The end of hegemony | Luis Britto Garcia

Society. The United States opened the century with the illusion that it was beginning a New American Century, according to the manifesto of the think tank New Cityzenship Project. Reality refuted it. Global Trends 2012 forecast exponential growth of the middle class. But ever-increasing proportions of it sink into poverty and marginalization, creating the "white trash" that voted for Trump. According to the Federal Reserve, 1% of families account for 38,6% of the country's wealth. About 1,3 million people are below the poverty level; the number of poor people of African descent is twice that of whites and their income per family is half that of whites. Its prison system confines 33 million people: it is the most populated in the world as a percentage, 6% of its inmates are of African descent, its incarceration rate is XNUMX times higher than that of whites, and a large part of the prisons are labor camps. forced for the benefit of corporations. Racism hinders the integration of blacks, Hispanics, Asians, Europeans: everything that is different. The segregated carry out riots, which are increasingly massive, frequent and widespread.

Economy.The United States imposed its hegemony by forcing the other countries in the Breton Woods Accords in XNUMX to maintain their monetary reserves in dollars. Until today, it has managed to pay its commitments by printing a green paper that since XNUMX has no more support than the threat, and forcing oil producers to sell their hydrocarbons in that currency. But the dollar loses ground to the yen, partially backed by gold. Global Trends XNUMX predicted that the Chinese economy would overtake the US by XNUMX. But in October XNUMX the IMF recognized that the People's Republic of China was the world's leading economy, with a GDP of XNUMX trillion dollars, which exceeded XNUMX , XNUMX billion that of the United States. That trend was not reversible, and it would outpace other economies more and more. Just as American watches and automobiles were displaced by Europeans and Asians, their remaining merchandise progressively became uncompetitive, to the point that Donald Trump tried to prevent imports from China with protectionist taxes, and withdrew from Free Trade Agreements with the Pacific and with Mexico. The public debt of the United States exceeds the amount of its annual GDP: this suffers a fall from XNUMX% in XNUMX to -XNUMX% in XNUMX, while that of China grows to XNUMX% for the third quarter of that year. Yankee capitalists invest abroad, evade taxes in tax havens, and do not repatriate profits. Financial speculation causes increasingly devastating crises, like the one in XNUMX and the current one. The economy becomes unviable.

Diplomacy. The United States usurped planetary hegemony thanks to its military command of the forces of the Atlantic Alliance in World War II. The UN functioned as its instrument, to the point that it was allowed to delay the admission of the People's Republic of China for decades. Europe became a continent occupied by the armies of NATO; the rest of the world was threatened by about a thousand US bases, the hydrocarbon producing countries intervened. This arrogance would soon elicit responses in the creation of a Non-Aligned Movement, in OPEC, which punished it with energy embargoes, in various Third World revolutions and in the creation of dissident Latin American and Caribbean unions: Mercosur, Alba, Celac, Unasur. Powerful organizations, such as Asean, independently group the Asian countries where 60% of the world's population resides.

Strategy.Despite its formidable arms spending, which alone exceeds that of all other countries on the planet, the United States lost its military hegemony. The spending of the military industrial complex maintains employment and industry, but produces goods that cannot be consumed and concentrates wealth even more in large companies. In the United States there are more private firearms than people. Since the end of the last century, resistance to the conscript forced it to create an army of mercenaries with their own marginalities and those of other countries. But Russian aviation and rocketry are currently the most advanced in the world; China has the most powerful fleet. However, the United States remains bogged down in the "Forever War" eternal succession of interventions that are nothing more than a confession of its impotence to impose hegemony by other means than brute force.

Culture. The communication apparatus of the United States spread its cultural industry throughout the world, trying to position it as a universal culture. At the end of the last century, out of every three films shown in Europe, two were American. Its higher education system is essentially private, reserved for the wealthy. Perhaps that is why for half a century the power of the North has not originated a single ideology, a single aesthetic movement of universal resonance. It loses its footing even in the field of science and technological innovation. Much of its advances towards the middle of the 5th century, such as nuclear weapons and space exploration, were due to imported scientists or technicians: Leo Szylard, Albert Einstein, Werner von Braun. His computer science achievements were concentrated on mass-producing and affordable gadgets envisioned by European scientists such as Kurt Godel, David Hilbert, Alan Turing. It is currently fighting hopeless competition with China for dominance of 6G and XNUMXG platforms and strong artificial intelligence.

The end. The end of hegemony is imminent, but not immediate. To survive, let's take advantage of the loopholes of the struggle between powers. We want to free ourselves from hegemony, not replace it.

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