Fuster, please note my tenses. I was comparing 17th Century Spain and England --- when colonies accounted for the bulk of their wealth (stealing) -- to present day America -- no stealing.

I would not say the same about 17th-19th century America, when stolen land and labor helped fuel our economic growth. By the same token, I would not accuse 21st century England of stealing.

Does that clear things up?

Yes, bankrupted by mindless wars and colonial appetite. You would think we would learn to avoid those forces of society that would propel us thus.

Oh wait, we did. In the 2008 election. When we turned away from the dark side and embraced hope and change.

Spain and England had monarchs. We have a Constitution and a republic. No succession issues, no legitmacy issues (OK, Florida 2000). We create wealth. They had to steal theirs.

See, this is why the left winces when the right insists on the chest thumping pronouncements of American exceptionalism. It seems like a cover for insecurity. Like the body builder bragging about his biceps. And, in fact, it is. America is not so fragile as you think. We are strong and resilient. It was the same during the Cold War, when conservatives saw communists under every bed. If you were truly convinced of the superiority of capitalism, why so little confidence? What do you get from your investment in fear?