Is it good to be the only superpower? [Archives:2003/671/Viewpoint]

September 25 2003

I sometimes tend to ask myself, “is it good to have only one superpower?” Looking at the current power distribution worldwide, we can easily assume that the USA is indeed the only superpower of today. It has the economic, military, and technological advantage and superiority to most of the world.
But coming back to the question of whether it is good to have only one superpower, we need to take it from the perspective of world countries and that of the USA itself.
For world countries, having one superpower could be good if that superpower is acting justly and honestly, not monopolizing or using its power for its own advantage, and most importantly, respecting the United Nations and other weaker countries.
Well, the USA doesn't seem to fit in this category, simply because it is biased to others, e.g. Israel. So it is rather better for the world to have more than one superpower or have none. It would be a better alternative to have two countries or more, which will in turn result in some balance in the world arena as this will make weaker countries stronger for having a superpower to defend them from the other superpower.
But then again, the world will go back to a stage of cold war and continuous contest of loyalties and flattering. The aim of each country will be to strengthen its supportive superpower, and in return getting financial and political support from its ally.
Now let us examine whether being a superpower is helpful for the citizens of this superpower.
Citizens of the only superpower in the world would probably live in continuous fear of being seen as 'superior'. The 911 incident is a clear indication of that. Even though George W. Bush once said that “America was targeted for attack because we [USA] are the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world,” many also believe that the attack was also because USA was the strongest military and economy in the world. Among the possible reasons behind the 911 incident was probably because some extremist elements may see this sole power to be the easiest and most effective target. In other words, if they hit the strongest country in the world, they may be seen even stronger than this power.
Furthermore, the larger the country the more it will depend on natural resources and have more offices worldwide. Hence, it is also obvious that more easy targets would be created in time.
Being a country that consumes the largest share of natural wealth worldwide, and being the country that produces the largest producer of chemical and hazardous waste, the sole superpower will also be seen as the biggest threat to world peace and stability by non-American world citizens.
Will Americans like to be seen in this way?
Will Americans want to be the only target and biggest threat in the world?
I doubt it.
However, and in the same time, America may not be able to create a rival or competitor. But the least that could be done is that it does not prevent other developing countries from growing and becoming powerful. It is important to realize that at the end of the day, this will not be in its benefit or advantage.
This planet is for all of us, and the USA is only forming 4% of world population. This nation should not be in control of most of the world's resources and policies.
In my opinion, continuing to have one sole superpower -which continues to grow and widens the gap between it and other countries – in the world will not only harm other countries, but Americans themselves will find themselves to be the main victims.
I hope they understand…