Well, "imperialism" is not a post-WWII concept. In its Leninist formulation it dates to, well, Lenin, and in its broader meaning to as long as there have been empires.
The tension between "the North was imperialist" (assuming for the sake of argument that it was) and "the Union's triumph and radical reconstruction was the most revolutionary period in American history" would go away if, like that Marx guy, you did not think that imperialism and being revolutionary/progressive were mutually exclusive.
----- Original Message ---- From: Bhaskar Sunkara <bhaskar.sunkara at gmail.com> To: lbo-talk at lbo-talk.org Sent: Sat, April 10, 2010 1:30:25 AM Subject: Re: [lbo-talk] Platypus: what we are, what we do, and why
I was just commenting on the those who were looking at the Civil War through the same paradigm as the post-World War II period (use of the word "imperialism" to describe "Northern aggression", etc). I think the Union's triumph and radical reconstruction was the most revolutionary period in American history. Why denounce it through the lens of the 21st century? Unless I'm missing the point and radical reconstruction is being denounced as a "revolution from above." Hopefully that's marginaly more coherent and someone can explain to me the objections to radical reconstruction and the use of "imperialism" to describe Northern motives in the Civil War.