Originally posted by slink
Apparently, the last economic slump has not ended yet so do we have to wait for the next economic boom to begin before we see who the next hegemony
But the hegemonies aren't started by booms no? Also, when was the last boom? During the clinton years? Why didn't it last for 60 odd years? Why are
we in a 'bust' right now, rather than an overall boom? Unemployment is low, the economy is growing, and the biggest down ticks of the decade were
probably a result of the WTC attacks, not a natural economic event, no?
I would like to know what you think about this theory
Not being all that familiar with the direct text, but trusting that your explanation is essentially accurate, I'd be wary of extracting global trends
and processes from, what, 200, 300 years of data? I mean, this idea seems to simply be saying that what happened to the british is going to happen,
in the same series of events, to the US.
Thats a bold statement, given that the British Empire and its rise was completely different from the situation with a US Hegemony.
Also, the british came to ascendancy when there were, effectively, a much smaller number of 'nation-states' in existence, and also at a time when
the international order was basically dictated by europeans, who, at the time, agreed that nation-states would be the principle 'actors' in the
international world, that these states were 'sovereign' so long as they could defend themselves militarily, and that these 'sovereign actors'
agreed to essentially leave one another to their own devices.
The situation today is extremely different. NGO groups are growing incredibly in influence, and the basis of international politics today is embodied
by the UN, superseding nation-states, working torwards global goals (ie, eradication of smallpox, fighting world hunger, aids initiatives, supporting
democracies and independence for ethnic minorities within their enclaves).
Also, when the british were at their height, they were the most powerful, but they were hardly unstopable. A tiny population, from an island off the
north coast of europe, was policing and maintaining an empire that possesed a full Quarter of the Globe. But states like France, with a small global
empire, or spain, with a spent one, or even Germany, which didn't have a real global empire, could effectively threaten the security of britain, in
very serious ways.
No one can do that to the USA. There is no possibility of, say, Iran invading America, or of, as an extreme hypothetical, Bin Ladin as Caliph of all
the middle east being able to raise an army to do so. And certainly china or Russia aren't going to bother invading the US, if nothing else for the
same reason that the soviets never did, M.A.D.
and who you see as the next hegemony and any possible new world orders.
None. The only way to usurp the US hegemony is if the US decides that it doesn't want to be Hegemon anymore. And thats immpossible. IF, say,
extreme leftists come to power in the US, they wouldn't make the US an isolationist country, they'd use it to police the world, just like the
neo-conservatives do today. The general public, at the same time that its decrying the Iraq war, is demanding intervention in the Darfur, and
The only way another Hegemon can come into play is if, say, the US ecomony actually
collapses, and stays collapsed, and the US can't even
afford to keep up its military, or to use it in an active way, and some other country benefits, like India or China, from the global free market.
Normally, the US would take steps to sabotague and prevent someone else from advancing beyond it in terms of economy, but if the US ecomony was
crippled and it was unable to realistically threaten military action as a last resort, then you might have another Hegemon come into play.
But, of course, if it were India, it'd be conflicting with China, and vice versa.
As a whole we have a fairly moderate climate. Basically we have in my opinion the best chunk of property on earth.
There are a lot of other countries that have good land to use, along with a large population, lots of resources, and the basics of a decent economy.
Brazil, for example. And the ever present India, with its 1 billion people. The US advanced because it had such a huge population, thats a big
economy on its own. So any future global Hegemon would almost certainly come out of the countries with truly huge populations, like India. China's
biggest problem is that the land isn't as useful, and they have a strong history of being isolationists. I can't see, for example, china sending
troops to west africa to protect their oil interests.
A seperate possibility is that its not a nation-state that becomes the next hegemon. SInce no one can seriously threaten the US's position, and the
US isn't going to go completely isolationist, perhaps
the next world order system will involve states like the US and EU, etc, giving up their
national interests in favour of larger shared
global interests. Then we might start seeing a bloc of 'progressive internationalist' countries
dominating the UN Sec. Council and General Assembly, or even completely surpassing the UN and teaming up with NGOs and the like to direct world
[edit on 27-10-2006 by Nygdan]