Discover more from Learning by Proxy with Vivek Srinivasan
Hegemony at its best
America engages in Cultural Hegemony across the world. The funny thing is that the rest of the world readily accepts it.
Hegemony ~ Influence or authority over others
There are two types of hegemonies that exist in the world.
Territorial hegemonies are like those of the British empire where soldiers of the empire are present in their territories and make sure that the territories are doing what is expected. Physical coercion is needed to maintain power.
Cultural hegemonies are ones where the people agree to act and do things in a manner that is in line with certain ideas and values. Ideas are used as tools for maintaining power over other people.
For most of history, power was maintained through cultural hegemony. Incas, Mayas, India, China. The idea was to get people to conform to the idea that there was a greater ruler to whom they pledged their allegiance. Consequently, they were needed to pay homage/tax or whatever else you would like to call it. Most rulers had a set of vassals who controlled smaller territories on their behalf. This also brought along with it, cultural aspects including language, religion, etc.
The manner in which the East India Company grew, this fact was lost on them. As a result, Britain ended up with a military presence all across the world.
America tried colonising like Britain. The Philippines was an American colony. As the Second World War was coming to an end, the country stumbled upon the idea of cultural hegemony.
The pillars of American cultural hegemony include democracy, human rights, capitalism and all its associated paraphernalia (Economics, International banking, currency exchange, equities).
Have you ever noticed, that whenever America attacks another country for being wrong, it would be on one of these grounds?
The country is not democratic or they lack human rights. Else it would be one of the capitalistic rules that had been broken.
American democracy itself involves gerrymandering and voter disenfranchisement. But they would like to have a say in how other countries are ruled.
When Russia attacks Ukraine, Russia is acting in an authoritarian manner. When Bush attacked Iraq for no apparent reason in 2001, it was totally democratic. In fact, it was to bring democracy to Iraq.
America has the highest per-capita incarceration in the world. They beat the next country, El Salvador by a solid 10%. The penal system is weaponised against the blacks and their rights are quite simply taken away. This is not a human rights violation. But the country will talk up human rights violations across the globe. Although, not if it is happening in countries that are useful, such as Saudi Arabia.
The murder of Jamal Khashoggi is a problem only because the Saudis did not take permission from the US.
You think the CIA does not engage in assassination. Or Israel does not kill top-ranked military officers in Iran. Journalists are not murdered or shut up anywhere else in the world. The impetuous Mohammed bin Salman did not kiss the ring, take permission and then do it.
A country that considers itself the bedrock of capitalism is also the country that allows the maximum number of monopolies to thrive. Their entire electricity system is ruled by monopolies. The situation in tech is so bad that the Europeans are legislating to fix the problems with tech monopolies.
At the time of the Second World War, America was a 150-year-old country. The only contribution that the country had made to culture is the annihilation of one that had thrived in North America for centuries. Despite this, every nation in the world let them take the cultural mantle and let themselves be hegemonised culturally. It is shame to the rest of the world that this was allowed to happen.
Why is the world unwilling to call out America on the human rights violation of prohibiting abortion?