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End of An Empire

Since WWII has never seemed interesting to me it seemed like a good idea to add "The World at War" documentary to my Netflix queue. Indeed, it did prove to be a well-made documentary. It helped a little that it was made in Britain.

Why are Americans so interested in WWII? It's probably just triumphalism. Most Americans -- who see themselves as patriotic -- are probably unconcerned that the end of that war saw the USA morph from a constitutional republic to a militaristic world empire destined for Eternal War. Or maybe they think it's cool.

Most people who have lived long enough have actually experienced short term triumphs turn into long term defeats, and vice versa. It usually happens to nations too. The other mighty victor of WWII, the USSR, no longer exists. How much longer will the USA maintain its current importance? I think the USA, despite its high-tech weaponry, has hollowed out in many ways. It is actually a weak country. But the rest of the world hasn't figured that out yet.

At the end of WWII America had a strong family, an excellent education system from grade school to college, and the mightiest industrial base the world had ever seen. It even produced more oil than it imported. Today industry after industry and many institutions have decayed so badly it's as if they had been saturation-bombed and firestormed. In fact they were, by politicians, academics, opinion makers, and Wall Street.

In years, we are as distant from WWII as Hitler's ascension to power was from the American Civil War. It seems as though we are levitating; surviving on mere momentum. Of course, the possibility of nuclear war precludes the shooting war that is usually necessary for a sudden and dramatic changing of the guard.

Try as I might, I have difficulty imagining how a New World Order will evolve gradually, with American hegemony replaced by Chinese. Why haven't the Chinese dumped American dollars for natural resource ownership and partnerships?