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The next empire

Empire may not be such a dirty word. A co-operative form of it may be the end point of the European idea

By Robert Cooper   October 2001

Imperialism, empire, imperial: at worst these words have become a form of abuse; at best they sound merely old fashioned, historical curiosities. Empire, it seems, is history. The empires have gone, leaving behind some ruins, some laws, some coins and the occasional road.

Empire is indeed history. Almost all that we know of history, from Sumeria through Babylon, Egypt, the Assyrian empire, through Persia, Greece, Rome, Byzantium, through the Chinese dynasties, the Carolingian empire, the Holy Roman Empire, the Mongol empire, the Mogul empire, the Habsburg empire, the Spanish, Portuguese, British, French, Dutch, and German empires to the Soviet empire,…

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