Will the Hegemonic Status of the U.S. as the World's Superpower Last?
Political analysts and historians often ask the question. How long will the hegemonic status of the U.S as the world's superpower last? In the historical perspective, there are several reasons as to why other influential hegemonies such as the Roman and the British empires collapsed. It is, however, important to draw a sharp distinction between the historical perspective of the status quo and the facts presented by political science. After the second world war came to a grinding halt, the United States became the undisputed world's superpower. Although China has steadily advanced in terms of its economic, military and political stances, it is still unlikely to become the next world's superpower. There are several factors which further deter China from becoming a superpower and hence The U.S will still hold the position for many more years to come. The argument presented in this essay affirms that the U.S will still remain the world's superpower because of its strategies and might in its military, economy, politics and technological advancement among other factors.
The Impact of Economic Crisis on the Strength and Influence of the U.S
The strength and influence of the U.S have declined sharply after the global economic crisis of 2008. However, the current economic crisis that is faced by the United States is still minor as compared to that witnessed during the great depression era (Freeman " Goodman 2008 38). According to economic statistics, the total global output of the U.S has dropped by a small margin from 28 to 25 percent. The current global economic trends continue to have an effect on the well-being of the United States and there is a high chance that the 21st century will not be an "American Century." For the past 70 years, the average economic growth of the U.S in every decade has been about 3%. Although statistically, such a growth margin could have no effect on young economies, mature economies like that of the U.S can benefit from any increments in their economy (Ikenberry 2008 3). As compared to most of the European countries, the economy of the U.S has been stable and sustainable in every decade for the past 70 years.
The Impact of Wars and High Consumption Rates on the U.S
The impact of 2 wars, the financial crisis, and high consumption rates in the U.S have contributed to the decline in the ideological and value concepts that have surrounded the U.S over the years (Nye 2015 36). Other than just the economic outcomes, the U.S has suffered multiple injuries which have affected their ego and credibility in terms of their political dominance and superiority. Certain elements such as democracy, human rights, and the market economy saw the rise and decline of the political stance of the U.S. Jacques (2008 800) states that, due to shifting factors in several other areas including the financial crisis of 2008, the leaders of the United States have lost faith in their own rhetoric's. Previously, the U.S had flexed its muscles and declared itself the overall leader of the world's politics (Jacques 2008 802). Despite the failure in the ideologies and decline in the overall political influence, the U.S still has a strong political influence that goes hand in hand with its economic prowess.
The U.S's Alliances and China's Civil Unrest
The U.S has several alliances with other counties after the division during the cold war period. The North Atlantic Trade Treaty Organization, the Anzus pact with New Zealand and Australia, bilateral military agreements with South Korea and Japan and the Five Eyes Intelligence alliance (Liu \\\" Racherla 2018 54). Additionally, China is currently facing a lot of civil unrest from areas such as Hong Kong and the Tibet Mountain regions which want to be free and independent. Although China's political influence had initially limited their involvement in their participation in the United Nations, this has since changed as they are now the second largest donors of the U.N besides the U.S.
The U.S's Military Strength and Advancements
Over the years, the U.S has had an advanced security and military system that has since improved after the end of the second world and cold wars. Despite their decline in several other fronts, their military system is well developed and they boost to be light years ahead of the other nations (Layne 2018 89). The nuclear war changed the initial outlook of the U. S's defense system and the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have also impacted positively on the military prowess and dominance of the U.S (Luttwak 2012 2006). Additionally, the United States has also strived to disarm all the other smaller countries and hence added its might and military strength. The U. S's military strength is also in line with their economic and political systems which are well streamlined and coordinated. In recent war events, debates have emerged questioning the nature and role of the U.S military army to the rest of the world. The United States army spends roughly 37% of the overall global military expenditure (Luttwak 2012 206). Despite its advancement and influential role in its military prowess, the U.S has since had challenges in combating terrorist groupings in the middle east. However, on the contrary, the terrorist groupings have equally advanced in the warfare techniques and are highly trained to give well-trained militaries a challenge.
The U.S's Dominance in the Technological Field
In the field of technology, there is much reason to believe that the U.S is still the dominant power and shareholder in terms of industries in the whole world. The United States of America, for instance, boasts of housing 8 of the 9 major technological industries in the entire world. As a result, the U.S has a greater competitive advantage in comparison to its competitors such as China (Freeman " Goodman 2008 38). The U.S has equally addressed the issue of energy and oil dependency which has been an issue of concern for many years. Currently, the U.S is the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas as it has stretched its research on the hydraulic fracturing which falls under the category of public research on the private energy category (Jacques 2012 801). Additionally, America boasts of the best research institutions and centers and hence has the necessary manpower and technology to channel its ingenuity in areas that are the most influential. From the profit gains that America obtains from its technology investments and research advancement, nearly 30% of the money is plowed back into the American economy so as to help further reinforce their local technological institutions (Freeman " Goodman 2008 56).
The Influence of U.S Culture and Lifestyle
Sociologists claim that a country's culture and lifestyle is the main driver and influential force in the societal psychology. While America has been a great influence on the world's social life, most people find it hard to embrace the Chinese culture. Lee (2018 123) states that, America's film industry such as Holly Wood and the social lifestyle of the celebrities in the U.S attracts and gets the approval of many people across the world. America's fashion and lifestyle have swept the world over like a massive wave and left a major impact. As a result, most of the products that are produced in America in the entertainment industry such as fashion and movies are sold and admired across the world. Additionally, the U.S offers scholarships and educational visas to bright students into its institutions. After their study, the U.S taps the knowledge of the bright students and incorporates them into their system and society. In the long run, the U.S ends up having a stronger system as it has a diversity of ideas (Lee 2018 98). America is also the current leading charity giver of in all the countries in the world. As a result, it has been granted the approval and received the admiration of most of the countries of the world.
The U.S's Role as a Global Superpower
The U.S has assumed the role of a big brother to the other nations over the years. Most of the efforts that the U.S initiates to help other countries largely go unappreciated and instead they receive criticism in return. An example is the 2008 Burma cyclone that hit Burma and brought criticism to the U.S as opposed to other influential countries that are next to the region such as China. The U.S has the required PR stunt and media as well as the social influence to shoulder the responsibilities that come with the title of a superpower. Even though most of the world considers the U.S to be a benevolent superpower, they still have a lot of difficulties and often go unappreciated. In most instances, the U.S is often blamed for slavery that took place over a century ago while other countries that have done even greater harm go unnoticed. China, for instance, was responsible for the genocide in Tibet, the Tiananmen incident and running an oppressive communist government. Unlike the U.S most countries hardly point their fingers at China, a clear indication that they are of no interest to the affairs of the rest of the world.
The U.S's Advantageous Geographical Location and Structural Advantages
Although most people hold the argument that the U.S is strategically located geographically away from foes around it, there is much more evidence pointing to the superiority of the U.S (Ikenberry 2008 4). From its years of infancy up to the current state the U.S is enjoying a form of geographical advantage that further plays a crucial role in setting it apart from all the other countries of the world. The fact that the U.S, unlike many other countries, lacks the aristocracy of tribes and castes often makes the merit system in the country efficient. America, for instance, it refers to as the land of opportunities as there are more opportunities and fewer regulations for legalized foreigners in the country. Unlike most countries, the U.S has become a superpower due to the decrease in their penal code in their merit system. On the other hand, the government of the U.S favors its citizens and lifts off most of the trade barriers that could hinder the growth of startup businesses. There is also the ideology of freedom and liberty for all which has further delineated the government from people's personal activities and projects (Nye 2015 36). Individuals in the U.S are treated as autonomous bodies and hence enjoy a reasonable amount of peace and stability which further boosts their prosperity. Even the immigrants that move into the U.S from the other countries often tend to find ways of remaining and seeking permanent citizenship in the U.S due to the prevailing social, political and economic advantages.
The Culture of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the U.S
Although China is a fast-growing economy with innovation and exportation at the top of its list, the United States Equally has several advantages that make it retain its position as the world's superpower. According to (Lee 2018 272), the first amendment which includes the aspect of free speech has played a crucial role in the sharing and generation of ideas in the U.S. Over the years, the United States has developed a culture of exceptionalism which has seen its rise in technology and innovation. In the United States, the culture of taking risks and success is strongly encouraged and rewarded. However, unlike in other countries, failure is equally embraced and is seen as a positive move towards success and prosperity. The U.S does not only dwell on its resources but also capitalizes on abilities of immigrants. Being a country made up of immigrants, the U.S encourages the sharing of foreign ideas and skills and hence has set in place deliberate measures and steps that are meant to address and encourage foreigners with specialized skills in mathematics, engineering, technology, and the sciences (Lee 2018 272). In order to cultivate a culture of innovativeness and technological advancement, the U.S has equally introduced learning technologies and innovative techniques in their education system by promoting independence and autonomy among their students. The current public policies in the U.S favor start-up businesses and entrepreneurship in comparison to other countries (Nye 2010 4). As a result, the start-up businesses are highly likely to succeed and grow in the U.S due to the prevailing conducive conditions.
Basing on the geographical location, structural advantages, economic power, political influence and the cultural affiliation of the U.S it will remain a super power form more years to come. The economy of the U.S has slightly dropped in the last 10 years' even though it is still stable in comparison to most of the 1st world countries. The U.S equally boasts of a stable army that has been able to protect it from within and outside. The political will power of the U.S has increased its influence due to the strong diplomatic power that it exercises with the other countries in its favor. Most countries have come to like the culture and lifestyle of the U.S which has had an effect in the entire world and hence making the U.S as the only super power. It is the culture that is coupled with ideological aspects such as liberty, freedom for all and humanistic rights perspective that make the U.S stand out in comparison to the other nations. The U.S is an influential country and the world's only superpower because it has had competitive structural advancements and resources which the rest of the world does not enjoy. Although countries such as China are self-proclaimed emerging superpowers, they still have a long way to go. However, some people argue that, China might emerge as the next superpower because it has come up with a different technique. This agreement lacks substantiality and logic and hence is not comparable to the facts that the U.S presents. It is, therefore, correct to state that China has some elements that could make it a world superpower but the U.S has will enjoy its position for many more decades to come.
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