If Russia were to absorb the Ukraine, Estonia, and Poland into the Russian Federation in the name of multiculturalism, the USA would laugh in scorn and be outraged.  The USA would rightly assert that Russia’s actions represented naked imperialism.  Yet when the USA has effectively done the exact same thing and kept peoples by force under its power in the name of such ideals as multiculturalism or democracy, most Americans accept it without question.  Nevertheless, imperialism by any other name is still imperialism.

But what is wrong with imperialism any way?  Matthew 17:25-26 provides us a true picture of imperialism in these words: “of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.” Imperialism is generally motivated by the desire of one set of people to take property from a foreign people for itself.  Is it any wonder that scripture tends to treat the world’s great empires in history (such as the four beasts of Daniel) in a negative light?  Such imperialism tends to go against the grain of “as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise  (Luke 6:31) and “thou shalt not steal” (Exodus 20:15).  This is very different from each people respecting the sovereign rights of other peoples’ nations and property and building up their own nation’s wealth by their own labors. 

How has imperialism been manifested in US history?  While still ruled by a WASP American majority, the USA pursued imperialism in such acts as taking certain Native American and Hawaiian peoples’ lands by unjust means.  In more recent decades when WASP Americans have lost much of their past control of the USA, other peoples have been able to seize significant portions of the wealth that had been built up in the USA over many years and to distribute it for their own ends.  Indeed, there has almost been a free-for-all to grab and spend the wealth, leaving the USA deeply in debt.  In the “multicultural” USA there has been widespread re-distribution of wealth both within the USA and to various foreign nations, leaving the USA effectively bankrupt.

Imperialism by any other name is still imperialism indeed.