building a de-Americanized World ?


“It is perhaps a good time for the befuddled world to start considering building a de-Americanized world.”

commentary published by China’s official Xinhua News Agency on Oct. 14


History goes n cycles, and the discussion of the demise of America has been rumbling along at a low level for quite some time. Domestic issues encourage citizens to talk about it and external actors dream of it (and talk about it). But. To quote the oft-misquoted Mark Twain quote: “the reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”

America has always been slightly pessimistic despite being depicted as a hopeful nation. What I mean by that is that Americans have a tendency to be hopeful about the future and future prospects, but extremely pessimistic with regard to the present. I would also add while America’s done some certainly exceptional things, the one exceptional characteristic Americans have had is arrogance. Maybe I should qualify that by calling it confidence with some arrogance. The reality is America has exported a variety of things, some attitudes, some behaviors, some ideas, some systems, some products. Some of those have been exceptionally good and some of those have been exceptionally bad.

Which leads me to suggest that America has suffered from a lack of reflectiveness with regard to what has been good and what has been bad and simply suggested that anything that other countries adopted that was American was a good thing. That lack of reflectiveness has created a thread of the title of my piece. de Americanized world. As America has pushed forth there have been opposing forces pushing back. And while this may sound simplistic, when what was pushing back was the Soviet Union and communism, it was relatively easy to be able to fend off what was being pushed back. Today’s world is different. As prosperity has increased across the globe individual countries have gained additional power and strength. They use it to, well, push back on Americanized ideas. I would argue this is actually good. It forces some reflectiveness, it forces new ideas, and it forces a recognition that the next phase of globalization is probably gonna be a little bit more collective driven coalition driven then individual country driven. That doesn’t mean that there won’t be individual countries pushing forth their own ideas or even their own idea of how the world should be constructed, I’m just simply pointing out that we’re moving into a phase of globalization where no individual country America included can dominate on a global level by themselves. What made me think about this is my own slight puzzlement with regard to how America citizens are currently viewing America’s situation. In addition, Fareed Zakaria just did a 5 minute video on his view of America’s situation in the world. I also subscribe to Noah Smith’s newsletter where he consistently points out it is difficult to suggest that America is in a decline. Lastly I had just plucked out 2013 oped in a Chinese publication. It highlighted how one country was attempting to reframe what a de Americanized world could be. I’m certainly not suggesting that their idea is a good idea, it is just to point out this is how somebody who is jockeying for a dominant position in the global structure and construct is discussing the Americanizing.

November 24, 2015

“Toppling the dollar isn’t enough. Several cornerstones should be laid to underpin a de-Americanized world. Along with a greater role for developing-market economies in both the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, the authority of the United Nations in handling global hot-spot issues has to be recognized. That means no one has the right to wage any form of military action against others without a UN mandate (all quite reasonable propositions, it must be said). A self-serving Washington has abused its superpower status and introduced even more chaos into the world by shifting financial risks overseas, instigating regional tensions amid territorial disputes, and fighting unwarranted wars under the cover of outright lies. Such alarming days when the destinies of others are in the hands of a hypocritical nation have to be terminated, and a new world order should be put in place, according to which all nations, big or small, poor or rich, can have their key interests respected and protected on an equal footing.”

I included this snippet to make a point. The point is much of the world outside of America do have ideas whether having a dominant America is good and ideas on how a future world could be constructed. Don’t accept all you just read, just think about it a bit. Just like any “de” idea, I actually suggest it is maybe dialing back some aspects and reshaping how the world works.

The dollar as the dominant currency is not going anywhere. US role in global security is not going anywhere. US role in business, technology and commerce is not going anywhere. But. As America spread its Americanized version of the way things should be, and distributed American culture, inevitably it began erasing some cultural differences. This is most easily depicted through commerce., or, as Louis-Ferdinand Celine said “Commerce is the cancer of the world.” Somehow America exported its version of commerce/capitalism constructing an odd weave of commerce, consumption and corrupt business-making.  Once again, I am not suggesting there wasn’t some good exported, just that we should be reflective upon the bad aspects. And if we will not be, at least be aware that a shitload of countries, and their citizenry, is being reflective.

All that said.

The world will not really de-Americanize, but as America changes, and reshapes itself, it will be partly an evolution of what exists and partially an adoption of what it encounters. There are some things America could de-americanize:

  • The U.S. boasts the highest incarceration rate of any country, with 730 people imprisoned out of every 100,000.
  • Per capita, and by household, US uses (wastes) more electricity and water than anyone in the world – by a large margin.
  • The U.S. is tied with the U.K. for the most TV watching per week, clocking in at an average of 28 hours per person.
  • America has the highest percentage of teenage pregnancies of any developed country on Earth.
  • No country knows how to sue better than America. There is one lawyer for every 265 Americans.
  • The U.S. is the leader in plastic surgery with more than 21.1% of total procedures worldwide taking place within America.
  • America leads in soft drink consumption. Males ages 12-29 are the biggest culprit, ingesting an average of 160 gallons of soda each year.

Maybe America could de-Americanize itself on these things.



U.S. citizens stay longer in the office than those in most other nations and produce more money per person.

Yeah. this isn’t a bashing America piece, this is just a reflective America piece. maybe it just is just a thought that while America isn’t going to collapse, much of the world may seek to de-Americanize a bit and maybe, just maybe, America could de-Americanize some of its lesser characteristics a bit. Ponder.

Written by Bruce