The imperial way: American decline in perspective, part 2

The US’s presumed right to impose its will on the world, by force if necessary, has not changed. But its capacity to do so has

protester US embassy in Tehran

An Iranian female student during a demonstration marking the 32nd anniversary of US Embassy in Tehran, 2011. Photograph: Abedin Taherkenareh/EPA

In the years of conscious, self-inflicted decline at home, “losses” continued to mount elsewhere. In the past decade, for the first time in 500 years, South America has taken successful steps to free itself from western domination, another serious loss. The region has moved towards integration, and has begun to address some of the terrible internal problems of societies ruled by mostly Europeanized elites, tiny islands of extreme wealth in a sea of misery. They have also rid themselves of all US military bases and of IMF controls. A newly formed organization, CELAC, includes all countries of the hemisphere apart from the US and Canada. If it actually functions, that would be another step in American decline, in this case in what has always been regarded as “the backyard”.

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