© MMIX v1.0.7
We tend to think that we are the most civilized and peaceful people on the planet and that we have been busy bringing civilization and peace to benighted souls who need our help. We think we make great sacrifices to do this — just watch the nightly news. However bad we are, or were, they must be, and must have been, even worse. They forced us to be bad.
But a survey of our own history indicates that we are at least as bad as the worst of them — if we are not actually the worst of the worst. Keeping our position as the world hegemon for the last 400 years strongly suggests that we are the worst of the worst. Worse than Hitler and Stalin, or even Gengis Kahn, and Attila the Hun? Yep. It looks that way. That is the lesson of history, after applying "the last man standing" principle and looking at what the last man did next.
Our own ancestral story begins with the Vikings. The Vikings established colonies in Iceland, Greenland, Newfoundland, and visited continental America as far down as Massachusetts. The Vikings raided and established colonies down the coast of Europe from Jutland, around the Iberian Peninsula into the Mediterranean and across to Sicily where they established a kingdom. They even attacked Rome. The Vikings created Russia as they took over the Slavs who were on the Black Sea trade route to "Greece" which is what they called the Byzantine Empire. The most successful Viking project — by far — was begun on the British Isles in 1066 at the Battle of Hastings.
Today, that Viking project is the Anglo-American empire. That is ours. That is us. Yes, we live in an empire. Where do you think we live? This is our history.
William the Conqueror was also known as William the Bastard. People have very long memories. They never forget. People in Scotland, Wales, Ireland and England remember The Norman Conquest a thousand years after it happened. Will our victims forget what we are doing to them today? One day, we will be surprised — just as Jimmy Carter was surprised when he was no longer the POTUS — when we discover that people don't all love us. When he and his wife began trying to do good works in Third World countries, Carter was amazed to discover that most people there are afraid of the United States. He had thought we were their friends.
Scandinavians abandoned their own Viking ways long ago. But we keep up the tradition. Our only moral tests? If it makes money, it must be good. If we win, we must be right. We've been getting away with this for centuries.
But Remember: Be nice to the people you meet on the way up because you'll be meeting them (or their descendants) again on your way down.