Federation, Hegemony, and Empire

Comes the End, it won’t be Pretty.

Part of the problem America has with its relations around the world today has been foreshadowed in many of the Star Trek shows.

The current Beltway consensus, across the Neoconservative and neoLiberal clusters, is a slightly modified jingoism.  That America should bestride the world, settling disputes, forcibly advocating truth, justice, and the American way, and beating the crap out of any who dare to oppose our humanitarian goals, is an accepted truism. This Manifest Destiny finds itself opposed by ambitions of the Russian and Chinese complexes, and all manner of dirty tricks as well as overt operations both military and economic are in play.

Federation, as in the League of Nations and the UN has proven a failure.  The price of Empire is too costly, as the example of the United Kingdom is ever before us.  Which leaves Hegemony as the way national power is projected beyond national borders.

To this end, the Russians are moving into the Mideast and China into Africa with enticing business deals, aid, and outright subversion when deemed necessary.  They even are conducting operations in America as if it were some “Third-World” country.  (Of course, one presumes the US is doing the same things back.) 

A hope, however forlorn, is that all this will someday work itself out, and we will enjoy a peaceful and prosperous world society.  Given the natural cussedness of human beings, not bloody likely.  No matter who “wins”, there will always be resistance to whoever is dominating things, howbeit lightly or harsh the measures of control are. More likely, there will be a rule of a shifting congeries of oligarchs, who strut their little hour upon the stage, and soon are driven down into the mass of humanity.  Is that a dystopian predict?  A Blade Runner world of eternal gloom, where “the rain, it raineth every day”?  Or is something else happening?

Look, for a brief moment, at how people dress.  Around the world, the Western attire is mostly followed, except on ceremonial occasions.  From Brazil to Nigeria to China, men wear what are basically gothic pantaloons and jackets, often with a necktie (?) of some sort.  Women’s everyday fashions follow suit.  Literally—“suit”.  Western music is everywhere, and even in Mongolia, traditional songs have been adapted.  Of course, there is cultural feedback, as most everyone knows how a Maori Haka goes.

Of course, some people (blatant subversives, all of them) have suggested that 21st Century America is replicating the society in Star Trek’s “A Piece of the Action”, where the government is pretty much a clutch of 20’s gangsters.  Who knows, we may get there yet?