Pax Americana

Prof has left a new comment on your post “The battle is the Lord’s“: 
I’m particularly interested in what you mean by this:
“We live in a world today in which Pax Americana has established controlled violence the world over. The fear of destruction holds forces at bay which would gladly destroy one another if permitted. The key to replacing the current world order with another one, as many insurgencies the world over recognize, is the destruction of Pax Americana by destroying American hegemony. A lot of people are working on that, both inside and outside the United States.”
Do you support “American hegemony” in order to maintain “Pax Americana”?  And from what source did you get these terms?
Those are really several questions.  I will try and answer briefly.  This is a very cursory explanation to the inquiry.
With the fall of the Soviet Union, there followed the universal recognition that there only one surviving super-power.  I think the truth was that even prior to the Soviet breakup there was only one real superpower, but the international propaganda machine and the eastern European subjugation by the Soviets essentially formed such a land barrier and controlled such a population base that they were accepted as a second super-power.  The reality was somewhat different, but in this world perception is everything and so long as everyone believed there were “two” the world acted consistent with their being two. 
Now the world acts consistent with there only being one.  As a result of there being one, political pacts, economic alliances, trade, military alliances, treaties, social mores, entertainment, language, corporate interests and sea lanes are all governed by what the United States tolerates or accepts.  Even China has so limited a military sphere of influence that they can “control” Tibet and the upper Korean Peninsula, but have no ability to project power over active American resistance.  That does not mean they aren’t working on it.  They are.  But they can’t compete at present.
Whatever other strengths other nations may possess, they cannot compete with the total inventory of American power.  Economically the entirety of Europe is not able to compete with American economic power.  There are other members of the nuclear power states, but none with the delivery systems, proven capabilities and demonstrated will to use nuclear weapons in combat.  
A full elaboration of the unique American combination of power is far too great a subject to cover here.  Just one other example: Al Jazzera was launched as a counterpart to CNN, Fox News and the BBC.  These networks dominate international news.  An earthquake in Istanbul happens and residents there turn their TV’s to CNN, Fox News or the BBC to find out what is happening.  Al Jazzera is an attempt to get another cultural perspective different from an Anglo-American vantage point.  To possess the dominate vantage point in the news is to possess the advantage.

Why are Turkey and Greece not in combat with one another despite their long lasting territorial disputes?  They are members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) founded by the US at the end of WWII to attempt to avoid another land war in Europe.  Why is the Korean Peninsula not back in combat?  The fear is that it would draw the US and China into direct conflict and that would be a disaster for the whole world.  So an uneasy peace endures.  Why is Taiwan not overrun at present by China, when they claim sovereignty over it?  It is because China has not yet reached a point of development where they feel safe to have a direct conflict with the US.  Again, there could be many examples, but the world stage is set by American interests which dominate other considerations.  
The resentments pile up and attempt to organize.  Chavez has high hopes in Venezuela, just as Castro had high hopes in the 1950’s in Cuba.  But just like Castro, Chavez is having a difficult time keeping the lights on in his energy rich country.
The current American president candidly admitted “whether we like it or not, American is the world’s sole superpower.”  He’s taking flack for that right now.  But it was a correct statement.  America is the dominant power, and its interests influence the world over.  Foreign aid props up many countries which would not exist without it.  
There are many people who would like to see American power end.  You would have to have never seen the news to not hear that rhetoric coming from critics the world over.  And inside the American political landscape there are those who want to see an end of American foreign entanglements.  The most outspoken may be the Libertarian Party, whose candor about the need to withdraw from the world stage is part of their every campaign.
I have not evaluated the wisdom of the reality.  I’ve only commented on its existence.  How America got here is a product of history and decisions made in past generations.  President Washington’s Farewell Address cautioned against “foreign entanglements” which would cost us lives and treasure.  He was right about what he foresaw.  President Eisenhower warned against the “military industrial complex” (a term he coined), and how it would eventually control such economic interests that it would skew our national policies and priorities.  I think he was right as well. 
The terms are taken from Roman history and applied to American history.  We are re-living the Roman model, without borrowing wisdom from those who saw its decline and fall.  Gibbon is still good history, and a model for modern historians as well.   The parallels between these two empires are so striking that even the element used by the Lord in Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream are similar.  The Roman being iron, and the American being iron and clay.  The parallels are unmistakable to any student of history.

We repeat history.  We are living with the past and cannot see ourselves outside the forms we have inherited from our past.  Tradition controls even the way we read scripture.  Therefore we are blind to what they tell us until it has been fulfilled, at which point we see in hindsight only what things we have forfeited.  Zion is alien here, and therefore we have a difficult time envisioning it without putting it into Babylonian/Roman form.  Zion, however, is without ambition, competition and aggression.  It has fled.

2 thoughts on “Pax Americana

  1. Thank you for your responses to my questions, Denver.
    You said, “We live in a world today in which Pax Americana has established controlled violence the world over.”
    Yes, “controlled violence” is used to maintain the “peace.” “Pax Americana” and “American hegemony” are terms used by the neo-cons (for example) in their Sept. 2000 document, “Project for the new American Century.” I do not want to be part of their program of “controlled violence” and domination or “hegemony”, very frankly.

    America finds itself justifying “controlled violence” and interminable wars in the interest of maintaining peace, and does not even recognize the irony and contradiction. Frankly, it sounds like Satan’s plan (see Moses 4).

    I am willing to speak out against “controlled violence” and pre-emptive wars in the name of enforced Pax even if you have not “evaluated the wisdom of the reality” as you say and do not take a stance.

    I appreciate being able to discuss such things openly and frankly as you seem willing to do.

  2. We seem to have inherited many of the traditions of the Bablyonian/Roman empires. Even the way in which the U.S. monetary system has consistently devalued its money is striking (Roman Empire and Inflation). We seem doomed to repeat history only because we don’t recognize things as “they really are.”

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