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Is the United States a hyperpower?


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Poll: Is the United States a hyperpower? (43 member(s) have cast votes)

Do you think the USA is a hyperpower?

  1. Yes (12 votes [27.91%])

    Percentage of vote: 27.91%

  2. No (18 votes [41.86%])

    Percentage of vote: 41.86%

  3. Depends on what the qualifications of a hyperpower are.. (13 votes [30.23%])

    Percentage of vote: 30.23%

Do you think China will overtake the United States in importance throughout the world?

  1. Yes (25 votes [58.14%])

    Percentage of vote: 58.14%

  2. No (8 votes [18.60%])

    Percentage of vote: 18.60%

  3. Possibly (10 votes [23.26%])

    Percentage of vote: 23.26%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#101
GenX

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I would think that in order to be a hyperpower, then the mere fact that you are a hyperpower would be relatively beyond dispute.  Kind of like saying that the US is a better place to live then Somalia.  Virtually no one would disagree.  So I wouldn't say that the US is a hyperpower.  I would say that it is the leading super power, but it is definitely in decline, due to it's national debt and deficit, government gridlock due to hyperpartisanship, and income dispartiy.  However, even saying all that, is there a superpower in the world that is better?  China might not have goverment gridlock because they have a dictatorial government, and right now they might not have any debt (don't know if they have a spending deficit or not), however they use a lot of very questionable tactics (including printing too much money) to keep themselves debt free, and are subject to hyperinflationism at any time. 

 

In the end however, I think most people define superpower and hyperpower by the ability to win wars.  It's hard to say what would happen if the US went to war with China because of the sheer volume of people that China has.  If it escalated into a nuclear war then no one wins. 


The only thing we ever want is more


#102
ralfy

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The U.S. is a reserve currency economy, heavily reliant on increasing debt and increasing war costs passed on to the public. That is why it went through more than three decades of trade deficits and increasing debt across the board. Such borrowing and spending will not last.



#103
tw88

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In the end however, I think most people define superpower and hyperpower by the ability to win wars.  It's hard to say what would happen if the US went to war with China because of the sheer volume of people that China has.  If it escalated into a nuclear war then no one wins. 

China does have a huge population, but I see population numbers being less relevant than technological capabilities as drones and other man-less war technologies become the future of war



#104
GenX

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In the end however, I think most people define superpower and hyperpower by the ability to win wars.  It's hard to say what would happen if the US went to war with China because of the sheer volume of people that China has.  If it escalated into a nuclear war then no one wins. 

China does have a huge population, but I see population numbers being less relevant than technological capabilities as drones and other man-less war technologies become the future of war

 

Until some 12-year old Chinese whiz kid figures out how to hack into our systems and takes control of all of our drones and turns them against us...


The only thing we ever want is more


#105
tierbook

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In the end however, I think most people define superpower and hyperpower by the ability to win wars.  It's hard to say what would happen if the US went to war with China because of the sheer volume of people that China has.  If it escalated into a nuclear war then no one wins. 

China does have a huge population, but I see population numbers being less relevant than technological capabilities as drones and other man-less war technologies become the future of war

 

Until some 12-year old Chinese whiz kid figures out how to hack into our systems and takes control of all of our drones and turns them against us...

 

i imagine that anything important is kept secure enough that it won't be hacked without a much stronger backlash



#106
IzzyIngleby

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Alot of government information is a doddle to hack if you know how, every few years or so a teenager hacks into some security info to show how vulnerable it is. Then you hear about the brutal heavy hand of Governments embarrassed that an adolescent hacked into their "unbreakable" encryptions.



#107
ralfy

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I forgot to add that the same police and military forces can be used against the same civilian populations. Hence, prison and surveillance systems, etc.



#108
Futurist

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Alot of government information is a doddle to hack if you know how, every few years or so a teenager hacks into some security info to show how vulnerable it is. Then you hear about the brutal heavy hand of Governments embarrassed that an adolescent hacked into their "unbreakable" encryptions.

In addition, it is worth mentioning that I previously heard that China might have some of the best computer hackers in the world, since many Chinese people apparently desire to get around their government censorship of the Internet.



#109
IzzyIngleby

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^ Yeah, I don't know whether there's actually more in China than in other countries, but China is generally very uninterested in persecuting persons who don't commit crimes that affect the Chinese themselves, meaning that it's a safe haven for cyber criminals who can act at a distance.


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#110
Futurist

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1. Yeah, I don't know whether there's actually more in China than in other countries,

 

2. but China is generally very uninterested in persecuting persons who don't commit crimes that affect the Chinese themselves, meaning that it's a safe haven for cyber criminals who can act at a distance.

1. There are more Chinese people in total, many of them are extremely smart and determined, and thus, due to both of these things, it makes sense that there will be more extremely good hackers in China. 2. Yeah, this could certainly be true. After all, why exactly should China worry about its hackers stealing info, et cetera from the U.S. and/or from another country as long as this other country is not going to "punch China in the face" afterwards?


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#111
caltrek

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I live in the United States, but I like to consider myself a citizen of the world. I read the first three pages of this thread and then the last page, so please indulge me if I say something that has already been said, or missed somebody else's point. One problme with this thread is the ugly head of nationalism. I love to post in international forums. Still, the fact that I am pretty much a monolingual english speaking person (broken spanish as a second language - very broken) means that I usually end up in a lot of threads with other Americans. Having had that experience, I have on more than one occasion felt the need to confront other Americans who in my opinion were just entirely too arrogant in their attitude. So please, if I say something that comes across as arrogant, fell free to call me on it. One big difference between the U.S. and many other countries is that we are essentially a Christian nation. Earlier than most Christian nations, we decided to separate church and state. That separation was never totally complete. So the China versus U.S. debate can also be seen in a suprising sort of way as the theocracy v.s materialism debate. Even if one took what I suspect is the minority postion, that the U.S. is a hyperpower with its best days ahead of it, that doesn't really mean anything. We Americans actually fully occupy two continents on the globe - one full of english speaking people and one full of spanish speaking folks. If Person A is a miserable drug addict living in the U.S., and person B is an extremele happy and healthy individual living in Costa Rica, then what does it really matter which one lives within the borders of a hyperpower and which one lives in a relatively small and obscure country? Philisophically, I am a meterialist. Still, I have read enough of dialectics that I think I understand something about the dialectics of history. If there is a contradiction between being a theocracy and being a science based democracy, then where should we stand? Indeed, where should we stand on the whole mythos versus logos debate? - a contradiction that has been dragging on for a few thousand years now.

The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#112
tw88

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One big difference between the U.S. and many other countries is that we are essentially a Christian nation. Earlier than most Christian nations, we decided to separate church and state. That separation was never totally complete.

The United States never separated Church and State. The Constitution says there shall be no law making an establishment of religion, that doesn't mean that government officials have to become religiously neutral in their conduct.  

So the China versus U.S. debate can also be seen in a surprising sort of way as the theocracy v.s materialism debate.

No it is not theocracy vs. materialism because the US is not a theocracy. Having a country composed of mostly one religion doesn't make such a country a theocracy. The US has no official religion and religious authorities are not the head of state. Its more a debate of a Democratic society vs. a Conformist non-democratic society.  

Even if one took what I suspect is the minority postion, that the U.S. is a hyperpower with its best days ahead of it, that doesn't really mean anything. We Americans actually fully occupy two continents on the globe - one full of english speaking people and one full of spanish speaking folks. If Person A is a miserable drug addict living in the U.S., and person B is an extremele happy and healthy individual living in Costa Rica, then what does it really matter which one lives within the borders of a hyperpower and which one lives in a relatively small and obscure country?

Thats the whole point that many people have pointed out. So what if China's economy surpasses the US? With perhaps the exception of Hong Kong and Macau, their country is still a shit hole to live in.  

Philisophically, I am a meterialist. Still, I have read enough of dialectics that I think I understand something about the dialectics of history. If there is a contradiction between being a theocracy and being a science based democracy, then where should we stand? Indeed, where should we stand on the whole mythos versus logos debate? - a contradiction that has been dragging on for a few thousand years now.

There is only a contradiction if you take the mythos literally. Religious text and cultural theology/folklore are generally not meant to be be taken literally, usually its meant to teach a lesson or convey a meaning or feeling. For example, take the story of Noah's Ark. Obviously is near impossible to build a ship big enough to contain the entire earths biodiversity and obviously, even if all the ice melted the sea would not be high enough to dock an ark on the top of Mt. Ararat in Turkey. The point of the story is to teach a lesson of preparedness.

#113
caltrek

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^ I am really a little bit bewildered at this point. You (TW88) seem to be taking positions on both sides of the points I was making.

 

Making no laws favoring one church over the over is exactly what I meant by separation of church and state.  Moreover, at least in the United States that is pretty much the standard way of talking about this issue.

 

That certain individuals can still exercise their personal philospohy in how they conduct themselves is exactly what I meant by the idea of being a Chirstian nation.

 

You make a very good point about the U.S. not being a theocracy. The point you missed, partly because I left it unarticulated, is that so many voters are motivated by their Christian beliefs.  Also, separation of church and state is very controversial among a substantial minority of people in this country.  Many would like to see the U.S support Christianity more overtly than it already has.

 

On the materialism versus "theocracy" comment.  No, the U.S. is not a theocracy, but it does not have the kind of materialist philosophy that China now has.

 

On mythos versus logos, many people in the United States do take mythos literally. They are called "fundamentalists".  Many others belong to other wise progressive churches and call themselves "Episcopalian" or some such other appellation. Other denominations fall somewhere in between those poles and also take mythos literally. That the "backers" of mythos are often irrational is a very big problem in the United States. 

 

On the Chinese front, spirituality has been under assault from the government for decades now. There the problem, at least as I see it, is the lack of freedoms to openly embrace mythos - i.e. religion and other such manifestations. I know this may seem to contradict my comments about problems in the United States, but in my mind freedom of speach trumps my qualms on that front.

 

Beyond my response to TW88 and concerning who might be falling apart, The Nation had a recent article about this in which they pointed out that many of the top echelon in China have overseas bank accounts and/or property interests. They appear to be very much worried about the stability of their country and appear to be making exit plans.  Also, illegal public protests have apparently been more wide spread than is generally acknowledged. So while certain elements on these boards may think the U.S. is ready to fall apart, that may actually be much more the case with China.  Time will tell. 

 

As to the U.S. doesn't have to worry about pollution front (an idea presented in an earlier post prior to TW88) this notion is sadly delusional.  Can anybody say "global warming"?


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#114
tw88

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 No, the U.S. is not a theocracy, but it does not have the kind of materialist philosophy that China now has.

 
I'm not sure that materialist is the right word to use, as the US is a very much a consumer and materialistic society.  I would say that China's government is utilitarian in most of its policy and decision making, where as the US tends to be by driven by principlism on social and foreign policy and tends to be more utilitarian on domestic policies. 
 
[font="tahoma, helvetica, arial, sans-serif;font-size:12px;background-color:rgb(24,24,24);"]

On mythos versus logos, many people in the United States do take mythos literally. They are called "fundamentalists".  Many others belong to other wise progressive churches and call themselves "Episcopalian" or some such other appellation. Other denominations fall somewhere in between those poles and also take mythos literally. That the "backers" of mythos are often irrational is a very big problem in the United States.
 
Fundamentalists are a big problem, but are also declining problem. People describing them selves as 'non-religious' now make up around 20-25% of the population in the US. The religious right knows they are a dying breed, which i believe is fueling a lot of the grid lock in Washington, as religious fundamentalist hold on desperately to their gradually declining influence in society and politics. [/font]

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#115
caltrek

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I speak of China's "materialism" in the Marxian philosophical sense of the word. I see that as being at the base of their philosophical system. "Utilitarian" is also a good characterization. Still, it conjures up memories of John Stuart Mill and company - more British than Chinese. I do see and acknowledge the point about how the word "materialiast" in popular usage conjurs up the idea of consumerism and capitailsm. Hence the uncertainty in thinking of that as an appropriate label for China.  A valid point.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#116
rennerpetey

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nope, not a hyper power, and barely a super power anymore.


John Lennon dares you to make sense of this

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#117
TheComrade

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Oh, such a nostalgic and memorable thread... my first squabble on this forum. Or second, i dont exactly remember, there was another one when some guy (now inactive) demanded from anyone and everyone to "immediately ban" me for "homophobia".  :biggrin:

 

Countries evolve, their borders change. America won't be the exception. China won't be either. And especially your sweet Mother Russia. :)

 

...this was the amazingly accurate short-time prediction. Only a few months passed after this post and the borders of Mother Russia has changed:

 

image.jpg

 

A lot of water has flowed since then, now we're all older and some are wiser and Raklian was promoted to moderator.

 

=== === ===

 

Back to topic: no, USA is NOT hyperpower. I think, unlike 2013, in 2017 this thesis no longer needs any additional proofs.



#118
TranscendingGod

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Hell ever since the ignominy of the iraq war this has never been a serious proposition. 


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#119
caltrek

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From strictly a matter of measuring stockpiles of weapons and their relative sophistication, I think the USA is still arguably a hyper-power. Still, on that front things are changing and China is closing the gap.

 

There is also the cyber-warfare angle.  On that front, it has become clear that Russia has taken the lead.  A lot depends upon whether voters who formally were the most adamant about building up U.S. war fighting capabilities are now willing to rise to the challenge. So far the jury is out, but the evidence presented to date is not favorable to such voters. 

 

I should quickly add that if the left does manage to wrestle the control of the American government away for the lunatic right, I would hope that good relations with Russia would remain a goal.  The waging of cyber-warfare by Russia complicates the reaching of that goal.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#120
caltrek

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Hell ever since the ignominy of the iraq war this has never been a serious proposition. 

 

From a public relations standpoint, a true disaster.  From the standpoint of the preservation and respect for life, also a disaster.

 

Still, American strategists would be quick to point out that Sadam is dead. So, for that matter, is Bin Laden.  You and I might not like the way those results were achieved, or the costs paid, but strictly from the perspective of relative military power...


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls





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