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The duel: Are empires always bad?

A source of atrocity—or belonging? Two contributors advance opposing positions

The Narmer Palette

Yes—Elleke Boehmer

Is killing other people bad? Yes. Is rapacious invasion bad? Absolutely. And so it must follow that empires are bad, as they typically operate through killing and invasion. Across history, empires have involved the imposition of force by one power or people upon others. That imposition generally involves violence, including cultural and linguistic violence, such as the suppression and subsequent loss of native languages. As Joseph Conrad…

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