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Pax Americana, truth or fiction?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Farm Boy, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. Antilogic

    Antilogic --

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    Definitely right questions to ask. I'm working off the wiki list here. No idea if the list is fully complete, though.
     
  2. Joecoolyo

    Joecoolyo 99% Lightspeed

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    Yup, I wonder how one would measure that? Number of participants? Amount of bloodshed? Size of the theater?

    There are so many variables, and so much research to be done; someone could really go to town and write a whole book on the matter.

    EDIT: Yeah, antilogic, that's a start. Though, I'm curious, when we talk about the Pax Americana, are we talking just about America specifically? Or rather, the entire world? I was running off the assumption that the Pax included the entire world, so you'd have to look at all the conflicts occurring before and after the start date of the so called Pax in order to determine if there was/is relative peace or not.
     
  3. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy Deity

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    I was hoping for a global view on the matter, but won't mind if it gets broken down into subparts.
     
  4. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

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    I don't know, wouldn't you?
     
  5. Farm Boy

    Farm Boy Deity

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    Well, I put off starting this when you asked the first time because I both feel like I lack meaningful insight and b) I really just hate starting threads. Would it be more fun/better if I unsubscribed myself from it and came back to check in a couple days?
     
  6. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

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    You know better than to feed a troll.

    Awesome tags btw
     
  7. Cheetah

    Cheetah Deity

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    Pax Americana: "Historical concept of relative peace in the Western Hemisphere and later the Western world resulting from the preponderance of power enjoyed by the United States". (Wikipedia)

    Sounds about right to me. Compared with Pax Romana ("long period of relative peace and minimal expansion by military force experienced by the Roman Empire in the 1st and 2nd centuries AD") and Pax Britannica ("period of relative peace in Europe and the world (1815–1914) during which the British Empire controlled most of the key maritime trade routes and enjoyed unchallenged sea power") it fits rather well.

    All it describes is that the nations and territories under the control or influence of the United States experienced a peaceful time. Which is true.

    [For dramatical reasons, I'll replace the USA with the Empire in the rest of the post.]

    The areas where conflict did happen were places where the Empire did not have control, and thus sometimes got into conflicts with the local interests, or even groups supported by the Evil Empire, the Other Evil Empire and others. The nuclear deterrent probably was a big reason why no full-scale war ever developed between the super-blocks.

    Within the Pax Americana, life has been relatively peaceful. True, dictators was allowed to run around freely as long as they never hurt any of the Empire's interests. And true, vassalised smaller Empires and others have fought wars or been involved in conflicts, but never against another nation within the Pax (I can't think of any right now at least).

    However, countries who weren't treated as nicely by the Empire, or countries along the border of Pax Americana, could often be economically disadvantaged, as they were forced/pressured into adopting policies which benefited the Empire more than themselves. Countries that didn't comply, or which gave the Empire reason to suspect they were planning to support the Evil Empire, suffered invasions or coups committed or facilitated by the Empire.

    - Chile was one of the countries which tried to go their own way, and was subdued by a military coup.
    - When Argentina took control of the Falklands, it is doubtful that the British would have retaken the islands without moral support/permission from the Empire. As the Empire feared that Argentina would form closer bonds with the Evil Empire when their negotiations didn't lead anywhere, they let the British retake the islands and supported them in doing so. Chile, which now was fully serving the Empire, provided intelligence, and France and other members of Pax Americana provided support and helped isolate Argentina.
    - Libya was run by a dictator who preferred to be his own master. He managed for quite a while, with a mix of providing cheap oil to Europe and buddying up with both superpowers. His hostile acts put him in a dangerous position however, and it was only after the Evil Empire was gone and he started to repent that he was taken back into the fold (Where he was treated as a friend and part of Pax Americana until the Arab Spring).
    - Iraq also tried to play the big game, but when they invaded Kuwait they became too powerful for the Empire's taste. Iraq was beaten, isolated and suppressed, until it was finally conquered and the leaders executed when the Empire had lost all its patience.
    - Syria is currently in a civil war, and that has been "allowed" to continue because they aren't a part of Pax Americana. With the help of the Evil Empire and later Russia, they've survived outside the control of the Empire. At the moment, the Empire doesn't feel a strong obligation to help a country which isn't part of its domain, and in any event, it is not strong enough to do anything because Russia also has a great amount of influence, and a different agenda.

    [I'll stop the dramaturgy now before Dachs or anyone else beats me up for writing false/inaccurate history, but you get the point.]

    In many ways I think it is possible to see a Pax Americana in the politics and history of the last ~70 years. Thinking of the USA as the empire, in the same way as Rome or Britain used to be, isn't completely unreasonable.

    So if Pax Americana existed, does it still exist, and was it a good or bad thing?

    I'd say it existed and had it's greatest power after the Cold War and until around these times. It still exists, but now other nations outside the control of the USA are now growing economically. Soon they will use this economic power to empower themselves militarily and politically, which means that Pax Americana will not be as powerful as it used to be.

    Pax Americana has primarily served the rulers of the USA of course. The American people have, by proxy, also enjoyed many benefits from it, and the same is true for the people in Western European countries and other places that enjoyed the sympathies of American realpolitik. For others, not so much.
     
  8. Patroklos

    Patroklos Deity

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    I remember hearing once, think it was NPR. That half the worlds population has never experiance war in that it hasn't happened around them or have participated in it directly. Sounds about right and I'd imagine every year as the older generation die off this percentage will increase drastically.

    This has obviously never been the case and the US is obviously at the center of this but they are hardly the only reason.
     
  9. ImperialChaos

    ImperialChaos President

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    It's sort of a Pax Americana. Our military and economic ties keep world powers from going to war with one another. I mean, there were still wars during the Pax Romana, but it was never chaos. The early 20th century, with both world wars, was pretty much chaos.
     
  10. Cheetah

    Cheetah Deity

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    True.

    As nation-states have gotten larger and larger, and hold a monopoly on violence, the percentage of the population which has experienced large violent conflicts has dropped continuously.

    Clearly, the dominance of the USA has been part of this process, and so Pax Americana seems like something to be acknowledged.

    Of course, the Communist Party of China has also reinforced this process, as they united China again and took command away from the warlords. A Pax Sino-something isn't very useful yet though, as it only really affects China itself.

    Well, not the world powers. Just all the nations which were/are part of Pax Americana - or more commonly known as American-led Western world or something. Pax Americana didn't stop the Iraq-Iran war for instance, nor the India vs. China vs. Pakistan wars.
     
  11. JohannaK

    JohannaK Heroically Clueless

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    :agree: Especially that Rainbow Dash tag. Best tag ever.
     
  12. ImperialChaos

    ImperialChaos President

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    What's a Rainbow Dash? :confused:

    I wouldn't call Iran and Iraq world powers on the same scale as most European nations. Certainly powerful, particularly Iraq, but I wouldn't classify it as a world power (can project it's military over vast areas)

    Also, I think if India, China (probably not), or Pakistan got involved in some conflict, the USA would find itself involved due to the nation's economic interests in the region. India and Pakistan's wars in the past have ended due tot he U.N., which is mostly a U.S. construct.
     
  13. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Did you know that the last decade that the US Marines were not in combat was about 180 years ago? My point being that it may look like we've had a lot of conflict recently, but in fact we have not had an unusual amount. Now Afghanistan and Iraq lasted an exceptional period of time. But that's not the same as saying that there were really a large number of interventions.

    What is true as a whole is that the time period since WWII has been the least violent time in human history, in terms of how likely a person was to experience violence in the course of their lives, much less open warfare. There are wars, but essentially never have there been fewer wars affecting a smaller portion of the whole human population.

    How is Pax Americana the cause of this? Certainly not the whole of it. But it has been a player in parts of it. There was an awful lot of potential war that didn't happen because of fear of US (and USSR, NATO, and UN) action.
     
  14. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    Pax Americana exists, if you do not agree then we will bring democracy to your country.
     
  15. JohannaK

    JohannaK Heroically Clueless

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    She's my avatar. :cool:
     
  16. schlaufuchs

    schlaufuchs La Femme Moderne

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    I'd say the Pax Mongolica is much more of a truism than either of the other 3 paces listed on Wikipedia have been.
     
  17. ImperialChaos

    ImperialChaos President

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    Indeed. John Green did a cool video on it:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szxPar0BcMo
     
  18. schlaufuchs

    schlaufuchs La Femme Moderne

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    Blech, crashcourse history.

    Also I don't understand why so many people insist on pronouncing the Chinggis part of the title when they're just going to go ahead and butcher Xaang
     
  19. Goodfella

    Goodfella Showing results for

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    It's not just Pax USA. Economic development and interdependence (though I'm pretty sure there a few people who think this theory is disagreeable) have probably played a much bigger role than the US's military which in many instances has made the world less peaceful.
     
  20. Gucumatz

    Gucumatz JS, secretly Rod Serling

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    Our Pax has spread so far, we now have a Pax West and a Pax East.

    But to answer the question, yes Pax Americana is real. We have established a system of trade and commerce the world uses. Think of the US sort of like the Mongols [Except a little less expansive], you can't do business in the world if you don't respect the hegemony of the US and the western world at the minute
     

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