A view of US politics as of August 2020.
Prior to nation-states claiming the “monopoly on violence” in the 19th century, there was an active market for professional mercenary soldiers in Europe. Further demand for mercenaries was stimulated by the opening of an Atlantic system of trade in Africa and the Americas, spreading the European practice of private soldiering overseas. Mercenaries were employed in… Continue reading Mercenaries: Private Military Force in the Atlantic World
Have you ever taken a personality test? I had to take one several years ago as part of an employer's training program, doing different versions of the Myers-Briggs test and being scored an INTP or an INTJ. My scores for Thinking and Introversion were at extreme ends, I favored my Intuition over my Sensations, but I… Continue reading Opening Moves
In Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler wrote, “What could have been done with this peace treaty of Versailles?!” He continues:This instrument of boundless extortion and abject humiliation might, in the hands of a willing government, have become an instrument for whipping up the national passions to fever heat. With a brilliant propagandist exploitation of these sadistic… Continue reading Reparations: A Dish Best Served Cold
A reader of Armchair Mutineer will know I’m not an optimist by nature. In fact, people who know me probably think I’m a “glass is half-empty and quickly draining” kind of guy. I bring both skepticism and cynicism to studying U.S. history, and I’ll readily admit a fondness for debunking popular American mythos, whether it… Continue reading Learned Optimism: Liberalism, Human Rights, and American Progress
To be alive means to cope with constant change, just as it is that living means we face death one day. Nothing about us is permanent except the matter we are comprised of (or, at least, that is what we are told by physicists). We are also told by evolutionary biologists that as animals we… Continue reading Change…and Fade Away
“The history of the United States is the history of empire,” concludes Daniel Immerwahr’s How to Hide an Empire. Immerwahr’s book argues American political discourse resisted a societal and cultural self-identification of conducting an empire while the US government acted the part of an imperial power through its foriegn policy over the last 120 years.… Continue reading Imperial Blindness
In 2012 historian Geoffrey Kabaservice wrote an interesting book detailing the history of moderates in the Republican Party called Rule and Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party, From Eisenhower to the Tea Party. Apolitical or centrist types may read Kabaservice and consider it tragedy, while far-right and far-left readers… Continue reading Wither Moderation