The Death of the Seventy-year American Empire
Our topic for today, indeed the central topic in global affairs for the past year, has been the widening fractures and perhaps the impending breakdown, within the core of the contemporary global order, i.e., the vast American alliance system, a system which now dates back more than seventy years. This system was first constructed in the aftermath in the Second World War and at the beginning of the Cold War. Often calling itself “the Free World,” it engaged in an arduous and epic struggle for more than forty years with its great, but smaller, adversary, the alliance system of the Soviet Union. Then, in a remarkably brief period, from 1989 to 1991, the American alliance system achieved total victory over its Soviet counterpart. Its leader, the United States, declaring a “New World Order,” then proceeded to try to remake the entire world, and no longer just the “Free World’, in its own image, to establish a truly global system, which was to be defined by such distinguishing features as global economy, open society, liberal democracy, human rights, and universal rules and norms.