When empires tremble, the ripples spread across the globe

When empires tremble, the ripples spread across the globe 1Do you feel that we live in a madhouse, that normality is constantly challenged and mocked? That you’d rather jump in the water and leave this crazy ship? You are not alone.

The political and cultural madness we are currently experiencing is a global phenomenon. When the US loses its status as an autocratic superpower and the dollar becomes one currency among others, things will probably normalise in the former colonies and the long 20th century will come to an end.

The United States took over as the leader of the Western world in the first decades of the last century, after both world wars and the collapse of the British Empire. During the Cold War, only two superpowers influenced and ruled the world, but when the Soviet Union finally fell in 1991, only the United States remained, and the unipolar order was born. A world order based on a single superpower dominating the world. Of course, such a scenario becomes untenable in the long run, as new and old challengers enter the ring and cannot be kept out.

Of course, not all has been bad with American hegemony, although it started off in a very threatening way with two atomic bombs over Japan. We all remember the heyday of Hollywood with stars like Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, Marlon Brando, Lauren Bacall, Ava Gardner, Marilyn Monroe and many more. We also have blues, jazz music, rock and roll, with stars like Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, etc. We also remember the 1960s with the Kennedy assassination, peace demonstrations, the hippie movement and the moon landing. The US was at the forefront of higher standards, the happy suburban life and the rise of the automobile that affected us more than we now want to admit, with ordinary people suddenly able to travel freely, mile after mile across regional and national borders.

But when empires falter, they tend to degenerate, and so did the American Empire.

The America we see today, led by an old man past the limits of his abilities, illustrates its unfortunate status. And as usual, it’s not about choosing sides. Criticising Washington does not mean you prefer Moscow, Beijing or Tehran. The country you love is the country you come from, and any obligations you have should be directed there. Often our country and region are not very involved in world politics, even if the media do their best to make you feel part of things happening on the other side of the globe. Except right now, because when empires shake, the ripples spread across the globe.