The Great Wall of Texas: How the U.S. Is Repeating One of History’s Great Blunders

Before their empire fell, the Romans built walls.

They began by erecting barriers along the border following the death of the Emperor Trajan in 117 A.D., notably Hadrian’s Wall, which belted Britain. Later emperors erected internal walls, even around the great city itself, to ward off barbarians. After 300 A.D., the Emperor Diocletian effectively converted the entire Roman populace into feudal serfs, walling them off from internal movement in a vain effort to stabilize the chaotic economy.

Despite the cautionary tale of Rome, building walls, both literal and figurative, has remained a habit of great powers in decline — the fateful course taken not only by Ming China, but also Soviet Russia, and even Great Britain.

Sadly, many Americans are all too eager to repeat history.

Read more. [Image: Reuters]

The first time I ever experienced inequality was in the college admissions process. I feel like I was treated worse because I’m white.

First-year Undecided major

[In response to the question, “When was the first time you witnessed or experienced inequality?”]

The New Isolationism: Why the World’s Richest Countries Can’t Work Together

In rejecting the use of force in Syria, the British parliament did more than deal a blow to U.S. efforts to organize an international coalition against the deployment of deadly chemical weapons in Syria. Last week’s unexpected development also confirmed a phenomenon that has been clear in economics and finance for a while: countries are turning more insular, even when there are good reasons to believe that collective international action would dominate individual domestic responses. In turn, this has contributed to a global economy that continues to operate below potential and faces renewed risks of financial instability.

The post World War II period was one in which the West recognized the power of coordinated responses, and acted on it. They wisely used structure to do some of the heavy lifting, forming a network of multilateral institutions and processes. This was supplemented by periodic summits that, unlike today, were driven more by substance and less by public relations – most notably among the G-7 (led by the U.S. and consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom). And bilateral relationships were anchored not just by common values and aspirations, but also by a unified assessment of external threats.

This Western-dominated architecture contributed in consequential ways to economic, political and social achievements. It also proved mostly effective in countering unexpected shocks.

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anonymous asked:

I'm American and I show no would you feel if countries invaded America, bombed and killed Americans, deployed armies, took our resources and expected us to adopt there form of government and if we didn't comply our country would be left in ruins and left to govern itself in a state of chaos with no police force, no army, no government.....we would be sitting ducks waiting to be claimed by one of the other world powers.

I would not like that one bit…and that is why we have the most powerful military in the world.  So that very thing does not happen.

And if it were to happen still, I’d fight tooth and nail for freedom.

Oh, and you are more biased than you think.

berlin-wall-official asked:

I don't know as much about american history as I would like however ther was a spate of republican presidents between the first and Second World War It was their conservative policy's that caused indirectly the biggest economic meltdown of the century and the biggest diplomatic breakdown of the century the Second World War. Doesent this kind of prove how bad aliases faire and isolationist policies can be?

That’s a myth.  You are probably speaking of Calvin Coolidge and Herbert Hoover who were fairly laissez-faire conservative Presidents leading up to the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the subsequent Great Depression.  Both events were not necessarily related as many schools lump them together.

Hoover actually tried fixing the problem with more government solutions before FDR came in and really muddied up the water with even more government solutions and regulations.  Both Presidents actually exacerbated the problem instead of letting the market auto-correct itself.  Eventually deregulation by Congress pulled us out of the Great Depression but the damage was done and we have never seen the end of these awful federal programs that came about from this time.

I’m not sure what you are referring to about isolationism because FDR was in the White House during that entire stint until he died.  Hoover may have seen some of the beginning transgressions, but America’s isolationism wasn’t a bad thing at the time considering we were broke, just fought in WWI, and had no real hand in the new War until we were bombed.  Not to mention, many made the same accusations about war-time profiteering by banks and military manufacturers that liberals made during the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. However, isolationism during this time was a bipartisan movement.

This guy’s got the perfect foreign policy for the Victorian era. We’ve tried hiding behind two big oceans in the past. That doesn’t do you a lick of good in the fiber optic era. We live in a globalized world. International trade powers our economy. You either keep America out in front, or you don’t.
—  Anonymous GOP Staffer • In response to recent comments from Kentucky Senator Rand Paul — specifically, his assertion that U.S. politicians “stuck in the Cold War era" like to provoke Russian President Vladimir Putin — which several analysts and commentators have suggested is just the latest proof that Paul is unfit to pursue the Oval Office in 2016. Though regularly discussed as a possible GOP nominee in 2016, many conservatives apparently believe Paul’s strict isolationist policies will be what prevents him from ever carrying a majority of the party’s support. source
“Fair Trade or Free Trade” and Enterprise Architecture

What is the way ahead for free trade—further globalization and lost jobs for U.S. workers or isolationism and protectionism?

Fortune Magazine, 4 February 2008 reports that “economic anxiety has inspired a backlash against free trade…in the great game of global trade, Americans are increasingly feeling like the losers.”

How did we get to this advanced state of global trade?

Americans led the works in building a roadmap for global commerce during the 1990’s” with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) “linking the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to create the world’s largest trade bloc.”

Why are Americans reeling from free trade?

68% of those surveyed say America’s trading partners are benefiting the most from free trade, not the U.S. The sense of victimhood is changing America’s attitude about doing business with the world. We are a nation crawling into a fetal position, cramped by fear. That America has lost control of its destiny in a fiercely competitive global economy. The fear is mostly about jobs lost overseas and wages capped by foreign competition. But it is also fueled by lead-painted toys from China and border-hopping workers from Mexico, by the housing and credit crisis at home, and by the residue of vulnerability left by 9/11 and the wars that followed.”

We are turning inward. Especially now, as the U.S. economy sputters…median household income in 2006, at $48,201 was barely ahead of where it was eight years earlier. So the prospect of a recession has made the anxious middle class even more so.”

“Most analysts agree that the underlying reason for public anxiety over globalization is the visibility of factory closings and the stagnation of income.

What is the result of the backlash against free trade?

“Today, nearly two-thirds of Americans are willing to pay higher prices to keep down foreign competition.”

With the upcoming presidential election, “the Democratic mantra is now, ‘fair trade, not free trade.’”

“Most Democratic leaders insist they don’t want to, nor believe they can, halt the global flow of commerce. Where they hope to connect with voters is by promising to strengthen the safety net.” This includes special training programs, tax incentives for companies to relocate to where workers have lost jobs, and expanding unemployment benefits.

I agree that we cannot retrench into isolationism, although a little protectionism sounds about right and fair. We need to architect our nation’s role in global trade, so that we are not running huge trade deficits, losing valuable jobs to overseas workers, and buying shoddy products from overseas.

Enterprise architecture is about identifying the baseline and setting a target and transition plan. Well the current baseline, as outlined, is ruinous for the U.S. economy. The target is clearly a more strategic trade policy that protects our vital economic industries, interests, and workers. And the transition plan is to establish the laws and policies to change our wayward direction and quickly.

Finally, businesses must look beyond the quarterly financial statements and daily stock prices of their companies and instead establish longer-term targets that focus on retaining strategic assets and know-how at home here in the U.S., rather than trade it away for a quick buck on the quarterly income statement.

Seriously, though, it’s not that difficult to tell these two apart.


  • Opposed to free trade agreements.
  • Opposed to relaxed immigration laws (or outright opposed to immigration altogether).
  • Oppose the use of American military to intervene elsewhere.
  • Support strict tariffs and laws aimed at protecting American business from foreign competition.

Ron Paul and other prominent libertarians believe in opening up trade with Cuba, ending sanctions and promoting “peace through prosperity.” Tell me, exactly, how that is “isolationist”?

“Non-interventionism,” on the other hand, means being opposed to “entangling alliances” abroad and the interference in and/or starting of military action. All while supporting freedom of commerce, travel, and immigration.

"It is not we non-interventionists who are isolationsists. The real isolationists are those who impose sanctions and embargoes on countries and peoples across the globe because they disagree with the internal and foreign policies of their leaders. The real isolationists are those who choose to use force overseas to promote democracy, rather than seek change through diplomacy, engagement, and by setting a positive example."

Ron Paul, an American medical doctor, author, Republican United States Representative, and a candidate for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination. He has been an outspoken critic of American foreign and monetary policies, recognized for sharply opposing his own party on many issues. Since 1997, Paul has represented Texas’s 14th congressional district, which covers an area south and southwest of Houston that includes Galveston. Paul serves on the House Committees on Foreign Affairs and Financial Services, and on the Joint Economic Committee, as well as chairman of the Financial Services Subcommittee on Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology.

Pol Pot killed one point seven million Cambodians, died under house arrest, well done there. Stalin killed many millions, died in his bed, aged seventy-two, well done indeed. And the reason we let them get away with it is they killed their own people. And we’re sort of fine with that. Hitler killed people next door. Oh, stupid man. After a couple of years we won’t stand for that, will we?
—  Eddie Izzard