"Germany will either be a world power or will not be at all."
--Adolf Hitler 1945
Hegemony: leadership or dominance, especially that of one state or nation over others; (Websters Dictionary)
"The freedom and security of Americans depend on America’s global leadership. Without American leadership the world will become a more dangerous place—for Americans and for freedom. If left unchecked, the growing dangers will only get worse and may reach the point where America’s very existence is at stake."
--- The Heritage Foundation: Statement of Purpose
America. My home, and the land of my birth has changed since my days of high school and elementary. In those days we were taught trite concepts of "Liberty and Justice for all" , "we are all equal in the sight of the law", as well as other outdated ideas of international law, civil rights and human rights. In the last four decades of U.S. foreign policy however these ideas have been simply dumped into the toilet.
This brings to mind a saying made by a European statesman Sir John Dalberg Acton regarding the abuses by the Catholic church who then held itself above reproach:
"power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts ABSOLUTELY".
Almost two centuries later many nations with global ambitions have continued to remain beyond reproach by any institutions or world powers. What does it mean to be a "Super Power"?
In this age were America (to its discredit) refers to itself as the "number one super power" and "global leader" a not so subtle change in public and political attitudes have come about. This change became most notable after the fall of communism with the overriding message in speeches, journals, the media and abroad: 'WE RUN THE WORLD' and answer to none, including international laws which we have written signed and invaded others for not following.
Very similar to the attitudes of ordinary Germans under the Third Reich, Americans have begun to believe and propagate the idea that "WE" are the pinnacle of civilization in all ways, and "WE" are entitled to do anything to re-reinforce our dominance over all societies WITHOUT EXCEPTION. This is the NEW AMERICA: GLOBAL AMERICA. Once again we are in the age of Empire building, and once again folly becomes fact.
The world today however is a much smaller place. George Washington once wrote that "when the people in America are piled upon one another like those of Europe so too would we become corrupt." Essentially this implied that the state would by necessity infringe on the rights of the citizens in order to "govern", yet this would make for its own undoing, as in the demise of the British Empire. Today it's strength hardly exceeds its own borders.
As the world shrinks and societies become more interdependent history is repeating itself and America has taken the lead in both defining and shaping the current global order.This basic observation may be hard to accept by many, and with good reason. It was an anathema to the founding fathers who envisioned a country where a man could find freedom. A country which was free of the Old World entanglements they deemed "useless", a land where men would not oppress or be oppressed but would establish a system of democratic rule that set a precedence in a world dominated by Kings and Emperors.
Once again however, the world has an empire: The Empire of The United States of America. While this may be presumptuous or hyperbolic on my part, it to coincides more with the facts as they stand: American foreign policy has been hijacked by politicians which envision, not a free world, but rather A CONTROLLED WORLD.
Somewhere we have lost our way, and this is not a new idea. The past few decades have yielded a long history of political failings by multiple administrations, to which none have been brought to task. Presidents whose administrations sponsored insurgencies, assassinations, narcotics traffic, and a host of war crimes remain in impeachable. For the most part however the general public remains apathetic, out of touch and unconcerned with this direction.
We have become a country of xenophobes that believe any way other than "the American way" is fundamentally flawed. We look down on the traditional institutions of vast world wide populations and decry religions we see as foreign or hostile. All the while our armies cover the globe, hold the world hostage with nuclear missiles, and seek to manipulate the internal politics and economies of weaker nations with impunity.
The ultimate result not only a world in chaos, but a world in decay. It is a widening belief that American Democracy is a sham in the same way of Nazi, or Japanese democracy during WWII era. While setting up institutions to help organize the world, create balance, equity and a forum to resolve disputes (UN, NATO, IMF, WTO, G8, G20) the American people continue to allow their government to abandon international law, break treaties, initiate wars of aggression, and sponsor world wide terror networks to undermine democratically elected governments.
We now openly sponsor extra judicial assassinations, arrest without charge, torture, and domestic spying. This litany of grievances has been well documented by many studies and most come to one simple and obvious solution. This is the beginning of the end of American hegemony. As the economy goes, so goes the leverage with which we have held the world enthralled: the value of the American dollar.
As the average American struggles to hold on to the things we hav worked all our lives for, politicians continue to send our legacy overseas. Each year billions upon billions of dollars are sacrificed without question for the purpose of cornering the global oil market, and propping up failed, or failing foreign regimes. Back home as Americans march in the street demanding accountability the world takes note.
As we have demonstrated an inability to truly "guide" the global economy, bring peace to failed states or eradicate violent regimes and "terror" networks, a global realignment AGAINST American interests is beginning. One outstanding example is China's increasing ability to affectively devastate the U.S. economy. War's take many forms, and debtor nations historically are ripe for fighting.
This was not the idea of the founding fathers. These recent political turns, while enriching corporations have effectively neutered American industry. Nor have they increased security around the globe or our home territory. In other words the world is not a safer place, it is in fact a more dangerous place. The current state of politics is reprehensible and disgusting as politicians scratch and claw for the reigns of power and money, all the while the common Americans suffer, go broke, go bankrupt, go out of business...Washington yawns. Business as usual.
As American's we must remember that "world dominance" is not the goal of the masses, but rather the few. Those that benefit, multinational conglomerates, multinational banks and bankers, and of course the politicians themselves. Is this the legacy we voted for?
Are we a nation of conquers like the British Empire of the 1700's or the Napoleon's Empire after the French Revolution. At some point we must look past the propaganda, and see what our country is doing abroad, and how this has huge ramifications for us at home. We must educate ourselves on the issues and take action in the voting booth, and by engaging and holding our elected officials accountable. Failure could mark the end of the free society we are all used to. When the Berlin wall fell the world hailed reunification and looked toward peace. A decade later a new wall was erected around the state of Israel.
Walls divide, they do not unite. Walls demonstrate fear and hostility. Walls restrict the freedoms of those locked in as well as those locked out. Lets keep the blast walls and barbed wire out of America while freedom continues to exist, although greatly diminished, it is not yet demolished. Our survival depends more on our ability to promote the basic and fundamental ideals of the founding fathers, the Constitution, and fundamental human worth.
In this we must not fail, for it is the foundation on which our ancestors of all races, religions, and political perspectives built this country. The weakest country can wage war, but only the strongest and wisest will ever bring in a lasting era of progress and peace. In a world of dwindling resources the learning curve will be short, however figuring out how to cooperate will not be an option when it comes to long term survival of the human race, and a continuation of life as we know it.