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December 11, 2012 / compassioninpolitics

Reflections on the hegemony uniqueness debate and all the hype around declinism

In terms of hegemony. I think it may work on a macro level….but its less than perfect.
I think its hard to argue with the lack of major events on Western or US targets since 2001…..that even compare with it 1/100th or 1/1000th….at least not in Afghanistan or Iraq

I’m no fan of a bloated military….but a military of some sort has a place. I think you’d see build up in other places without our own.
Plus….I like the idea of having the conventional forces should it be necessary to deprive a country of nuclear weapons.
It is a valid tool in our foreign affairs tool belt–it doesn’t solve all problems.

Are you mostly speaking of terrorism & proliferation?

You think if we packed up and went home in Japan and elsewhere that they would just turn around and go home too?

In terms of uniqueness:
1. Alliance system creates burden sharing & gives us incredible flexibility (NATO in particular)
2. Our economy will rebound. Plus California, Texas, and New York alone are huge powerhouses….much less the other 47 states in the Union.
3. People continue to want to live here. (influx of new people & ideas via immigration)
4. Education advantage (PhDs & research)
5. Infrastructure advantage
6. the American dream is globalized
7. Networked communities advantage
8. Treaties….like the WTO, etc… And our overall role in the world as a “honest broker”
9. Protestant work ethic & overall drive (although this seems to be waning….a bit. I think its coming back entrepreneurial & innovation style)

China is the only even half-way comparable power, but it lacks the alliance power we have.

It would take any country a decade to catch up.

People said Japan could do it. Wrong.
People said Germany might do it. Wrong.
People said the EU would do it. Wrong.

Russia lacks warm water ports…so its pretty much out.

#6 does have the odd challenge of creating scarcities, but it may also mean that we have more Steve Jobs-lite around the world–solving back the scarcity.

It would be nice if our spending shifted from military to more development-type aid which met the needs of locals & encouraged education and entrepreneurship…..not sure thats in the offing. But a nice dream none-the-less.


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