Dominance by Design: Technological Imperatives and America's by Michael Adas

By Michael Adas

Lengthy earlier than the us turned an immense strength in international affairs, american citizens believed of their superiority over others because of their inventiveness, productiveness, and financial and social healthiness. U.S. expansionists assumed a mandate to “civilize” non-Western peoples through not easy submission to American technological prowess and layout. As an essential component of America’s nationwide id and feel of itself on the planet, this civilizing project supplied the explanation to displace the Indians from a lot of our continent, to construct an island empire within the Pacific and Caribbean, and to advertise unilateral—at instances military—interventionism all through Asia. In our age of “smart bombs” and cellular war, technological flair is still preeminent in validating America’s international project. Michael Adas brilliantly pursues the heritage of this project via America's overseas family over approximately 4 centuries from North the US to the Philippines, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf. the assumption that it's our correct and future to remake international societies in our photo has persisted from the early many years of colonization to our present campaign to implant American-style democracy within the Muslim heart East. Dominance via layout explores the serious ways that technological superiority has undergirded the U.S.’s rules of unilateralism, preemption, and interventionism in overseas affairs and raised us from an impoverished frontier state to an international energy. not easy the long-held assumptions and imperatives that maintain the civilizing undertaking, Adas supplies us a vital consultant to America’s previous and current position on the earth in addition to cautionary classes for the long run. (20070301)

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Additional info for Dominance by Design: Technological Imperatives and America's Civilizing Mission

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It was, in sum, an anachronistic and inessential adjunct of a society based on agricultural and handicraft production. In the New World, it was a subsistence activity, pursued by virtually all able-bodied males, that yielded significant supplements to the diet of the Indians, and ironically to that of the settlers as well. One might expect production-minded Englishmen to have valued the Indian version of the hunt over their own. But in fact they considered the Amerindians’ dependence on food killed in the wild, rather than raised on settled farms, a key sign of primitivism.

Empirical tests that most contemporaries accepted as scientific proofs of the mental and physical inferiority of “Negroes”—and all other “races”—to “whites” appeared to validate the arguments of both those who defended the continuance of slavery at home and those who championed European and American dominance over most of the rest of humanity overseas. Prominent defenders of slavery in the American South insisted that the innate indolence of the African Americans and their carelessness or incompetence in wielding farm implements, much less in operating sophisticated machines, meant that they needed constant supervision.

20 Taking advantage of the opportunities the Indians were believed to have squandered to exploit the re- Engins in the Wilderness 43 sources of the New World became a major arguing point for promoters petitioning for royal charters and recruiting prospective settlers. The scantily populated wilderness of North America was seen literally as a heaven-sent solution to the disturbing increase in the numbers of landless laborers and vagabonds in England due to the acceleration of the enclosure movement in the Tudor era.

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