Dwayne (
Tue, 17 Mar 1998 20:54:12 +1100

Anton Sherwood wrote:
> > Anton Sherwood wrote:
> > > ... it wasn't by mere chance that Americans
> > > won the wars.
> > > Why didn't Brazil (for example), which had similar
> > > advantages of size and isolation, win them?
> Dwayne wrote:
> > Brazil in no way had the industrial base of the US. What a silly
> > example.
> Of course it's a silly example. But *why* is it a silly example, i.e.
> why isn't Brazil also an economic powerhouse?

Probably because like most subject nations Brazil was seen as a
source of raw materials, and thus took quite some time to develop
an industrial base, whereas the US overthrew colonial power early
on in the piece and was forced to develop a native industrial
base. I'd say population has something to do with it, too,
although I'm totally clueless when it comes to the comparative
population, so I may be talking out of my hat on this one.

> > > I like to think it's not *only* military power that makes Americana
> > > fashionable around the world ...
> >
> > What on earth makes you think "americana" is *fashionable*??
> > American military prowess and money are *desired* around the
> > world, but "fashionable" "americana"??
> Okay, so it's just my imagination that the whole world drinks Coke and
> watches Baywatch.

It's easy to compete internationally when you have already
recouped development costs and turned a profit from domestic
sales alone. And I would say there is more to a way of life than
coke and baywatch.

> > I find it amusing in the extreme that a collection of people who
> > declare themselves anti-statist are defending the US so
> > vigorously...
> Every state is evil, but ours is - or was - among the least evil.

I'd definitely pick -was- out of those two choices.

> I'm not as big a fan as Mike Lorrey, though.

You'd have to work hard at it, I feel. And those blinkers start
to chafe after a while

> I think it was he who
> pointed out that the USA did not take advantage of WW2 to pursue
> territorial expansion; that may be because the courts might make the
> government treat its new subjects like citizens -- much more convenient
> to occupy them as "military advisors" and/or rule through puppets.

Even more convenient to do away with the overheads of occupation
and rule and extract just as much money from unfair trade as you
could have via tribute.

I think this is by far the cleverest thing the US has done:
instead of maintaining huge standing armies and colonial
administration, with the associated costs, simply ensure that
your domestic companies are the dominant players in the market
and suck money out that way. bingo, all the benefits of an empire
and none of the disadvantages.