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I agree with Engdahl in one sense and that is that the US $ hegemony and days of empire are over. To use a UK political analogy, we have just gone from a majority government/ elective dictatorship to a minority government requiring a different approach and skills.

But that is not to say that the US may not in future be first among equals. In my view, we will in the next few years see an entirely different networked and disintermediated global economy emerging.

I think that it is possible that the US still has the resources in intellectual capital and other resources to lead the necessary transition from the military-industrial/carbon energy economy to a knowledge /renewable energy economy.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Fri May 29th, 2009 at 08:36:57 PM EST
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I think you're right on this point: environmental policy leadership.  If Obama can't lead the world on greenhouse gas emissions, then it is possible that Obama simply can't lead the world.  GHG emissions are an area where there are global interests as well as competing interests, and there is also a willingness on the part of some countries -- primarily the third world which, as of this year surpasses the GHG emissions of the industrialized world -- to surrender their interests to the interests of America acting in the interests of the wealthy countries.  That's the definition of power.  GHG emission reduction policies, if followed in China and India, will reduce the growing economic and political power of their new industrial elite in favor of the old economic and political elite of America and Europe.  Europe proved unable to gain the cooperation of the third world under Kyoto without American involvement.  Now will be the true test of whether American empire is over or not.  Can American GHG emissions leadership provide the necessary discourse to sufficiently limit pollution in the third world, even if it means prolonging American (and European) economic domination?  
by santiago on Mon Jun 1st, 2009 at 10:31:12 AM EST
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