In 1991, in the midst of the Soviet collapse and following the end of the Cold War bipolarity between Washington and Moscow, British journalist Peregrine Worsthorne referred to as the US hyperpower, coining the term to emphasize robust global hegemony. in the early days of globalization.
Although it still holds the largest economy and the most crushing military machine on the planet, the United States swallowed a statement a few days ago by its former President George W. Bush, which described the attack. of Trump against Congress as an ingredient of a “banana republic”.
The 30-year trajectory of labels, from the hyperpower to the banana republic, illustrates the decline in America’s ability to exercise its hegemony, from the peak of the initial stages of globalization to the current weight loss, the result of several factors, including nationalism and isolationism. of the anti-globalization wave led by Donald Trump.
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the disintegration of the USSR two years later dismantled the Cold War and constructed the unipolar scenario. The economic, military, and technological advantage of the United States is wide open. Victorious in the confrontation with the Kremlin, the White House plunged into euphoria and empathy, revealed, for example, in diplomatic blunders.
In July 1991, five months before the Soviet demise, President George Bush landed in Moscow to meet Mikhail Gorbatchov. And he said when he arrived: “In the United States, everyone knows at least two Russian words, ‘glasnost’ and ‘perestroika’. And here everyone appreciates the English word ‘democracy’.
The representative might recall the Greek origin of the word democracy. However, he preferred to describe it from a provincial point of view, associating it with the English lexicon.
In this period of colossal historical change, in 1991, the Gulf War also erupted, when American troops liberated Kuwait from the Iraqi occupation planned by dictator Saddam Hussein. The superiority of the American war was conveyed by CNN, in a then-unprecedented marriage of live media coverage with military action.
Washington’s triumphalism received an intellectual veneer with the launch in 1992 of a book by Francis Fukuyama, aimed at proclaiming the “end of history.” According to the American writer, the result of the Cold War showed the primacy of the Western and liberal political system, symbolized by the United States.
The hegemonic avalanche intensified during the two terms of Bill Clinton, inaugurated in 1993 and marked by an economic dynamism strongly supported by the expansion of the Internet.
Impacted by the preponderance of Washington, French Chancellor Hubert Védrine, in 1999, broadcast in the diplomatic media the description of the United States as a “hyperpower”. The minister described the term “superpower” as a feature of the end of the Cold War and applied mainly to the military aspect, while American supremacy came to be exercised “in the economy, the currency, technology, in military fields, as well as in ways of life, in language and in mass cultural products ”.
However, in 2008, the financial crisis hit the American predominance. China, in the midst of a meteoric rise, began to diminish the advantage of the United States. Trump’s “America First” has led Washington to withdraw from various international contexts and offer Beijing more space to occupy.
And the troglodytes’ attempt to alter the outcome of the presidential election also ruthlessly sabotaged the power of American hegemony.
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