He’s abandoning the world the U.S. built through effective use of its leadership.
Although one wishes one could, it is not possible to stop watching the shifts and shocks in the behavior of the president of the United States and the consequences for the world. There are some who believe that the best way to put out a fire is to set off a nitroglycerin explosion, because this compound consumes the oxygen that the fire needs to keep burning. This is what the incendiary Donald Trump appears to be doing to turn off the Russian connection.
There’s not a single person, not a single newspaper, not a scientist or intellectual, who hasn’t expressed horror at Washington’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, which was already only a bare minimum agreement. And if that wasn’t enough, the Republican president has decided to undermine and disparage NATO, maintaining, in contrast to his predecessors, strict silence with respect to Article 5 (“The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all…”) We should not forget that the transatlantic alliance was created to prevent the Soviets from swallowing up the rest of Europe.
He is leaving behind the world built up with hard work and careful utilization of the U.S. empire’s hegemony following two world wars. Trump has set out the detailed structure of the new world with this policy that only he understands, but that 40 percent of the U.S. population supports. And in addition, the vacuum that he is leaving, and the isolationism into which this presidency is sliding, with the collusion of Republican representatives and senators, offers China a great opportunity to become the champion of free trade despite its state communism.
Frankly, it is not to be hoped that Trump would understand history, nor is it reasonable to suppose that he would know his country is no longer an empire. All empires have a military, commercial and territorial basis, but they only become solidified when they have a historic or civilizing legacy. The Roman Empire, like the U.S. empire with which it can hardly be compared, did have a manifest destiny. It unified the territories it was conquering not only through its extensive network of waterways and roads, but also with law, language, culture and trade. The same thing happened with the British Empire. It exploited the economic interests of its conquests to the limits, and got in return, for example in the case of India, a supplier of raw materials. The United States has also gained much. It invested blood, money and moral ambition in the Declaration of Independence, which is the country’s foundation. Today, thanks to military, financial and technological control, the U.S. remains the model of democratic values in the free world, in spite of Trump, the Tea Party and the Republicans.
The most surprising thing about this change in direction is that it is happening at a time when economic power, which has shaped globalization and which has been creating new relationships among the factors of production worldwide, is in the hands of young entrepreneurs in the U.S. who have used technology to initiate and exploit opportunities in the internet era.
Today’s world doesn’t belong to Henry Ford or to the great industrial and financial leaders who presided over the early advances of the U.S. empire. Today’s world belongs to people like Zuckerberg, to people like Gates, to the creators of Google, Yahoo and all social media. However, it is unfortunate that in today’s world these leaders, except for the late Steve Jobs, do not have any sense of responsibility for, or understanding of, the structure of the power they represent.
The new masters of the world do not have the experience, or the understanding, or the ability to manage the economic, political and technological power they control. And faced with this, they are becoming instruments of the oldest world view, decadent and anti-American, represented, curiously, by the president and those in Congress who still support him.
Trump is suffocating the world with his attitudes, with his policies, with the ink he is spewing out – like a squid – on the Russia connection, to carry out the grand offering in the ritual sacrifice in the temple of the Kremlin. He is doing it to call NATO into question, and to break the alliance with the European Union and Germany, which have already let him know that he has become an irrelevant partner for Europe. And he is doing it by writing a blank check, so the world can die as a consequence of the ineptitude and stupidity which is what the systematic annihilation of the planet is all about.