by Eric Zuesse, Strategic Culture:
The Post-World-War-II world order was dominated by the one WWII major combatant that had only 0.32% of its population (the lowest percentage) killed by the war: the United States. The Soviet Union’s comparable number killed by the war was the highest — it was 13.7% — 4.28 times higher than America’s. The US was the main force that defeated Japan and so won WWII in Asia. The USSR, however, was the main force that defeated Germany and so won WWII in Europe. The USSR suffered vastly more than did the US to achieve its victory. In addition to suffering 4.28 times the number of war-deaths than did US, the USSR’s financial expenditures invested in the conflict, as calculated by Jan Ludvik, were 4.8 times higher than were America’s financial expenditures on the war.
Thus, at the war’s end, the Soviet Union was exhausted and in a much weaker condition than it had been before the war. By contrast, the US, having had none of the war’s battles occurring on its territory, was (by comparison) barely even scratched by the war, and it was thus clearly and overwhelmingly the new and dominant world-power emerging from the war.
That was the actual situation in 1945.
The US Government did not sit on its haunches with its enormous post-war advantage, but invested wisely in order to expand it. One of the first investments the US made after the war was the Marshall Plan to rebuild the European countries that had now become the US aristocracy’s vassal-states. The heavily damaged USSR possessed no such extra cash to invest in (rebuilding) its vassals. Furthermore, the USSR’s communist regime was additionally hobbled by Karl Marx’s labor theory of value, which produced prices that contained no useful information about demand and thus no constructive information for planners. (Planning is essential regardless whether an enterprise is private or public.) Thus, the USSR was doomed to lose in its economic competition with The West, so that the Cold War was actually a losing proposition for them, from the very start of the post-war era. America’s post-WW-II dominance, combined with Marx’s crippling economic theory, and produced the exodus of East Europeans to The West.
America’s aristocracy thus increasingly rose on top internationally. Like any aristocracy, the American aristocracy’s main concerns were foreign trade, and so US international corporations increasingly expanded even at the expense of the corporations owned by its competing, now-vassal, aristocracies, and the US aristocracy’s corporations and brands thus came to dominate the entire capitalist sphere. The growth-bug, if it becomes an addiction, is itself a disease. Out of control, it is a cancer, which can destroy the organism. This is what happened in America. Conquering also the communist sphere was the US aristocracy’s long-term goal, so that they would ultimately dominate every nation, the entire world. By the time of 1980, the US aristocracy’s top goal (world domination) became also the US Government’s top goal. The cancer had spread to the culture’s brain. Growth, backed by “Greed is good” economics, became practically the American religion, viewed as patriotic, and not merely as the nation’s economic model (which was bad enough, with its increasingly imperialistic thrust — such as 2003 Iraq, 2011 Libya, 2012 – Syria, 2014 Ukraine, 2016 – Yemen, and maybe now Iran).
America’s unchallengeable dominance lasted from then till now, but clearly has now reached near its end. The United States is trying to restore its post-Soviet (post-1991) global supremacy, by intensifying the US regime’s secret war against Russia and its allies, which started on the night of 24 February 1990 and which could reach a crescendo soon in WWIII unless something will be done by America’s allies to force the by-now wildly flailing US aristocracy to accept peacefully the end of the American aristocracy’s hegemony — the termination of their, until recently, unchallengeable control over the world. By now, with the Soviet Union and its communism and its Warsaw Pact mirror of America’s NATO military alliance gone since 1991 and yet no peace-dividend but only ever-increasing wealth-concentration into the tiny number of billionaires who benefit from war weaponry-sales and conquests, America needs to abandon its addiction to growth, or else it will proceed forward on its current path, to WWIII. That’s its current path.
According to Josh Rogin in the Washington Post on November 14th, US Vice President Mike Pence had just said, as Rogin phrased it, that “the United States has no intention of ceding influence or control over the [Pacific] region to Beijing” and that if China won’t do everything that the US demands, then the US is fully prepared to force China to obey. The same newspaper had earlier presented Robert D. Kaplan, on October 9th, saying, “The United States must face up to an important fact: the western Pacific is no longer a unipolar American naval lake, as it was for decades after World War II. The return of China to the status of great power ensures a more complicated multipolar situation. The United States must make at least some room for Chinese air and naval power in the Indo-Pacific region.” But the US regime is now making clear that it won’t do that.
The US regime appears to be determined to coerce both Russia and China to comply with all American demands. With both of those countries, as with Iran, the US regime is now threatening hot war. Trump, as the “deal-maker,” is offering no concessions, but only demands, which must be complied with, or else. The United States is threatening WWIII. But what nations will be America’s allies, this time around? If many European nations abandon the US, then what?
Key for the US regime is keeping the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency.
Rockefeller Capital Management, Global Foresight, Third Quarter 2018 presents Jimmy Chang, Chief Investment Strategist, headlining “Nothing Trumps the Dollar, Yet”. He writes: “The reserve currency status gives the US a significant advantage in handling its finances. American economist Barry Eichengreen observed that it cost only a few cents for the US to print a $100 bill, but other countries would need to produce $100 of actual goods or services to obtain that $100 bill. The world’s need for the greenback allows the US to issue debt in its own currency at very low interest rates. French Finance Minister Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, who later became the president, coined [in 1965] the term ‘exorbitant privilege’ to describe America’s advantage” of the US dollar over any other nation’s currency. That “exorbitant advantage” never went away. Chang concludes: “As for the King Dollar, its short-term outlook appears robust.” However, few other observers now share that view. Increasing numbers of countries are pricing goods in other currencies, and China’s yuan and the EU’s euro are especially significant contenders to end dollar-dominance and to end the advantages that US-based international corporations enjoy from dollar-dominance.