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Homer Lea & The Decline Of The West
Early in the century a young American accurately predicted Japan’s imperialism and China’s and Russia’s rise. Then he set out to become China’s soldier leader.
May/June 1988 | Volume 39, Issue 4
Although pacifists condemned Homer Lea as a militarist, he had nothing in common with the glorification of force trumpeted by Kaiser Wilhelm’s Germany or its Fascist imitators in World War II. Lea was not an imperialist, urging America to acquire an empire by conquest. Nor was he an ideologue. He was indifferent to politics. He foresaw Russia’s present global role almost a decade before the Communist Revolution. In Lea’s cold-eyed view there will always be rich nations and predators, ready to challenge one another’s hegemony. War is an inevitable part of this historical process, unless the balance of power makes its cost prohibitive. Militance, not militarism, was Lea’s creed; preparedness, his axiom. How to sell these ideas to post-Vietnam America remains a puzzle that gives admirals and generals sleepless nights.