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Old 06-02-2004, 10:23 PM   #16
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Things come and go, people. I do think for what it's worth that greater competition or balance among world powers is a healthy thing - and you could hardly call a future EU and the USA ideologically worlds apart.

It doesn't matter whether we like or dislike it. Things come and things go. A century ago the British Empire was (although declining) dominant across the world. Now it's non-existent.

Less than 200 years ago the US was so vulnerable that Washington DC could be torched by Canadian troops.

Things change, and they keep changing.
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Old 06-02-2004, 10:26 PM   #17
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My personal view is that any wildly dominant superpower (a la British Empire, Roman empire etc) is an unhealthy thing, as the process of expansion and acquisition breeds a culture abroad that is far less 'idealistic' than the home culture.

British oppression abroad bore little resemblence to the democratic traditions at home in that little island called England.

Not sure it's that different nowadays (although obviously imperialism takes different forms now).
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Old 06-02-2004, 10:32 PM   #18
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And before anyone gets wound up about my comments on the British Empire's oppressive ways, why do you think America seceded, so to speak?
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Old 06-02-2004, 11:46 PM   #19
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I never said anything about alliance in the ME. I think it would be possible for one state with suitiable weapons to conquer the entire region without forging any alliance with the Sunnies, I am talking about a full scale invasion to sieze control of the resources of the ME in which millions would die but the spoils of war would remain untouched. From our position one thousand lives is a lot however from the perspective of Arab/Persian leaders it is nothing. There is the will should the situation demand it to sacrifice greatly within the region and I don't think that scenario is entirely out of the realms of possibility.

The reason Russia could work is that it has/can gain control of all the neccisary raw materials to rebuild should there be a strong reformist agenda that eliminates the corruption and unites the people.

China is the obvious contender as it has the workforce and it is really trying to push ahead in the world, should there be a technological breakthrough that shifts the balance of power I think its safe to say China will be a beneficiary.

-------------------------
In regard to the British Empire I think that as a system it was totally corrupted in the name of profit and control. The ideological leaders in the beginning held a strong conviction that they could spread peace throughout the world through free trade and democratic institutions however as the empire grew the political situation changed and control of the colonies became the primary driving force.

I loath the concept of god given right to rule type empire, I dislike the concept of protectorates and "white mans burden" but we should at least reciognise the good the the British Empire gave to the world by spreading technology and science as well as the foundation for the global economic and political systems that we see today.

Today empires cannot exist in any real context, there is no interest in fighting wars in far away places to expand direct control of governments, you do not see the US directly ruling over sattelite nations like the Soviet Union. What we have is best described as a benign hegemony, the US is first among equals in many respects however the sheer size of it's economy and influence prevent it from being isolationist.

I must raise this question, Where do we wan't to see the world in the next 50 years?

I would like to see how people would like to see it and how people think it will actually turn out.
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Old 06-03-2004, 04:42 AM   #20
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A_Wanderer:
Thanks for your great answer!

After i read it i am convinced that the US is not a good, but certainly not a bad Superpower either.

Quote:
The use or abuse of power is at the core of the whole problem. How can one wield power without becoming corrupted by it?
Yes! We can see this in history and of course still today.

Another problem we saw in history and we can still see today is that we value the lifes of people differently. Our citizens are worth more than other humans. Especially in dictatures far away we accept that they are sub-humans, guilty until proven innocent.
With this view it's much easier that a Superpower is tilting to the "dark side".

Anyway as long as there are enough honest men and women in a country there are allways people fighting against the tendency of abuse of power.
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Old 06-03-2004, 05:09 AM   #21
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I think we need more than one. An EU one would be good as well as whatever the hell the Asian one is called that Australia is a wussy part of. Maybe there is an African one too? Options, we need options.
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Old 06-03-2004, 05:16 AM   #22
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Perhaps the abuses of US power over the last 50 years can be attributed to a failure of the public in regulating their own government, have we now or will we reach a point where and I quote

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." - Abraham Lincoln (1st Inaugural Address, March 4, 1861)

This is not an inherently millitant statement, it is a patriotic one, is doing duty for your country independent of the government. Has the beurocracy (I hate that word) gone too far. We need to see some more visionary leadership in the US that doesn't just appeal to the principles of its founding fathers rather actions based on those fundamental principles that clean up the corruption and sickness that has pervaded the US as well as western society and culture as a whole.
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Old 06-03-2004, 05:22 AM   #23
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A_Wanderer - agreed.

I also believe governments need to consider other countries inhabitants as well as their own. Especially governments who wield a lot of power eg USA.
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Old 06-03-2004, 10:51 AM   #24
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A_Wanderer, I agree. It's *our* institutions that can really screw up because we are such a powerful country. Personally I am working for change because I think we need new leaders. But that's another thread.
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