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US Hegemony

Global Ambitions and Decline- Emergence of the Interregional Asian Triangle and the Relegation of the US as a Hegemonic Power. The Reorientation of Europe

Reinhard Hildebrandt

With the end of the ‘East-West’ conflict in 1990, an entirely new constellation seemed to emerge for the first time in the history of mankind. This was perceived by the power elite in the USA as a useful challenge to lend its – until then territorially restricted – hegemony a global dimension. From the perspective of the US elites (Francis Fukuyama), a period of indefinite American control over the rest of the world, in which there would be no more scope for potential rivals to emerge, would characterize the end of history. But some years later, the USA had to accept that the dual hegemony it had built up together with the Soviet Union was fundamental to the continued existence of American hegemony. Its inability to sustain a global hegemony revealed itself in the severe setbacks it suffered in the three wars waged in Iraq, Afghanistan and against the so-called international terrorists. Undeterred by the USA’s imminent isolation, influential US experts insisted that US policies were still in line with the US’ general perception of its role in the world: firstly to work for the good of the world and, secondly, to exercise its military might even when the rest of the world opposed it. Ignored for a long time by these very experts were the emergence of the interregional Asian triangle (China, India, Russia), Europe’s reorientation and, in consequence, the USA’s relegation as a hegemonic power.

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13. Afterword 95

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13. Afterword 13.1. The present situation of departure – Threat of inflation as the basic problem The Czech Prime Minister, Mirek Topolanek, called US President Barack Obama’s crisis management policy the „road to hell“ (t-online.de, 25.3.2009). The stimulus packages, he believed, would even undermine the stability of the global financial markets. In order to finance its economic relief measures, the US would have to bring government bonds to the market, for which there would however be no buyers at present.39 There are two questions that need to be answered: When does the threat of inflation arise and how can inflationary developments be stemmed in time? In reality, the US Central Bank (FED) felt compelled to buy up government bonds. For if there are no – or merely insufficient – purchase orders from private buyers, the state does indeed receive „fresh funds“ to the tune of the amount paid by the Central Bank for the bonds, though this amount is not balanced by a corresponding reduction in the quantum of money in the non-state sector. Over the period of validity of government bonds, there is an increase in the total quantity of US dollars in circulation – in other words, there is an increase in inflation potential. It is only later, when the state seeks to redeem its bonds from the central bank and deposits the corresponding value in cash, that it once again curtails the inflation potential that had opened up. Topolanek’s criticism is unjustified in periods of crisis during which inter-bank transactions come...

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