The Future and the United States
By Steve McCann
As the opening decade of the twenty-first century draws to a close, what is the future of the United States in an increasingly complex and fluid world order?
In a prospective global scenario in which China dominates and reshapes Asia, India becomes a major economic power and extends its influence into Africa, Islam continues to spread its brand of social dominion, and Europe has become a loose confederation of states trying to maintain some semblance of importance, what role will the United States play?
It has become conventional wisdom that over the next 25 to thirty years, the United States will continue to experience a precipitous decline, and that China will become the dominant power in the world alongside the massive growth of countries such as India and Brazil. In short, according to the doom-and-gloom crowd, the days of U.S. world influence may well be over.
This assumes the global scenario of the past few centuries when just one part of the world dominated international affairs. That has been Europe (and by extension, the United States). Globalization combined with foolhardy economic and social policies has diffused power away from the West. But that power is moving to countries that have within their societies many built-in factors that will limit their ability to achieve global hegemonic power.
In the case of both China and India, their overwhelming populations and the increasing demands by the people for a piece of the expanding economic pie will force these countries to focus more on internal matters or risk societal upheaval. China, for example, if foolish enough to physically conquer other lands, will only add to its unsustainable internal burden. China can therefore be expected to rely instead on economic supremacy within its own sphere of influence.
Those nations dominated by Islamic fundamentalism will not experience growth, as the nature of their vision of Islam will prevent the expansion of capitalism. In order to keep their populations at bay, brutality will be the order of the day. Their major source of income, the exploitation of natural resources (mainly oil), can be replaced as other nations, such as the United States, tap into their own vast reserves of petroleum-related resources.
Europe will continue its decline, with Russia clinging desperately to past days of glory as a world superpower. However, with the negative birthrates throughout the continent and the widespread fealty to social democracy, Europe’s influence will wane as the years go by, and within forty years, it will resemble the European city-states of the Middle Ages — but still a major consumer and economic arena.
Thus, the world that will arise from these factors is not one of domination by one country or region, but one that contains numerous centers of power.
As these centers of power mature, they will take care of security and military matters within their domain. As long as nuclear weapons exist and these nations have them, the old Cold War theory of mutually assured destruction will act as a deterrent against global war. Within their orbit, these nations will have greater incentive to constrain the rogue states and dictators from obtaining weapons of mass destruction, as they will not want to risk conflagration and destroy their power base. Thus, the United States will not be alone in maintaining peace and acting as the world’s policeman.
Beyond just military or security issues, the United States will be even more vital in this new world order.
These new centers of power will require a clearinghouse or arbitrator that has its foot in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Ocean spheres of influence. Only the United States is in this position — due not only to factors of geography, but also to the melting-pot influence of the population and the sheer size of its economy.
However, it is incumbent on the United States to get its house in order. Fiscal and monetary policy must recognize the reality of current financial mismanagement. The current ruling class and its Euro-socialist mindset must be replaced with those who are willing to deal with these matters honestly and lead the American people with honor and integrity. The first (albeit embryonic) steps were taken in the midterm election of 2010, but much more needs to be done and equitable sacrifices made by all segments of society.
Further, the country must focus on becoming the foremost haven for business in the world and revamp its foreign policy that is still based on the twentieth-century model of superpower confrontation.
The matter that could throw the remainder of this century into worldwide chaos and the United States into anarchy is not the emergence of other nations, but the collapse of the United States. That overall possibility rests solely in the hands of the American people.
There is no need to fear the future. The American century can continue, and the United States can become an even greater influence on world events. The factors are there.