Khalid Hussain –
We are going through a critical juncture in history. The United States of America is out of control. Being the supreme hegemon in our world today, it has no equal in military terms. As a matter of fact, it is so powerful that it has adversarial engagements going on with Russia, China, Iran and the European Union simultaneously. These are in addition to its military and economic warfare in Latin America, Africa, middle East, south, west and central Asia. However, it remains economically vulnerable.
That is why it is out to undo the European Union (EU) with active support from the United Kingdom (UK) through Brexit. The EU is fighting for its survival. China is also trying to stay afloat with the Societies evolved with expanding trade. As a matter of fact, the US is so powerful that Russia, China, Iran and the EU are evolving economic and strategic alliances just to survive a relentless onslaught on their economies.
In all likelihood, it appears the Americans will have their way in asserting their hegemony for all to suffer well into the next century. However, if it fails, that doesn’t mean the world will be rid of the US anytime soon. That is why a lot is at stake in the ongoing struggle by the EU to survive. In the process, there is a chance for the rest of the world to negotiate a better deal for themselves in the future comity of nations that will need to have a new multilateral system in place if global trade is to continue.
To understand this better, we need to digress a little.
Besides a sharing of knowledge and technology, human beings learnt the value of cooperation through mutually beneficial trade. This all happened over the last few millennia. However, more than religious beliefs or spiritual ties or notion in imagination of all people being brothers or friend, it was the consensus on the container of value made this possible.
This container of value is gold: a useless substance that won the trust of all people. Else, it has no intrinsic worth or use to command value. The universal acceptance f gold gave it an intrinsic value so much so all other goods and services derived their value in reference it. Money and gold became synonyms which is why even today, most people imagine the money they use derive its value from gold.
US and Israel backed scholars assert money has no material reality. But that is patently false for it has and throughout history—that is until the Nixon Shock in 1970—forced the world to accept a hegemonic divorce from gold and a coerced acceptance of the US dollar. It is, therefore, pertinent to recall each time the world departed from the gold standard, it led to war. It is no secret that the first and the second world wars were essentially conflicts around the value of who owes whom what.
Money is not a mental construct. It evolved overtime with the subscription of all the people all over the world who bestowed upon gold the unique quality of having intrinsic value. The US dollar cannot replace gold for it has no intrinsic value subscription by the people anywhere in the world. It works by fraud and tenders with coercion. It succeeds because it has not been challenged by anyone in the world.
This, however, is not an argument legitimizing the dollar as having intrinsic value. Fact is, it has none. Rather, this is my assertion that the absence of challenge to the coercive continuation of dollar as the global reserve currency is proof we all live in the American empire. And at the level of the common imagination, it operates with patent falsehood perpetuating a fraud all over the world. Why most people willingly exchange goods and services for dollars is because they are led to believe currency has intrinsic value derived from gold for people do not exert for a fictional currency. They only work when they trust their collective imagination.
Trust is at stake in global politics today. The formation of the EU and the launching of the Euro currency were all in pursuit of a system of mutual trust. And not just any system of mutual trust but a gold-backed trust in currency for money is the universal system of mutual trust ever evolved. It was created in a complex network of political, social, and economic relations over a long time.
People believe in dollar bill only because no one has yet challenged their belief. The poor countries believe in them because the rich countries insist on continuing with the system wherein dollar remains the global reserve currency. And the whole world believes in the dollar because no one dares challenge the might of the United States of America that has manifestly shown it has no mercy. The dollar is now a fiction because it has no intrinsic value and because the ponzy scheme that has kept it afloat is now coming to its logical end. This is why the Americans are now desperately trying to uproot all opposition to their economic hegemony.
The EU knows it has to survive for giving in to American desires means they will soon be joining the trash heap of history along with the so called other poor countries of our world. The catch remains that they refuse to challenge the departure from gold standard fearing it will unleash the poor countries from their own hegemonic control. Hence the vicious melee in Europe goes on unabated like two strong wrestlers trying to defeat each other silently at night so that the neighbourhood does not wake up from its slumber.
China, of course is not the real competition for the United States because it poses no real threat to their hegemony. And in order to bring it down, all America needs to do is to stop buying from them and they will be crushed down in their own economic collapse. It is also no secret that the Chinese are no military threat to the Americans. Same goes for the Russians too. And the EU has no military of its own to speak of. That is why when Trump asks the Europeans time and again to spend more on NATO, it is not as much a shake up as it is a bullish reminder that they cannot protect themselves militarily!
American propaganda trumpets often the world is living in the most peaceful era in history as international wars have dropped to an historic low. No state has conquered another or swallowed up a country, they point out by way of proof. Conquests had been the standard fare in history since time immemorial. That is how all empires were established in the past including our own American Empire that took control of the world after winning World War II.
And that is why it is not an argument illustrating peace but a proof of American hegemony that campaigns of conquest like those of the Romans, Mongols and Ottomans cannot take place today anywhere in the world. Since 1945, no independent country recognized by the UN has been conquered and wiped off the map.
Limited international wars that did occur were sub-empire conflicts allowed by the hegemons. Millions still die in wars but that is because the hegemons seeks economic growth through the production, sale and purchase of arms and not because wars can actually take place.
It is in this context of realpolitik that the United States have chosen an offensive racist individual to be their President and the Establishment in the United Kingdom has made sure people voted for Brexit. As for their future of transatlantic relations, it is safe to assume their cultural, religious and blood ties will persevere.
However, that is no reason for the stronger political players to allow the EU to continue competing with the US—nay the Five Eyes with whom Japan and the Netherlands remain firmly allied—as a federation of economic interests. Also, the debt crisis in Europe and the United States obliges them to seek another agreement with each other for future cooperation in economics underpinning transatlantic commerce and trade. And like all negotiations, power and capacity will determine the outcome.
However, it is worth remembering the military might of the United States of America is the only reason people have been safe from the devastating effects of major superpower confrontations.
To Be Continued…
Khalid Hussain is Resident Editor of TLTP – You may contact Khalid Hussain at Resident.Editor@tltpnews.com.pk
The Law Today Pakistan, commonly known as TLTP, is the largest news wire service, headquartered in Islamabad. The service is providing fast, comprehensive and verified news on superior courts adjudications, regulatory framework of fiscal, monitory and external sectors, economic regulatory bodies amid apex institutions regulating the financial system. TLTP is empowering readers of more than 12 national English dailies in the country.