Why the World Needs America

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Why the World Needs America

Postby TainanCowboy » 12 Feb 2012, 08:41

A nice, and rather involved, Sunday read on the balance of power in the current, and possible future, world.

I will quote the final three (3) paragraphs, but one really should read the entire piece to put these into proper context.

But international order is not an evolution; it is an imposition. It is the domination of one vision over others—in America's case, the domination of free-market and democratic principles, together with an international system that supports them. The present order will last only as long as those who favor it and benefit from it retain the will and capacity to defend it.

There was nothing inevitable about the world that was created after World War II. No divine providence or unfolding Hegelian dialectic required the triumph of democracy and capitalism, and there is no guarantee that their success will outlast the powerful nations that have fought for them. Democratic progress and liberal economics have been and can be reversed and undone. The ancient democracies of Greece and the republics of Rome and Venice all fell to more powerful forces or through their own failings. The evolving liberal economic order of Europe collapsed in the 1920s and 1930s. The better idea doesn't have to win just because it is a better idea. It requires great powers to champion it.

If and when American power declines, the institutions and norms that American power has supported will decline, too. Or more likely, if history is a guide, they may collapse altogether as we make a transition to another kind of world order, or to disorder. We may discover then that the U.S. was essential to keeping the present world order together and that the alternative to American power was not peace and harmony but chaos and catastrophe—which is what the world looked like right before the American order came into being.


Why the World Needs America

Of course, the 'America' being referred to is the United States of America... :America:

Enjoy
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Re: Why the World Needs America

Postby Got To Be Kidding » 12 Feb 2012, 21:46

I guess the next question should be...

Is the America now, the America that was - when the world needed America the most?

I don't think so.

A lot of it is still the same... but, is enough of her still the same?

I was shocked to see how different the place was, when I returned in 2006 - after 14 years in the Middle East.

I'm sure that I'm not the only one here who's suffered culture shock in the country of his/her birth.
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Re: Why the World Needs America

Postby SillyWilly » 12 Feb 2012, 23:41

Knowing what I know about America's financial (debt) situation and imminent economic collapse (either through outright debt default or hyperinflation), I would have to contend that the world will be better off without it. That is, in its present over-extended declining-empire form. :2cents:
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Re: Why the World Needs America

Postby achdizzy1099 » 13 Feb 2012, 01:59

SillyWilly wrote:..... and imminent economic collapse (either through outright debt default......


The United States really can't default on its debt. The entire world financial system is pegged to the US economy and the greenback. It's just a big game called 'Americas World' and everyone plays it. If America is in such dire straits that it can't pay its debts, the game is over; and we all lose. The paper you store in your wallet, whether it be in Euros, Yen or NTDs, they will all just be wallpaper on the day the US is unable to pay.

I don't want to be around when the world is not delegated by the USA. The past 70 years has seen the longest period of world peace and humanitarian progress than any length previous.

T
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Re: Why the World Needs America

Postby tommy525 » 13 Feb 2012, 02:01

The world needs a John Wayne-ish America to come and shoot the baddie countries that pop up now and then and threaten world peace.
Savage - what a nice performance

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMCMjEb68ds
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Re: Why the World Needs America

Postby bohica » 13 Feb 2012, 06:26

achdizzy1099 wrote:I don't want to be around when the world is not delegated by the USA. The past 70 years has seen the longest period of world peace and humanitarian progress than any length previous.

T


Peace? What peace? Plenty of wars happened after WWII. And by the look of things, at least a couple more about to happen in the Middle East.
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Re: Why the World Needs America

Postby GuyInTaiwan » 13 Feb 2012, 09:42

I think America has very much cooked its own goose in this regard, primarily regarding China.

Firstly, it seems like it has been a massive mistake to outsource to China. It would have been far more sensible to outsource to a number of countries (so none of them shared overwhelmingly in the success of such an experience), and preferably to democratic powers such as India. In every way, it seems like China's rise has been a massive strategic mistake for the U.S. that will really come back to bite it in the future.

Secondly, the U.S. has wasted a lot of hard power, soft power and money pursuing the wrong military options. Okay, America had to be seen to be going after Al Qaeda, but Afghanistan is surely a completely insignificant player in the scheme of things. Yet look at how the U.S. has allowed itself to be bogged down in that. Likewise, to a lesser extent, with Iraq. In so doing, they've largely taken their eyes off the ball that is crazier/more evil states with far greater potential for shenanigans to the U.S. or its allies such as China, and to a lesser extent, Iran or North Korea.
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Re: Why the World Needs America

Postby Toe Save » 13 Feb 2012, 10:04

tommy525 wrote:The world needs a John Wayne-ish America to come and shoot the baddie countries that pop up now and then and threaten world peace.



Not an original idea Tommy. But amazing how 30 years have passed since this song's theme and yet, totally applicable today.



"But seeing as John Wayne was no longer available, we settled for Rick Santorum.............."
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Re: Why the World Needs America

Postby SillyWilly » 13 Feb 2012, 10:09

achdizzy1099 wrote:
SillyWilly wrote:..... and imminent economic collapse (either through outright debt default......


The United States really can't default on its debt.

T


Believe whatever you want, but the US can and will default of its debt in some way. Either by destroying their own currency by printing more (QE3) and causing inflation or by outright default, i.e. being unable to service their debt payments.
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Re: Why the World Needs America

Postby finley » 13 Feb 2012, 10:26

Default is definitely an option, especially bearing in mind that "partial" default is possible (the US has many creditors, some of whom will have no plausible answer to "Oh rly? So whatcha gonna do about it, eh?"). There won't necessarily be any economic collapse, since most countries have accounted for the fact that the US will never really pay off its debt, but will simply restructure it indefinitely and/or inflate it away. The US will never need to formally default unless, for example, China calls in its loans - and that would be interesting to watch.

Firstly, it seems like it has been a massive mistake to outsource to China. It would have been far more sensible to outsource to a number of countries (so none of them shared overwhelmingly in the success of such an experience), and preferably to democratic powers such as India. In every way, it seems like China's rise has been a massive strategic mistake for the U.S. that will really come back to bite it in the future.

I'm guessing the gubmint didn't have a lot of control in the matter. China was bending over and wiggling its ass in the air, and there were just too many businessmen wanting to take them up on their sordid little offer. They could have imposed trade barriers or otherwise made it difficult for corporate America to engage with the Chinese, but that would have backfired one way or another ... and I doubt they could have introduced legislation fast enough to keep up with China's "innovation".

It's certainly a pity they didn't use some of that soft power back in the early days to shuffle China's development along a more productive path, to the benefit of both the Chinese and others, but that's never been the American Way. We're now in the situation where China is like a 13-year-old boy with an assault rifle; not enough maturity to understand the nature of its power, but enough testosterone to know that it wants to do something with it.
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