ACF Founders #4: An Independent Empire


Friends, here’s my conversation with Michael Kochin about how to run a modern empire. His new book, An Independent Empire: Diplomacy & War in The Making of The United States, covers the American Revolution and the task of dominating the continent in the face of Indian tribes and European powers. We talk about the conflicts between means and ends in the early administrations, the rise and fall of the Federalist party, then the Republican party, the original parties in government in America, and the ways in which practical men like James Monroe might make better presidents than studious lawyers like James Madison, or the different kinds of Founders.


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  1. Jim Beck Inactive
    Jim Beck

    Morning Titus,

    Another interesting conversation.  I have a fan request, if you could create a panel including Michael, and the last few folks you have had on your Po-Mo podcasts to discuss the failings of conservatism, sort of postmortem on what we have thought were good conservative ideas.  The Wuhan pandemic has given us a chance to rethink many of the views that were foundational conservative thoughts.  Michael might have some comments on historical analogies.  Thanks, Titus, hope you and family are good, Indy is good, strange but good.  You and the group might also speculate on how conservatism can go from “loosing gracefully” to winning.

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  2. Titus Techera Contributor
    Titus Techera

    Hey, Jim!

    Just got back to the city & business as usual, which is nothing to complain about, of course. Glad to hear Indy’s fine, especially that you’re doing fine.

    Yeah, it would be good to organize a broader conversation–but I’m sorry to say, getting people from multiple continents on however many different schedules together is not easy & we simply do not have the following that would justify the effort. We of course all have the public spirit to put in all the work gratis, over the years, but that will not suffice… You are a good friend to take an interest in our opinions, even over & above our well being, but as things stand, Americans, conservatives included, are decided that our opinions don’t really matter, & we respect that decision.

    One is reminded of Lincoln’s wonderful phrase–well, he had too many wonderful phrases to cram in here, but the one I mean is the silent artillery of time.–That which eats at America’s foundations, by forgetfulness. Well, for my part, I add the equally silent artillery of unpopularity, which prevents that I do any good to America’s foundations, though they are indeed in need of conservatives who understand how to prop things up & secure them with victories both for now & for generations to come.

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