Rise and fall of empires has been a hallmark of human history. The US as a modern day empire has ruled the world. It’s ascend started after WW1, rapidly rose after WW2 and peaked after end of Cold War. Unchallenged supremacy of the US spanned over last decade of 20th century.
With the advent of 21st century, challenges for the US started looming large. The very first year of 3rd Millennial, it faced humiliation through 9/11 as its Supremacy was challenged by the ragtag terrorists.
The West led by the US ruled the World through domination in three domains ie Technology, Economy and Control of flow of Information. The might of the US in all domains began to be challenged by other players. China emerged as the biggest challenger of the US might. Rise of China brought to fore the basic question ie Is US facing a downfall? China came to be known as waxing power where as the US as waning power. The rise of one power and downfall of the other remains dynamic and each day there are related developments.
Along with the projected change of global super power, also came projections of rise of Asia in 21st century, shifting of power from West to East and loss of hegemony of the dollar as a global currency.
As regards tipping point of the power shift from the US to China is concerned, various scholars have been predicting varying time frames. These estimates of time period range between 12-15 years to 3-4 decades. Logically speaking the US should attempt to retard the rise of challenging power with the basic purpose of delaying its own downfall. That may be US’ wish but there are indicators that the US is rather hastening it’s downfall. It may be a design of the providence because policy makers in US are not expected to be foolish.
Besides material down fall, moral degeneration has been one of the serious causes of demise of empires. It’s the moral degeneration of the US which is more serious and menacing than material degeneration. The process started with loss of writ of the US in global leadership. In 1991, the whole World stood by the US in war against Iraq, in 2001 half of the World was with the US, in 2018, on issue of shifting of US embassy to Jerusalem none was standing with the US. Seeing this outcome, the US instead of course correction resorted to browbeating the opponents.
President Trump’s coming to power has exposed moral ascendency of the US. Global leadership came to be exercised through coercion. A businessman came to rule the US and conflict of interest came to surface in its governance. Daughter of the POTUS running an office in White House is third worldly attribute and wasn’t expected from sole superpower. Neither was expected that the US will become a police state. The way super power has been humbled by the tiniest organ of COVID laid bare the true potential of the its power potential. The way racial riots played out and the way these were handled speaks a lot of moral degeneration of the society. A third World leader might claim that if he goes down, economy of the country will crumble, but same coming from President Trump was mind boggling. The unethical dimension of the pre-election debate has also been unprecedented.
Latest outrage of the President that he will not quit if he looses elections may serve as unprecedented catalyst for down fall of the empire. Civil war is being predicted in the US. While the US managed to evade a civil war in racial riots but simmering currents of the same might ignite flames of civil war in case President Trump walks his talk.
Indeed rivals of the US must be on cloud nine. Fall to a rise is also preordained but sudden fall of the US will not be in the interest of the World and more so that of people of America. It is hoped and prayed that sanity prevails in the US and third worldly tactics and petty politics do not come to haunt a super power.