The Decline of American Power: The U.S. in a Chaotic World


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KIRKUS REVIEW

Its admirers and detractors alike claim the opposite: But in fact, Immanuel Wallerstein argues, a more nuanced evaluation of recent history reveals that America has been fading as a global power since the The Decline of American Power: The United States in decline? Its admirers and detractors alike claim the opposite: But in fact, Immanuel Wallerstein argues, a more nuanced evaluation of recent history reveals that America has been fading as a global power since the end of the Vietnam War, and its response to the terrorist attacks of Se The United States in decline?

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But in fact, Immanuel Wallerstein argues, a more nuanced evaluation of recent history reveals that America has been fading as a global power since the end of the Vietnam War, and its response to the terrorist attacks of September 11 looks certain to hasten that decline. In this provocative collection, the visionary originator of world-systems analysis and the most innovative social scientist of his generation turns a practiced analytical eye to the turbulent beginnings of the 21st century.


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Touching on globalization, Islam, racism, democracy, intellectuals, and the state of the Left, Wallerstein upends conventional wisdom to produce a clear-eyed—and troubling—assessment of the crumbling international order. Paperback , pages.

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The decline of American power : the U.S. in a chaotic world

Jul 24, David rated it it was amazing Shelves: It shows the stupidity of academic fashion because the man keeps churning out brilliant new ideas which have largely gone unnoticed even in radical academic debates, except in the relatively restricted world of world-systems analysis itself, where of course he is the Grand Old Man and always will be.

In the '90s, he was responding to the hegemony of the pomo turn after the fall of the Soviet bloc by producing a really brilliant new theory of world revolutions which has been largely ignored. In this one, he pulls off two feats.


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First of all, he manages to make himself one of the few academics who correctly predicted the economic crash of - like Dean Baker coming from a different, neo-Keynesian, perspective he noted that logically, the US faces three bubbles, each of which must necessarily burst: That one hasn't burst yet but when it does it's hard to see how it won't be curtains for the US empire.

His second brilliant point: US power, he explains, must decline because US productivity is so much lower than that of our rival centers of industrial production in Europe and East Asia. This seems startling because on paper US productivity is extremely high, but that's just because we cook the books, just counting wage laborers - who are exploited here like nowhere else in this respect - but never white color salaried workers.

The Decline of American Power: The U.S. in a Chaotic World by Immanuel Wallerstein

In fact, Wallerstein argues, in a delightfully provocative but also ultimately perfectly common-sensical argument, US executives in particular are the least efficient and least productive in the world: As a result we are burdened with an unproductive largely parasitical class that's pulling us down.

One of the points of the US attempt to impose the neo-liberal economic model on other parts of the world was a vain effort to force other countries to create a similar class of overpaid parasites to slow down their economic advantages, and delay their inevitable overtaking us. I'm not sure if it's in the book, but Wallerstein suspects over the next generation or two, East Asia will overcome its major divisions and achieve global hegemony, reducing the US, slowly and subtly, to the role of military enforcer for East Asian capital.

The EU will be forced to turn to Russia to provide a similar role - provider of resources and military enforcer.

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