Christopher Coyne, associate professor of economics at George Mason University, was the first speaker for the 2018-2019 McKenna Economic Education Lecture Series on Sept. 26 in the Fred Rogers Center. His presentation was on his book, “Tyranny Comes Home: The Domestic Fate of U.S. Militarism.”
Coyne covered the topic of what he refers to as the “Boomerang Effect” of suppression and spoke about the process of foreign intervention, the use of the coercive discretionary power held by members of one government to achieve some desired end in another society.
“There is a fundamental irony. Can you have liberal democracy by pointing a gun at them?” Coyne poised the question in reference to American foreign intervention.
Coyne explained that the U.S. military devises methods of gaining control over other nations, and when the troops return home, they bring those same devices of control with them. America particularly, he argued, is susceptible to control from its own central government because of its weak domestic, national and international constraints.
Over the hour-long presentation, Coyne expressed his political views on how militarism shaped and continues to form the United States and how the outcome is detrimental to the common person. His purpose, he said, was to shed light on how the effects of militarism have changed the fabric of American life.
“At its core, this is about you,” Coyne stated in his talk.
Coyne said his objective was also to provoke thought in the participants of the lecture about the effect of the government in the everyday, average American life.
“The boot print of the U.S. government is literally everywhere.” Coyne said.
The presentation ended with a Q&A session open to both Saint Vincent students and the public where Professor Coyne responded to questions and counter arguments relevant to his lecture.
Coyne is also the author of “Doing Bad by Doing Good: Why Humanitarian Action Fails,” “Media, Development and Institutional Change” and “After War: The Political Economy of Exporting Democracy.”
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