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The last four or five hundred years of European contact with Africa produced a body of literature that presented Africa in a very bad light and Africans in very lurid terms. The reason for this had to do with the need to justify the slave trade and slavery. Chinua Achebe
Donald Trumps’ rant against Iran is the howl of the dying empire: All empires outstay their declared purpose, let alone their welcome. All end messily – the operative world is all – be they Roman, Napoleonic, British or Soviet … The US has claimed the right to intervene in theatres as diverse as South America, the Far East, East Africa and a portfolio of Muslim states … Simon Jenkins, The Guardian online 2020, cited Keiser Report
Empires in decay embrace an almost wilful suicide. Blinded by their hubris and unable to face the reality of their diminishing power, they retreat into a fantasy world where hard and unpleasant facts no longer intrude. They replace diplomacy, multilateralism and politics with unilateralism, bombastic threats and the blunt instrument of war. Chris Hedges, lecture New York Sanctuary for Independent Media, ‘American Anomie’, Youtube 2.01.07, 2018
When you spend that long on the outer reaches of empire, you understand the cruelty of empire … and the lies we tell ourselves about what is done in our name. Chris Hedges, interview Bill Moyers 22 July 2012
At the end of any empire there are always a handful of chroniclers who, like Cicero in the ancient Roman Republic, see clearly the looming disintegration of empire. They call out the bankruptcy of an inept and corrupt ruling class blinded by hubris. Chris Hedges, The Chris Hedges Report: How Empires Die, Youtube 32.52, 2023
‘Those who wield power have an interest in sustaining the myth.’ ibid. Andrew Bacevich
Great empires are not maintained by timidity. Tacitus
They have pillaged the world. When the land has nothing left for men who ravage everything, they scour the sea. If an enemy is rich, they are greedy; if he is poor, they crave glory. Neither East nor West can sate their appetite. They are the only people on earth to covet wealth and poverty with equal craving. They plunder, they butcher, they ravish, and call it by the lying name of ‘empire’. They make a desert and call it ‘peace’. Tacitus
I wish your Your Majesty to understand the motive that moves me to make this statement is the peace of my conscience and because of the guilt I share. For we have destroyed by our evil behaviour such a government as was enjoyed by these natives. They were so free of crime and greed, both men and women, that they could leave gold or silver worth a hundred thousand pesos in their open house. So that when they discovered that we were thieves and men who sought to force their wives and daughters to commit sin with them, they despised us. But now things have come to such a pass in offence of God, owing to the bad example we have set them in all things, that these natives from doing no evil have turned into people who can do no good. I beg God to pardon me, for I am moved to say this, seeing that I am the last to die of the Conquistadors. Mansio Serra Leguizamon
The city of Vienna was the capital of an empire which held together a multitude of nations and languages. It was a famous centre of literature, music and the arts. Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man 12/13: Generation Upon Generation, BBC 1973
The Netherlands: The Golden Age – this tiny country boasted the most powerful empire on Earth. Andrew Graham-Dixon, The High Art of the Low Countries II: Boom and Bust, BBC 2013
Napoleon styled his army on that of ancient Rome. Professor Saul David, Bullets, Boots and Bandages: How to Really Win at War II: Stealing a March, BBC 2012
Like some latter-day Roman consul Mussolini longed for an African empire. The World at War 8/26: Desert, ITV 1973
The vast Nazi empire of Germania. Fatherland 1994 starring Rutger Hauer & Miranda Richardson & Peter Vaughn & Michael Kitchen & Jean Marsh & John Woodbine & John Shrapnel & Clive Russell & Clare Higgins et al, director Christopher Menaul
Hitler believes the only way for Germany to be a great nation is to build a larger German empire across Europe. It is a belief that would lead to World War II. Mystery Files: Hitler, 2011
The world famous military genius created one of the largest empires in history. After death his body becomes one of the most venerated objects in the classical world ... Destroyed? Hijacked? Or something more sinister? We open the mystery files on the quest for the tomb of Alexander the Great. Mystery Files: Alexander The Great
No nation is fit to sit in judgment upon any other nation. Woodrow Wilson, speech 20th April 1915
And at last when the Americans became the majority, the seat of Empire would perhaps have been moved solemnly across the Atlantic, and Britain have become the historical shrine and the European outpost of the world empire. It would have been the most sublime transference of power known to mankind ... under the vigorous embrace of the New World. Lord Rosebery, address Glasgow University 1900
Their interests are global – and much as they may protest we see no difference between the Trilateral globalism and for example British or French Imperialism of the 19th century, or the Holy Roman Empire for that matter. Antony C Sutton, Trilaterals over America
Alexander the Great swept across the near east bringing a new empire and a cultural revolution. Simon Sebag Montefiore, Jerusalem: The Making of a Holy City 1/3: Wellspring of Holiness, BBC 2011
Only the kings of the three great empires, of Egypt, Syria and Babylon were referred to as ‘great king’ ... The peace treaty dated 1259 B.C. was proof there had indeed been a missing fourth empire. Lost Cities of the Ancients: The Dark Side of Hattusha, BBC 2012
Rome was the dream of glory, the dream of success, the dream of ultimate power. But its history also contained the warning: empires will fall no matter how great, no matter how successful. Every superpower will eventually die. Dr Darius A Arya
The Carthaginian Empire had been built on the strength of its Navy. Larry Lamb, Rome: The World’s First Superpower II: Total War, Channel 5 2014
Hannibal had finally crossed the Alps into Italy – an amazing feat. ibid.
Rome had won its world war. Carthage fell. ibid.
146 B.C.: A century of bitter warfare is about to reach its climax. Rome’s forces are poised outside the city walls of their greatest enemy: Carthage must be destroyed. Larry Lamb, Rome: The World's First Superpower III: Death of a Hero, Channel 5 2014
It was the empire of all empires. The greatest power the world had ever known. The Romans dominated for nearly a thousand years laying the foundations of western civilisation. Our language, our law and our landscape all bear the mark of Rome. How did the Romans do it? Rome: The Model Empire, Channel 4 2002
The Americans have achieved a military dominance the Romans could only dream of. ibid.
They ruined us. They conquered continents.
We filled their uniforms. We cruised the seas.
We worked their mines and made their histories
You work, we rule, they said. We worked; they ruled.
They fooled the tenements. All men were fooled. Douglas Dunn, Empires, 1979
This empire, vast as it is, is only a prison to which the emperor holds the key. Astolphe Louis Leonard, Marquis de Custine, 1790-1857
The day of small nations has long passed away. The day of empires has come. Joseph Chamberlain
All empire is no more than power in trust. John Dryden, 1631-1700, Absalom and Achitophel
The empires of the future are the empires of the mind. Winston Churchill, speech Harvard 6th September 1943