We are living through a major tipping point

I would like to interrupt the posts on food with a thought that occurred to me yesterday morning.

I believe that the effects of the Trump corporatist/oligarchic coup will guarantee that, far from “making America great again”, America is now signalling by the recent election that it is past its zenith and is heading downwards as the sole world super-power, shedding its moral influence and  respect.  China is set to take its place and is playing a clever game to that effect  all over the world, while America writhes in a mixture of agony on the one hand and indifference and lack of knowledge and accurate information on the other.

It is 2017.  It is exactly one hundred years since the United States intervened in the Great War and effectively supplanted Great Britain as the dominant world power (yes, it took 50 years or more for the British to accept it, and some Brexiters still haven’t).  Go back yet another 100 years and the defeats of Napoleon at Trafalgar and Waterloo in 1815 was the final coup de grace that cemented the world power of Britain, based on its naval power, fueled in turn by the industrial revolution that had began around 40 or so years before.  And in 1714, the Treaty of Rastatt concluded the War of the Spanish Succession, which left the Hapsburgs (and the Holy Roman Empire) at the zenith of their territory and power in Europe.

Is this all coincidence, or is one hundred years the “time limit of dominance” for a great power to stay dominant?  Is there something spooky about the second decade of a century?  Probably not – it could all be coincidence – the similarities don’t go back very far.  But it does seem that, after about one hundred years a super-power loses its sense of direction.  Maybe it’s because the elite has cornered the market in money?  Maybe the people are fed up with the wars and the taxation necessary to be top dog and start asking  “what is the point?”  Or the military has become unable to win any more and has lost credibility (read the Boer War and Iraq).   Or the country has grown lazy and corrupt, educational standards are declining  and the nation has forgotten what made it great?  Or all of the above.

Anyway, we are living through the pivot point where the United States is most likely to decline, however much it spends on futile military escapades.

  • Owen Bell

    Sadly you’re probably right. Is there anything the US can do to become a world power again, or is its decline inevitable?

  • I don’t think so. To maintain dominance one needs a highly educated population, for a start, well trained and outward- looking. Look at the tech industry and it seems increasingly dependent on Indians (well trained). At some point it is going to be more attractive to stay in India than move to the US. Then the military industrial complex is so powerful and embedded in the system that the never- ending war will never end, diverting valuable resources and achieving nothing. The know- nothings are determined to undermine the advances the US has made in human rights, womens’ issues etc, health, the environment etc, and its image is about to be changed for the worse. There is little or nothing I can think of offhand that is going to stop the decline. Delighted to hear of some idea, since I live there!