Current Affairs Reaction
The era of the American hegemony is at risk of being lost and it is not just a fantasy to be shrugged aside. Hegemony is best defined as the dominance of a given social group or class within the society. This type of control can be exercised subtly rather than forcefully using cultural means and economic power, while also exerting a mixture of consent and coercion. Ever since World War II going forwards, it has been difficult to maintain these standards leading to the twenty first century. This, however, has been subject to question considering the ever growing influence of China in Africa and its position with regard to some of the suctions and controls that have been pushed for by the United States over the years.
The Hegemony of America commenced after the Second World War. Babones, (2015) points to this concept being as old as the currency of the country. Contrary to popular belief that long before the Second World War America had already secured this position, Oualaalou (2015) considers a very different narrative. There was the Soviet Union that first had influence and could be considered to have been a threat to America. Second World War needed with postwar benefits like America being home to the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, and most importantly the World Bank. The artilleries commanded air, sea, and ground troops that cannot be matched by any country all over the world. This ensured that the country was a power house economically and military-wise that could not be compared with any nation. According to Babones, (2015) this has not changed and will not change.
While this might not be argued with or refuted, times have changed and the world is moving towards a dominant economic giant rather than the muscle and military. Oualaalou’s (2015) opinion is that while America is bullying its way to express dominance, China is winning the economic long game. Recent events have not been any kind to the United States. The Federal shutdown is the most recent and the recovery from the two wars of Iraq and Afghanistan has not painted a light picture with regards to dominance. The unemployment rates in the United States keep rising every year. The poverty rates, environment changes, and health conditions keep presenting a problem that the government seems to constantly fail to show regard. The debts rates of the country are an overbearing burden on taxpayers and continue to be a huge weakness affecting leadership. The arguments presented by Oualaalou, (2015) cannot be ignored and considered as wishful since it also presents various with regard to the global position of the country.
Babones, (2015), however, has a counter argument to this line of thinking. He compares the woes of the United States to the United Kingdom’s defeat of Napoleon. The public-debt-to GDP ratio at the time was roughly over 250 percent. Yet the country managed to have an upset turnover that propelled it back to the top with events like the Pax Britannica and the elevation of Queen Victoria as empress of India. His arguments being that having competition at the time and the influence not being felt as it should was just a turn of fortune that would eventually realign itself.
Both Babones (2015) and Oualaalou (2015) agree about various elements at the end. They both agree that there is need for concern. However, they only disagree on what concern that might be and if American is really losing its grip as Hegemony.
Babones, S. (2015, June 11). American Hegemony Is Here to Stay. Retrieved April 10, 2018, from The National Interest: http://nationalinterest.org/feature/american-hegemony-here-stay-13089
Oualaalou, D. (2015, February 8). US Era of Dominance Is Dwindling as China Takes Over the World Economy. Retrieved April 10, 2018, from Huffpost: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/us-era-of-dominance-is-dw_b_6299040.html