Saturday, September 02, 2006

Superpower syndrome : Why the world hates America

Introduction
After Michael Medved has written his article on "Why the world hates America", there has been many debates around this topic. I don't know if it's a wastage of time for me to spend a few words on this topic, but I can't resist.

From an American's perspective
Let me start with the Medved's article. He viewed the whole scenario as a result of negative approach from the rest of the world and gave almost clean chit to USA. His claims are based on how the world views USA. Three basic reasons he referred to, are envy (towards World's only Superpower), legacy (of communism and socialism) and toxic culture(Americanisation or Westernization as we say). The most common phenomenon that supports the above points is the rank of US as the most preferable destination of migrants. These reasons are definitely valid and present among the rest of the world and highlights the way American's think about the rest, but only a few non-Americans would agree to it.

From a non-American's perspective
The last line of the previous paragraph shows that there is a lack of awareness among common Americans about the rest of the world. Let it be my first point of non-American perspective on this topic. A huge article with lots of reference helped me to figure out what's non-American's view on this topic. The basic reasons are : History of war and the resultant sense of insecurity(Hirosima and Nagasaki, Vietnam, Iraq and many more), oil-affinity and manipulation of oil-rich states, commercial aggression, support of obnoxious regimes and International discord (Kyoto, Land Mine treaty and the Arms trade). Another reason cited in the list is the violent crime statistics in USA, which is the only US internal reason mentioned there, is absolutely meaningless. It might cause 'dislikings', but hatred is a much stronger feeling.

From History to Modern days
Historically, the contemporary Superpowers are always loathed by their neighbours. Those hatred can mostly be attributed to their affinity to expand their territorial boundaries. There were few states who used to be pro-superpower, and the rest tried to resist it. But, the hatred or at least strong sense of disliking to the Superpower was always shared among them. In the era of colonialism, Britain was hated across it's colonies due to it's exploitation of those countries. After WW-II, the cold war initiated the hate towards USA, mostly by the Communist Nations in East Europe and Asia. But, the basic reasons of the hatred towards the superpower remains the same - (security) threat and (fear of) exploitation. Every superpower of the world wanted to shape the world according to their wishes, which generated much anger among the neighbours. In the era of globalization, rest of the world qualifies as the neighbour of USA.

Future Superpowers
USA is definitely a better superpower than it's previous ones in terms of comparions of the contemporary worlds. Along with the hatred, the respect for USA is also noticable in many countries, which was historicaly less present. The fact also signifies the progress of humanity and a simple extrapolation tells us that the future superpowers might actually be respected across the world. The reason behind this improvement is closely attached to the cause why it has become a Superpower. Historically, aggression and arms were the only means to become a superpower. Slowly, innovation started taking place as the major cause. And today, USA is a Superpower primarily because of innovations. May be, the innovations will be saturated or available to everyone instantly in future. The country which'll manage them in the best possible way - will become the Superpower. Or, the artificial concept of the 'country' will be erased out, and an individual will become a superpower (as shown in The Matrix) by sheer intelligence.

Conclusion
From the neutral point of view and with historical references, it's quite obvious that the hate-America syndrome is natural in political ecosystem of the World. An ecosystem is such a system, where nobody can refuse to participate. Hence, the world is increasingly getting polarised between pro and anti-US people and will get so in coming few decades.

This is an endless debate. If you are still interested to carry on the debate, you can avail this book from Amazon.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home