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US hegemony: clarification

rross
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2/6/2013 5:26:42 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
I've seen a lot of talk about US hegemony on this site and whether or not it's desirable. I find the discussions confusing, and I was wondering if someone could please have the patience to clarify the following points for me.

1. How far is this hegemony supposed to go? Are we talking about worldwide dominance of the US as a stable end goal? Is worldwide US hegemony possible?

2. What is the ideal role/circumstance of the nations within the hegemony? For example, citizens of allied countries wouldn't have the same protections as US citizens, would they? (as we saw with British and Australian citizens held illegally in Guantanamo Bay). Is such a hierarchy, on a global scale, sustainable in the long term? This may seem like a pointed, leading question but it isn't. I'm just trying to visualize the ideal here.

3. If worldwide hegemony is not possible or desirable, is the strategy of partial hegemony or of pursuing greater hegemony still appropriate in the medium to long term (I'm assuming the answer is yes, actually, but just checking)? Will this mean constant war on the edges of the territory? Is that OK? At what point would the US decide that it's not OK?

Thanks in advance.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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2/6/2013 12:45:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/6/2013 5:26:42 AM, rross wrote:
I've seen a lot of talk about US hegemony on this site and whether or not it's desirable. I find the discussions confusing, and I was wondering if someone could please have the patience to clarify the following points for me.

Well, I'm sure you're not surprised that I'm the first person to respond to your question. :) I'll divide the answer into 3 parts for the sake of readability.

1. How far is this hegemony supposed to go? Are we talking about worldwide dominance of the US as a stable end goal? Is worldwide US hegemony possible?

1) Realist theory's endgame is indeed a world hegemony. In many historical societies, the "world" was essentially the known world, so their regional hegemonies accomplished this task (Rome, India, Persia, China).

Is it possible for the US? I would argue it WAS possible, but the US made some strategic mistakes along the way. Korea is controversial...MacArthur wanted to expand the war into China utilizing tactical nuclear weapons, if for anything at least to create a "radiation shield" for American soldiers. Regardless of nuclear weapons, it's difficult to question a US victory in such a situation. If the US had the balls to do it, even though Russia had tested a nuclear device in 1949, then the US would have more than likely achieved global hegemony after the eventual fall of the USSR. Perhaps Truman made a MAD-like political calculus at the time, and concluded that such a path would lead to nuclear war. The world will never know.

With the fall of the USSR, the US had, in my mind, another chance to achieve hegemony. Russia and Kazakhstan are two incredibly resource-rich regions that are currently outside the US hegemony...had the US forwarded an aggressive hegemonic agenda (not necessarily war, just to somehow align Russia/Kazakhstan to America), then the US would only be faced with a (very large) China, one that would have little to no access to key raw materials.


2. What is the ideal role/circumstance of the nations within the hegemony? For example, citizens of allied countries wouldn't have the same protections as US citizens, would they? (as we saw with British and Australian citizens held illegally in Guantanamo Bay). Is such a hierarchy, on a global scale, sustainable in the long term? This may seem like a pointed, leading question but it isn't. I'm just trying to visualize the ideal here.

3. If worldwide hegemony is not possible or desirable, is the strategy of partial hegemony or of pursuing greater hegemony still appropriate in the medium to long term (I'm assuming the answer is yes, actually, but just checking)? Will this mean constant war on the edges of the territory? Is that OK? At what point would the US decide that it's not OK?

Thanks in advance.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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2/6/2013 12:46:16 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/6/2013 5:26:42 AM, rross wrote:
I've seen a lot of talk about US hegemony on this site and whether or not it's desirable. I find the discussions confusing, and I was wondering if someone could please have the patience to clarify the following points for me.

1. How far is this hegemony supposed to go? Are we talking about worldwide dominance of the US as a stable end goal? Is worldwide US hegemony possible?

2. What is the ideal role/circumstance of the nations within the hegemony? For example, citizens of allied countries wouldn't have the same protections as US citizens, would they? (as we saw with British and Australian citizens held illegally in Guantanamo Bay). Is such a hierarchy, on a global scale, sustainable in the long term? This may seem like a pointed, leading question but it isn't. I'm just trying to visualize the ideal here.

2) The rules of the hegemon would ostensibly apply over the hegemony. Economically speaking, I would simply say that "free trade" only occurs in the "free world" and that the "free world" is the American hegemony. An example of how this works is how much the US sabre-rattles at China for "currency manipulation" or other aspects of trade that isn't quite "free". We don't really do that to other countries, especially if we have troops in them.

Politically speaking, US citizens are also held in Guantanamo, so there's ostensibly little discrimination between British, Australian, and US citizens in this specific case.

Regarding sustainability, Rome and China had very long hegemonic histories. So did Persia and Egypt. During these times, conflict was minimal. Even the Mongols are known for a "Pax Mongolica" where trade flourished in their empire for hundreds of years.

Hegemony as a concept is kind of similar to economic concepts like "monopoly" and "perfect competition" - they are simply ideals, theoretical constructs. The significance of these constructs comes in seeing aspects of these constructs manifest in real life. For example, OPEC's oil cartel can easily be seen as a very strong reason for oil prices to have spiked since 2003, thus affirming economic theory regarding oligopolistic/monopolistic pricing. Similarly, that global military spending is very low due to the US's "policeman to the world" status lends a lot of credibility to the point that hegemony creates stable systems conducive to economic activity, in contrast to a multipolar environment (balance of powers).


3. If worldwide hegemony is not possible or desirable, is the strategy of partial hegemony or of pursuing greater hegemony still appropriate in the medium to long term (I'm assuming the answer is yes, actually, but just checking)? Will this mean constant war on the edges of the territory? Is that OK? At what point would the US decide that it's not OK?

Thanks in advance.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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2/6/2013 12:46:28 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/6/2013 5:26:42 AM, rross wrote:
I've seen a lot of talk about US hegemony on this site and whether or not it's desirable. I find the discussions confusing, and I was wondering if someone could please have the patience to clarify the following points for me.

1. How far is this hegemony supposed to go? Are we talking about worldwide dominance of the US as a stable end goal? Is worldwide US hegemony possible?

2. What is the ideal role/circumstance of the nations within the hegemony? For example, citizens of allied countries wouldn't have the same protections as US citizens, would they? (as we saw with British and Australian citizens held illegally in Guantanamo Bay). Is such a hierarchy, on a global scale, sustainable in the long term? This may seem like a pointed, leading question but it isn't. I'm just trying to visualize the ideal here.

3. If worldwide hegemony is not possible or desirable, is the strategy of partial hegemony or of pursuing greater hegemony still appropriate in the medium to long term (I'm assuming the answer is yes, actually, but just checking)? Will this mean constant war on the edges of the territory? Is that OK? At what point would the US decide that it's not OK?

3) Yes, regional hegemonies are desirable over no hegemony. Regional hegemonies usually are established because of the geographical limitations of pursuing hegemonic goals in particular regions. For example, John Mearsheimer makes a big point about the "stopping power of water" in allowing England to secure its regional hegemony over the British Isles despite larger continental forces in play. Similarly, China and India are divided by the Himalayas, even though they are close-by. Finally, the Pacific Ocean makes it very difficult for either the US or for Japan or China to advance hegemonic goals in their respective opposing regions.

The problem with these regional hegemonies as opposed to a "global" hegemony is that they create balance of power situations, which in Mearsheimer's theory are inherently unstable. Not only do they create several proxy wars along the borders, they almost invariably lead to outright attempts at hegemony by a growing power in the region (Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, arguably FDR, Bush/Obama).

Thanks in advance.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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2/6/2013 1:03:09 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/6/2013 12:46:16 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/6/2013 5:26:42 AM, rross wrote:

Politically speaking, US citizens are also held in Guantanamo, so there's ostensibly little discrimination between British, Australian, and US citizens in this specific case.

Ok, I'm going to rescind this portion. An American citizen WAS held at Guantanamo, only because they didn't know he was American.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Regardless, Guantanamo-like measures are something that's been hotly debated in regards to American citizens.:

http://www.wsws.org...
http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
http://www.progressive.org...

"In draft legislation prepared in response to last month"s Supreme Court decision against the use of military tribunals for US prisoners at Guant"namo Bay, the Bush administration proposes to extend the practice of indefinite detention and summary trial by military commissions to include American citizens.

"According to press accounts Friday, based on leaks from those with access to the draft, the bill would essentially legalize the military tribunals in the form decreed by Bush in 2001, with only minor changes, while for the first time making US citizens as well as foreign nationals subject to such summary proceedings.
"

I'm not very informed on the issues surrounding Guantanamo specifically. However, it seems that the main issue is treating people of any nationality as enemy combatants, and thus subjecting them to military law.

There are still trials by jury in military law, it has many stipulations similar to a civilian court. It's still a brand of US justice, just one that occurs only in the military or under martial law.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
rross
Posts: 2,772
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2/7/2013 4:17:41 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Thanks for answering the questions, wrichcirw. I really appreciate it.

So is it fair to say that your position is as follows:
1. Worldwide US hegemony is not possible at the moment
2. Regional hegemony (the current situation) is worth it, even though
3. Regional hegemony is inherently unstable and means continual conflict, including "proxy wars" along the borders.

That's interesting. Confronting, the idea that we have to accept a certain level of conflict. Very 1984.

Why do you say "proxy wars"? Which wars have been proxy wars? Obviously, Iraq and Afghanistan are not.

If we accept that worldwide hegemony is not possible at the moment, and regional hegemony is your next best situation, would you accept proxy wars as a kind of human tax paid to maintain the region?

Is it fair to say that the ideal for regional hegemony, for you, would be a situation where proxy wars are fought continually, perhaps, but the US would not get involved except very rarely?
rross
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2/7/2013 4:52:55 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/6/2013 12:46:16 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/6/2013 5:26:42 AM, rross wrote:

2) The rules of the hegemon would ostensibly apply over the hegemony. Economically speaking, I would simply say that "free trade" only occurs in the "free world" and that the "free world" is the American hegemony.

Really? Really? How can this be true? Doesn't "free trade" just mean trade with no restrictions? Or maybe we're thinking of different things. For example, China has free trade agreements with Pakistan, ASEAN, New Zealand, Chile, Peru and is negotiating one with Australia. That's outside US hegemony, isn't it?

An example of how this works is how much the US sabre-rattles at China for "currency manipulation" or other aspects of trade that isn't quite "free". We don't really do that to other countries, especially if we have troops in them.

Sorry to be annoying, but I have no idea what this means. Do you mean that the US is outspoken about China's financial management because it doesn't have control over it, but in countries where there are troops it can just quietly make the changes it needs to? Or something else?

Regarding sustainability, Rome and China had very long hegemonic histories. So did Persia and Egypt. During these times, conflict was minimal. Even the Mongols are known for a "Pax Mongolica" where trade flourished in their empire for hundreds of years.

Hegemony as a concept is kind of similar to economic concepts like "monopoly" and "perfect competition" - they are simply ideals, theoretical constructs. The significance of these constructs comes in seeing aspects of these constructs manifest in real life. For example, OPEC's oil cartel can easily be seen as a very strong reason for oil prices to have spiked since 2003, thus affirming economic theory regarding oligopolistic/monopolistic pricing. Similarly, that global military spending is very low due to the US's "policeman to the world" status lends a lot of credibility to the point that hegemony creates stable systems conducive to economic activity, in contrast to a multipolar environment (balance of powers).

Yes. Stability is good for trade. Everyone agrees on that, at least. But I'm thinking from what you've said here that you see US hegemony as having economic benefit over and above that gained by stability. "The rules of the hegemon". So, by that, do you mean that the US - through hegemony - imposes financial, economic and/or cultural standards that enhance trade?
rross
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2/7/2013 5:35:07 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/6/2013 1:03:09 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/6/2013 12:46:16 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/6/2013 5:26:42 AM, rross wrote:

Politically speaking, US citizens are also held in Guantanamo, so there's ostensibly little discrimination between British, Australian, and US citizens in this specific case.

Ok, I'm going to rescind this portion. An American citizen WAS held at Guantanamo, only because they didn't know he was American.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Regardless, Guantanamo-like measures are something that's been hotly debated in regards to American citizens.:

http://www.wsws.org...
http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
http://www.progressive.org...

"In draft legislation prepared in response to last month"s Supreme Court decision against the use of military tribunals for US prisoners at Guant"namo Bay, the Bush administration proposes to extend the practice of indefinite detention and summary trial by military commissions to include American citizens.

"According to press accounts Friday, based on leaks from those with access to the draft, the bill would essentially legalize the military tribunals in the form decreed by Bush in 2001, with only minor changes, while for the first time making US citizens as well as foreign nationals subject to such summary proceedings.
"

I'm not very informed on the issues surrounding Guantanamo specifically. However, it seems that the main issue is treating people of any nationality as enemy combatants, and thus subjecting them to military law.

There are still trials by jury in military law, it has many stipulations similar to a civilian court. It's still a brand of US justice, just one that occurs only in the military or under martial law.

Well, yeah, this idea of unlawful combatants and not being classed as prisoners of war and therefore not subject to the Geneva convention OR to the US legal system. Which meant being held for years without charge for lots of them.

I don't know anything at all about US military law, but I'm pretty sure that the military commissions related to Guantanamo Bay are a bad example of it. They were a complete charade. The whole thing was entirely political.

I find the whole Guantanamo Bay thing very difficult to understand. I can't see who benefited from it, or what the point was. In terms of its legality, I don't think you - or anyone - is really trying to defend it.

No, I only brought it up as an illustration of the hierarchical relationship between the US and its allies. The US treated British and Australian nationals (as well as hundreds of people from other countries) in a way that it would not treat its own citizens. It did not repatriate the British and Australian detainees (for several years, anyway. It did eventually), it did not treat them properly as prisoners-of-war, and it held them - seemingly indefinitely - without charging them with crimes.

It just makes me wonder. What would the dynamic between the US and its allies ideally be like, in your opinion? I mean, it's clearly not an agreement between equals. So what is it exactly?
rross
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2/7/2013 5:41:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/6/2013 12:46:28 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

3) Yes, regional hegemonies are desirable over no hegemony. Regional hegemonies usually are established because of the geographical limitations of pursuing hegemonic goals in particular regions. For example, John Mearsheimer makes a big point about the "stopping power of water" in allowing England to secure its regional hegemony over the British Isles despite larger continental forces in play. Similarly, China and India are divided by the Himalayas, even though they are close-by. Finally, the Pacific Ocean makes it very difficult for either the US or for Japan or China to advance hegemonic goals in their respective opposing regions.

The problem with these regional hegemonies as opposed to a "global" hegemony is that they create balance of power situations, which in Mearsheimer's theory are inherently unstable. Not only do they create several proxy wars along the borders, they almost invariably lead to outright attempts at hegemony by a growing power in the region (Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, arguably FDR, Bush/Obama).

Thanks in advance.

I never heard of Mearsheimer. I'm going to read me some. Thanks, wrichcirw.
royalpaladin
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2/7/2013 6:07:23 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/7/2013 5:41:20 AM, rross wrote:
At 2/6/2013 12:46:28 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

3) Yes, regional hegemonies are desirable over no hegemony. Regional hegemonies usually are established because of the geographical limitations of pursuing hegemonic goals in particular regions. For example, John Mearsheimer makes a big point about the "stopping power of water" in allowing England to secure its regional hegemony over the British Isles despite larger continental forces in play. Similarly, China and India are divided by the Himalayas, even though they are close-by. Finally, the Pacific Ocean makes it very difficult for either the US or for Japan or China to advance hegemonic goals in their respective opposing regions.

The problem with these regional hegemonies as opposed to a "global" hegemony is that they create balance of power situations, which in Mearsheimer's theory are inherently unstable. Not only do they create several proxy wars along the borders, they almost invariably lead to outright attempts at hegemony by a growing power in the region (Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, arguably FDR, Bush/Obama).

Thanks in advance.

I never heard of Mearsheimer. I'm going to read me some. Thanks, wrichcirw.

Be careful about falling into the "realism" trap. It's only "real" because states irrationally choose to act that way (cooperation would be so much better for all) and because some people think that living at any cost is better than dying as a just person. Your reactions to realism essentially serve as a Rorschach Test.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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2/7/2013 7:54:03 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/7/2013 4:17:41 AM, rross wrote:
Thanks for answering the questions, wrichcirw. I really appreciate it.

So is it fair to say that your position is as follows:
1. Worldwide US hegemony is not possible at the moment
2. Regional hegemony (the current situation) is worth it, even though
3. Regional hegemony is inherently unstable and means continual conflict, including "proxy wars" along the borders.

That's interesting. Confronting, the idea that we have to accept a certain level of conflict. Very 1984.

Your point #2 is not quite correct. America has much more than a regional hegemony. It's very VERY close to a global hegemony. In that debate I had with Danielle, I drew the US border...only Russia and China were the main states outside that border.

On your point #3, Orwell described a "balance of powers" relationship between the three regional hegemonies in 1984. His conclusion from such a relationship was that endless conflict was inevitable.

Why do you say "proxy wars"? Which wars have been proxy wars? Obviously, Iraq and Afghanistan are not.

Vietnam was definitely a proxy war. Georgia in 2008, in the sense that we backed Georgia and Russia just steamrolled over them, was another proxy war. Korea, yet another. The idea is that the wars are proxies for the greater strategic conflict. I haven't looked into this in detail, but colonial wars would have also been proxy wars for Europe, especially conflicts in the Americas before and around American revolution.

If you think Iraq was for oil, then it was a proxy war against China. If you think Afghanistan has some significance to Russia, then perhaps, especially given the war's length and at this point wholly unknown objectives, perhaps it is a proxy war against Russia.

If we accept that worldwide hegemony is not possible at the moment, and regional hegemony is your next best situation, would you accept proxy wars as a kind of human tax paid to maintain the region?

Personally, I see an extremely messy future for the world. America will lose its near-global hegemony, and will not go quietly. Exactly how it will play out is something I don't know. What I do know is that China historically has been VERY good at playing this game.

Is it fair to say that the ideal for regional hegemony, for you, would be a situation where proxy wars are fought continually, perhaps, but the US would not get involved except very rarely?

Regional hegemonies duking it out is a 1984-ish scenario. I've thought more about that book...I'm coming to the conclusion that much of the social ills he mentions in that book are unfortunately nothing out of the ordinary. Orwell himself mentioned that in England, he noticed a common practice of self-censorship...this implies that Big Brother had already won in England during his time. IMHO, the concept of "Big Brother" has little to do with modern totalitarianism and a lot more to do with traditional monarchies. I'd have to read the book again, though.

Regarding American involvement, I think US involvement will increase. England was very active in conflicts all over the world during its pursuit of hegemony. There was a Pax Britannica, sure, but none of that peace applied to its home turf, i.e. Europe. It's very difficult to argue that Britain had a hegemony in Europe.

The logic behind this increase in American involvement deals with how I defined the US border in that debate with Danielle. As American hegemony goes into decline, the US border will recede. As it recedes, it will be like the tide receding...everything that had "protection" will find itself unprotected and scramble to arms. You can already see this in Japan...they are advocating outright militarism there right now.

This happened in Rome as well. I remember reading how before Rome was conquered, there was free trade within the empire, and how cities didn't even have to think about the concept of city walls to protect itself. That all changed after Rome fell, and we entered a period where castles and feuds became the norm, i.e. the dark ages.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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2/7/2013 8:06:37 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/7/2013 4:52:55 AM, rross wrote:
At 2/6/2013 12:46:16 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/6/2013 5:26:42 AM, rross wrote:

2) The rules of the hegemon would ostensibly apply over the hegemony. Economically speaking, I would simply say that "free trade" only occurs in the "free world" and that the "free world" is the American hegemony.

Really? Really? How can this be true? Doesn't "free trade" just mean trade with no restrictions? Or maybe we're thinking of different things. For example, China has free trade agreements with Pakistan, ASEAN, New Zealand, Chile, Peru and is negotiating one with Australia. That's outside US hegemony, isn't it?

Some people would say that this is China establishing its own regional hegemony. The Chinese aren't as accustomed to Americans in discussing "freedom" - this word is deeply rooted in the creation of the American state. I don't know what the Chinese would call it, but historically they've been extremely astute practitioners of realpolitik.

An example of how this works is how much the US sabre-rattles at China for "currency manipulation" or other aspects of trade that isn't quite "free". We don't really do that to other countries, especially if we have troops in them.

Sorry to be annoying, but I have no idea what this means. Do you mean that the US is outspoken about China's financial management because it doesn't have control over it, but in countries where there are troops it can just quietly make the changes it needs to? Or something else?

Yes. The US is very outspoken about China's financial management because it does not have direct control over it. China decries all of this bluster from the US and compares it to the Plaza Accords invoked upon Japan. I personally believe that the massive currency appreciation that happened to Japan due to the Plaza Accords is the single biggest reason that forced Japan into a 30 year malaise, whereas before the Plaza Accords, Japan was widely acknowledged to be poised to take over the world economically. The Plaza Accords didn't take a lot of bluster or hand-wringing, because we wrote Japan's constitution, and have troops stationed in Japan.

Regarding sustainability, Rome and China had very long hegemonic histories. So did Persia and Egypt. During these times, conflict was minimal. Even the Mongols are known for a "Pax Mongolica" where trade flourished in their empire for hundreds of years.

Hegemony as a concept is kind of similar to economic concepts like "monopoly" and "perfect competition" - they are simply ideals, theoretical constructs. The significance of these constructs comes in seeing aspects of these constructs manifest in real life. For example, OPEC's oil cartel can easily be seen as a very strong reason for oil prices to have spiked since 2003, thus affirming economic theory regarding oligopolistic/monopolistic pricing. Similarly, that global military spending is very low due to the US's "policeman to the world" status lends a lot of credibility to the point that hegemony creates stable systems conducive to economic activity, in contrast to a multipolar environment (balance of powers).

Yes. Stability is good for trade. Everyone agrees on that, at least. But I'm thinking from what you've said here that you see US hegemony as having economic benefit over and above that gained by stability. "The rules of the hegemon". So, by that, do you mean that the US - through hegemony - imposes financial, economic and/or cultural standards that enhance trade?

Yes, typically hegemony is a total concept - financial, political, economical, cultural. You can see this in post-Ptolemy Egypt when Rome presided over it. It was more a Greco-Roman state than its traditional heritage. A modern example would be Japan and Korea clamoring for English teachers. Another example would be America's new interest in Chinese teachers, one it never had until all this talk about Chinese taking over the US's #1 spot economically became vogue.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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2/7/2013 8:17:31 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/7/2013 6:07:23 AM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 2/7/2013 5:41:20 AM, rross wrote:
At 2/6/2013 12:46:28 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

3) Yes, regional hegemonies are desirable over no hegemony. Regional hegemonies usually are established because of the geographical limitations of pursuing hegemonic goals in particular regions. For example, John Mearsheimer makes a big point about the "stopping power of water" in allowing England to secure its regional hegemony over the British Isles despite larger continental forces in play. Similarly, China and India are divided by the Himalayas, even though they are close-by. Finally, the Pacific Ocean makes it very difficult for either the US or for Japan or China to advance hegemonic goals in their respective opposing regions.

The problem with these regional hegemonies as opposed to a "global" hegemony is that they create balance of power situations, which in Mearsheimer's theory are inherently unstable. Not only do they create several proxy wars along the borders, they almost invariably lead to outright attempts at hegemony by a growing power in the region (Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, arguably FDR, Bush/Obama).

Thanks in advance.

I never heard of Mearsheimer. I'm going to read me some. Thanks, wrichcirw.

Be careful about falling into the "realism" trap. It's only "real" because states irrationally choose to act that way (cooperation would be so much better for all) and because some people think that living at any cost is better than dying as a just person. Your reactions to realism essentially serve as a Rorschach Test.

Again, to any and all anarchists, I have one simple question - what's the alternative? You challenge the status quo (one that realism aptly explains, hence its name), IMHO you must be able to offer a more compelling VIABLE model, else the status quo "wins".

Personally, I think the bolded is symptomatic of the failure to understand how game theory works. Realism is the pinnacle of rationality. What you then conclude is that rationality is divorced from what is commonly known as morality - this becomes evident when looking at natural law, as opposed to some fabricated, subjective sense of morality.

Another way to look at it is to assume some sort of "objective morality", one that no one is able to fully comprehend due to each individual's subjectivity interfering with it. Realism, to the extent that it conforms to natural law, would then be the ultimate expression of this "objective morality". After all, I keep saying how even offensive wars are justified via the lens of self-defense. Right by might.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
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2/7/2013 9:00:37 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/7/2013 5:35:07 AM, rross wrote:
At 2/6/2013 1:03:09 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/6/2013 12:46:16 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/6/2013 5:26:42 AM, rross wrote:

Politically speaking, US citizens are also held in Guantanamo, so there's ostensibly little discrimination between British, Australian, and US citizens in this specific case.

Ok, I'm going to rescind this portion. An American citizen WAS held at Guantanamo, only because they didn't know he was American.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Regardless, Guantanamo-like measures are something that's been hotly debated in regards to American citizens.:

http://www.wsws.org...
http://www.dailymail.co.uk...
http://www.progressive.org...

"In draft legislation prepared in response to last month"s Supreme Court decision against the use of military tribunals for US prisoners at Guant"namo Bay, the Bush administration proposes to extend the practice of indefinite detention and summary trial by military commissions to include American citizens.

"According to press accounts Friday, based on leaks from those with access to the draft, the bill would essentially legalize the military tribunals in the form decreed by Bush in 2001, with only minor changes, while for the first time making US citizens as well as foreign nationals subject to such summary proceedings.
"

I'm not very informed on the issues surrounding Guantanamo specifically. However, it seems that the main issue is treating people of any nationality as enemy combatants, and thus subjecting them to military law.

There are still trials by jury in military law, it has many stipulations similar to a civilian court. It's still a brand of US justice, just one that occurs only in the military or under martial law.

Well, yeah, this idea of unlawful combatants and not being classed as prisoners of war and therefore not subject to the Geneva convention OR to the US legal system. Which meant being held for years without charge for lots of them.

I don't know anything at all about US military law, but I'm pretty sure that the military commissions related to Guantanamo Bay are a bad example of it. They were a complete charade. The whole thing was entirely political.

I find the whole Guantanamo Bay thing very difficult to understand. I can't see who benefited from it, or what the point was. In terms of its legality, I don't think you - or anyone - is really trying to defend it.

No, I only brought it up as an illustration of the hierarchical relationship between the US and its allies. The US treated British and Australian nationals (as well as hundreds of people from other countries) in a way that it would not treat its own citizens. It did not repatriate the British and Australian detainees (for several years, anyway. It did eventually), it did not treat them properly as prisoners-of-war, and it held them - seemingly indefinitely - without charging them with crimes.

It just makes me wonder. What would the dynamic between the US and its allies ideally be like, in your opinion? I mean, it's clearly not an agreement between equals. So what is it exactly?

IMHO, the ideal system of a US hegemony would be to wholly subsume the hegemony into the federal system. The problem with this idea is that the current electorate (the 50 states) would see absolutely no reason to cede any significant part of their influence over Washington to, say, Australia, or Germany, or Japan. This is the conundrum of power that I outline somewhere in one of these threads, lol...political power doesn't really grow. It's one pie that just gets cut into smaller and smaller pieces.

An economic example would be stock dilution. Let's say that Warren Buffett (BRKA) wanted to buy out, let's say Exxon Mobil (XOM). XOM's market cap is much larger than BRKA (which is also true of America vis a vis its hegemony, i.e. American allies are much larger combined than America proper). Well, in order for Buffett to buy out XOM, he'd have to severely dilute the stock in BRKA - he'd have to use this diluted stock to entice XOM shareholders to his way of thinking. It's very hard, and Buffett would more than likely balk at ceding control over his company to XOM shareholders, which he would probably have to do given such enormous dilution. Regardless, Buffett has been very public that he prefers to totally buy out a company than to invest in significant minority interests. He typically uses cash for these buyouts and not stock, thereby retaining the same amount of control over BRKA before, during, and after the buyout. He also never makes purchases even remotely close to the size of XOM.

LOL, maybe I've made this even more complicated, but looking at stocks and corporations simplifies things to me. :D
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
OllerupMand
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2/7/2013 11:29:50 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
It depends on how you define a hegemony, but I see a hegemony where a single entity is able to control a much larger area by different types of power.

I don't think that USA can achieve global hegemony. In many ways it is to weak to fight the big regionel players both political, economical, military and moral.
On the contrary you often see that other big players are able to influence American politics and decision making.

As I see it local hegemony is almost automatical achieved by large entities, but it doesn't automatical end in borderwars. Some one clever once said something about intertrading countries with democracy and why they would never want to go to war with each other. Other places you will get tensions in buffer states, but that doesn't mean you will get outright war, because it is to costly for to little. Russia and the Union being a good example.

Global hegemony by a pan national entity is in some ways possible and other ways very impossible, because different parts of the world is working in different directions.
As an example:
Most of Europe wants to strenghten the UN and/or international law, but are hamperede by an America who is either afraid of or think that the UN is useless and try not to sign any international laws. America on the other hand wants to improve NATO, but French wants to move more military focus into the Union.
rross
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2/8/2013 3:04:24 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/7/2013 6:07:23 AM, royalpaladin wrote:
At 2/7/2013 5:41:20 AM, rross wrote:
At 2/6/2013 12:46:28 PM, wrichcirw wrote:

3) Yes, regional hegemonies are desirable over no hegemony. Regional hegemonies usually are established because of the geographical limitations of pursuing hegemonic goals in particular regions. For example, John Mearsheimer makes a big point about the "stopping power of water" in allowing England to secure its regional hegemony over the British Isles despite larger continental forces in play. Similarly, China and India are divided by the Himalayas, even though they are close-by. Finally, the Pacific Ocean makes it very difficult for either the US or for Japan or China to advance hegemonic goals in their respective opposing regions.

The problem with these regional hegemonies as opposed to a "global" hegemony is that they create balance of power situations, which in Mearsheimer's theory are inherently unstable. Not only do they create several proxy wars along the borders, they almost invariably lead to outright attempts at hegemony by a growing power in the region (Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, arguably FDR, Bush/Obama).

Thanks in advance.

I never heard of Mearsheimer. I'm going to read me some. Thanks, wrichcirw.

Be careful about falling into the "realism" trap. It's only "real" because states irrationally choose to act that way (cooperation would be so much better for all) and because some people think that living at any cost is better than dying as a just person. Your reactions to realism essentially serve as a Rorschach Test.

I've read this through a few times and, no, I really don't get it. Do you mean that cooperation between states would be better than conflict and that we should always keep this in mind? That, no matter what has happened in the past, we should believe in the possibility of cooperation and try to make it work? Can that be all you mean? Because there's something about your tone that makes me think you're saying something controversial, and there's nothing even slightly controversial about advocating for cooperation. So maybe you mean something else.
And then there's the bit about the Rorschach Test. Are you saying that you can psychoanalyse people based on their stance on international politics? Even if that were true, why would you?
Maybe I'm not really understanding what you mean by "realism".
rross
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2/8/2013 3:27:46 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/7/2013 7:54:03 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/7/2013 4:17:41 AM, rross wrote:
Thanks for answering the questions, wrichcirw. I really appreciate it.

So is it fair to say that your position is as follows:
1. Worldwide US hegemony is not possible at the moment
2. Regional hegemony (the current situation) is worth it, even though
3. Regional hegemony is inherently unstable and means continual conflict, including "proxy wars" along the borders.

That's interesting. Confronting, the idea that we have to accept a certain level of conflict. Very 1984.

Your point #2 is not quite correct. America has much more than a regional hegemony. It's very VERY close to a global hegemony. In that debate I had with Danielle, I drew the US border...only Russia and China were the main states outside that border.

Yes. You said: "Let's analyse the American border. You may think it's the 50 states, but follow on a map if you will - amongst those "150 countries", we have military bases in England, Germany, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Afghanistan Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, (no bases, but India is an allied country), Australia, Japan, South Korea, Hawaii, and Alaska. Now, connect the dots, and you should be able to draw a distinct border. Neat, isn't it? Russia, China, Iran, Kazakhstan, and some neighboring countries are on one side, and our armies are on the other."

Here's a map! http://www.google.com.au...

On your point #3, Orwell described a "balance of powers" relationship between the three regional hegemonies in 1984. His conclusion from such a relationship was that endless conflict was inevitable.

Why do you say "proxy wars"? Which wars have been proxy wars? Obviously, Iraq and Afghanistan are not.

Vietnam was definitely a proxy war. Georgia in 2008, in the sense that we backed Georgia and Russia just steamrolled over them, was another proxy war. Korea, yet another. The idea is that the wars are proxies for the greater strategic conflict. I haven't looked into this in detail, but colonial wars would have also been proxy wars for Europe, especially conflicts in the Americas before and around American revolution.

If you think Iraq was for oil, then it was a proxy war against China. If you think Afghanistan has some significance to Russia, then perhaps, especially given the war's length and at this point wholly unknown objectives, perhaps it is a proxy war against Russia.


OK. Well, I've obviously misunderstood what you mean by "proxy war". I thought it meant a war that was initiated by the US, and probably funded by the US but not actually, technically involving the US military as such. But you clearly don't mean that. So, sorry with all the questions, but what's a proxy war then?

If we accept that worldwide hegemony is not possible at the moment, and regional hegemony is your next best situation, would you accept proxy wars as a kind of human tax paid to maintain the region?

Personally, I see an extremely messy future for the world. America will lose its near-global hegemony, and will not go quietly. Exactly how it will play out is something I don't know. What I do know is that China historically has been VERY good at playing this game.

Is it fair to say that the ideal for regional hegemony, for you, would be a situation where proxy wars are fought continually, perhaps, but the US would not get involved except very rarely?

Regional hegemonies duking it out is a 1984-ish scenario. I've thought more about that book...I'm coming to the conclusion that much of the social ills he mentions in that book are unfortunately nothing out of the ordinary. Orwell himself mentioned that in England, he noticed a common practice of self-censorship...this implies that Big Brother had already won in England during his time. IMHO, the concept of "Big Brother" has little to do with modern totalitarianism and a lot more to do with traditional monarchies. I'd have to read the book again, though.

Regarding American involvement, I think US involvement will increase. England was very active in conflicts all over the world during its pursuit of hegemony. There was a Pax Britannica, sure, but none of that peace applied to its home turf, i.e. Europe. It's very difficult to argue that Britain had a hegemony in Europe.

The logic behind this increase in American involvement deals with how I defined the US border in that debate with Danielle. As American hegemony goes into decline, the US border will recede. As it recedes, it will be like the tide receding...everything that had "protection" will find itself unprotected and scramble to arms. You can already see this in Japan...they are advocating outright militarism there right now.

This happened in Rome as well. I remember reading how before Rome was conquered, there was free trade within the empire, and how cities didn't even have to think about the concept of city walls to protect itself. That all changed after Rome fell, and we entered a period where castles and feuds became the norm, i.e. the dark ages.

So do you think the US hegemony is going into decline and China's is building up? Is the decline inevitable, do you think? We can't arrange a peaceful handover like there was in Hong Kong?
rross
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2/8/2013 3:55:34 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/7/2013 9:00:37 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/7/2013 5:35:07 AM, rross wrote:
At 2/6/2013 1:03:09 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/6/2013 12:46:16 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/6/2013 5:26:42 AM, rross wrote:


It just makes me wonder. What would the dynamic between the US and its allies ideally be like, in your opinion? I mean, it's clearly not an agreement between equals. So what is it exactly?

IMHO, the ideal system of a US hegemony would be to wholly subsume the hegemony into the federal system. The problem with this idea is that the current electorate (the 50 states) would see absolutely no reason to cede any significant part of their influence over Washington to, say, Australia, or Germany, or Japan. This is the conundrum of power that I outline somewhere in one of these threads, lol...political power doesn't really grow. It's one pie that just gets cut into smaller and smaller pieces.

An economic example would be stock dilution. Let's say that Warren Buffett (BRKA) wanted to buy out, let's say Exxon Mobil (XOM). XOM's market cap is much larger than BRKA (which is also true of America vis a vis its hegemony, i.e. American allies are much larger combined than America proper). Well, in order for Buffett to buy out XOM, he'd have to severely dilute the stock in BRKA - he'd have to use this diluted stock to entice XOM shareholders to his way of thinking. It's very hard, and Buffett would more than likely balk at ceding control over his company to XOM shareholders, which he would probably have to do given such enormous dilution. Regardless, Buffett has been very public that he prefers to totally buy out a company than to invest in significant minority interests. He typically uses cash for these buyouts and not stock, thereby retaining the same amount of control over BRKA before, during, and after the buyout. He also never makes purchases even remotely close to the size of XOM.

LOL, maybe I've made this even more complicated, but looking at stocks and corporations simplifies things to me. :D

You never disappoint, wrichcirw. I never saw this coming, the idea of the US subsuming its allies. I really don't know what to say.

Except. You say it might meet with a certain resistance within the US. You know, it's possible that there might be one or two people within the subsumed countries that would object as well. On the grounds of, say, tradition, of having a perfectly good, workable system of our own...goodness, there might even be some extremists who prefer their own nationality to being American. They might even go so far as to point out certain, ahem, superiorities that their own countries have when compared with the US...

With such resistance on both sides, it's probably not workable. I like the idea, though. I really miss the snowy winters. I love it when the storms shut down the whole city and snow covers the cars and everything becomes a beautiful ice world. There's nothing like that here.
rross
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2/8/2013 4:06:53 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/7/2013 11:29:50 AM, OllerupMand wrote:
It depends on how you define a hegemony, but I see a hegemony where a single entity is able to control a much larger area by different types of power.

I don't think that USA can achieve global hegemony. In many ways it is to weak to fight the big regionel players both political, economical, military and moral.
On the contrary you often see that other big players are able to influence American politics and decision making.

Can you give some examples of this?

As I see it local hegemony is almost automatical achieved by large entities, but it doesn't automatical end in borderwars. Some one clever once said something about intertrading countries with democracy and why they would never want to go to war with each other. Other places you will get tensions in buffer states, but that doesn't mean you will get outright war, because it is to costly for to little. Russia and the Union being a good example.

Are you saying that there have been no proxy wars between Russia and the EU? Am I reading that correctly? If it's true (is it really?) how was it possible?

Global hegemony by a pan national entity is in some ways possible and other ways very impossible, because different parts of the world is working in different directions.
As an example:
Most of Europe wants to strenghten the UN and/or international law, but are hamperede by an America who is either afraid of or think that the UN is useless and try not to sign any international laws. America on the other hand wants to improve NATO, but French wants to move more military focus into the Union.

So how much influence does the US have in Europe anyway?

In theory, it doesn't really matter, does it, if people want different things. Unless you're in a powerful position, it's too bad if you want something different, right? Or not?
rross
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2/8/2013 5:15:45 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/8/2013 3:55:34 AM, rross wrote:
At 2/7/2013 9:00:37 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/7/2013 5:35:07 AM, rross wrote:
At 2/6/2013 1:03:09 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/6/2013 12:46:16 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/6/2013 5:26:42 AM, rross wrote:


It just makes me wonder. What would the dynamic between the US and its allies ideally be like, in your opinion? I mean, it's clearly not an agreement between equals. So what is it exactly?

IMHO, the ideal system of a US hegemony would be to wholly subsume the hegemony into the federal system. The problem with this idea is that the current electorate (the 50 states) would see absolutely no reason to cede any significant part of their influence over Washington to, say, Australia, or Germany, or Japan. This is the conundrum of power that I outline somewhere in one of these threads, lol...political power doesn't really grow. It's one pie that just gets cut into smaller and smaller pieces.

An economic example would be stock dilution. Let's say that Warren Buffett (BRKA) wanted to buy out, let's say Exxon Mobil (XOM). XOM's market cap is much larger than BRKA (which is also true of America vis a vis its hegemony, i.e. American allies are much larger combined than America proper). Well, in order for Buffett to buy out XOM, he'd have to severely dilute the stock in BRKA - he'd have to use this diluted stock to entice XOM shareholders to his way of thinking. It's very hard, and Buffett would more than likely balk at ceding control over his company to XOM shareholders, which he would probably have to do given such enormous dilution. Regardless, Buffett has been very public that he prefers to totally buy out a company than to invest in significant minority interests. He typically uses cash for these buyouts and not stock, thereby retaining the same amount of control over BRKA before, during, and after the buyout. He also never makes purchases even remotely close to the size of XOM.

LOL, maybe I've made this even more complicated, but looking at stocks and corporations simplifies things to me. :D

You never disappoint, wrichcirw. I never saw this coming, the idea of the US subsuming its allies. I really don't know what to say.

Except. You say it might meet with a certain resistance within the US. You know, it's possible that there might be one or two people within the subsumed countries that would object as well. On the grounds of, say, tradition, of having a perfectly good, workable system of our own...goodness, there might even be some extremists who prefer their own nationality to being American. They might even go so far as to point out certain, ahem, superiorities that their own countries have when compared with the US...

With such resistance on both sides, it's probably not workable. I like the idea, though. I really miss the snowy winters. I love it when the storms shut down the whole city and snow covers the cars and everything becomes a beautiful ice world. There's nothing like that here.

Sorry, sorry, sorry. I shouldn't have sneered at your idea when you were just politely answering a direct question I'd put to you. It's just that I found your answer slightly shocking. That's all.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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2/8/2013 8:59:02 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/8/2013 5:15:45 AM, rross wrote:
At 2/8/2013 3:55:34 AM, rross wrote:
At 2/7/2013 9:00:37 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/7/2013 5:35:07 AM, rross wrote:
At 2/6/2013 1:03:09 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/6/2013 12:46:16 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/6/2013 5:26:42 AM, rross wrote:


It just makes me wonder. What would the dynamic between the US and its allies ideally be like, in your opinion? I mean, it's clearly not an agreement between equals. So what is it exactly?

IMHO, the ideal system of a US hegemony would be to wholly subsume the hegemony into the federal system. The problem with this idea is that the current electorate (the 50 states) would see absolutely no reason to cede any significant part of their influence over Washington to, say, Australia, or Germany, or Japan. This is the conundrum of power that I outline somewhere in one of these threads, lol...political power doesn't really grow. It's one pie that just gets cut into smaller and smaller pieces.

An economic example would be stock dilution. Let's say that Warren Buffett (BRKA) wanted to buy out, let's say Exxon Mobil (XOM). XOM's market cap is much larger than BRKA (which is also true of America vis a vis its hegemony, i.e. American allies are much larger combined than America proper). Well, in order for Buffett to buy out XOM, he'd have to severely dilute the stock in BRKA - he'd have to use this diluted stock to entice XOM shareholders to his way of thinking. It's very hard, and Buffett would more than likely balk at ceding control over his company to XOM shareholders, which he would probably have to do given such enormous dilution. Regardless, Buffett has been very public that he prefers to totally buy out a company than to invest in significant minority interests. He typically uses cash for these buyouts and not stock, thereby retaining the same amount of control over BRKA before, during, and after the buyout. He also never makes purchases even remotely close to the size of XOM.

LOL, maybe I've made this even more complicated, but looking at stocks and corporations simplifies things to me. :D

You never disappoint, wrichcirw. I never saw this coming, the idea of the US subsuming its allies. I really don't know what to say.

Except. You say it might meet with a certain resistance within the US. You know, it's possible that there might be one or two people within the subsumed countries that would object as well. On the grounds of, say, tradition, of having a perfectly good, workable system of our own...goodness, there might even be some extremists who prefer their own nationality to being American. They might even go so far as to point out certain, ahem, superiorities that their own countries have when compared with the US...

With such resistance on both sides, it's probably not workable. I like the idea, though. I really miss the snowy winters. I love it when the storms shut down the whole city and snow covers the cars and everything becomes a beautiful ice world. There's nothing like that here.

Sorry, sorry, sorry. I shouldn't have sneered at your idea when you were just politely answering a direct question I'd put to you. It's just that I found your answer slightly shocking. That's all.

LOL, no need to apologize. Part of the reason I'm posting here so much is that I'm looking to challenge ideas I'm mulling. Talking about this end-game of US hegemony would probably get me slapped in any circle of friends or acquaintances because it does seem so outlandish. That's the great thing about a site like this, it accommodates seemingly outlandish positions and forces one to deconstruct them and logically argue for or against them. Then you can see whether or not the idea has merit on its own besides being just one's personal opinion.

There's certainly every element you mentioned as well. The question then becomes, why did the US become a federal system in the first place? It was also made of states that enjoyed their own sovereignty and only begrudgingly relinquished these aspects to a federal government, and only over a long period of time, several decades after the Revolutionary war if memory serves.

The answer is simple - strength in numbers. Each and every state knew they were too weak individually to face continental powers in Europe, so they banded together in a permanent alliance, knowing that with institutions like the Congress, and with popular elections held throughout the land, their votes would receive adequate representation. All of this fits under realist theory and the pursuit of hegemony.

One reason why Southern secession was not tolerable to Lincoln was because the act of secession would destroy the US's regional hegemony in the Americas. This was already evident as the continental powers in Europe were fully prepared to back a viable Southern state if it was able to resist the Union's military forces. There is the backdrop of slavery, sure, but this political calculus of hegemony also applies here.

What if Europe felt threatened by a power like the USSR? They just might join an international coalition with the US as its head (NATO). What if Australia or Japan began to balk at Chinese resurgence? They just might create a Pacific version of NATO. Kind of late for this, IMHO, as ASEAN seems firmly within the sphere of China's influence.

The "new federalist system" could be, but need not be Capitol Hill or the White House. It could be a new international system that recognizes the values of the hegemony. Given that protectorates of the hegemony would eventually be persuaded to the hegemony's position, it would seem natural for these states to participate in this new form of governance. I think the UN was a step in this direction.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
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2/8/2013 9:11:01 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/8/2013 3:27:46 AM, rross wrote:
At 2/7/2013 7:54:03 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/7/2013 4:17:41 AM, rross wrote:
Thanks for answering the questions, wrichcirw. I really appreciate it.

So is it fair to say that your position is as follows:
1. Worldwide US hegemony is not possible at the moment
2. Regional hegemony (the current situation) is worth it, even though
3. Regional hegemony is inherently unstable and means continual conflict, including "proxy wars" along the borders.

That's interesting. Confronting, the idea that we have to accept a certain level of conflict. Very 1984.

Your point #2 is not quite correct. America has much more than a regional hegemony. It's very VERY close to a global hegemony. In that debate I had with Danielle, I drew the US border...only Russia and China were the main states outside that border.

Yes. You said: "Let's analyse the American border. You may think it's the 50 states, but follow on a map if you will - amongst those "150 countries", we have military bases in England, Germany, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Afghanistan Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, (no bases, but India is an allied country), Australia, Japan, South Korea, Hawaii, and Alaska. Now, connect the dots, and you should be able to draw a distinct border. Neat, isn't it? Russia, China, Iran, Kazakhstan, and some neighboring countries are on one side, and our armies are on the other."

Here's a map! http://www.google.com.au...

Ok, wow. I didn't know we had troops in Kazakhstan, or access to their military bases or what not. It explains our corporate interests in the region. That's significant.

On your point #3, Orwell described a "balance of powers" relationship between the three regional hegemonies in 1984. His conclusion from such a relationship was that endless conflict was inevitable.

Why do you say "proxy wars"? Which wars have been proxy wars? Obviously, Iraq and Afghanistan are not.

Vietnam was definitely a proxy war. Georgia in 2008, in the sense that we backed Georgia and Russia just steamrolled over them, was another proxy war. Korea, yet another. The idea is that the wars are proxies for the greater strategic conflict. I haven't looked into this in detail, but colonial wars would have also been proxy wars for Europe, especially conflicts in the Americas before and around American revolution.

If you think Iraq was for oil, then it was a proxy war against China. If you think Afghanistan has some significance to Russia, then perhaps, especially given the war's length and at this point wholly unknown objectives, perhaps it is a proxy war against Russia.


OK. Well, I've obviously misunderstood what you mean by "proxy war". I thought it meant a war that was initiated by the US, and probably funded by the US but not actually, technically involving the US military as such. But you clearly don't mean that. So, sorry with all the questions, but what's a proxy war then?

Proxy war: a war that results when opposing powers use third parties as substitutes for fighting each other directly.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

So do you think the US hegemony is going into decline and China's is building up? Is the decline inevitable, do you think? We can't arrange a peaceful handover like there was in Hong Kong?

Yes, and yes. Mearsheimer pointed this out as early as 2001. His solution was to advocate some sort of engagement policy with China that would either slow or reverse this trend, although he had no specifics whatsoever. His analysis began to trend towards a rather scary rant about demographics and nuclear warheads, i.e. total militarization, 100% draft of all able-bodied peoples, see how this adds up (he concludes that China would win in the long run). He saw this as becoming the imminent national security concern - not necessarily threat, but definitely something the US cannot ignore. Given how rapidly China is developing its military, it's very, very easy to conclude that the line between "concern" and "threat" is a very, very thin line, one that's quite easy to wholly ignore.

Regarding Hong Kong, Britain got its @$$ handed to it by Germany in WWII. It had already lost its trade empire, its hegemony. All the Hong Kong hand-over was was a formality - Hong Kong had already been a prime destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) into China for decades. Also, before Deng Xiao-Ping, China was a closed country that didn't seek rapproachment with anyone except the USSR, so the issue was less relevant as Hong Kong only has value as a port/economical asset. In my studies in college, I was amazed at exactly how much capital flowed in and out of Hong Kong. It's startling...in some cases the capital levels come close to matching the levels seen in all of China.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
OllerupMand
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2/8/2013 11:06:01 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/8/2013 4:06:53 AM, rross wrote:
At 2/7/2013 11:29:50 AM, OllerupMand wrote:
It depends on how you define a hegemony, but I see a hegemony where a single entity is able to control a much larger area by different types of power.

I don't think that USA can achieve global hegemony. In many ways it is to weak to fight the big regionel players both political, economical, military and moral.
On the contrary you often see that other big players are able to influence American politics and decision making.

Can you give some examples of this?
http://content.usatoday.com...
EU pressure to remove the "Buy American" thing in 2009
As I see it local hegemony is almost automatical achieved by large entities, but it doesn't automatical end in borderwars. Some one clever once said something about intertrading countries with democracy and why they would never want to go to war with each other. Other places you will get tensions in buffer states, but that doesn't mean you will get outright war, because it is to costly for to little. Russia and the Union being a good example.

Are you saying that there have been no proxy wars between Russia and the EU? Am I reading that correctly? If it's true (is it really?) how was it possible?
Do you remember any proxy wars betwen EU and Russia? I don't.
Global hegemony by a pan national entity is in some ways possible and other ways very impossible, because different parts of the world is working in different directions.
As an example:
Most of Europe wants to strenghten the UN and/or international law, but are hamperede by an America who is either afraid of or think that the UN is useless and try not to sign any international laws. America on the other hand wants to improve NATO, but French wants to move more military focus into the Union.

So how much influence does the US have in Europe anyway?

In theory, it doesn't really matter, does it, if people want different things. Unless you're in a powerful position, it's too bad if you want something different, right? Or not?
It matters because all countries have a meassure of power and how powerful position you have is always relative. EU have a strong position in Europe and northen Africa. Weak in South America. NATO's ability to make war in places like Afghanistan is dependent on countries such as Russia. Iceland and fishing rights is a good example of a weak country which is able to use a good position to put pressure on countries of greater power.

If Russia, China, USA, EU, the African Union, the Arabic league, Japan, India all decided to work together to improve and strenghten the UN then we could get a UN hegemony very fast.
OllerupMand
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2/8/2013 11:08:52 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
Afghanistan is properly not a proxy war against Russia as Russia supports the war, because they belive it benefits their southern borders.
wrichcirw
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2/8/2013 12:40:21 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/8/2013 11:08:52 AM, OllerupMand wrote:
Afghanistan is properly not a proxy war against Russia as Russia supports the war, because they belive it benefits their southern borders.

You're going to have to source and substantiate this. Regardless, the fact that nearly ANY position can be taken regarding the war in Afghanistan tells you how incredibly poorly conceived the war has become. It has morphed from a manhunt into this ridiculously unknown activity with no clear objectives. Now even Russia is potentially welcoming our presence in this conflict.

Similarly, you can make the argument that the US welcomed the proxy war that the USSR first waged against Afghanistan, as that war resulted in a resounding victory for the US. This current Afghanistan war seems to have had the exact opposite outcome.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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2/8/2013 12:50:50 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/8/2013 11:06:01 AM, OllerupMand wrote:
At 2/8/2013 4:06:53 AM, rross wrote:
At 2/7/2013 11:29:50 AM, OllerupMand wrote:
Are you saying that there have been no proxy wars between Russia and the EU? Am I reading that correctly? If it's true (is it really?) how was it possible?
Do you remember any proxy wars betwen EU and Russia? I don't.

Berlin Airlift. This event demonstrates that the EU is part of the American hegemony. There are no proxy wars between the EU and Russia because the EU does not have a credible military vis a vis the US or Russia.

Global hegemony by a pan national entity is in some ways possible and other ways very impossible, because different parts of the world is working in different directions.
As an example:
Most of Europe wants to strenghten the UN and/or international law, but are hamperede by an America who is either afraid of or think that the UN is useless and try not to sign any international laws. America on the other hand wants to improve NATO, but French wants to move more military focus into the Union.

So how much influence does the US have in Europe anyway?

In theory, it doesn't really matter, does it, if people want different things. Unless you're in a powerful position, it's too bad if you want something different, right? Or not?
It matters because all countries have a meassure of power and how powerful position you have is always relative. EU have a strong position in Europe and northen Africa. Weak in South America. NATO's ability to make war in places like Afghanistan is dependent on countries such as Russia. Iceland and fishing rights is a good example of a weak country which is able to use a good position to put pressure on countries of greater power.

You seem to be arguing that the EU is its own regional hegemony. Do you contest that NATO is a US-led coalition?

If Russia, China, USA, EU, the African Union, the Arabic league, Japan, India all decided to work together to improve and strenghten the UN then we could get a UN hegemony very fast.

Agree.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
OllerupMand
Posts: 375
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2/8/2013 4:10:38 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/8/2013 12:50:50 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/8/2013 11:06:01 AM, OllerupMand wrote:
At 2/8/2013 4:06:53 AM, rross wrote:
At 2/7/2013 11:29:50 AM, OllerupMand wrote:
Are you saying that there have been no proxy wars between Russia and the EU? Am I reading that correctly? If it's true (is it really?) how was it possible?
Do you remember any proxy wars betwen EU and Russia? I don't.

Berlin Airlift. This event demonstrates that the EU is part of the American hegemony. There are no proxy wars between the EU and Russia because the EU does not have a credible military vis a vis the US or Russia.

Berlin airlift O.o So something that was not a war from before the EU was formed and the wall fell. Cool example!
For military strenght. Then I don't know what your talking about. I know it is wikipedia, but if you want something better then go look.
Global hegemony by a pan national entity is in some ways possible and other ways very impossible, because different parts of the world is working in different directions.
As an example:
Most of Europe wants to strenghten the UN and/or international law, but are hamperede by an America who is either afraid of or think that the UN is useless and try not to sign any international laws. America on the other hand wants to improve NATO, but French wants to move more military focus into the Union.

So how much influence does the US have in Europe anyway?

In theory, it doesn't really matter, does it, if people want different things. Unless you're in a powerful position, it's too bad if you want something different, right? Or not?
It matters because all countries have a meassure of power and how powerful position you have is always relative. EU have a strong position in Europe and northen Africa. Weak in South America. NATO's ability to make war in places like Afghanistan is dependent on countries such as Russia. Iceland and fishing rights is a good example of a weak country which is able to use a good position to put pressure on countries of greater power.

You seem to be arguing that the EU is its own regional hegemony. Do you contest that NATO is a US-led coalition?
Do you contest that USA is pretty bad at getting France to do anything they want them to? Do you remember the last time Germany changed it politics because they feared the military of the USA?
Hegemony is more and other things than military power. The EU is a large trading zone and many countries want to get into its market or want to become an EU member, so they natural aligne themself with the EU. In many ways the EU can pressure Russia in ways USA can't, because of their economic relations. Relations betwen regionel powers are complex and double so when we look at the Union, as it members are great at disagreeing on many things.
If Russia, China, USA, EU, the African Union, the Arabic league, Japan, India all decided to work together to improve and strenghten the UN then we could get a UN hegemony very fast.

Agree.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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2/8/2013 5:05:23 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/8/2013 4:10:38 PM, OllerupMand wrote:
At 2/8/2013 12:50:50 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/8/2013 11:06:01 AM, OllerupMand wrote:
At 2/8/2013 4:06:53 AM, rross wrote:
At 2/7/2013 11:29:50 AM, OllerupMand wrote:
Are you saying that there have been no proxy wars between Russia and the EU? Am I reading that correctly? If it's true (is it really?) how was it possible?
Do you remember any proxy wars betwen EU and Russia? I don't.

Berlin Airlift. This event demonstrates that the EU is part of the American hegemony. There are no proxy wars between the EU and Russia because the EU does not have a credible military vis a vis the US or Russia.

Berlin airlift O.o So something that was not a war from before the EU was formed and the wall fell. Cool example!
For military strenght. Then I don't know what your talking about. I know it is wikipedia, but if you want something better then go look.

Well, if you're talking about the EU as an institution, I would simply say it is part of the American hegemony, since America has had its troops in Europe ever since WWII.

Global hegemony by a pan national entity is in some ways possible and other ways very impossible, because different parts of the world is working in different directions.
As an example:
Most of Europe wants to strenghten the UN and/or international law, but are hamperede by an America who is either afraid of or think that the UN is useless and try not to sign any international laws. America on the other hand wants to improve NATO, but French wants to move more military focus into the Union.

So how much influence does the US have in Europe anyway?

In theory, it doesn't really matter, does it, if people want different things. Unless you're in a powerful position, it's too bad if you want something different, right? Or not?
It matters because all countries have a meassure of power and how powerful position you have is always relative. EU have a strong position in Europe and northen Africa. Weak in South America. NATO's ability to make war in places like Afghanistan is dependent on countries such as Russia. Iceland and fishing rights is a good example of a weak country which is able to use a good position to put pressure on countries of greater power.

You seem to be arguing that the EU is its own regional hegemony. Do you contest that NATO is a US-led coalition?
Do you contest that USA is pretty bad at getting France to do anything they want them to? Do you remember the last time Germany changed it politics because they feared the military of the USA?

LOL, dissent is the highest form of patriotism. The real question is, what have these countries done that directly counter US hegemony? Do you contest that these countries have done little if anything to contest it? Do their militaries even matter? Have they mattered in ANY significant conflict since WWII?

For example, France was very vocal about its opposition to the war in Iraq. Did France field armies on the behalf of Iraqis to defend them against this immoral terror? No. Not even close.

Hegemony is more and other things than military power. The EU is a large trading zone and many countries want to get into its market or want to become an EU member, so they natural aligne themself with the EU. In many ways the EU can pressure Russia in ways USA can't, because of their economic relations. Relations betwen regionel powers are complex and double so when we look at the Union, as it members are great at disagreeing on many things.

As much as I agree with this statement, I find it extremely difficult to accept the European polity as a fully independent entity. I think the money flows are extremely complex, and proper analysis of these flows to determine the extent of the economic hegemony is beyond my own capabilities. However, I can point to how America leads in nearly every global economic bubble, and how generally speaking, it also experiences the least fallout from them. Two examples would be the Asian financial crisis in 1997, and the current euro-zone crisis. The former was caused by FDI (led by Wall Street) leaving the Asian region, and the latter by a collapse in the US housing market.

Another aspect of economic hegemony is DOLLAR hegemony. To the extent that the dollar is widely viewed as the currency of choice in the "free world", the US through the Fed controls "free trade". The euro is proving to be an nonviable alternative to the US dollar, no matter how their current crisis unfolds. There is little to no political will in the EU to make the decisions necessary for the euro to have legitimacy as a real fiat currency. The talk is STILL surrounding possible EU dissolution due to the currency issues that cannot be addressed by the member countries.

If Russia, China, USA, EU, the African Union, the Arabic league, Japan, India all decided to work together to improve and strenghten the UN then we could get a UN hegemony very fast.

Agree.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
OllerupMand
Posts: 375
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2/8/2013 6:00:59 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/8/2013 5:05:23 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/8/2013 4:10:38 PM, OllerupMand wrote:
At 2/8/2013 12:50:50 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/8/2013 11:06:01 AM, OllerupMand wrote:
At 2/8/2013 4:06:53 AM, rross wrote:
At 2/7/2013 11:29:50 AM, OllerupMand wrote:
Are you saying that there have been no proxy wars between Russia and the EU? Am I reading that correctly? If it's true (is it really?) how was it possible?
Do you remember any proxy wars betwen EU and Russia? I don't.

Berlin Airlift. This event demonstrates that the EU is part of the American hegemony. There are no proxy wars between the EU and Russia because the EU does not have a credible military vis a vis the US or Russia.

Berlin airlift O.o So something that was not a war from before the EU was formed and the wall fell. Cool example!
For military strenght. Then I don't know what your talking about. I know it is wikipedia, but if you want something better then go look.

Well, if you're talking about the EU as an institution, I would simply say it is part of the American hegemony, since America has had its troops in Europe ever since WWII.
So by that logic the entire world is part of the EU hegemony because EU countries have troops on all major contients since the 19th century. Your over simplifying.

Global hegemony by a pan national entity is in some ways possible and other ways very impossible, because different parts of the world is working in different directions.
As an example:
Most of Europe wants to strenghten the UN and/or international law, but are hamperede by an America who is either afraid of or think that the UN is useless and try not to sign any international laws. America on the other hand wants to improve NATO, but French wants to move more military focus into the Union.

So how much influence does the US have in Europe anyway?

In theory, it doesn't really matter, does it, if people want different things. Unless you're in a powerful position, it's too bad if you want something different, right? Or not?
It matters because all countries have a meassure of power and how powerful position you have is always relative. EU have a strong position in Europe and northen Africa. Weak in South America. NATO's ability to make war in places like Afghanistan is dependent on countries such as Russia. Iceland and fishing rights is a good example of a weak country which is able to use a good position to put pressure on countries of greater power.

You seem to be arguing that the EU is its own regional hegemony. Do you contest that NATO is a US-led coalition?
Do you contest that USA is pretty bad at getting France to do anything they want them to? Do you remember the last time Germany changed it politics because they feared the military of the USA?

LOL, dissent is the highest form of patriotism. The real question is, what have these countries done that directly counter US hegemony? Do you contest that these countries have done little if anything to contest it? Do their militaries even matter? Have they mattered in ANY significant conflict since WWII?

For example, France was very vocal about its opposition to the war in Iraq. Did France field armies on the behalf of Iraqis to defend them against this immoral terror? No. Not even close.
And when have the USA used force against EU? Never. They often complain when France, Brittain or other countries make military interventions, but they never field armies to stop them. Ergo I conclude that the USA is part of the EU hegemony. Oversimplifying for the win.
The same way that EU and Russia have to many common interests to go to war with each other, the Union and USA BOTH have to much common ground to ever want to risk a war. Be it military or in trade and the both being important.
Btw link to EU military. It is wikipedia, but if you want something better then google.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
Hegemony is more and other things than military power. The EU is a large trading zone and many countries want to get into its market or want to become an EU member, so they natural aligne themself with the EU. In many ways the EU can pressure Russia in ways USA can't, because of their economic relations. Relations betwen regionel powers are complex and double so when we look at the Union, as it members are great at disagreeing on many things.

As much as I agree with this statement, I find it extremely difficult to accept the European polity as a fully independent entity. I think the money flows are extremely complex, and proper analysis of these flows to determine the extent of the economic hegemony is beyond my own capabilities. However, I can point to how America leads in nearly every global economic bubble, and how generally speaking, it also experiences the least fallout from them. Two examples would be the Asian financial crisis in 1997, and the current euro-zone crisis. The former was caused by FDI (led by Wall Street) leaving the Asian region, and the latter by a collapse in the US housing market.
Many European countries where never hit by the Asian crisis -.-'

Another aspect of economic hegemony is DOLLAR hegemony. To the extent that the dollar is widely viewed as the currency of choice in the "free world", the US through the Fed controls "free trade".
Well except that about 30% of all trade is made in euros, most of which happens in the EU. 28% of all money reserves are in Euros. As an example the official reserve currency of Russia is the Euro.
The euro is proving to be an nonviable alternative to the US dollar, no matter how their current crisis unfolds. There is little to no political will in the EU to make the decisions necessary for the euro to have legitimacy as a real fiat currency. The talk is STILL surrounding possible EU dissolution due to the currency issues that cannot be addressed by the member countries.

If Russia, China, USA, EU, the African Union, the Arabic league, Japan, India all decided to work together to improve and strenghten the UN then we could get a UN hegemony very fast.

Agree.
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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2/8/2013 6:33:00 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 2/8/2013 6:00:59 PM, OllerupMand wrote:
At 2/8/2013 5:05:23 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/8/2013 4:10:38 PM, OllerupMand wrote:
At 2/8/2013 12:50:50 PM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 2/8/2013 11:06:01 AM, OllerupMand wrote:
At 2/8/2013 4:06:53 AM, rross wrote:
At 2/7/2013 11:29:50 AM, OllerupMand wrote:

Well, if you're talking about the EU as an institution, I would simply say it is part of the American hegemony, since America has had its troops in Europe ever since WWII.
So by that logic the entire world is part of the EU hegemony because EU countries have troops on all major contients since the 19th century. Your over simplifying.

There was no EU hegemony because there was no concept of an united Europe. There was certainly a concept of Western dominance throughout the world, but no hegemony because the West itself was a fragmented mess. There's no OVER-simplification. The situation is simply not that complicated.

You seem to be arguing that the EU is its own regional hegemony. Do you contest that NATO is a US-led coalition?
Do you contest that USA is pretty bad at getting France to do anything they want them to? Do you remember the last time Germany changed it politics because they feared the military of the USA?

LOL, dissent is the highest form of patriotism. The real question is, what have these countries done that directly counter US hegemony? Do you contest that these countries have done little if anything to contest it? Do their militaries even matter? Have they mattered in ANY significant conflict since WWII?

For example, France was very vocal about its opposition to the war in Iraq. Did France field armies on the behalf of Iraqis to defend them against this immoral terror? No. Not even close.
And when have the USA used force against EU? Never. They often complain when France, Brittain or other countries make military interventions, but they never field armies to stop them. Ergo I conclude that the USA is part of the EU hegemony. Oversimplifying for the win.

WWI, WWII. Again, this depends on your definition of the EU. The institution of the EU was created amidst an American hegemony. Europe as a concept however predates this. Napoleon and Hitler came close to establishing a European hegemony, but it has not occurred for any significant length of time since Rome.

The same way that EU and Russia have to many common interests to go to war with each other, the Union and USA BOTH have to much common ground to ever want to risk a war. Be it military or in trade and the both being important.
Btw link to EU military. It is wikipedia, but if you want something better then google.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

Hegemony does not necessarily equate to war. They are two separate issues. War is only one vehicle of many through which a state can achieve hegemony.

Your wikipedia link was interesting. It shows that EU spending combined is less than half US military spending, and much less as a percentage of GDP. I've made the argument elsewhere that this low level of military spending vis a vis GDP is synonymous with the benefits of Pax Americana, i.e. the American hegemony. The lower level of military spending directly translates to more productive economic activity. This is an AMERICAN hegemony because American troops are in Europe, and not vice versa.

Hegemony is more and other things than military power. The EU is a large trading zone and many countries want to get into its market or want to become an EU member, so they natural aligne themself with the EU. In many ways the EU can pressure Russia in ways USA can't, because of their economic relations. Relations betwen regionel powers are complex and double so when we look at the Union, as it members are great at disagreeing on many things.

As much as I agree with this statement, I find it extremely difficult to accept the European polity as a fully independent entity. I think the money flows are extremely complex, and proper analysis of these flows to determine the extent of the economic hegemony is beyond my own capabilities. However, I can point to how America leads in nearly every global economic bubble, and how generally speaking, it also experiences the least fallout from them. Two examples would be the Asian financial crisis in 1997, and the current euro-zone crisis. The former was caused by FDI (led by Wall Street) leaving the Asian region, and the latter by a collapse in the US housing market.
Many European countries where never hit by the Asian crisis -.-'

Neither was America. Yet America (and to a lesser extent Europe) helped to cause this crisis via fickle FDI inflow/outflows. That Europe wasn't involved while America was via dollar hegemony illustrates how America has its hand everywhere.

Another aspect of economic hegemony is DOLLAR hegemony. To the extent that the dollar is widely viewed as the currency of choice in the "free world", the US through the Fed controls "free trade".
Well except that about 30% of all trade is made in euros, most of which happens in the EU. 28% of all money reserves are in Euros. As an example the official reserve currency of Russia is the Euro.

If you looked at interstate trade in America, you'd probably get a much higher number than your intra-EU trade number. Other than this, I don't know exactly what point you are making.

Regarding Russia, yes, I am aware that Russia is a prime producer of raw materials for Europe, especially natgas.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?