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post #1 of 53 (permalink) Old November 15th, 2005, 17:14 Thread Starter
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US Hegemony

Well I think most of us know the concept of hegemony, it where on ally dominates over another ally. Or hegemony is about dominance over another (state) and whether that state be an ally or not.

Original hegemony's are the Roman Empire & the Greek Empire. More recently it was the European countries With the British Empire and French Empire specifically.

After the WW2 the United States took over the role of hegemony after the fall of Imperialism. USSR was the hegemonic power of Eastern Europe and the Socialist countries.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, we all agree the only super power left in the world is the United States of America.

But recently the rise of China and India has made scholars and academic's question whether the United States can maintain its position in the world.

Some even fear the United States rather than act as hegemonic and maintain the Status quo is actually making countries nervous and acting like a destabilising force and use the examples of the war on Terror, Iraq and the middle East.

Is there any merit to any of this, what is the United States role in the world today?? Does the rise of China and India present a major threat the dominance of the Unites States??

Last edited by 2Pac; November 15th, 2005 at 17:25.
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post #2 of 53 (permalink) Old November 15th, 2005, 17:23
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Not that it makes much difference to your post, but hegemony is about dominance over another (state) and whether that state be an ally or not is irrelevant.
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post #3 of 53 (permalink) Old November 15th, 2005, 17:26 Thread Starter
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Duly noted and added

But what do you think?

I want a long and thought out answer
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post #4 of 53 (permalink) Old November 15th, 2005, 17:30
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Originally Posted by 2Pac
I want a long and thought out answer
Um...yes.
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post #5 of 53 (permalink) Old November 15th, 2005, 17:59
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Originally Posted by 2Pac
Does the rise of China and India present a major threat the dominance of the Unites States??
At least the economic dominance. Just look at how many of our products are made by the Chinese and troubleshooted by the Indians.
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post #6 of 53 (permalink) Old November 15th, 2005, 19:10
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And there wasn't a Greek empire. There was an Athenian Hegemony (they coined the term) but that was neither Greek or an empire. Unless you mean the Macedonian one, which was an empire, but not Greek either.

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post #7 of 53 (permalink) Old November 15th, 2005, 19:25
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And there wasn't a Greek empire. There was an Athenian Hegemony (they coined the term) but that was neither Greek or an empire. Unless you mean the Macedonian one, which was an empire, but not Greek either.
I guess he meant the federation of the various hellenian polis (poleia, don't know how to spell it correctly). there wasn't such an empire, although on a cultural level it may deserve that name.
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post #8 of 53 (permalink) Old November 15th, 2005, 19:32
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Every hegemon eventually falls because as we all know, nothing is permanent. In the case of the US, they have to decide if they're gonna pull back or eventually fall. It's kind of like trading away today what will otherwise be taken from you tomorrow.

Is it possible that the current administration will be the one to cause the fall? There's evidence that it will. Economic collapse is a worry because the administration has borrowed more money from international governments and banks than all the previous administrations put together. This is an example of an issue that should get more media coverage but gets hardly any. If a poll were conducted, I wonder how many citizens would even be aware of this.

One of the reasons why the US was able to become so strong is because people believed what the government said. They had a reputation for being defenders of freedom and all that, it doesn't really matter if they actually were or not as that's a whole other debate but what does matter is that people believed it which translates into support. These days, people don't believe it anymore and that includes an increasing number of Americans. It started out as Iraq being a threat, then it eventually became an issue of faulty intelligence and now it's becoming an issue of fabricated intelligence. When people like Colin Powell say it was a huge mistake for him to go before the UN it's not a good sign for the government.

Anyways, no need to go into detail, the point is that the support is waning. The fact that government has borrowed so much money from foreigners means that they can't turn around and tell their citizens that they don't need any foreign assistance, unless those citizens still don't know how much they've borrowed. Iraq is a heavy blow to their credibility but they still keep up the rhetoric.

I think they're setting themselves up for a big fall and that's gonna cause a lot of civil unrest in the country. Despite the actions of their government, Americans believe in their constitution and everything it represents. And a lot of them are armed to the teeth
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post #9 of 53 (permalink) Old November 15th, 2005, 19:43
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the advantage of today's hegemonies is that they can use historical researches to analyze the circumstances that lead to their decline. if the USA are smart enough, they will be able to work out a strategy to avoid (or at least delay) the roman empire's fall (or the similar fall of others). although I think that eventually (whenever that is) every hegemony will come to an end, whether that is to happen within our lifetime or not is another question.
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post #10 of 53 (permalink) Old November 15th, 2005, 19:56
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sanyi, what you say makes sense but is defied over and over again by practical experience. Unfortunately it seems to be that the only ones who study the past intensely are the generals (that's why battletactics and war technology keep evolving) whereas the politicians repeat the same mistakes over and over. The "Project for a New American Century" goons really believe in concrete US hegemony in the 21st century. The problem is always that such world domination-aspiring goons always think they can do better than the previous empires and last - forever. Btw I don't think the US will falter anytime soon - unless something tectonic happens like everyone starts trading oil in euros instead of dollars or something like that. Don't see who can challenge US hegemony in the next 50 or so years.

Last edited by Andrija PFC; November 15th, 2005 at 23:27.
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post #11 of 53 (permalink) Old November 15th, 2005, 22:22 Thread Starter
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What about the United States role in the world? Are they supposed to be the new Marshall or is that the job of the UN??
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post #12 of 53 (permalink) Old November 15th, 2005, 23:01
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From what i understand from talking to older folks and reading my history books. Alot the same questions were asked during Vietnam and throughout our history. Even economic questions were raised during the 80's regarding the Japanese economy. Or when we had gas lines. Or Iran contra, Soviet expansion, the great depression. And the US has still here and still quite strong.

Heck we've survived a civil war, our captial being burned to the ground foriegn invasion. So this is nothing really.

America's been fine and calm down i suspect we'll always be a superpower. Other superpowers will inevitably rise so will the US be the lone superpower for the near future? I doubt it but i think we'll have a very important place in world policy for the next 50 years.


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What about the United States role in the world? Are they supposed to be the new Marshall or is that the job of the UN??
The UN isn't capable of dealing with anything the way its structured. I mean unless they have their own army and a leader with real power its always going to be inept. They have a rag tag force of third world warriors who aren't allowed to fight. They have diplomatic power but no muscle behind it. Without muscle diplomacy is meaningless when it comes to dealing with terrorist, wars, drugs etc.

If the UN is just used for dialouge between countries I think they could be much more useful. But when it comes to solving wars and major issues. The UN has proven that they can't do anything unless one of the bigger countries really push them to do so.

Last edited by croatian batman; November 15th, 2005 at 23:32.
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post #13 of 53 (permalink) Old November 15th, 2005, 23:36
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The UN is "inept" at "solving wars and major issues" because one side wants to push something that is in its own interest and can't push it through because the other powers that have vetos don't want it to happen. That was the whole point of the UN, to create balance, to prohibit a major power or superpower from doing something unilaterally (like starting a war). During the Cold War, when pissing off the Soviets too much was bad for the West and vice versa, both sides more or less respected the UN. Nowadays the Western powers - that is, the US - just ignore it when it's inconvinient to consult the Security Council and then complain about how it's "inept". The US technically needed a UN resolution to attack Iraq (otherwise it's illegal aggression) but would have never obtained it due to the opposition of France and Russia; similarly NATO needed a resolution (technically) to attack Yugoslavia, but would have never obtained it due to the opposition of Russia and China at the time.

The unilateral action like that of the US against Iraq is exactly what the UNSC was designed to prevent. The US only complained of the UN's "ineptness" because they didn't get what they wanted.
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post #14 of 53 (permalink) Old November 16th, 2005, 02:12
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Originally Posted by Andrija PFC
The UN is "inept" at "solving wars and major issues" because one side wants to push something that is in its own interest and can't push it through because the other powers that have vetos don't want it to happen. That was the whole point of the UN, to create balance, to prohibit a major power or superpower from doing something unilaterally (like starting a war). During the Cold War, when pissing off the Soviets too much was bad for the West and vice versa, both sides more or less respected the UN. Nowadays the Western powers - that is, the US - just ignore it when it's inconvinient to consult the Security Council and then complain about how it's "inept". The US technically needed a UN resolution to attack Iraq (otherwise it's illegal aggression) but would have never obtained it due to the opposition of France and Russia; similarly NATO needed a resolution (technically) to attack Yugoslavia, but would have never obtained it due to the opposition of Russia and China at the time.

The unilateral action like that of the US against Iraq is exactly what the UNSC was designed to prevent. The US only complained of the UN's "ineptness" because they didn't get what they wanted.
After the Soviet Union fell what exactly have they done? Next to nothing to be frank they have little power and no authority to do anything. You don't have look far away from our area to see how inept they are. Oil for Food, Rwanda, the fact that 1/4 of all their resolutions are about Israel. Its a organization with little power and little sway and its been true for sometime

The UN is fast becoming like the League of Nation's. The League of Nations was criticized for being corrupt, lacking goals, not having the ability to prevent and stop wars. Whats the difference between the League of Nations and the United Nations right now?

And the question was can the UN marshall the world? When i think of marshalling i think of a policing and police have the threat of force and have authority thats why they're successful at their job. Neither of which the UN has. All they can do is put a sanction against you (which the Oil for food showed to be a disaster) Or a Third World soldier with strict orders not to use his gun! They have no independent army. Nobody fears the UN or cares if their on their bad side. Ask Iraq, Isreal, Iran, China, Milosevic etc. Nobody cares what they think at all. For discussing things they can be fine but when it comes to protecting the world? They have zero capability to do that as they have shown many times over.
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post #15 of 53 (permalink) Old November 16th, 2005, 02:33
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Originally Posted by IVO
Every hegemon eventually falls because as we all know, nothing is permanent. In the case of the US, they have to decide if they're gonna pull back or eventually fall. It's kind of like trading away today what will otherwise be taken from you tomorrow.

Is it possible that the current administration will be the one to cause the fall? There's evidence that it will. Economic collapse is a worry because the administration has borrowed more money from international governments and banks than all the previous administrations put together. This is an example of an issue that should get more media coverage but gets hardly any. If a poll were conducted, I wonder how many citizens would even be aware of this.

One of the reasons why the US was able to become so strong is because people believed what the government said. They had a reputation for being defenders of freedom and all that, it doesn't really matter if they actually were or not as that's a whole other debate but what does matter is that people believed it which translates into support. These days, people don't believe it anymore and that includes an increasing number of Americans. It started out as Iraq being a threat, then it eventually became an issue of faulty intelligence and now it's becoming an issue of fabricated intelligence. When people like Colin Powell say it was a huge mistake for him to go before the UN it's not a good sign for the government.

Anyways, no need to go into detail, the point is that the support is waning. The fact that government has borrowed so much money from foreigners means that they can't turn around and tell their citizens that they don't need any foreign assistance, unless those citizens still don't know how much they've borrowed. Iraq is a heavy blow to their credibility but they still keep up the rhetoric.

I think they're setting themselves up for a big fall and that's gonna cause a lot of civil unrest in the country. Despite the actions of their government, Americans believe in their constitution and everything it represents. And a lot of them are armed to the teeth
would say its preety much spot on

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post #16 of 53 (permalink) Old November 16th, 2005, 03:03
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Originally Posted by croatian batman
After the Soviet Union fell what exactly have they done? Next to nothing to be frank they have little power and no authority to do anything. You don't have look far away from our area to see how inept they are. Oil for Food, Rwanda, the fact that 1/4 of all their resolutions are about Israel. Its a organization with little power and little sway and its been true for sometime

The UN is fast becoming like the League of Nation's. The League of Nations was criticized for being corrupt, lacking goals, not having the ability to prevent and stop wars. Whats the difference between the League of Nations and the United Nations right now?

And the question was can the UN marshall the world? When i think of marshalling i think of a policing and police have the threat of force and have authority thats why they're successful at their job. Neither of which the UN has. All they can do is put a sanction against you (which the Oil for food showed to be a disaster) Or a Third World soldier with strict orders not to use his gun! They have no independent army. Nobody fears the UN or cares if their on their bad side. Ask Iraq, Isreal, Iran, China, Milosevic etc. Nobody cares what they think at all. For discussing things they can be fine but when it comes to protecting the world? They have zero capability to do that as they have shown many times over.


Listen, the UN is only as good as the support its individual members supply it (doesn't the US owe the UN tons of money?). And the US has been largely ignoring the UN since the Cold War ended whenever it couldn't get what it wanted from it or knew that that was unlikely. Might I remind you that the UN sanctioned the war in Korea (the USSR was absent from the Sec. Council at the time), that the idea of UN peacekeepers (Lester B. Pearson) was what stopped the Israel/France/UK-Egypt Suez war, that the UN sanctioned Operation Desert Storm (was the US complaining about it then? I doubt it, they were probably full of praise for it at the time), and so on. I'm not saying the UN is perfect; it's failures, from UNMIK and the joke that is the Hague to Oil for Food and God knows what other screwup god knows where in the world, are many. But the UN Security Council is important, because that's what keeps - in theory - powers from taking unilateral action.

Rwanda is a bad example - it's not really the UN's fault per se; nobody gave a rat's ass about Rwanda - the UN is only the sum of its member nations, and if they don't care and don't want to do anything about it no UN bureacrat or peacekeeper can do much to change that. I mean where was the mighty US to send thousands of troops to stop the genocide in Rwanda? What happened there was worse than anything in the Balkans for example, just by looking at sheer numbers. There's a reason why the UN keeps bitching about Israel; mainly because Israel keeps violoating UN resolutions and doing things which are, plainly, illegal.

Once again, the UN is not some abstract entity, it's a bunch of countries working together. And if those countries don't want to cooperate on something because they have divergent interests, it's those countries' fault, not the UN's. So of course the UN will not approve an invasion of Iraq if France and Russia oppose it. The liberation of Kuwait was not opposed, so the UN approved it. Simple.

The UN is effective at being the "world's policeman" in cases where a) the member nations care and b) where the member nations agree.

What you're talking about it granting some power to right to police the world - whatever that might mean - without the explicit consent of all those countries which this "policing" concerns. That sounds a lot like good ole imperialism to me. The United States, the UK, France, Russia, China, Germany or Tanzania have absolutely no right to be a "policeman" in some region of the world where they're not welcome from the perspective of the legal governments of that region. If the UN can't be the world's policeman by consesus, than no one country - or group of countries - should be. That's not being the world's policeman, more like being the world's racketeer.
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post #17 of 53 (permalink) Old November 16th, 2005, 16:27 Thread Starter
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Where are the brain boxes when you need them?? Attila, Bastin, Glen, Flo (I am not sure about this one) etc . . .

Post your thoughts
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post #18 of 53 (permalink) Old November 16th, 2005, 16:49
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Originally Posted by Andrija PFC
Rwanda is a bad example - it's not really the UN's fault per se; nobody gave a rat's ass about Rwanda - the UN is only the sum of its member nations, and if they don't care and don't want to do anything about it no UN bureacrat or peacekeeper can do much to change that. I mean where was the mighty US to send thousands of troops to stop the genocide in Rwanda? What happened there was worse than anything in the Balkans for example, just by looking at sheer numbers. There's a reason why the UN keeps bitching about Israel; mainly because Israel keeps violoating UN resolutions and doing things which are, plainly, illegal.

.
So let me get this straight the US which I'm assuming you don't want involved militarily anywhere yet now we're criticized for not doing anything in Rwanda. So i guess your conceding that large countries have to be the policeman and the UN can't be?

If you believe the UN can police the world can't they get a force together of some 10,000 troops with the ability to shoot and fight? That would've saved alot of lives in Rwanda. Ask the British for a 1,000, Asian countries for a thousand etc. I'm sure if the UN asked for US air power they would assist them. And that force of 10,000 with 21st century air power would stop almost any conflict in Africa. Maybe in are'a of greater world power like Asia., Europe, NA but surely they can help in Africa but they can't even do that.

UN can't even garner much force and has little ability. They make safe area's with no muscle behind it. They are all talk and no muscle. And if they want to muster that force they need to garner it. They haven't done it yet. Unless they beg one of the bigger countries to do it for. Heck in Yugoslavia they have all these Bengali troops with little power and little training. Why don't the UN take these armies they get and legitimately train. Them send them to the US to be trained and make them into a legit fighting force? With an opportunity to defend itself and actually respond to aggression. I think some these idea's are practical.

And the fact that Israel a country of 6 million people in a world of 5 billion people has 1/4 of all the resolutions about them, something is very wrong. Many folks at the UN criticize the rest of the western world that they don't pay attention enough to Africa. Yet the UN clearly doesn't care much about Africa themselves either. They're too busy passing resolutions involving Israel.
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post #19 of 53 (permalink) Old November 16th, 2005, 20:18
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I'm not in the mood to talk about this in length right now but I'll sum this up perfectly.

The US is the UN and the sooner more folks around the world realize that, the more this world will be a better place.
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post #20 of 53 (permalink) Old November 16th, 2005, 21:47
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I'm not in the mood to talk about this in length right now but I'll sum this up perfectly.

The US is the UN and the sooner more folks around the world realize that, the more this world will be a better place.
The UN leadership are corrupt. I'm sure there are people in the organization who really want it to work and do their jobs every day with the best intentions, but Kofi Annan and his son and all the rest of the top brass are in it to feather their own nests and nothing else. It is a meaningless organization. New York City could better use the space for condos.

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