as we convert the nation into a garrison state to build the most terrible war machine that has ever been imagined on earth, every domestic policy is bound to be conditioned by our foreign policy.

The voice of government is saying that if our foreign policy fails we are ruined. It is all or nothing. Our survival as a free nation is at hazard.

That makes it simple, for in that case there is no domestic policy that may not have to be sacrificed to the necessities of foreign policy—even freedom. It is no longer a question of what we can afford to do; it is what we must do to survive. If the cost of defending not ourselves alone but the whole non-Russian world threatens to wreck our solvency, still we must go on. Why? Because we cannot stand alone. The first premise of our foreign policy is that without allies we are lost. At any cost therefore we must have them. If our standard of living falls, that cannot be helped.

We are no longer able to choose between peace and war. We have embraced perpetual war. We are no longer able to choose the time, the circumstance or the battlefield. Wherever and whenever the Russian aggressor attacks, in Europe, Asia, or Africa, there we must meet him. We are so committed by the Truman Doctrine, by examples of our intention, by the global posting of our armed forces, and by such formal engagements as the North Atlantic Treaty and the Pacific Pact.

Let it be a question of survival, and how relatively unimportant are domestic policies—touching, for example, the rights of private property, when, if necessary, all private property may be confiscated; or touching individual freedom, when, if necessary, all labor may be conscripted; or touching welfare and social security, when in a garrison state the hungry may have to be fed not by checks from the Treasury but in soup kitchens!

The American mind is already conditioned. For proof of that you may take the dumb resignation with which such forebodings as the following, from the lead editorial of The New York Times, October 31, 1951, are received by the people:

". . . the Korean war has brought a great and probably long-lasting change in our history and our way of life . . . forcing us to adopt measures which are changing the whole American scene and our relations with the rest of the world. . . . We have embarked on a partial mobilization for which about a hundred billion dollars have been already made available. We have been compelled to activate and expand our alliances at an ultimate cost of some twenty-five billion dollars, to press for rearmament of our former enemies and to scatter our own forces at military bases throughout the world. Finally, we have been forced not only to retain but to expand the draft and to press for a system of universal military training which will affect the lives of a whole generation. The productive effort and the tax burden resulting from these measures are changing the economic pattern of the land.

"What is not so clearly understood, here or abroad, is that these are no temporary measures for a temporary emergency but rather the beginning of a wholly new military status for the United States, which seems certain to be with us for a long time to come."

What a loss it would be to the Bible if the prophets had been editorial writers on The New York Times.

Never before in our history, probably never before in any history, could so dire a forecast have been made in these level tones. But what they are saying is true.

And certainly never before could people have felt, so helpless about it, as if this were not the harvest of our foreign policy but Jehovah acting through the Russians to afflict us—and nobody else responsible.

RISE OF EMPIRE: THE ANCIENT DESIGN: II