In 1968 the United States began to get a glimpse of the limitations on its apparent omnipotence. Lyndon Johnson’s attempt to simultaneously create a “New Society” without poverty, to put a man on the moon and to conduct a ground war in Asia generated a level of economic strain that the US had not faced in thirty years. Add to this an attempt to keep pace with the Soviets in the nuclear arms race, a race that had cranked up to dizzying levels by the late 1960s.
All of this placed tremendous stress on US industry, on US factories and US production. In order to facilitate the US’ burgeoning ambitions, Johnson and his administration began to divert their focus from providing products for civilian consumption and well being toward the facilitation of military production and the business of foreign affairs. This produced a need for increased imports into the US while causing inflation pressures to dramatically rise.
Pay Us In Gold!
During this period, concerns arose in Europe that the US would not be able to cover its growing deficits. European leaders began to seriously worry about the US’ commitment to paying its debts. In fact, these European countries’ worries became so great that they demanded the US begin paying its deficits in gold, as gold was what the dollar was backed by up until 1971.
Enter Nixon and the Petrodollar
In 1971 Richard Nixon, who succeeded Lyndon Johnson as US president, made the decision to sever the dollar’s link to gold and to float it freely in international money markets. The US’ increasing global ambitions and its growing number of foreign policy aims made it necessary to enact this drastic new financial move.
After a rocky period the dollar emerged again as the global reserve currency when Saudi Arabia agreed to back it with oil instead of gold in 1974. This was done in exchange for US protection. By the 1980s, after a series of problems in the late 1970s, the dollar began to again gain solidity. Inflation rates began to fall and a new system, a system much more precarious than the one that preceded it, became lodged firmly in place.
The Beginning of the Era of Unlimited and Unchecked US Ambition and Power
From the 1980s forward the US found that this new system could be stretched much further than the former Breton Woods system (the Gold Standard). On top of this, in the early 1990s, the US’ ability to extend its global spending power rose exponentially when the Soviet Union fell in 1991.
This meant that the US would no longer be in competition with the Soviets in the nuclear arms race. It also made available the Soviet Union’s enormous fund of natural resources and technologies. All of this gave a tremendous lift to the US’ scope of possibilities and effectively rendered it the unquestionable, unchecked number one global superpower.
The Rise of China As the World’s Factory
During the 1990s, China rose to become the world’s primary production factory. This meant that goods could be imported from China to the US very cheaply. These goods could be paid for in what seemed to be an increasingly limitless supply of US dollars. This rise of China as central global manufacturer along with the Soviet Union’s demise meant that US inflationary pressures could remain, for the most part, subdued despite the continually escalating amount of money that was being printed.
The US De-Industrializes
By the late 1990s and early 2000s, the US had completed its shift from being a production based economy to a finance based economy. Deregulation in the Reagan and Clinton eras allowed for the outsourcing of production and employment overseas. The era of cheap foreign labor and American job depletion was in full swing. This enabled US multimillionaires to become multibillionaires. It also meant that domestic concerns and the well-being of American citizens increasingly took a back seat to foreign policy matters and the expansion of the US global economic empire.
The Global Policeman
In the 21st Century the central concern of the US has been the enlargement of its global economic influence and the augmentation and maintenance of its global military power. With the economic rise of China and a swath of other formerly noncompetitive nations over the last 15 to 20 years, the US, with NATO in tow, has had to adopt the role of global policeman in order to maintain its hegemony.
Over the past two decades the US has involved itself in and/or instigated wars in over a dozen countries, killing well over a million people, many of whom were innocent civilians. No other country comes remotely close to the US in global kill count totals or in the number of invasions of other countries during the 21st century.(1)
Meanwhile, here and now in North America, inflation, homelessness, lack of affordable health care and suicide are all on the rise. Ironically, it’s the neglected American public who are footing the bill to fund the ravenous ambitions of the neocon elites who are running this hegemonic show.(2)
The Majority of the World Finally Says “Go F___ Yourself” To the US
Outside the spectrum of the Western media bubble a new current of thought and feeling is proliferating widely of late. People are fed up with the United States. Due to a confluence of recent events, the key event being the US and NATO’s disastrous proxy war with Russia (a war that has cost well over a hundred thousand Ukrainians their lives) a window of opportunity has opened up for the rest of the world. They, the majority of the world’s population, are beginning to see growing cracks in what just a decade ago seemed to be a monolithic empiric structure.
The majority of the world sees that the US has clearly overextended itself and that its leaders are incapable of shifting their ideologically enchained course. The majority of the world also sees that the US is currently acting like a wining petulant defeated toddler with its childish, not to mention extremely dangerous unprovoked threats to China.
A large portion of the South American continent is done with being bullied and looted by US capitalist speculators, as is Mexico.(3) A considerable section of Africa is fed up with the US’ superiority complex and its plundering and has told it to back off. Africa is now beginning to find its way around US dominance. (4) China is tired of having Antony Blinken, Janet Yellen and Joe Biden’s finger pointed at it, telling it to behave or “there will be consequences”.(5) India is also siding more and more with the aforementioned nations. All of these countries are beginning to combine now, as you read this, to create a new “basket” currency that could eventually replace the dollar as the world’s global reserve currency.(6)
Does Anybody Remember Diplomacy?
The majority of the world has had it with the US’ unipolar “our way or the highway” approach. Heck, even Saudi Arabia and Iran buried their 44 year old hatchet the other day just so they could stick it to the US.(7)
Forget for a second if this is a good or a bad thing, and … just pause … and take a deep breath …This is happening folks, whether we like it or not. And bombing the life out of every place that doesn’t like us is not gonna fix it. That approach isn’t gonna work anymore, no matter what Victoria Nuland or Jake Sullivan or Mitt Romney or Hillary Clinton or Liz Cheney or Mitch McConnell or Antony Blinken or any of these other neocons say.
We’re gonna have to find another way to relate to our neighbors. Does anybody remember diplomacy? Or have we already bought ourselves a stairway, to …