Debate on Johan Galtung: “In 2020 the U.S. Empire will come crumbling down”?

Open Debate in US

A) “Since the Western media have caught a “revolution” fever, it is interesting to see Norwegian sociologist Johan Galtung countering on Russia Today with the imminent collapse of the “U.S. empire” by 2020 (he previously estimated 2025, but shaved the date off by 5 years after George Bush took office). Democracy Now dubs him the “founder of peace studies” and had this interview with Galtung summer of 2010.

But, I don’t share this doom and gloom for America. For one, U.S. holdings of assets abroad stood at $18 trillion at the end of 2009 according to this U.S. Department of Commerce report. The $14 trillion deficit is still smaller. Not to mention the U.S. is well endowed with land (to produce food) and natural resources including oil reserves. Canada’s resources are essentially America’s already. America’s military is light years ahead of any other nation.

Regardless of what, I think if America focuses more purely on equitable trade and scale back from being the lone “policeman” of the world, she can then focus on her problems; that being mainly to stem the accelerating national deficit. At the current rate, it is not sustainable.”

B) “True, but there’s several things you didn’t take in account of. – The bulk amount 18 trillion US holdings is probably held by private owners, not the government. You also didn’t take into account of foreign owned assets in the US. According to the 2005 report, it is 2.5 trillion, but probably much higher now. –

The 14 trillion deficit is mostly government owned. What I see the problem is that money from the government debt is going to private hands.

What I do see the more troubling aspects of the US is Gorden Geeko says “Greed is good.” Our government is run by our very own oligarchs. I’m not talking about the politicians but rather the people who are behind the scenes.

For example, there was a story about Wisconsin governor Scott Walker who was having an interesting talk from the guy who impersonated one of the Koch brothers in an effort to kill the unions.

People like Scott Walker is not the one who will benefit most out from busting the unions, but the Koch Brothers will. People like the Koch Brothers are lobbying at K Street in Washington picking and funding those politicians who will benefit them most.

About the video, let me start by saying that when the US Empire crumbled, you won’t see people begging in the streets or even some kind of civil war happening. However, there will be subtle changes. Some of it is already starting to happening right now. Countries who used to be loyal to the US will probably won’t follow the Washington consensus. The EU – Beijing relationship is getting stronger. It is not just Beijing’s relationship will be stronger economically, but also politically. Taiwan is the first step, South Korea, Japan and Australia in the near future.”

C) “Empires do not always die in flames. Sometimes they die with a whimper. I’m far more concerned about the growing threat of the Drug Cartels in Mexico. I don’t know if there is a relation between the growth of the drug cartels and the US economic down turn, but if this keeps up, when US empire collapses, US might come under siege from the South, and Canada might be tempted to close border with US to prevent the spread. I don’t think Mexico can realistically fight an open war with US, but cartel infiltration into US is going to be a real serious problem.”

D) “Wow, for our own sake I certainly hope he’s wrong (My 401k!).  Anyways, just like the resilient Chinese people, Americans will find our ways thru difficulties and challenges. I for one do not think extreme opinions like “China will fall by 2020″ is any more true when applied to other countries. Remnants of the Roman Empire exists today (the Vatican, Italy) and people are quite content.

If America should decline, I would venture a guess we’d fare much better than great many countries. But yes, America’s culture of war needs to go. The question is if it’ll take us with it.”

E) “There’s always the chance of a cataclysmic event that could bring things tumbling down (Like another banking crisis where the federal government no longer has the public funds on hand to save the system) but more likely the “collapse” will be more along the lines of a sustained and increasingly brutal economic downturn for the majority of Americans while the richest percentiles increase their wealth and will barely notice the rapid crumbling of US infrastructure, social services and labor market/conditions.

The country won’t necessarily collapse until the working majority of the country has nothing left to sacrifice to sustain Wall Street and the military-industrial complex.”

F) “A cataclysmic event is very unlikely in my opinion, but not out of the question. The risk is a financial meltdown in the dollar system. It will not happen so long as the dollar remains the world’s only reserve currency and China and Japan continues to buy US bonds. But as we can see, China is trying to reduce its holdings of US currency and parking parts of its funds in the Euro. It is also taking steps to make the Yuan convertible in East Asia.

In a future when nations (particularly East Asia) have a choice, no longer will they be held hostage to park their foreign holdings with the US federal reserve bank. A future crisis/event may trigger a “bank run” causing a rapid fall of the US dollar and record inflation.

We are still at least a decade away before the Yuan establishes itself as a reserve currency. So in all likelihood, we won’t see the dollar tank anytime soon. At any rate, well before it approaches that point, the world will make adjustments to prevent that.”

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