The latest wave of demonstrations against the war around the world has caused me to reflect on the future of US hegemony.
For so long the world has been influenced by the ‘American world view’. Whether a developed country or part of the developing world, US economic imperialism has ensured we watch their movies, eat their fast food and drink their soft drinks. As a corollary, these same countries have also been subject to the linguistic and cultural imperialism of the US. But as the Bush administration uses its military muscle in the quest for ‘absolute security’, what can we expect in the post-Iraq war world? Is the US going to be able to mend its tarnished image? I, for one, cannot think of any occasion in my life time when there has been such opposition to the US and what it stands for. The PR job will be massive and if the Americans can’t pull it off, we may just find ourselves in an increasingly tripolar world with China’s power on the rise, and a more resolute and confident Europe (minus the UK?) standing toe-to-toe with an isolated, weakened (but still strong) America. The question is, where does a small country like Australia fit in to such a world?