The critique of American imperialism and Empire is all well and good and a staple of the left. But I sometimes wonder is if even a dent has been made in this constellation of economic power, beyond the relative equalization of capitalist domination in the phase of globalization.
But a more important shift in American fortunes is occurring, not in the decline of much of anything so much as the passing of a peak after which the dilemma of lost creativity and stale repetition takes hold. You can see the problem in the culture of Hollywood which constantly increases its skill and technological prowess but ends up in the same rut, of mechanical plots, Disney infantilism, and illusionist mesmerization, a genuine hypnotic brake on social liberation.
Then again perhaps the age of Netflix will enable junkies of the genre to the cure by excess, and the insight into the game of plot spinning holding the mind in thrall, via the indulgence in that excess. It is useful study, that of bulk movie study, perhaps using the fast forward. It is indeed a new historical record. This is not puritan denunciation. The Hollywood phenomenon is remarkable in world history, and one of the great moments of the American realization. Hey, that’s a problem. Is that it? Hollywood movies? Look at the phenomenon of the Theatre of Dionysus in Greece!
We should be fair, and wary of such comparisons. The American case is oddly unique in its high/low poker style mediocrity that is actually a measure of the raising of the democratic average.
Whatever the case, American civilization is not really relevant to the future as it once was: it is a castled rook of self-indulgent squandering of earthly resources, eliminating the potential of billions not included in that fortress of militarism and capital/corporate domination. The further prosperity of the American system is not relevant to the needs of the new desperation phase of globalization, climate change, and neoliberal fortune hunting.
The great period of American civilization was a gift to global humanity. But now its continuation is a threat to that global humanity. IN the first phase The world was better off with American. In the last, the world would be better off without it.
Meanwhile globalization has turned a corner after which the same effect, under capitalism will be at play. And the results of capitalism can be grotesque. We are carefully censored as to what is going on in Nigeria at the hands of Oil colonialism. Breathtaking…
To check out the plight of African globalization, you can get a snapshot of Nigeria in action from the fascinating phenomenon of Nigerian Hollywood. http://www.amazon.com/Nollywood-Babylon/dp/B00EKOVO34/ref=sr_1_1?s=instant-video&ie=UTF8&qid=1381948114&sr=1-1&keywords=Nollywood+babylon.