On the 9th of May, the Financial Times website published an article by the newspaper’s chief political commentator and editorial director Philip Stephens. The unipolar moment in the United States has rushed past, and Trump’s angry unilateralism is dying. The painful wailing of hegemony.
Showing ideology with unilateralism
The article said that the most difficult thing for a hegemonic power is to witness the decline of its dominant position. The irritating unilateralism of US President Donald Trump is considered a proof of strength. In another way, examining the president’s gunpowder-stricken Twitter storm, it seems to be a painful wailing of a history that has become a myth.
The article said that when Franklin Roosevelt was preparing to meet Winston Churchill at the end of the Second World War, the US president got some advice from his Secretary of State Stutiens on how to deal with the British Prime Minister. That is, Churchill will have difficulty accepting the new international order after the war. After serving as a leader for such a long time, Britain is not accustomed to a secondary role.
Stinius is right. The war broke the British market and the United States thrived. Peace marks the official transfer of Western leadership to the United States. Allies in Washington found that this psychological adjustment was long and painful. In the imagination of British politicians, the United Kingdom is still listed as the "Big Three" with the United States and the Soviet Union. Today, in the illusion of the “globalized Britain” of the main Brexit people in the UK, there is still a remnant of this painful wailing.
The article said that it is now the turn of the United States. The rudeness of Trump’s foreign policy is to convey that the United States can do whatever it wants. Secondary countries may feel the need to comply with a set of international rules. But the United States can be independent and placed itself outside the multilateral entanglement and costly alliance that was established after World War II.
Insist on nostalgic nationalism
The article said that the analogy with the UK is certainly far from being appropriate. The United States remains the most prominent global power in economic, technological and military terms. The dollar, the world's reserve currency, offers a unique ability to use economic coercion. Despite this, the unipolar moment in the United States has rushed past. Not long ago, this superpower had imagined a future that would maintain its dominance without much effort. Now with the decline of the status of the United States, not many countries have sworn their absolute loyalty.
The article said that Washington has not made any psychological changes. Trump's response is not without superficial logic. In the decades after the war, the national interests of the United States and the rule-based international system presented an unusual agreement. By designing and establishing a system of liberal global order, the United States has promoted its own prosperity and security. When the United States supports peace in Europe, East Asia and the Middle East, it is also beneficial to itself.
The article believes that this is an era in which Trump will never forget. The president's thinking stays in a world where economic power is actually measured by car sales. The meaning of trade is basically tariffs. The counter-measure to Tehran is to let the CIA organize a coup. This mentality is well described in the book "Anglo-Nostalgia" by two European scholars. First come up with an idealized view of past history, and then stir up the paranoia that favors populists everywhere, and you will get the nostalgic nationalism that has become Trump's foreign policy.
Foreign policy damages alliance
The article said that Barack Obama had long understood the importance of these global power transfers to US interests, and he came to the right conclusion. Although the United States can no longer take unilateral action, by taking advantage of its alliance, the interests of the United States are best taken care of. If global rules need to change, then the United States will use its convening power to shape the new order. It is a pity that Obama has tried his best, but he was attacked as hesitant and weak.
British media: "special anger" is a wailing of the hegemony of death
Profile photo: On May 8, 2018, at the White House in Washington, USA, US President Trump announced that the United States will withdraw from the Iranian nuclear agreement. The picture shows Trump showing his presidential memorandum signed. (Xinhua News Agency)
Trump's answer is that if the system is no longer beneficial to the United States, then he will break it. The problem is that this won't work.
The article said that the United States has become a loser due to the withdrawal of multilateral trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Mexico has not yet paid a dollar to pay for the construction of its wall on the US border. Iran may be feeling the pain of US sanctions, but Tehran’s hardliners are likely to be the main beneficiaries. This list will continue.
The article said that among the allies - whether Japan, South Korea or NATO European partners, the United States has lost trust. A common feature of all these national policies is that they pin their hopes on just waiting for the end of President Trump’s term. This is probably a mistake. In the disappointment of the old order, Trump is not alone in the Americans. However, the louder the president’s voice is, the more reluctant the world’s other countries are to listen.
Showing ideology with unilateralism