Guest Post: How To Dismantle The American Empire

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Laurence M. Vance via the Ludwig von Mises Institute,

This selection is from chapter 7 of Laurence Vance’s War, Empire, and the Military: Essays on the Follies of War and U.S. Foreign Policy, now available in the Mises Store.

The WikiLeaks revelations have shined a light on the dark nature of U.S. foreign policy, including, as Eric Margolis recently described it: “Washington’s heavy-handed treatment of friends and foes alike, its bullying, use of diplomats as junior-grade spies, narrow-minded views, and snide remarks about world leaders.”

As much as I, an American, hate to say it, U.S. foreign policy is actually much worse. It is aggressive, reckless, belligerent, and meddling. It sanctions the destabilization and overthrow of governments, the assassination of leaders, the destruction of industry and infrastructure, the backing of military coups, death squads, and drug traffickers, and imperialism under the guise of humanitarianism. It supports corrupt and tyrannical governments and brutal sanctions and embargoes. It results in discord, strife, hatred, and terrorism toward the United States.

The question, then, is simply this: Can U.S. foreign policy be fixed? Although I am not very optimistic that it will be, I am more than confident that it can be.

I propose a four-pronged solution from the following perspectives: Founding Fathers, military, congressional, libertarian. In brief, to fix its foreign policy the United States should implement a Jeffersonian foreign policy, adopt Major General Smedley Butler’s Amendment for Peace, follow the advice of Congressman Ron Paul, and do it all within the libertarian framework of philosopher Murray Rothbard.

Thomas Jefferson, our first secretary of state and third president, favored a foreign policy of “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations — entangling alliances with none.” This policy was basically followed until the Spanish-American War of 1898. Here is the simple but profound wisdom of Jefferson:

“No one nation has a right to sit in judgment over another.”


“We wish not to meddle with the internal affairs of any country, nor with the general affairs of Europe.”


“I am for free commerce with all nations, political connection with none, and little or no diplomatic establishment.”


“We have produced proofs, from the most enlightened and approved writers on the subject, that a neutral nation must, in all things relating to the war, observe an exact impartiality towards the parties.”

No judgment, no meddling, no political connection, and no partiality: this is a Jeffersonian foreign policy.

U.S. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler was the most decorated Marine in U.S. history. After leaving the military, he authored the classic work War Is a Racket. Butler proposed an Amendment for Peace to provide an “absolute guarantee to the women of America that their loved ones never would be sent overseas to be needlessly shot down in European or Asiatic or African wars that are no concern of our people.” Here are its three planks:

1. The removal of members of the land armed forces from within the continental limits of the United States and the Panama Canal Zone for any cause whatsoever is hereby prohibited.

2. The vessels of the United States Navy, or of the other branches of the armed services, are hereby prohibited from steaming, for any reason whatsoever except on an errand of mercy, more than five hundred miles from our coast.

3. Aircraft of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps is hereby prohibited from flying, for any reason whatsoever, more than seven hundred and fifty miles beyond the coast of the United States.

Butler also reasoned that because of “our geographical position, it is all but impossible for any foreign power to muster, transport and land sufficient troops on our shores for a successful invasion.” In this he was echoing Jefferson, who recognized that geography was one of the great advantages of the United States: “At such a distance from Europe and with such an ocean between us, we hope to meddle little in its quarrels or combinations. Its peace and its commerce are what we shall court.”

And then there is our modern Jeffersonian in Congress, Rep. Ron Paul, the only consistent voice in Congress from either party for a foreign policy of peace and nonintervention. In a speech on the House floor several months before the invasion of Iraq, Ron Paul made the case for a foreign policy of peace through commerce and nonintervention:

A proper foreign policy of non-intervention is built on friendship with other nations, free trade, and open travel, maximizing the exchanges of goods and services and ideas.


We should avoid entangling alliances and stop meddling in the internal affairs of other nations — no matter how many special interests demand otherwise. The entangling alliances that we should avoid include the complex alliances in the UN, the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO.


The basic moral principle underpinning a non-interventionist foreign policy is that of rejecting the initiation of force against others. It is based on non-violence and friendship unless attacked, self-determination, and self-defense while avoiding confrontation, even when we disagree with the way other countries run their affairs. It simply means that we should mind our own business and not be influenced by special interests that have an ax to grind or benefits to gain by controlling our foreign policy. Manipulating our country into conflicts that are none of our business and unrelated to national security provides no benefits to us, while exposing us to great risks financially and militarily.

For the libertarian framework necessary to ensure a foreign policy of peace and nonintervention, we can turn to libertarian political philosopher and theoretician Murray Rothbard:

The primary plank of a libertarian foreign policy program for America must be to call upon the United States to abandon its policy of global interventionism: to withdraw immediately and completely, militarily and politically, from Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, from everywhere. The cry among American libertarians should be for the United States to withdraw now, in every way that involves the U.S. government. The United States should dismantle its bases, withdraw its troops, stop its incessant political meddling, and abolish the CIA. It should also end all foreign aid — which is simply a device to coerce the American taxpayer into subsidizing American exports and favored foreign States, all in the name of “helping the starving peoples of the world.” In short, the United States government should withdraw totally to within its own boundaries and maintain a policy of strict political “isolation” or neutrality everywhere.

The U.S. global empire with its 1,000 foreign military bases and half a million troops and mercenary contractors in three-fourths of the world’s countries must be dismantled. This along with the empire’s spies, covert operations, foreign aid, gargantuan military budgets, abuse and misuse of the military, prison camps, torture, extraordinary renditions, assassinations, nation building, spreading democracy at the point of a gun, jingoism, regime changes, military alliances, security guarantees, and meddling in the affairs of other countries.

U.S. foreign policy can be fixed. The United States would never tolerate another country building a string of bases around North America, stationing thousands of its troops on our soil, enforcing a no-fly zone over American territory, or sending their fleets to patrol off our coasts. How much longer will other countries tolerate these actions by the United States? We have already experienced blowback from the Muslim world for our foreign policy. And how much longer can the United States afford to maintain its empire?

It is time for the world’s policeman, fireman, security guard, social worker, and busybody to announce its retirement.

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The_Ungrateful_Yid's picture

How to dismantle the american empire? Keep the demonrats and republicons around you at all times. Both work for the same boss, just ask pussy ass boehner.

22winmag's picture

Significant and genuine change cannot and will not come from within the hoplessly corrupt system.


That's why I don't believe for a minute that the Tea Party [political bowel] movement is gonna make much difference.

Mister Kitty's picture

The capitalists destroyed America when they sent the jobs overseas, and demonized the poor and the unions.  This problem is existential.  Bitches.

TahoeBilly2012's picture

"U.S. foreign policy is aggressive, reckless, belligerent, and meddling"...and Jewish...but they don't actually fight, or farm...they mostly complain about toilets at Olympics...since they can't really ski either.

Oh regional Indian's picture

C'mon, just frigging say it already.

There is no United States of America. There is THE UNITED STATES  Corportionand then the State Subsidiaries of said corp.



Jadr's picture

You should do some more research.  I did when I read about the idea of what you speak and it has been thoroughly debunked.  Type Act of 1871 hoax into google and do some reading.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Jadr, the debunkers (just like Popular Mechanics de-bunked 9/11 truth) have been at it a long time.

The story is convoluted beyond both from a chinese whisper effect AND wilful mis-direction.

All you really need to understand is Oaths, Offices and Contracts.

Ruled by Bulls (Papal). 

And the trap door that springs will fuck with your mind.

Are you aware of Maritime Law and how it was "brought" to land?

Have fun...


Jadr's picture

Read up more.  Do your own real research rather than parroting others' information.  The Trafficant quote is incorrect.  A lot of the references to laws being passed are incorrect.  Stop taking things at face value and look deeper.  But then again, wasn't one of your blog posts about how you think you are the 2nd coming?

I spent a good amount of time reading the information regarding all of the topics you address regarding maritime law, and the US corp etc.  9/11 I think there was definitely things beyond the full story (anyone that paid attention and saw WTC 7 go down should have some questions whether they think its a full conspiracy or not).  I don't claim to have knowledge of things I don't fully have the answers for.  But I do my own research and try to reach the best conclusions I can.  It is much easier to debunk something then to prove a mysterious fact and the whole US corp thing is a farce, it is a bunch of people all parroting the same information all based on the same sources which are spreading false information.  I approach every thing I come across with an open mind and do deeper research rather than simply taking someone's word at face value.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Jadr, let us agree to disagree. Like I said, everything is not verifiable, but there is enough factual evidence to justify the dive.

It's too deep to get into the discussion here.

Good luck...



PS: No, second coming was Spiritoftruth. I'm the first coming of myself, thank you very much! ;-)

Jadr's picture

Fair enough and sorry for getting you mixed up with that person.  I do encourage you to look into the topic some more from the other side and evaluate their citations and claims of misleading information being included in the source text of what many people use as their proof for the argument you have made.  Like I said in my other post, I approached the topic with an open mind and after considerable research I found the claims that the information provided by those making the argument you have are based on incorrect information.  The most damning evidence for me was learning that the bills they claimed laid the foundation for US Corp actually were different laws entirely and relied on the reader not actually looking into their citations.  However, believe what you like, I will lose no sleep over it, and with that, good night.

AldousHuxley's picture

You call America an "empire" and criticize her foreign policy????


An empire's foreign policy has always been to conquer foreign lands and divy up the winnings, eliminate sitting elites, enslave the population, and steal the resources.


America just does a better cover up job with hollywood propaganda. neo-colonialism is using corporations to legitimately transfer wealth over. 


British had her East India Company

Dutch had her Royal Dutch Petroleum Company (aka. "Shell") in Dutch East Indies


"Crown Corporations" are alive and well.

new game's picture

all power structure managed by humans evolve to empires.

never fucking enough, like squirrels... 

GetZeeGold's picture




How To Dismantle The American Empire


The unofficial name for it is Obamacare.

insanelysane's picture

....U.S. foreign policy is actually much worse. It is aggressive, reckless, belligerent, and meddling.


....U.S. DOMESTIC policy is actually much worse. It is aggressive, reckless, belligerent, and meddling.


Fixed it!

new game's picture

edit to fix; every fucking where!

new game's picture

last squirrel i shot didn't have enough-hehe. tasty bugger. if only it could have enjoyed the fruits of its labor.  that's my story of the day...

HardAssets's picture

'America'  "British'   'Dutch'

Just who do you exactly mean by such words ?

Is it the average person living within certain geographic areas - - - the ones who actually end up paying & dying for 'empire' and the other silly words used by socio-path/psycho-paths to manipulate the people ?

Son of Captain Nemo's picture

All so very true AH

But you fail to mention the glaring contradiction between those Western European Nations that didn't have a "All men are created equal... with inalienable rights... to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness"...  Tell that to the native Americans and 200 years of slavery when these “gentlemen” wrote the Constitution, especially Mr. Jefferson as profoundly dignified as his contributions were to the laws of the land.  T

Trust me I have no illusions whatsoever that America has gotten it wrong from it’s inception and that those words have been a lie to promote nothing more or less than a façade as Thomas Malthus stated “The histories of mankind are histories only of the higher classes” and as eloquent as Smedley Butler, Rothbard and Paul have been on how to remedy the situation we are now in, there is no solution for putting the "genie back in the bottle", only disgruntled masses with guns that are by the hour being betrayed by the very politicians that represent them habitually breaking the law in contradiction to the oaths they took to protect and defend them!

zhandax's picture

And now that is settled, back to the article at hand.  I love this part, "In brief, to fix its foreign policy the United States should implement a Jeffersonian foreign policy".  I have a problem understanding just which dimwit 'of influence' is tasked with this.  Pelosi?  The horse thief?  The immigrant?  One of the fat old blondes?  The crybaby?  Ted Teaparty?  Rand Paul?  The Vicksburg KKK will surround the beltway with 12 gauges?  I love a good fairy tale as much as the next guy, but this is just an Austrian wet-dream.  Tell me to go vote and I will delete your bookmark.

jeff montanye's picture

not to worry, obama has found his calling.  he's "really good at killing people."

JoBob's picture

Both Oh regional Indian and Jadr should get extra points in demonstrating an intelligent exchange of ideas, for disagreeing in a civilized manner, and for remaining positive.


Thanks to both of you!

new game's picture

the fight club has ropes around the ring and end of round dingger. not to mention peers that will not tolerate BULLSHIT, AND STUPIDITY...

now if we could put the ropes to better use...

Dr. Destructo's picture

Indeed. A round of intellectual fisticuffs that ends in a civil 'handshake' is definitely worth points at the very least.

Sean7k's picture


Start here. Then move on to "The Rape of Justice" by Mullins. Additional material can be found at: 

Hopefully, you will read and do "real" research. There is a lot of tenuous information out there, but you are just as blind if you assume the status quo to be correct. It is difficult to challenge all we have been taught to believe, but in my research, I have found the ruling paradigm to be the greatest lie ever told. Therefore, I assume the State is lying and proceed from there.

"The Creature of Jekyll Island"

"The Curse of Canaan"

"The Controversy of Zion"

"Bloodlines of the Illumnati"

"Hitler's War"

Good Luck!

boogerbently's picture


"How To Dismantle The American Empire"

Bankrupt (moral and financial), Lie, Vaginify.

jeff montanye's picture

i would think bankrupt, truth and vaginify, relatively speaking.  more brooksley born, sheila bair, elizabeth warren, colleen rowley, ruth ginsberg, sonia sotomayor.  less hilary clinton, dianne feinstein, elena kagan. 

dougngen's picture

Maybe you should move the land of Union Nirvana there comrade?? Wait, is this Barrack???

Doubleguns's picture

The tea party already made one hell of a difference. They stopped the out of control govt from doing a lot worse things if the house, senate and prez all were one party still,  just think of the problems. Tea party changed that in 2010. Nothing getting done is much better than all the things that would have been done "TO" you had that not have been stopped. Thankfully they showed up at the last minute, like the cavalry playing the bugle they came charging in and stopped the downward spirl by flipping the house. Yep stopped their tracks. 4 years later and still hanging on by a thread but.....still hanging on. 

i_call_you_my_base's picture

What has not gotten done? What are all these things the tea party prevented?

Doubleguns's picture

Ask Obama, he complains about it all the time. Your not paying attention. He now insists he will have to do it himself with a pen and executive orders. How is is possible you have missed this?

TheReplacement's picture

He did not miss this.  He is, how you say, disinformation agent provocateur.  Just try to imagine that with a nice eastern European accent and you'll know what I'm going for.


TheReplacement's picture

Gun control.  Disarmarment.  Resistance.  Civil war.  Mass slaughter.  Invasion.  Mass slaughter.  Tax.  Cheat.  Rinse.  Repeat.

notadouche's picture

Then why does Obama, Reid, Boehner and the like point the finger at them as standing in the way of all of this squads brilliant ideas.  Why is the press shitting all over them and they continue to be insulted in the press.  You don't waste your time, money and resources in order to discredit this particular group?

I have no infliain but find it interesring;

Doubleguns's picture

And why sic the IRS on them? 

TruthInSunshine's picture

PNAC = The Project for immersing the United States into counter-productive wars & disastrously expensive military conflict, destabilizing the American Economy & inverting its socioeconomic order, and firmly bootstrapping the skis of Empire Decline on the USA, all to enrich an infinitesimally small fraction of a percentage of dual/non-loyal "citizens," off vast amounts of the actual remaining taxpayer lifeblood, before lighting a match and "torching the joint."

Hey look! The link references Donald Kagan! He gets around (as does his wife):

Disenchanted's picture

TIS...Ron Paul forgot to mention one entangling alliance here in this quote of him from above:

"The entangling alliances that we should avoid include the complex alliances in the UN, the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO."


Do you know which one I mean...and why is it he wouldn't mention that one?

Sinnedi's picture

I will one up you one and say get rid of the illuminati-secret societies that have plagued the world with bloodlines that have existed for 1000s of years.

this jabs at masons but I like masons. Though there is way worse groups. 

And they have existed for one reason to rule.

If a 12 year old can find out this what else could you find out if you research. 

And then distribute all of the knowledge so everyone can be "enlightened". And that secret knowledge could be taught in all of schools. All suppressed technology would also be allowed if we do this. 

AKA this. and other taboo subjects.

Then raise the world through individualism on a singular level and shape society through giving each person a different way of being brought up just for them.

Then make all governments liable to the problems that they cause to their citizens via harassment and propaganda/Make the govts transperant so the normal on the ground person could see what is going on.


Oh wait maybe I am just dreaming. 


bankrun's picture

How to dismantle the American empire?


This entire post is useless. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. The US has 50 million dissidents primed and ready. Disable EBT for 12 weeks and the shit show is on.

JoBob's picture

bankrun:  Disable EBT for 12 weeks and the shit show is on.

And what will the dissidents be doing for the 11 weeks following the first week? The show will be over by then!

SAT 800's picture

Doesn't tell you how to dismantle it. misleading title. But at least we can understand it. MIC likes to spend taxpayer dollars. So the problem is MIC MIC MIC MIC MIC; and so on.

Doubleguns's picture

How US citizens are treated by our own govt should be a clue to the problem. 

LetThemEatRand's picture

Where do you stand on Snowden, Mises Institute?

Ignatius's picture

LTER, what's your take?

At first I cheered, but lately things don't smell right.

LetThemEatRand's picture

My take is that the guys spinning Snowden in a negative light are extremely expert at making his revelations smell funny.  He changed the world.  If he's a fraud and they trotted him out to get us used to the idea that they are spying on us, we're so fucked I don't want to think about it.  But ultimately, I don't give them that much credit.   They are good at misinformation.  Snowden gave us information.   They hate us for our freedoms.

EDIT:  not your downvote.  Good and legitimate question.

i_call_you_my_base's picture

Agree with you. It's way too elaborate. If it's a scheme it's one of the best of all time.