June 25, 2003

What IS It With Some People?

Robert Prather has written a great post today in which he takes aim at a (likely) European commenter who believes the EU will challenge the United States' primacy on the world stage.

You should know that this commenter also believes that the United States wants to rule the world in its entirety, comparing us with the despotic regimes of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. Indeed, he argues, if we do not cease this supposed policy of putting the world's eight corners under our roof, we shall feel Europe's wrath.

Now, at first, I admit this concerned me a bit. After all, you can imagine the danger to America if the French were successful in making working propellers for their aircraft carriers. Of course, I joke. But what concerns me is this idea, popular among some Europeans, that we Americans want to rule the world.

Look. We don't. Really, we don't. The only reason we've engaged in war overseas is because we're concerned about threats to our own way of life and our own people. Eventually, though it may take a while, we're actually going to leave the places we've temporarily subjugated. Sure, we might get some sort of economic benefit from that vis-a-vis Iraq, but you had your chance to join in and share in that. You didn't. Better luck tomorrow.

Really, think about it for a minute. I mean, we don't even want Canada, and if we had any plans for world domination they'd be first on the list. After all, they've got all that oil and uranium and timber -- plus they make really good poutine. Of course, we like the Canadians a lot, and closer cooperation with them on certain issues would make a lot of sense -- but quite frankly, we're not even ready to do that. So you shouldn't expect any occupying troops in Ottawa soon, much less Prague or Bratislava.

Nor should you blame us for our economic strength or our cultural domination. As Mr Prather noted, you could have the same if you made some certain decisions, but you like things the way they are now. Fine. It's also not our fault Europeans and others like buying American cultural goods. We're good at making them. This, we might add, is proof of the immutable law of Comparative Advantage. It's why you buy our movies and our music, why we buy -- well, bought -- your wines and cheeses, and we both buy electronics from East Asia.

It might actually be nice if Europe got a bit more involved in affairs on the world stage, because then we could focus our attention on other matters. Mr Prather mentioned Bosnia as an example of that. Bosnia was yours. We were more than willing to let you handle it. But you didn't. You left it to us to throw Serbia down to the ground.

So, I hope that this serves to quell any rumors that we Americans are plotting to conquer the world. However, do be warned that in case anyone else starts getting sneaky, we're working on even more things to make the world safe for free peoples everywhere.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at June 25, 2003 11:08 PM | TrackBack