ity and decision-making but also the inculeation of passivity intornthe population. Republican government, by contrast, involvesrncivic activism, and the early champions of republicanismrnin European history were insistent on the virtues of the vita activarnover the vita contemplativa, the contemplative life, which isrnmore consistent with monarchy. Republican citizens mustrnwork at being free all the time. They have to go vote, but farrnmore important than voting is the immense amount of timernthey have to spend in discussing public affairs and informingrnthemselves about them, and even more time-consuming is thernactual participation of the citizen in public office or in publicrnduties, including military service. If we are not willing to undertakernthe burdens of such public duties, then we can findrnothers to undertake them for us, including having a professionalrnarmy protect us; but in that case we will no longer be a republic,rnand we may soon find that the professional army is nornlonger our servant but our master.rnEmpire cannot deal with that kind of civic activism or withrnits close relative, civic independence. Empire requires a populationrnthat is so passive it is ready to obey the commands of thernempire spontaneously, a population that really has no compellingrnduties and responsibilities at home, nothing else to dornwith its time, and is ready to go serve in the foreign legion or thernU.N. army at a moment’s notice. The transition from a republicrnto an empire requires a transition in the public ethic, from anrnethic that upholds the ideal of taking care of your own affairs,rnyour own country, family, and community, to taking care ofrnsomeone else’s. That is the imperial ethic of the two quotationsrnI read earlier from Vergil and Kipling; it is your duty torn”rule mankind and make the world obey,” your responsibilityrn”to tame the proud, the fettered slave to free,” your obligationrnto “bind your sons to exile,” and not to serve your own needsrnLIBERAL ARTSrnD.C. OR MEXICO CITY?rn”Drug tests on personnel in the office of Mexico’s attorneyrngeneral has found 424 people, including 241 law enforcementrnagents, had illegal drugs in their systems. . . . Of the positivernurine tests for drugs, 204 showed cocaine, 130 sedatives, 85rnamphetamines, and 17 marijuana. Eleven workers tested positivernfor more than one drug. It did not say how many workersrnwere tested nor whether disciplinary action would be taken.”rn—from the Chicago Tribune, March 19rnbut to “serve your captives’ need.” You don’t want to do that,rnyou say? But, if not us, who? If not now, when? Don’t you realizernthat on the shores of Kuwait there’s a sea gull covered withrnoil that will die? Do you actually think your life or your son’srnlife is worth more than the life of that sea gull? Don’t you knowrnthat if we don’t liberate Kuwait, that sea gull and thousands likernit will die at the hands of the most evil dictator in history; thatrnthe Somalis will starve; the Balkan War will erupt into WorldrnWar III; they won’t have democracy in Haiti, and all becausernyou’re unwilling to sacrifice your life “to tame the proud, thernfettered sea gull to free”?rnThe transition from a republican to an imperial ethic is fairlyrnsimple; it mainly requires constant repetition by both sides ofrnthe political class, and a readiness to blacken the name of anyonern—Charles Lindbergh, Pat Buchanan—who dissents. Oncernits values have been assimilated by the public, its high-soundingrncall to self-sacrifice for someone else’s interests will provernalmost irresistible to people to whom such an ethic had neverrnoccurred before. Of course, in addition to the propagandizingrnof the imperial ethic, the independent social institutions of thernrepublic that sustain civic independence and activism mustrnalso be flattened. Independent businesses and farms must bernconsolidated into giant collectives or corporate organizationsrnadministered by managers; local government must be centralizedrnand civic activism, discussion, and participation made impossible;rna real and independent popular culture, in which thernpeople produce their own culture, must be deracinated andrnshaped into what we now call “popular culture,” which is culturernnot produced by the people but what is produced for themrnby elites lodged in Hollywood, New York, Washington, and otherrnimperial metropolises. An independent popular culture isrnlikely to go on churning out ideas, songs, books, poems, andrnsymbols that are not sufficiently passive for an imperial systemrnto rely upon. If you live under the ethic of civic independence,rnyou know that if you don’t take care of your business, your farm,rnyour family, your community, then no one else will; but in anrnempire, with an imperial ethic, there is always someone elsernwho will take care of your business for you. That is precisely onernof the great temptations of empire, as well as one of its greatrnprices; and so the transition to empire involves not just a call tornglory and self-sacrifice but also a social revolution by which thernindependent social institutions that sustain a self-governingrnpeople are replaced by institutions managed and controlled byrnthe imperial elites.rnThis very process took place in the ancient Roman Republic,rnas the independent yeoman farmers of rural Italy entered thernimperial armies and returned from the wars of conquest to findrntheir farms swallowed by the giant plantations of absentee landlordsrnin Rome, their families displaced to the city and dependentrnon the dole, and the whole social foundations of the RomanrnRepublic transformed into a passive, dependent urbanrnproletariat that was suited only for empire and its tin glories.rnAnd the same process takes place today in America and thernWestern nations, where transnational corporations swallowrnsmall businesses and farms and the social foundations of personalrnand civic independence are vanishing.rnThe domestic consequences of the transition to empire involve,rnthen, not just the risk of foreign military adventures andrnthe costs of administering an empire, but also a social and politicalrnrevolution in which independence is replaced by dependence,rnlocal and personal autonomy is replaced by centralization,rnan ethic centered on community and country is replacedrn16/CHRONICLESrnrnrn