Pacific Imperialism and the Jeopardy Thesis
You have lost any moral center if you find yourself defending imperialism—even indirectly—in the year of our lord, 2023.
But surely nobody would, right? Wrong.
I keep seeing arguments structured like this: “If we permit these people to govern themselves, their territory will fall into the hands of the enemy.”
That’s a naked defense of imperialism, not as hyperbole or pejorative but as fact.
Such reasoning, of course, is what Albert Hirschman described as the jeopardy thesis in The Rhetoric of Reaction. The logic pattern is familiar: “We all want to do the right thing, but if we do this right thing it will endanger our [insert fetish object].”