Wednesday, April 26, 2023

#116 / Challenging The U.S.


The "Saturday Essay" in the February 3, 2023, edition of The Wall Street Journal was titled, "Challenging The U.S. Is A Historic Mistake." The article was accompanied by the image above.  
The Journal's paywall may well deny access to non-subscribers, but if you can access the article, it's worth reading. I say this even though I found the article rather infuriating, since I am not among those who glory in American belligerence. In other words, I find it frustrating, as an American, to read assertions like the following:

There is no denying that China has acquired substantial global power and influence in recent decades. Even if this is “peak China,” as some suggest, it is already East Asia’s economic hegemon and, were it not for the U.S., would likely become the region’s political and military hegemon as well (though perhaps not without a conflict with Japan). Left to itself, a modernizing China could one day dominate its neighbors much as a unified, modernizing Germany once dominated Europe and a modernizing Japan once dominated China and the rest of East Asia. Those powers also believed that “time and momentum” were on their side, and in many respects they were right.
Yet those examples should give Chinese leaders pause, for both Japan and Germany, while accomplishing amazing feats of rapid expansion for brief periods of time, ultimately failed in their ambitions for regional hegemony. They underestimated both the actual and potential power of the U.S. They failed to understand that the emergence of the U.S. as a great power at the beginning of the 20th century had so transformed international circumstances that longstanding ambitions of regional hegemony were no longer achievable (emphasis added).

The implicit message of arguments like those just reproduced is that all nations should simply defer to what the United States' government wants, given that the United States has enough military power - real and potential - to survive any attack and to destroy any attacker. Just "get with the American program." That's the message.

I think that's a bad message for the United States to be broadcasting, because it will lead to episodes like the war in Ukraine, a conflict in which Russia decided to test the hypothesis that running up against the United States will always be a losing proposition. Whoever eventually "wins" that war in Ukraine, millions of ordinary men and women will "lose." And, despite what The Wall Street Journal says, we don't really know how bad those losses will be, and who will be the ultimate loser. It could be the entire world!

That said, there is something worth learning from what The Journal says in its "Saturday Essay." At least, I think so. The position of the United States in our Post World War II world would allow us, should we stop asserting that everyone has to do it our way, under the threat of military action if they don't, to help mobilize effective global efforts to achieve what John Lennon has called for - a world in which we will all be able to "live life in peace." A world that will "be as one."
"Be as one" isn't some dream! In fact, that's an accurate statement that provides us the truth about where we really are. And now, we know it:

We have a chance, right in the present moment (disappearing in the near future), to make the "be as one" reality a genuine reality, and a reality that we all, increasingly, realize is our true destiny. We are, worldwide, "together in this." 
Throwing the United States' military might around isn't how we're going to get there. IMHO!

Image Credits:
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1 comment:

  1. I have been reading your posts for a few years via RSS, but the last RSS post was 4/22/23.


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