From “Empire” to “Country”: The Transformation of American National Capability

  When the United States became the most severely affected country in the world, its political system and operation were questioned, and its social divisions were aggravated in election competition. As we all know, the United States built a modern country by getting rid of the shadow of the British Empire; after inheriting the British Empire’s heritage for more than 70 years, it is now forced to get rid of its “empire” status and try to return to a sovereign state. Can the United States become a normal modern country?
  Empire, democracy, and state are the three keywords that cannot be bypassed in modern political analysis. Although Tocqueville praised the United States for pioneering the new political science of “democracy,” the American political scholar Samuel Huntington insisted in the late 1960s that the United States was just an “old country and a new society.” The “old country” here means that the modern United States has inherited the “Tudor regime” that England has long abandoned. In modern political science, the regime is the allocation mechanism of the country’s highest power, the form of government rather than the quality of government. There are special criteria for judging the “fineness” of modern countries. If these standards are not met, a country cannot be a modern country. On the basis of four representative theoretical propositions in contemporary political science[1], this article proposes the “ten-dimensional state theory”, which includes compulsion, extraction, command, certification, legitimacy, supervision, redistribution, absorption and integration, civil rights and economics. Health and other dimensions, discuss the modern state of the United States.

  Ten-dimensional perspective of the country fineness of
  a dimension is the exercise of the right of legitimate monopoly of violence, which is the national body. A “one-dimensional state” is a minimal modern state, and its power is aimed at both territory and population; its sovereignty includes both external exclusivity and internal supremacy; its power? ? Including not only the establishment of a military army for external enemies, but also the law enforcement and judicial system for internal crimes. The “one-dimensional era” in the United States can be divided into two stages. The first stage is the first two hundred years, that is, from the colonization of the Americas by the British Empire in 1620 to the independent establishment of the United States in 1789. At this time, the United States is not an independent country, but within the framework of the British Empire, from the six places of Northeast New England. It expanded south and crossed the Appalachian Mountains to the west, laying the foundation for “local nationalization.” The newly independent United States can only become a loose confederation of 13 states. The second stage is the first hundred years after the independence of the United States. Since there is no strong central government and the United States is unable to deal with internal and external troubles, the Federalists promoted the formulation and approval of the federal constitution, and established a centralized authority over the states. The federal government tried every means to overcome the “nationalized place”, and the pace of expansion of the United States to the west and southwest was accelerated. Around 1910, the United States basically formed a map of 50 states that continues to this day, and its population has increased from less than 4 million initially to nearly 100 million. At this time, the body of the modern United States has truly grown and matured.
  ????Two-dimensional is a nationwide fiscal and taxation system. The importance of the modern fiscal and taxation system is embodied in the UK as the prime minister serving as the finance minister for a long time or being promoted from the finance minister to the prime minister. In the United States, the Treasury Department is one of the first four government departments, and the President’s direct security has long been the responsibility of the Treasury Secret Police Department. In addition, regardless of federal or unitary countries, the central government often uses fiscal means to control local governments on national affairs in the social and economic policy fields such as race relations, education, transportation and information infrastructure, and public investment, thereby safeguarding the country’s Political unity. The United States is no exception. Because of the inheritance of the British tax system, the United States has a tradition of local taxation with land taxation as the main body, and a national fiscal and taxation system is slowly being established. Until the Civil War, the U.S. federal government’s taxation mainly relied on tariffs. Deriving financial resources from import and export trade was the main function of the Treasury Department and the Hamilton Tariff Act. During the Civil War, due to the needs of the war, and also taking advantage of the war, the Lincoln government created a nationwide income tax system and gradually made it the main tax category in the United States; plus property tax and value-added tax, these three taxes continue to this day.
  The political structure of the federal system. Let the federal, state, and local governments have the right to share the main tax, which initially solves the problem of how to collect it, but how to spend it reasonably is still a big problem. It is a mess in the federal, state and local governments, and therefore corrupt Overgrown. The progressives launched a social reform movement with the main feature of removing dung and exposing the gang to promote local and national fiscal reforms, and finally gradually formed a national budget system in the first two decades of the 20th century, a two-dimensional modern state policy Shaped. [2] With the help of information technology, credit cards and electronic bank accounts, the United States now has strong taxation capabilities. The taxation department also has independent police power and the power of investigation and evidence collection. Tax evasion, tax evasion, and tax evasion have become most people in the United States for fear of avoiding it. For less than crimes, “no taxation, no taxation” has actually become “no taxation, no representation”.
  Three-dimensional refers to the rationalization of the public official system, which is the body of a modern country. The criterion of rationalization is that the functions of the public sector have shifted from being mixed to a specialized division of labor, the granting of public official posts has shifted from hereditary crony to examination and evaluation, and the number and scale of public official posts are in line with the need to govern a complex society. Competent officials are the necessary force to transcend partisan and party disputes. Politics of meritocracy is ideal politics that transcends the form of government. Therefore, rationalization means upgrading and upgrading of the entire ruling group. However, it was not until 1883, more than a hundred years after the founding of the People’s Republic, that the United States officially introduced the civil service examination system, shifting from the system of political party sharing of spoils to the system of examination and merit. It was not until the end of World War II in 1945 that the selection and evaluation of most officials was achieved, turning the civil service system into an administrative tool for any winning party. It was also in the 1880s that the United States changed from an agricultural country to an industrial country, and the number and scale of public official posts, the functional authority and expenditure of the public sector also expanded.
  At the beginning of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the United States had only four departments: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of War. The Ministry of the Interior was not formed until the Civil War; after that, the Ministry of Agriculture was formed in the era of reconstruction, and the Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Labor were formed before the First World War. The Ministry of Health Services was established in 1953. Between 1965 and 1990, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, the Ministry of Transportation, the Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Veterans, and the Environmental Protection Agency were established. In 2002, the Ministry of Homeland Security was established. Today, the total number of federal, state, and local civil servants is nearly 22 million. Calculated as a proportion of the employed population, 1 in 6 employed persons is employed by a government department; calculated as a proportion of the entire population, approximately every 12 U.S. One in the population is a government employee. The functional authority of the public sector covers all aspects of economic and social life, and the revenue and expenditure of the public sector account for a high proportion of GDP. [3] From the perspective of the three major indicators of quantity scale, functional authority, and fiscal expenditure, contemporary America has already bid farewell to the “small government, big society” state of the “one-dimensional era” and has become an out-and-out “big government” , Small society”.
  Four dimensions refer to the clear identification and accurate authentication of social facts. This is the eyes of modern countries and the premise of the other nine dimensions. No matter which dimension of modern country, it is inevitable to collect, identify, classify and use the basic identity and property facts of the population. Compared with European countries such as the United Kingdom and France, the United States has a late-mover advantage in its transition to a “certified country”. The United States inherited the vital statistics system of Catholic Europe in the late Middle Ages. Starting from collecting foreign trade information to ensure the country’s financial resources, it took about a hundred years to gradually develop from a population census to a population and economic and social census. For the needs of national governance, the certification authority is usually divided by several different government departments. Since July 4, 1789, the U.S. Treasury Department has been in control of the certification rights for foreign trade. In 1866, the Bureau of Statistics was established to further shorten the certification cycle. Since 1790, the Census Bureau of the Ministry of the Interior has held the power of census. In 1899, the Census Bureau was transferred to the Ministry of Commerce and Labor and became a permanent agency of the federal government. The census is once every ten years. In the first fifty years of the “one-dimensional era”, it can only be regarded as a simple inventory. In the last fifty to sixty years, it has evolved into six major categories including free residents, slave residents, mortality, agricultural production, industrial production, and social statistics. Comprehensive census of content. [4]
  America’s leap in the fourth dimension appeared in the information age from 1960 to 1990. Information technology has reshaped the basic power structure of the United States, and the certification power is divided by the FBI, the Census Bureau of the Ministry of Commerce, the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration, and the National Health Statistics Center of the Public Health Bureau. As a result, the United States has become a highly integrated and interconnected “database country.” The Deficit Reduction Act of 1984 completely abandoned the strong protection stance of the 1974 Privacy Act, requiring all states across the country to join the federal government’s national data integration, comparison and association system to identify beneficiaries of various social benefits. Since then, the data that has entered the national information system include: population and personal identity data since 1790, citizen income and tax declaration information since 1933, education, welfare, medical insurance, doctor income and social security data for more than 200 million people since 1937. Public health, medical and demographic records since 1960, 95 million individual taxpayers and 75 million corporate taxpayers, 50 million social security beneficiaries, 30 million criminals and 60 million citizen fingerprints, 39 million old-age security beneficiaries, 21.4 million Medicaid beneficiaries, 10.6 million child subsidy beneficiaries, 21.2 million food stamp recipients, 61.8 million private health insurance plan insured persons, 51 million credit card holders and 62 million credit records in the private credit data system, and many more. In addition, the FBI’s National Criminal History System not only covers 30 million people with criminal records across the country, but also integrates 60,000 criminal justice agencies and their 500,000 practitioners, thousands of other government agencies, and from local school districts to the Bank of America. The employee information also covers 70 million active and retired military personnel, defense contractors and practitioners, nuclear industry practitioners, federal employees, and others who need to be filed by the FBI. [5] The national criminal history, taxation and social security databases spawned by ICT have greatly extended the tentacles of national power in the United States, making society and its members a transparent body in the eyes of the country.
  The five-dimensional refers to political legitimacy, which is the national reason for modern countries. Some scholars refer to “legitimacy” as “legitimacy of power” or “constitutionality”. Some scholars understand the legitimacy from the general background of the development and evolution of Western civilization, emphasizing that the key lies in the separation of politics and religion, and the independence of political power from theocracy. The modern state is a neutral tool that does not interfere with the conflict of multiple values ​​in the ethical and moral fields. Other scholars emphasize the prerequisite role of independent national identity, national identity, nationalism, and nation-state in the formation and construction of a modern state. In the fifth dimension, the initial political structure of the United States was established by the War of Independence rather than the Federal Constitution; the separation of church and state in the United States did not start with the First Amendment to the Federal Constitution, but after the Progressive Era bid farewell to Protestantism. The dominance of Puritanism and its clergy throughout the entire “one-dimensional era” also provided a religious justification for the colonial expansion of the Europeans to conquer the New World, that is, this is European civilization to the Americas. Conquer the wild and just. This was selectively forgotten after the rise of modern social sciences. In the meantime, the victory of the Spanish-American War in 1898 was an important turning point. The unified national spirit appeared for the first time in American history, and it had the dual consciousness of empire and modern country. [6] The narrative of legitimacy of “One-dimensional America”-from the religious justification of Puritanism to the political reason, to the overall history, national identity, national consciousness, and national consciousness of the nation-state. ?? National identity, the United States formed a melting pot policy as a starting point, with European civilization as the core of immigration naturalization, national assimilation and national identity shaping has been relatively successful, until 1965 “Immigration and Nationality Act” abandoned this policy. [7]
  The sixth, seventh, and eighth dimensions are supervision, welfare and integration, which refer to government intervention in economic and social life, political redistribution of social wealth, and coordination, absorption, and integration of the interests of different classes. These three dimensions collectively point to the social purpose of modern countries, and all require public policies to be based on the public interest, common interest and overall interest of the political community. The United States, which is based on individualism, grew in these three dimensions from the progressive era, from the New Deal era, to the culmination of the civil rights movement. Its driving force comes from the growth of population (including urban population and elderly population), the socialist movement inspired by cruel laissez-faire capitalism, and the self-protection demands of various social groups involved in the quagmire of the capitalist market economy. The role of model in this dimension, the huge impact of the two world wars on American society, the social collapse and public fear brought about by the Great Depression, the strong ideological pressure of the Soviet communist camp, and the progressivism of the American elite group trying to seek legitimacy Consciousness, etc. These factors together force the US government to abandon the laissez-faire assumption of government size and gradually expand the government’s size and powers.
  In the progressive era, the United States has seen the first large-scale social legislation in history, covering anti-corruption, food and drug safety, labor protection, minimum wage, corporate supervision, income tax, and voting rights. The Great Depression and World War II gave birth to New Deal liberalism. Since then, the New Deal government has urged the state to intervene in social and economic affairs and ensure long-term economic growth through macroeconomic policies, including education, employment, loans, labor training, unemployment relief, food subsidies, and medical care. Provide public services directly in areas such as pension, postal service, water conservancy and national defense, and use administrative means to re-allocate resources in special economic activities such as infrastructure, agriculture, land, residential construction, commercial banking, shipping, shipping, and export, and to deal with energy, crime, Food and drug safety, higher education, national health, working hours, minimum wages, epidemics, sewage treatment, drinking water safety, quality of life, environmental damage, racial discrimination, inflation and other social issues exacerbated by urbanization will be implemented by the state to intervene. Maintain basic social security, correct severely unbalanced labor relations, and seek social harmony. Although the United States is not a high-welfare country like Europe, the welfare system is still the key to the US government’s intervention in society and correcting the evil consequences of laissez-faire capitalism. [8] Government interventionism has become a political remedy for the severe trauma of the two world wars and the Great Depression, and a necessary means for modern countries to govern large-scale and complex societies.
  Nine-dimensional refers to the protection of civil rights. The abstract sovereignty of the people is transformed into the expansion of civil rights. In addition to the self-protection demands of the general public and the pressure effect of electoral politics, the political legitimacy competition from the Soviet communist world also made the United States eager to get rid of the stigma of racist countries. According to the rule of thirds of political rights, economic and social rights, and cultural rights, the scope of American political rights is slowly expanding. Women only became the targets of empowerment nearly a hundred years ago, and black talents became the targets of empowerment nearly 60 years ago. The economic and social rights of Americans have never been confirmed at the constitutional level. Before his death, Roosevelt’s desire to formulate a “second bill of rights” for the United States, namely the economic and social rights bill, ultimately fell through. In 1964, blacks obtained the right to vote. It was from this year that the expansion of American political rights stopped and the expansion of cultural rights accelerated. As a result, the United States has gradually moved towards an extreme bipolar politics, forming a confrontation pattern between the two parties and two major ideologies, which has become the source of Americans’ hatred of politics. [9]