Deep History & American Empire: Reflections on the Bundys, Manifest Destiny & left-right politics

Produced by: 
KBOO
Air date: 
Wed, 02/03/2016 - 12:00am
Guest Anthony Hall, Prof. at Lethbridge Univ., author of "The American Empire & the Fourth World"
The occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Eastern Oregon has brought widespread attention to long-simmering (and occasionally boiling-over) conflicts over federally-owned and managed public lands in the West. Competing ideologies (states' rights vs. federal control; private property rights vs. public land management; "free market" access vs. environmental regulation etc.) echo debates and conflicts that go back to the founding of the United States. 

Guest Anthony Hall is Professor of Globalization Studies at Lethbridge University in Alberta, Canada. His 2003 book, "American Empire and the Fourth World," looks at how the United States continued and expanded the British Imperial project. The crucial period of the Seven Years War leading up to the War of Independence established an expansionist U.S. culture of private property and ruthless corporate capitalism. In his analysis,  the Royal Proclamation of 1763, which established a limit to colonial settlement at the crest of the Appalachian Mountains, was key to understanding these developments. 

The Bundys and their associates see themselves as the true heirs to the "American Revolution" and the vision of the "Founding Fathers" as embodied in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and ordained by God. And they have acted boldly and decisively on the basis of their beliefs. Meanwhile, many on the "Left" don't have such a strong foundation of political belief and religious faith, especially with the dissipation of Marxist-based movement-building (revolutionary or not). 

In his last program, by phone from Burns, Roland made an analogy between the Bundy gang's view of Federal control of public lands in the West and the colonial settlers' attitude toward the Royal Proclamation. He and his guest will use that as a starting point for their conversation.

To the extent that anyone still wants to carry the torch of anti-imperialism today in the

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