The following is a position paper of The Jacksonian Party.
That old burden seems to be hanging around. Which one is that, you may wonder?
Way back at the end of the 19th and early 20th century it was the burden that the Civilized people's of the world saw as the necessary work to remake the world into a more civilized place fit to live in. That lovely era of progress during the 19th century that saw the birth of industry and the expansion of economies on levels never before imagined soon led to the overwhelming feeling that this was an era to end all eras. And that burden was seen as a good one to take up: colonize the less civilized parts of the world and bring them into the sphere of civilization.
"The White Man's Burden"
That was supposed to bring that lovely culmination to mankind, in which the whole world would slowly get its act together with the oversight of the industrialized Nations. What happened, instead, to end that era was the "War to end all Wars", save that it did not do that, either. By needing to bring those far-flung Natives 'up to speed' on things, they needed to be educated. Soon they were needed in the civil service to oversee large districts and run things. That education gave rise to cohesive ethnic identity and the move towards Nationalism in many of the colonies. By the end of that first World War the Empires had shattered, their colonies flung asunder to cope as best they could with their newfound identities. Some few have not coped over-well with that, and dictators, tyrants, and authoritarian regimes of many stripes marked the checkered history of those new Nations on their own.
In the US this was preceded by the concept of "Manifest Destiny" which is not something you check off on a cargo ship heading out to sea, but the idea that the US is on a mission to inhabit all of the North American continent and a few even looked towards the entire hemisphere. Let me say this: they did have vision, even if it may have been clouded by a bit of smoke and industry. The US Civil war put paid to many such dreams as the Nation came to the realization that there were quite enough in the way of problems without asking to take on those of other folks. Just prior to that was Fifty-Four Forty or Fight, which would finally set the National territories of Canada and the US, so even the Manifest Destiny concept had to confine itself and after the Civil War ground to a slow halt. By the end of the Westward expansion only the idea of competing, in some way, with Imperial powers remained and that got you to "The White Man's Burden".
Now this did not stop another group of folks, those looking for the Final Destiny of Industrialization Globally to look forward re-making the world as they saw it 'should be', either. Those folks were the Socialists and they looked to hasten the end of Capitalism and usher in their perfect world of Socialist Ideals. And they put together the International Workingmen's Association or First International as it became known in later Socialist and Communist circles. After they quit the Second International came forward to continue the good-ideas and spread them further, but also found that they might be able to work within the political systems of various Nations to hurry the day of Socialism forward. It was this group that started the Adult Education classes, indoctrination concepts and other such things as trying to get their various outlooks on life put in place so as to slowly ease Capitalism out of the way without all that mess of Revolutions and such. That is until the Russian Revolution which threw a spanner in the works and pointed out that by working with the system it is continued. The post-WWI Comintern hewed a bit more to this line and re-making the world became a top item on the agenda, after throwing out all the corrupted Socialists. We are still living with the dregs of that utopian dream land, as it twitches its last twitches in Venezuela, Cuba, China, Vietnam and North Korea. Of course that set of Nations isn't looking for real Communism or Socialism these days so the real dream of it is relegated to discussion groups and such, along with the US education system which is chock-a-block with them.
Another Nation that had a "Manifest Destiny" was that of Germany one of the last European Peoples to actually put a Nation together. A German Empire, allied with the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was a late comer to the scene of colonialism and always felt second-rate compared to the prime Empire of their day: Great Britain. Thus, no matter what the achievements of Germany, the Empire could never just get a hold of its duly sized set of colonies to show off its industrial power. And because Germany owed so much to the sciences they also came to think that they should be applied everywhere, even if there were no basis for the application. By using the Darwinian concept of evolution of species and applying it to societies, one gets Social Darwinism, which is a form of racism. With that you get the idea of 'advanced' and 'degenerate' races and 'racial purity' all without any applicational basis from the original theory which is applied via genetics, not via philosophy. All sorts of means and methods were devised to 'measure' social degeneracy, but as those measures had no reliable method to correlate them to actual, underlying principles, they were just means to perpetuate that racism.
The First World War did not remove this from Germany and this concept, along with National Socialism or Fascism, would join together to put together one of the nastiest industrialized Nations looking for lebensraum. The Dictator Mussolini would use collectivist concepts from Socialism/Communism and fuse them with Nationalism and put forth a return to the Glory Days of Rome: the Roman Empire. That would not come to much as Italy was not industrialized enough to do this. Germany, however, would fuse Fascism with Social Darwinism and create an industrialized State that would seek to enslave or kill lesser races and allow Germany to reign supreme as it was Manifest Destiny to do so. Both regimes used the Socialist/Communist concept of inculcating the youth, forced re-education and Germany would institute large prisons for the racially and socially impure and then would form death camps to kill these people on a systematized and regularized basis.
The British Empire, from its slow growth all the way to its lingering demise in the 20th century, would be one of the few Empires that actually *did* try to stick to some ideals while expanding into foreign lands... early on at least. The expansion of the latter part of the Empire under Queen Victoria would definitely lead to its own forms of racism overseas. That would not withstand the attacks from inside the Empire itself, and the press of the First World War would weaken the ability of the Empire to be well governed. The Second World War would definitively end "The White Man's Burden" and finally put that entire chapter of mankind to rest for good and all.
Throughout all of this we do get to see something beyond the 'education', indoctrination and use of force for original purposes. No well run Empire, or even a poorly run one, could do without Colonial Constabulary Forces. These are *not* Military Police, used to safeguard supply lines during active combat, find saboteurs and generally make sure that martial law is properly imposed. Constabulary forces are those forces that are much lighter than the regular military forces of a Nation and yet better armed than local police. In the American Old West, these were Cavalry units that had little in the way of major support firepower, were highly mobile and capable of breaking up small bands of Natives that would attack here and there. In the US, after the major work of forming up the States was done, these forces would slowly wither away while more regular police forces took over. That said, a number of smaller, specialized police groups were formed up until the need for a National Police became necessary and that is the current Federal Bureau of Investigations. They bear almost no resemblance to their Cavalry forebearers who were not mere 'peace keepers' but 'peace makers'.
One of the very first, well organized groups for this was the Praetorian Guards of the Roman Empire, that would serve to quell uprisings and generally keep things together when Rome was at war. The problem with a paramilitary or adjunct military police that is given wide powers is the idea within that force that it may know how to run things better than the commanders of it. In Rome this would be seen when the Guards would start to kill Emperors for 'the good of Rome' and install new ones. That is, at best, a metastable situation, and with the falling of the Western Empire so, too, would the Praetorians fall. By having been unable to do their original set of missions to make the peace and secure it, the Empire itself would fall apart. Emperors grew distant from governing, knowing they could be removed by the Guard at any moment.
The true Constabulary that most in the West know the best is the British form of it, with their Colonial Constabulary units, such as the Royal Ulster Constabulary or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Such units started out as direct military adjuncts, but soon took on policing and administration duties for law enforcement on a scale above that of local police. These types of units were the ones that ensured that Imperial Law would be upheld throughout the Colonies and fairly overseen. Within the Socialist/Communist world, however, ensuring alignment to doctrine became as important or more so than law enforcement. The birth of the various Socialist/Communist Secret Police organizations which had existed throughout Europe, took a turn towards brutality as mere political dissent could be punished by death or exile to the Gulag. In the USSR this was the KGB which also had a role in post-military cleanup operations following its predecessors into that role after WWII. In Nazi Germany this counterpart would be the Gestapo for policing on the political side and the Waffen SS would be used for direct action in newly captured territories to round up those that needed to be shipped off as 'degenerates' or just kill them outright. Similarly in Italy the Blackshirts would be the first group to be organized to protect the Fascists and the OVRA would be formed for National means similar to the Gestapo.
The United States did not, generally, look to form these sorts of groups although the US Marine Corps was employed in such realms when nothing else would do. A major source of background against modern insurgents was learned during 'The Banana Wars' in Latin America to ensure US companies would retain their hold on plantations and such for production. By the end of those, however, the concept of trying to establish means for democracy was put forward by President Woodrow Wilson and the work in Haiti in 1915-34 would end in long-term failure as the inability of the United States to address the political questions necessary at home to properly decide on if trying to rebuild Nations was a good idea for a Republic of Free People. Going in to bust up insurgencies and criminal organizations or regimes looking to Nationalize private property was one thing, but re-making cultures was something else again. This concept is a very 'hard sell' to the American People, who have a view of the world of helping others to help themselves... and if they don't want to help then let them be so long as they don't get a notion to harm us. The Haiti experience is a contrast to the Philippine experience, in which, after quelling rebellion, the idea was to turn a relatively peaceful situation over to the local government. A couple of World Wars would delay that and require the Philippines to be recaptured, but final hand-over in 1946 was accomplished.
That is the same concept that the US put forward in post-War Germany and Japan and stayed long enough to ensure that radical elements or Imperial elements would not return to either Nation. Those Nations saw value to having troops stationed with them for some period thereafter, especially West Germany which became a front-line state in the Cold War. At this point in time there is some question as to *why* the US maintains troops in Germany, now that Germany is re-united and the USSR is on the 'ash heap of history'. Thus it comes as some surprise that all of those looking to try and indict the current post-war situation in Iraq will limit themselves to the last major conflict as their only yardstick, forgetting other post-war situations from previous conflicts, and the fact that the US does *not* see itself as a Nation to try and remake the world in its image. The main reason the US does not *have* Constabulary forces, which would be about half the size of the current, total armed forces is that it does not, as a Nation, see the need to have such. While such an idea drove things during the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American War, along with "The White Man's Burden", the United States puts a very nasty spin on that: we do not want to be there and want the folks living there to live good lives, not threaten their neighbors and protect themselves on their OWN.
The US still has a number of minor island protectorates and possessions, but each of those is given absolutely free reign to get out from under the shadow of the US and go it on their own. Some stay for purely economic reasons, getting various *perks* via the tax code and not having to form their own military units and national police. A few stay because of sheer loyalty and they appreciate the liberties and freedoms of close association with the US without having to be a *part* of the US. What the US has not wanted to do for long decades is go to places to 'civilize' them or 'educate' them. That is far too much to the Socialist/Communist side of things and gives most Citizens a sour stomach as the end point of those systems is a Secret Police coming to ensure only the 'correct' opinions are held. And from what has been seen of Great Britain, they do benefit from many of their past colonies, but many others have gone their own way and generally declined in that doing. And those that have remained close are Sovereign Nations with minimal, titular fealty to the British Crown. By cooperation those Nations work together on common projects, but none is forced to do so... The US does not like the idea of Monarchy or Empire, and wants only *friendship* which can be deep, long lasting and abiding to be the touchstone of the Nation. The US does not want servants but friends to stand with and stand by in a harsh world.
Having a large, paramilitary Constabulary force would require a major change in outlook by the United States away from the view of universal equality of mankind, to one of having to say some 'deserve' more rights than others. The US has spoken on this plainly with its history and not having an Empire: We do not do that.
It does not work for a Republic of Free People to decide on such things, it is for them to get together and decide on their own how they will handle such.
The US does not overstay its welcome and when asked to leave by a Government that has been stood up with our help, we do so.
The US tries to make things a bit *better* for having to take down tyrants and autocrats, and works at that to let people see that this is how one ensures their Liberty.
By working at it continually to make things better.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
The following is a position paper of The Jacksonian Party.