In Eurozine, sociologist and professor emeritus Norman Birnbaum dissects the end of US global hegemony, a development brought about by the concurrent stagnation of the US economy and the rise of nations like China. Interestingly, Birnbaum insists that Trump is not the cause of the US’s faltering dominance, but rather the consequence of it. Check out an excerpt below:
American domination of much of the world was never unchallenged. It was the result of a situation which followed the two terrible wars of the twentieth century and which has now ended. The recovery of Europe, the rise of China, the emergence of the BRIC nations as a power grouping, the Asian powers and the as yet unrealized economic potential of much of Africa and Latin America, confront us with a future in which our geopolitical advantages (continental size and oceanic moats) will have to be used in ways very different from those of the immediate past. US military power has not, for decades, been anything but an instrument of self-inflicted disasters.
The German foreign minister recently proposed a new international exchange system which would dispense with the dollar as standard currency. Behind the proposal there is much more than a response to Trump – who has accelerated a process already begun. The US economy of course attracts foreign investment, not least because our financial and regulatory structure is weighted in favour of capital. As a socio-economic model, however, the US has lost the attraction it once exerted, especially in Europe, where consumer protection, educational standards and availability, and the provision of social benefits account for more social equality. The European welfare states have their own political and economic problems, but their crises are qualitatively and quantitatively different, have their own starting points and are exceedingly unlikely to be resolved by the adoption of the American model.
Image via Eurozine.