Arguing yes: Byrne Hobart, Internet marketing consultant
Arguing no: Guy Vantresca, U.S. Army veteran and IT specialist
Moderating: Michel Evanchik
Sharing two of his poems: Gregg Glory
Sharing one of Rudyard Kipling’s poems: Alex Antonova
The idea of attempting benign imperialism has, despite the antiwar sentiments of the past decade, been picking up some stream. Conor Friedersdorf wrote for The Atlantic about the (vaguely racist?) idea of “charter cities” in Africa functioning as Western-run models for battle-plagued and starving parts of that continent. Ron Bailey once mused aloud about a similar idea. By contrast, NYU econ prof William Easterly wrote the book The White Man’s Burden: How the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good.
(Easterly, by the way, also wrote a review for the New York Times in June on libertarian Matt Ridley’s book The Rational Optimist, about the benefits of capitalism, which I plan to make one of my November Book Selections on this blog, in a year of rather British Book Selections, including this month’s, which will be After the Victorians by A.N. Wilson, about the decline of the British Empire, augmenting my “Month of Imperialism” and completing my Victorian summer.)
P.S. If the topic of imperialism’s got you down, though, maybe you’ll be cheered up by watching Freedom Week — a special week of daily broadcasts of Fox Business Network’s Freedom Watch, for which I work and which bears no responsibility for stuff like the debate above. Just check out this link for a hint of what’ll likely be on, including Wednesday’s property-themed episode with Thomas Sowell, and there’ll be related online and Fox News Channel material:
P.P.S. And if you come away from this week liking intervention in foreign lands, or by contrast simply preferring small bands of mercenaries to conventional armies, you can celebrate the weekend either way by seeing The Expendables (or by contrast the Taoist-anarchist animated fantasy film Tales from Earthsea, or the less ambitious but more boldly-titled Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, all three of those films debuting this weekend, giving us lonely nerds options).