Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: WJB- No fan of imperialism

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

WJB- No fan of imperialism


William Jennings Bryan is obviously an opponent of imperialism. In fact, Mr Bryan believed that its idea goes against the ideals for which this country was created.

"The imperialistic idea is directly antagonistic to the idea and the ideals which have been cherished by the American people since the signing of the Declaration of Independence."

Bryan is one who believed that the United States of America would be and would have been better off without entering upon a "career of conquest." The debate which existed more than one hundred years ago still rages on today. Is it necessary for the United States of America to be involved in all matters of the entire world? When did these labels of "worlds greatest superpower" and "global police officer" come into existence?
Some of the problems that exist in this country today are external ones. Our current situation encourages an American to ask him or herself- Would we be better off remaining isolated? George Washington's farewell address warned the nation to "avoid foreign entanglements." This seems to have been an effective policy. One might counter such a policy by suggesting that alliances are needed for the purposes of protection and trade. My answer to that would be that we, as a nation, were safe prior to our military alliances. We also prospered in trade before we engaged in imperialist endeavors.
Americans are sold these overseas campaigns and are told why they are necessary for our safety and survival. Apparently Americans have been the target of such propaganda for a long time. William Jennings Bryan was opposed to such crusades deemed necessary by the government. I would imagine that Mr. Bryan would be appalled by the actions of the current administration with regards to our policies in the Middle East and possibly South America in the near future. (Although this picture has little to do with my post- I thought you might enjoy it)

2 Comments:

Blogger adayinminyan said...

good point. but please wait a minute and think about it.when we try to list all those external factors that divert our concentration on domestic issues, have we ever reflected on our own problems, let's say, internal factor that are actually more essential? the media do serve as the watchdog of the government sometimes, but in most of cases, they lost themselves in the manipulation of political rhetoric.that is, to blame almost all others in the world, except our allies and ourselves under the government's guidance.after sep.11th, american people are beecoming increasingly cautious about what's going around the world, and their role as the international police are more and more obvious.and all these are based on two words: national interests.

2/09/2006 5:03 PM  
Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good post and a good comment.

William Jennings Bryan gives a half-hearted speech in opposition to the war. I think that he remains convinced that the Flipinos would benefit from contact with our Protestant civilization. On the other hand, he was an isolationoist. He would have enjoyed George Bush's use of religious imagery to make his case.

2/14/2006 12:21 AM  

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