Skip to content

American Empire and our “War State”

July 11, 2022

“Saddened” is the word that best described my feelings as I viewed for the first time the appearance of my latest book, Rise and Fall of the American Empire, at Amazon. My study reveals the prospect that if America continues in the direction it is going we’ll lose our country.

Loss of country is a theme I developed in a webcast produced at the HQ building of the Institute of World Politics, formerly the Embassy of the Soviet Union in Washington, DC.  “Loss” of France, Poland and 17th century China are examined and suggest that no nation is immune to ultimate loss.

From 1916 to 1991 the Soviet Union followed the trajectory of all living things from birth to senescence and death and Rise and Fall of the American Empire explores how, in less than ten years, we Americans may face loss of our Constitutional order. Only sadness is the feeling I felt at a prospect that the political order that has served us well since 1789 will soon expire.

Slowly, over close to a century of wars, from America’s decision to enter WW I in 1914 to 2003 when another American president launched a “war to end dictatorship and terrorism in Iraq and gain the people’s freedom,” a deep administrative state has grown and shaped the United States into a “War State.” Historians use that term to describe the growth of the Roman Republic into a Roman Empire.

Our transformation is more complex than what shaped a standing army of ancient Rome into a Roman Legion.

Led by arrogant presidents, we sought to change nature or at least the natural order of balance of power and replace it with a democratic project. That project, or ideal, shared by Republican and Democrat alike, is irrational and reflects the “totalist” impulse that drives modern humans.

That “idealism” defined us by participating in so many wars that we see ourselves as a military nation that has been shaped by a massive administrative state so massive that we Americans now understand the difference between our being “governed” and our being “ruled.”

An Unlikely Scholar

July 9, 2022

Yesterday July 8, 2022, Andrew Van Dam, a columnist for the Washington Post, revealed trends in American higher education that explain some aspects of “progressive” academic “group think.” His report is titled “People from elite backgrounds increasingly dominate academia, data shows.”

Van Dam reports that two thirds of new PhDs have parents with graduate degrees, up from around 20 percent a few decades ago.

“I know the feeling” of being the first member of my family to go to college and to follow that with studies that led to an earned Ph.D. in Government specializing in political philosophy.

I shouldn’t have taken that professional course since my secondary education lacked study in Latin and Greek and when, as a Junior undergraduate, I went to the Latin Department to express interest in learning Latin I was told that I was “too old.”

I was 20.

Undaunted, ten years later, I took leave from my graduate studies at Notre Dame to enter an intensive Latin program at Loyola of Chicago for older men who wanted to become Catholic priests, followed that with the study of Classical Greek at Hunter College and later studied Sanskrit at Columbia.

Oh how it would have been better to study Latin in 8th through the 12th grades but I am a “working class” American and didn’t become interested in college until asked by a classmate in 11th grade “Where are you going to college?”

“What’s college?” I asked.

My family were immigrants from Germany and Turkey, learned to speak English in America and worked as laborers, typists or clerks. My father was an Armenian who became a rug merchant. But even he did not speak English until he attended public school.

How I became a scholar is explained in my recent book, Ennobling Encounters.

Hail Caesar

July 8, 2022

In Rise and Fall of the American Empire, now available for purchase at Amazon, I trace how a young Republic became an Empire and I explain much that should give reason to fear that we are nearing then end of the life of a written document ratified in 1789.

We began with a government that governed and now are veering toward a condition of servitude to experts endowed with administrative powers. Maintaining them is costly and removing their powers not possible until such time as we have a second civil war or ask for military intervention. Either way, an ending of American Empire is in sight.

What to say Today

July 6, 2022

Most essays at https://dickbishirjian.com are premeditated, but some fly in “over the transom” like today when I received a note of appreciation for mention of the late Bill Schulz.

I replied:

How nice of you to remind me of Bill Schultz and of a time when we young conservatives turned our backs on a dominant “Liberal” ideology and cut our own paths through life.

Some chose journalism (Schulz, Tomlinson, Evans), some went into publishing (Greg Wolf  https://slantbooks.org), some took the think tank route (Ed Feulner, Paul Weyrich), others became scholars (Angelo Codevilla) and, well, you can read about them at https://enroutebooksandmedia.com/ennoblingencounters.

“Honor thy father and mother that though mayest live long on the earth” is a verse from the King James version that I remember. When just a kid I didn’t think living a long life was so great, but I now see that if so blest you can actualize your humanity by remembering.