Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Illusion of the Good Hegemon

"Throughout the post-war period, the US functioned as the
international monetary system’s hegemon. It was a ‘benign hegemony’,
or what has been called an act of ‘hegemonic benevolence’. The
US provided leadership, stability and the opportunity for the world
economy to flourish, through the pursuit of monetary management
and freer trade. An inevitable consequence of the success of this
hegemony, and the growth of the world economy, some would
argue, was the relative dispersal of the power of the hegemon. As
other states grew in economic strength and stature, and began to
challenge the authority of the hegemon, so there was a relative
decline in the ability of the US to lay down the law. It is this natural
cycle of hegemonic decline that some pinpoint as the direct cause for
the breakdown of the Bretton Woods system."

Economides, Spyros; Wilson, Peter: The Economic Factor In International Relations, I.B. Tauris, New York, 2001, p.79.

This is how strong double-speak may influence historic views. Spyros and Wilson forgot to remember the Corean War (1950-53), the CIA overthrowing of Mohammed Mossadegh and installation of the cruel Shah regime in Iran 1953, CIA-sponsored 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état toppling President Jacobo Árbenz Guzmán, the Vietnam-War (1955–64), the constant interventions and eventually bombing in Laos (1957-73), the installation of the ferocious "Papa Doc" Duvalier regime in Haiti (1959), the Vietnam War (1959–75), all the Cold-War activities of the US secrete services and military especially in South-America, Africa and Europe, Cambodia (1970), ... only to mention a few key-words fitting into the Bretton-Woods time period (1944-1971). The underlying mistake constituting such an erroneous, one-sided historical view of the alleged "hegemonic benevolence" of the USA is the separation between economy and politics and the blanking out of the latter. The economy of the Western sphere of influence during the Cold War has grown as a whole supported by a series of brutal US-interventions: this is how the begnin hegemon had to defend his monetary and economic system. Dissidents had to be kept in line (whether communists or not). Hegemony is almost always brutal and it is unbearably costly almost with necessity. The good hegemon is a cruel illusion.

Other base2014 blog posts on hegemony:

Hegemony and Dominance (Hegemonie und Dominanz)
Für's Protokoll (For the Record)

Der Wahre Grund für den Irakkrieg? (True Reason for the Invasion Of Iraq?)
Hegemonic Stability Theory
The First Question in International Political Economy
Brot und Spiele und Militär
Hegemony and So-Called Moral Leadership
Friends of a Dictator
Egypt Uprising - Standard Routine for an Unusual Event
Deutsche Gotteslästerung/German Blasphemy
III Warum Deutsche in Afghanistan kämpfen/Why Germans fight in Afghanistan
II Warum Deutsche in Afghanistan kämpfen/Why Germans fight in Afghanistan
I Warum Deutsche in Afghanistan kämpfen/Why Germans fight in Afghanistan
Hegemony Cables
U.S. Citizens without vote/U.S. Bürger ohne Stimmrecht
Egypt's Cyber Dissidents


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