Monday, March 23, 2020

Pax Americana Post Mortem And Why It Might Matter

Rome kept the known world in civilized check for a long time.

Then, over a few centuries, various bearded invading hoards broke her down.

Somewhere in the early hundreds she finally broke and for centuries pandemonium, and, some say, darkness was upon the land.

Gradually, over centuries, countries began to emerge: Spain, then France, then England.

Then Germany.

Italy tried, but was more less a pale facsimile of its predecessor, Rome.

And for five hundred years this mix, each in its turn as it emerged, and subsequently took center stage, these countries roiled Europe and the rest of the world.

By the turn of the Twentieth Century Britannia ruled the waves and the sun didn't set on her.

But Germany had other ideas.

France had learned a lesson from two failed empires, and Spain  had long since faded into being a nice warm place to visit on holiday.

Italy was till a hodge podge of statelets looking and hoping for - sometimes - some sort of national unity.

Out of that apparently benign and pacific state of affairs, one afternoon in August 1914 the whole thing blew up.

The Great Stupid War ensued.

Millions died.

No one won.

Germany gave up.

Inevitably they needed to have a go at it again, just to see if Germany should have given up.

And they looked for the answer to that question from 1939 to 1945.

And the answer was a surprise, and not obvious, in the face of the preceding 500 years.

America won.

How could that be, one might wonder.


In 1918 Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, promulgated 14 points.
They were intended to be the skeletal structure of a post Great War world order.

They resulted in the creation of the League of Nations, an organization that Wilson failed to get America to join.

But many did join and the League was formed and went into existence.

Many things caused its failure, paramount among them, probably, was the lack of American participation.

So we had the Great War Part Two.

But America had a vastly different and more talented president than had been Wilson.

Franklin Roosevelt had a strategy: America wins in a world where the worst that can happen is an occasional minor skirmish here or there; the 14 points, and their attendant world organization would be the manner in which an America centric and America first sort of world could be created.

So the master strategist conducted the Great War Part Two in such a manner that the 14 points got implemented, the United Nations, with America as its leader, and headquartered in New York got created and a new world order dawned with America calling the shots.

Roosevelt died before all that was complete, but he picked the perfect replacement to finish the job: Harry Truman took the ball and ran with it, and, occasionally handed it off to others,others such as George Marshall.

The Marshall plan saved Europe from the Soviets, laid down the basis for the ultimate failure of the Soviet Union, and left America in a position to call the shots in the world for 71 years; all we had to do was to devote a miniscule portion of our wealth to the well being of Europe and the rest of the world and we had carte blanche to keep the world running and relatively peaceful.

And every president from Eisenhower to Obama understood that fact.

All we had to do to keep things on track was to be rational, fair and pay some bills.

And the President was generally acknowledged as the de facto leader of the world.

Several of them were even revered world wide.

None of them were hated.

Or ridiculed.

Then came donnie.

Without bothering to enumerate the ignorant, heinous, stupid and moronic aspects of his view of the world - all of which have been implemented - suffice it to say, 74 years away from the end of the Great War Part two, there is no world leader and donald trump is the punch line of two out of four jokes world wide.

The only reason I bring this up is that, with a biological catastrophe staring the world in the face it would really be useful to have a Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush or Obama in charge.

We have a sociopath; we need a leader.

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