The United States, the Sole Empire

The principle consequence of the fall of the Soviet Union was the dramatic imbalance of having the United States as the exclusive global power. Until then, political power had dominated in the Soviet Union, as it did similarly in the United States, owing to the tension and struggle between the two empires. After the disappearance of this rival, political power was no longer the driving force in the United States. What would succeed it? During the decade I spent in New York, I saw little by little that there wasn’t a single dominant power, but many powers dominating and directing the country. Certainly, there was the political, the White House, but there was also the Congress, the lobbies, the CIA, and the big financial and economic institutions and interests. These parallel powers are individually the cause of particular events, at times entirely unrelated to other events driven by other influential actors, which gives the American attitude the appearance of incoherence. These powers were so influential that they were at times superior to political power itself. So which interest would replace political power following the collapse of the Soviet Union?

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With the Soviet Union gone, the attitude of the United States changed. As there was no longer a bad guy, there was no need for a good guy. The United States was no longer obliged to present a smiling appearance, or be seen as generous and altruistic. They revealed their true nature, the nature of all empires. This didn’t take place in a day, and it was discrete at first. The world was occupied with the collapse of the Soviet Union, nobody paid attention to what the United States was doing.

The attitude changed radically over a decade later, following the attacks of September 11th. The attacks were so violent that they changed the American mentality itself. Attacked for the first time on their own soil, they struck back. The United States attacked wherever they wanted, without restraint, untroubled by the opinions of the world. With these often brutal interventions, and the contempt shown for other nations, universal condemnation made the United State more unpopular than ever before.

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When I speak of the United States, of course I speak of the American administration, and not Americans themselves, some of whom I consider my closest friends. It is curious this gap between the two. Probably due to the fact that Americans are, in general, rather disinterested with their foreign policy, which is the target of our condemnation. I strongly criticize the United States because I myself feel betrayed by them. Soviet Russia was a monster; we knew what to expect. The United States was like a brother, the ally, and then we see a very different and unsympathetic side. And yet, how I still prefer American domination to what would have been the Soviet alternative.

by  Prince Michael of Greece