And, to be clear, there’s nothing which says that empires are the worst form of government or social organization. In fact, the only reason I object to America being called an empire is that the people who throw the word around mean it in the most pejorative sense. But I don’t see why that has to be pejorative. Relative to the other evils that exist in the world, empires are fairly benign philosophically speaking. I’d rather live in a country that is ruled by another country, benevolently, than in an independent country that is ruled by a sadistic tyrant. It probably was more pleasant living under Roman rule than under the barbarian kings and chieftains. Certainly there are millions of Indians and Kenyans and Burmese (Myanyanese?) who are nostalgic for the orderly rule of the British, which provided for many freedoms. I know Molly Ivins believes imperialism was worse than Nazism or Stalinism, but Molly Ivins is a fool — at least in this regard. If she really believes that she should launch a campaign — a la the NAACP and the confederate flag — to have the Empire State (New York) change its name. Ditto the Empire State Building.