Power and control. That’s what countries fight for. It’s what they’ve always fought for. Power and control.
It’s all that matters to them. No country ever came out and said, ‘we don’t really want any responsibility, why don’t you guys just tell us what to do’.
While some countries are manipulated and told what to do, it’s by force and coercion, never on mutual agreement.
It’s this thirst for power and control that make countries implement checks and balances on industry. It’s why there are authorities and regulators. It’s why there is centralised decision making by the few and not the many.
Getting power and control is hard enough. Keeping it is a whole different ballgame. But it’s a ballgame that the US is particularly skilled at.
They are arguably the most powerful and controlling country on Earth. While there’s argument for the likes of China and Russia as equal or at least competitive superpowers, the US really sits at the top of the mountain.
It’s been this way for roughly 100 years. And it’s fair to say we’ve all lived through the American Empire.
Empires never last
But as we also know, empires never last. It’s easy to head back through history to see the fall of the Egyptians, Romans, Ottomans. Then, more recently, it’s been the fall of the Spanish, French and British Empires.
The irony of the current state of affairs in the UK is that the British used to ‘rule the waves’, now they’re petrified of weaning from the teat of the EU. Oh how the mighty fall.
And we expect a similar outcome for the American Empire. In fact, it’s outright naïve to think the US reign as a dominant superpower will last eternally. It’s. Just. Not. Going. To. Happen.
Of course, history is no lock in for what’s coming in the future. But since no empire has ever lasted the test of time, and more recent empires haven’t really continued beyond 100 years, it’s a fair line of reasoning to think the Americans are coming to the end of their reign.
There are only really two questions left: When? And who replaces them?
You see, while every empire ends, there’s always another at the ready to take the throne. Of course, the obvious answer to who comes next is China. While you might put the Russians as a rank outsider, if the Americans were to fall, it would be China that takes the throne.
The Chinese have been playing a long game. They know their time will come, and when it does, you’d want to make sure you’ve got your interests aligned with the new empire.
That is…unless China isn’t the new empire. And the real answer isn’t the most obvious one.
And if it’s not China, not Russia…then who?
The New European Empire? Nope.
The New British Empire (Version two)? Not likely.
The New Australian Empire? Not without breaking free of the Commonwealth, that’s for sure.
What about the New Indonesian Empire? Well, you could keep thinking about which nation-state is a likely successor to the Americans. But you might be guessing for a while.
Perhaps the New Empire isn’t a nation-state
The truth is, perhaps the New Empire isn’t a nation-state at all. There’s a possibility that as the American Empire comes to its conclusion, a new form of power and control seizes the day.
Back in 2013 then CEO of Google, Larry Page had some thought provoking comments about the world we live in.
According to a report by The Verge at the time:
‘Page noted that “the pace of change is increasing” and said that “we haven’t adapted systems to deal with that.” Specifically, he said that “not all change is good” and said that we need to build “mechanisms to allow experimentation.”
‘That’s when his response got really interesting. “There are many exciting things you could do that are illegal or not allowed by regulation,” Page said. “And that’s good, we don’t want to change the world. But maybe we can set aside a part of the world.’
The concept of a part of the world not governed by a nation state, instead by liberal, free ideals, is out there. And to even contemplate that kind of notion, you’d need to have some immense power and control to even suggest the idea.
Google has that kind of power and control. Facebook is another with that kind of power and control. Imagine the power and control that you’d get if you combined the influence, reach and financial might, of just those two giants of industry.
What if you added in another few giants of industry? Or, here’s an idea, imagine what would be possible if you added 100 of the most powerful and influential institutions on Earth and gave them carte blanche to give this ‘running the world’ business a crack?
Would it end up in dystopian, authoritarian control? Would it end in euphoric utopia with a ‘better world’, as most of them purport to be striving for?
Or do we end up in a battle for power and control the likes of which the world hasn’t seen before?
I think it’s the latter.
In tomorrow’s Money Morning, I’ll reveal exactly why I think this ‘War for Power’ has already started, who’s going to win it, and what it’s going to mean for your investments, money…the whole financial system and society.
Editor, Money Morning
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