Written by Frank Li
In a recent post (The Coming Demise of America), I specifically called out the Republican Party to be anti-war by denouncing “democratic imperialism, as perpetuated by the likes of John McCain and Lindsey Graham,” in order to have any chance in the 2016 presidential election and beyond.
What, then, is democratic imperialism?
Google it and you will have many results, from articles (e.g. Democratic Imperialism: A Blueprint) to books (e.g. Democratic Imperialism: A Book about Democracy Promotion). However, there is not a definition in Wikipedia, yet. For this reason, as well as for its importance to my writings, past and future, let me clearly define it in this article …
1. Imperialism: what is it?
According to Wikipedia:
Imperialism, as defined by the Dictionary of Human Geography, is “an unequal human and territorial relationship, usually in the form of an empire, based on ideas of superiority and practices of dominance, and involving the extension of authority and control of one state or people over another.” It is often considered in a negative light, as merely the exploitation of native people in order to enrich a small handful. Lewis Samuel Feuer identifies two major subtypes of imperialism; the first is the “regressive imperialism” identified with pure conquest, unequivocal exploitation, extermination or reductions of undesired peoples, and settlement of desired peoples into those territories, examples being Nazi Germany. The second type identified by Feuer is “progressive imperialism” that is founded upon a cosmopolitan view of humanity, that promotes the spread of civilization to allegedly “backward” societies to elevate living standards and culture in conquered territories, and allowance of a conquered people to assimilate into the imperial society, examples being the Roman Empire and the British Empire.
The term as such primarily has been applied to Western political and economic dominance in the 19th and 20th centuries. Some writers, such as Edward Said, use the term more broadly to describe any system of domination and subordination organized with an imperial center and a periphery. According to the Marxist historian, Walter Rodney, imperialism meant capitalist expansion. It meant that
European (and American and Japanese) capitalists were forced by the internal logic of their competitive system to seek abroad in less developed countries opportunities to control raw material, to find markets, and to find profitable fields of investment. 
Here is my simple and succinct definition: imperialism today is to support/launch a war in a foreign land for the purpose of some perceived gain at home, such as boosting popularity for an election.
2. Democracy: what is it?
According to Wikipedia,
Democracy is a form of government in which all citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Democracy allows citizens to participate equally-either directly or through elected representatives-in the proposal, development, and creation of laws. It encompasses social, economic and cultural conditions that enable the free and equal practice of political self-determination.
Here is my simple and succinct definition: one person, one vote.
3. Democratic imperialism: what is it?
Here is my succinct definition:
Democratic imperialism is imperialism practiced by a democracy for the purpose of spreading democracy. While practiced by the U.S. for many years, it obviously and officially became imperialistic on March 20, 2003, when the U.S. launched the Iraq War. It has continued since then, with America’s military intervention in Libya and Syria being the latest examples.
3.1 Democratic imperialism under President George W. Bush
President George W. Bush’s legacy is unquestionably defined by the Iraq War, which was such a huge disaster that the following three writings depict it in some ways:
- Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War.
- What’s The Real Cost of The Iraq War?
- Thomas Young, Dying Iraq War veteran, Pens ‘Last Letter” to Bush, Cheney On War’s 10th Anniversary.
3.2 Democratic imperialism under President Obama
The Nobel Peace Prize 2009 was awarded to President Obama “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples” (The Noble Peace Prize 2009).
Unfortunately for the world, President Obama proved to be a bad democratic imperialist too, even worse than his predecessor in some ways. Three examples:
- His 2009 speech in Cairo (President Obama Speech to Muslim World in Cairo) has turned out to be a root cause behind the Arab Spring, resulting in huge chaos and misery in the Middle East today, particularly in Egypt. The Arab Spring will prove to be a bad thing, just like the communist revolutions in China in 1949 and in the former Soviet Union. For more, read: American Autumn vs. Arab Spring.
- He escalated the war in Afghanistan in 2011, at least partially, for the sake of his re-election. For more, read: For Obama the Road to Reelection Runs through Kabul.
- He got America involved in two new wars in Libya and Syria (Breaking News: Every Military Option in Syria Sucks)!
In short, President Obama has tainted the Noble Peace Prize, which should not have been awarded to him in the first place – He did not earn it!
Now, as you may know already, my diagnosis for America is cancer: getting re-elected ad nauseam. So here is a valid question: why did President Obama get us involved in the war in Syria recently, as he has no re-election of his own anymore?
Read this: Obama’s Top Goal: For Dems To Win The House In 2014. To hell with governing – Only elections count to our politicians, including President Obama!
4. Democracy = Opium?
As a Chinese who was well educated about the two Opium Wars, let me draw two simple analogies between democracy and opium as follows:
- Both opium and democracy can make you feel good for a while.
- Both opium and democracy are harmful, even fatal, in the long run.
If a war for selling opium was imperialistic, a war for selling democracy is also imperialistic! Therefore, the Iraq War was imperialistic. Because it was the first huge war ever launched by a democracy specifically for the purpose of spreading democracy, let’s call it by its proper name: democratic imperialism!
The same logic applies to the wars in Libya and Syria.
5. More on democracy
So America has been spreading democracy in the Middle East by all means, including wars. Three basic questions:
- Is democracy working over there? No! Here is a recent news story from Egypt: Egypt declares national emergency.
- Is the change to democracy in Egypt good for America? No! Here is a recent article: Egypt, U.S. on Collision Course. Here is a recent picture from Egypt:
- Will democracy ever work in Egypt? Impossibly unlikely – not in my life time at least! Here is an excerpt from my book (Saving America, Chinese Style):
The #1 problem in the Middle East is abject poverty, for which the only solution is capitalism, not democracy! As a matter of fact, there is not a single example of a third-world country achieving prosperity via democracy!
Bottom line: Democracy does not work over there! Worse yet, it’s democracy that has been a key reason behind the chaos, misery, and massive killings over there! Specifically,
- The Iraqis were much better off under Saddam than today! President George W. Bush is directly responsible for the mess in Iraq, obviously!
- The Egyptians were much better off under Mubarak than today! President Obama is directly responsible for the mess in Egypt! Not so obvious? Watch this: President Obama Speech to Muslim World in Cairo in 2009, review the events since then, and think …
Now, a bigger question for my fellow Americans: what about democracy at home? No, it does not work here either! For more, read: The Coming Demise of America …
Exporting something, an ideology or a product, that does not even work at home, by force? What the hell do we think we are doing? What the hell is this thing called [American] democracy?
6. What’s America, anyway?
America was built as a republic with full-blown capitalism and a limited version of democracy! However, over the past 200 years, America has progressively amended the U.S. Constitution to morph itself into a full-blown democracy (i.e. one person, one vote), against the wisdom of the founding fathers!
“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” — John Adams
“A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifth-one-percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” — Thomas Jefferson
America is being destroyed by both democratic socialism, as perpetuated by the extreme left, and democratic imperialism, as perpetuated by the extreme right!
For most American, democratic imperialism is far worse than democratic socialism. Therefore, the Republican Party must be anti-war by denouncing democratic imperialism, in order to have any chance in the next Presidential race and beyond! Specifically, expel the war hawks like John McCain and Lindsey Graham from the GOP, immediately! They are RINOs (Republicans In Name Only), anyway!