Sunday, April 23, 2006

Thusly Stated

I arrived home on this past dripping Friday suffering from both stress and fatigue. Sitting on the front porch I began to read Empire by Niial Ferguson. I completed it this morning. It was appropriate in a less-than-serious sense to read while warplanes screamed overhead, as Ferguson notes dryly, is it possible to have globalization without gunboats?

His thesis hovers about the point whether the Empire was good for its dominions? He buttresses this, neglecting racism, of course, with statistics to prove that Empire wasn't financially successful. . .for the nation of Great Britain proper. Never mind how many millions of pounds sterling went into corporate accounts and coffers, the nation at large didn't quite benefit accordingly. The demographics of the Colonial service were intrigying as well, largely staffed with Scots and Micks, it yielded a route of advancement while, at the same time, affirming Horace Greeley's statement that you could pay half the poor to murder the other half.


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