In the book Limits Without Power by Andrew Backbench, Backbench starts off his introduction with a precursor of united States history starting with the cold war till 9/1 1 where we as Americans has changed.
Backbench then compares the past United States with the current united States. Backbench thesis In the book is “Rather than Insisting that the world accommodate the United States, Americans need to reassert control over their own destiny, ending their condition of dependency and abandoning their imperial delusions”.Backbench guides us through the book with duding points such as: redefining our definition of freedom, stopping our imperialistic dreams with globalization, and to live within our means. According to Backbench Americans needs to redefine Freedom but what freedom is and why do Americans need to redefine it? According to Backbench American freedom is defined by”… The accumulated detritus of freedom, the by-products of our frantic pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness” ( 6)meaning that American freedom comes from how engaging in life to the fullest, the rights that we are granted, and how happy we are as a country.But Backbench called this a “mixed blessing” meaning that although the freedom we have right now Is great but we are taking It for granted.
Backbench mentions that by trying to obtain the American definition of freedom, America has essentially dug Its own grave in debts and obligations that Is near to Impossible to fulfill. Backbench also mentions that the united States relies too much on the military “We teeter on the edge of insolvency, desperately trying to balance accounts by relying on our presumably invincible armed forces. Yet there, too, having exaggerated our military might, we court bankruptcy'( 8).Here Backbench meant that if we cannot solve a problem politically then we rely on our So called “invincible” armed forces to intervene and take action and if all else fails Americans would blame their economy as a excuse for not able to help.
Another point that backbench brought up was “Freedom is not static, nor Is it necessarily benign. In practice, freedom constantly evolves and In doing so generates new requirements and abolishes old constraints. The common understanding of freedom that prevailed In December 1941 when the united States entered the war against Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany has long since become obsolete.
In some respects, this must be cause for celebration. In others, it might be cause for regret”( Here Backbench is implying that freedom is constantly evolving, new definitions are posed and old definitions are removed. While freedom is constantly evolving, the United States has kept their definition of freedom since December 1941, when America went to war with Japan and Germany. This brings us back to the main point where we must gain back control over our own Sistine because by reclaiming our own definition of freedom then we can then and only think reverse our path of destruction.Backbench also claimed that Reagan told the American public what they wanted to hear; “We must decide that ‘less’ is not enough” (38). This reassured the public the path Reagan was taking as a honorable path that Americans are Identified with , but a path that Backbench believes to be the one that’s causing America to spiral down; the path of contemporary freedom. In the time Reagan was in office, the federal deficit quadrupled.
Then the Gulf war that loud come unaware ten reign on Reagan amelioration would suppose art Backplane’s claims of the American conception of freedom.Americas felt the impact of the war abroad, every gas station around the country had high gas prices, and thus their freedom was affected. Reagan promptly turned the tide of the war by providing weapons and funds to Iraq. Iraq then uses American aid to invade Kuwait. Backbench argues that it was another major fight for what we perceive to be global freedom, when in reality it was simply for foreign oil so that we can go on with our American way of life. But Backbench guides us (the readers), or maybe he tells us (the readers) what we already know in the back of our minds.
If one were to choose a single word to characterize [American] identity, it would have to be more. For the majority of contemporary Americans, the essence of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness centers on a relentless personal quest to acquire, to consume, to indulge, and to shed whatever constraints might interfere with those endeavors” (16). Backbench presents this purpose: “The point is neither to condemn nor to commemorate this truth, but to recognize it” (16). If we recognize the fact that we point fingers at others for wars we begin and end our universal policing, and we can be saved.Backbench also states in his own thesis that America should abandon their imperial delusions. In the book between midway in the introduction “War Without Exits”, we see Backbench blaming the United Stetson where we are today due to the need to globalize and imperialist. One example from the book is “The collective capacity of our domestic political economy to satisfy those appetites has not kept pace with demand.
As a result, sustaining our pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness at home squires increasingly that Americans look beyond our borders.Whether the issue at hand is oil, credit, or the availability of cheap consumer goods, we expect the world to accommodate the American way of life. “(9). This relates back to the last two paragraphs where the United States fulfills its happiness from self indulgence and possession of cheap consumer goods. Backbench also mentions that Americans would even look beyond its own territories in order to gains said things meaning that America would only look out for its best interest before doing anything.
Also another example is when President Bush, says after 9/1 1, told the American people “l encourage you all to go shopping more. ” This was a way of telling people that America wouldn’t alter no matter what happened after the 9/1 1 attacks. As Backbench says in his book; “Preferring to compartmentalize history into pre-9/11 and post-WI 1 segments, Americans remain oblivious to the consequences that grew out of Ronald Reggae’s collaboration with the unexamined” (48). Backbench term his sections as pre 9/11 and post 9/11 and the interval of Long Peace and Long War only.
Redefining our freedom, and giving up our imperialism dreams and a profligate livelihood; these are the three points Backbench urged us to press on and redefine in order to reclaim our nation. We need to think of what for ourselves on the simple statements means. When politicians tell us (Americans) that we must go to war, we must ask ourselves why? Backbench tells us that we must question everything our government and politicians tells us, and try to think for ourselves and decide whether if it’s leading us towards the destruction of our nation or salvaging it.