It is said that no world power lasts forever for everything undergoes a cycle- a cycle that keeps on going without stops and without pauses. Like a clock, empires are growing until it finally hears the bell that signifies its gradual period of decline. It took a year for Portugal, two for Soviet Union, eight years for France and seventeen years for Great Britain, now, with the American empire as the dominant force in the international affairs, could we say that the clock is already ticking towards its midnight?
Looking back at history, we could see how the world seems to be following a pattern. This can be noted in the book History of the World by Marvin Perry wherein a certain portion talks about the rise and fall of the dynasties in China. This phenomenon is called the Dynastic Cycle. However, it pertains not only in the dynasty in China but also in other world empires.
According to this, dynasties would start with a period of peace, prosperity and loyalty to the ruler followed by various improvements in terms of infrastructures. However, as time progresses, there will be a period of social decline wherein less abled rulers will rule and abused in power will come into picture. Eventually, the dynasty would collapse and another cycle will begin (Perry, 1985).
From this view, various criteria were set which lead to the decline of an empire. Some of the factors to consider that sets the mood towards the decline of an empire are 1) the rule of less-abled and corrupt ruler, 2) lavish spending of the government, 3) heavy taxes posed on the people, 4) spread of uprisings and rebellion, 5) neglected society and economy, and 6) weakened government. Using these criteria, we would be able to see if the American empire is already in its sunset.
A lot of people from all over the world have witnessed how the American empire came into power. Starting from the major role that they played during World Wars until, together with the other big nations, they started to dominate international organizations like United Nations. Also, many have seen how dollars became the currency of the world and how the military might of United States helped it to advance its political, economic and even social and cultural dominance. Yet, various events seem to have shaped it towards its uncontrollable downfall.
First, according to Alfred McCoy, 2003 is the crucial year. It is the period when the bomb clock towards the fall of the American empire started its countdown. It is the time when United States launched its unnecessary attack against Iraq. This military misadventure of the United States gave this empire a hemorrhaging expenditure in order to sustain its forces. Moreover, this decision of President Bush to attack caused the federal deficit to rise reaching a dangerous level, deprived American corporations of oil wealth, and reduced the standards of living of the Americans (Petros, 2013). Indeed, it was, in the words of Stephen Walt, a strategic incompetence.