The end to the era of empires is yet another leftist end-of-history myth. Empires answer a very deep human need for grandeur.

Already the ancient empires tend to be unprofitable. The Romans conquered the entire civilized world, yet poverty abounded in Rome. If the imperial ventures had been even slightly profitable, the smallest tribute from ten to fifty million subjects would have sufficed to grossly enrich every citizen of a tiny Roman city. The Greek and Persian empires similarly did not enrich the masses. The proverbial riches of the Persian court were insignificant: even by the standards of ancient sustenance economy, a few hundred golden plates cannot be described as the wealth of a nation.

Since the Renaissance, empires have turned staggeringly unprofitable, typically bankrupting their leaders. The condemnations of the third world notwithstanding, the British Empire spent more on guarding its colonies than received in income from them. Unsurprisingly, the commercial companies which initially conducted the conquests on behalf of the crown quickly surrendered their possessions to the state, being unable to bankroll the ruinous enterprise.

Industrial economies left the states with great surpluses of concentrated wealth. Suddenly they could afford imperial ambitions of hitherto unimaginable magnitude. The Napoleonic wars, WWII, and the American campaigns from the Barbary Coast to Korea to Iraq are not unlike Alexander the Great’s wars. Why is he Great? In the twisted minds of human beings, greatness goes hand-in-hand with mass murder. Common people are not allowed to kill, and those who do must be great.

Speed makes modern imperial enterprises different. It took America just months to invade Afghanistan, halfway across the globe.

Conscripted armies made wars relatively inexpensive. If the WWII powers were forced to pay their soldiers to join the slaughter, no country could have afforded its army. At the prevailing casualty rates, even the United States wouldn’t be able to induce over 10 million men into the army with pay corresponding to the risk involved.

The power of taxation made wars hugely profitable for states. Whereas hundreds of years ago WWII would have bankrupted a country like America, in the twentieth century it ended the Great Depression. The government used the war to expand its taxation powers; the ratio of federal income tax payers surged from 10 percent before the war to 100 percent afterward. Massive government expenses bailed out the economy. The war was also a boon to trade unions, as the government pushed employees to recognize them in order to avoid labor strikes. The draft sucked up unemployed youth and put upward pressure on wages. Bureaucracy, the real power in large states, also supports wars, as they increase government regulation.

Imperial wars are indispensable for large heterogeneous states. Lacking a common ethnic basis, they fall back on the concept of nationality, which rests on jingoism and xenophobia, both of which are boosted by wars. Nationalism and wars reinforce each other.

Advanced states guard their affluence. They are sensitive to any encroachment which threatens their wealth or position. When they can fight without much risk to themselves, they do so with hysterical aggression, often pointlessly. When they cannot fight, like Sweden, they convince themselves that everything is just perfect, and submit to multicultural (culture-less, actually) hordes.

The corporate world exhibits a similar imperial drive. Large corporations had long lost profit as the objective. Instead, they have embraced growth. Both managers and shareholders love grandeur, managers for obvious reasons and shareholders because it bolsters share price through price-to-sales ratio. International specialization made corporate imperialism profitable; instead of opposing foreign invasions, the locals welcome foreign-owned factories.

As the corporate analogy suggests, imperialism is changing its face, becoming more economic than military. Advanced countries buy influence rather than fight for it. They have grown so fearful that they pay even defeated enemies; witness the American reconstruction efforts in Iraq. During the 2009 G-20 meeting, Western leaders pledged a trillion dollars in aid to irrelevant countries such as Latvia and Ukraine. The donor countries get no benefit from the aid: logically, they would benefit from other economies crumbling rather than springing up. Western leaders create their private empires by funding alliances with countries useless to their own nations. This is not unlike the monarchs’ habit of waging imperial wars unrelated to their subjects’ interests.

While the entire world redefines imperialism, Israel abandons her tiny core, Judea and Samaria.