Certain governments and media outlets lost their ability to control or influence minds right after the start of the Iraq War in 2003. And power comes down merely to the control or influencing of minds. As soon as the Iraq War began in 2003, insurgencies rose in both Afghanistan and Iraq, and the mainstream media lost its credibility and legitimacy for fostering the propaganda in favor of an illegal war that had no moral basis whatsoever. Thus, the empire sowed the seeds of its gradual collapse at its inception.
In addition to insurgencies in Afghanistan and Iraq beginning in 2003, several other phenomena occurred which transformed the international system. For one, China underwent a miraculous rise which cannot be explained empirically. Also, Russia rose from the ashes and now exercises immense leverage over Europe. Al Jazeera became a powerhouse in the global media world. The global financial meltdown of 2008 affected virtually every country except for China and Russia. And most importantly, the internet and social media fostered immense global connectivity.
Thus, in tandem with American empire-building arose a shadow empire that is being fostered by unexplainable phenomena. Over the course of the 21st century, American empire-building gradually lost its ability to control or influence minds, whereas this shadow empire that is seemingly leaderless is actually dispersing power (with power being the ability to control or influence minds) throughout the international system. No one can really contain the dispersal of power throughout the international system, although certain states and individuals are trying to stop this dispersal of power. Moreover, amidst the dispersal of power is a hyper-centralization of power outside of the hands of American empire-building, as was argued by Hegel.
As a result, American empire-building is faced with a seemingly leaderless shadow empire that is hyper-centralizing power but dispersing power throughout the international system at the same time. Due to a seemingly leaderless shadow empire – the ‘Solomonic Empire’ if you will – which is hyper-centralizing power, American empire-building is on the decline as a result. Corruption and dark money in Washington stoked populist sentiment, and thus Washington may fall to populists in due time as Kabul fell to the Taliban because of corrupt money. Thus, one empire is ruled by dark money, whereas the other empire is ruled by psychic and spiritual forces.
However, the collapse of American empire-building will not be a sudden phenomenon. Because space and time move gradually and slowly, the collapse of American empire-building will be gradual and slow, and in turn, the rise of a “Solomonic Empire” will also be gradual and slow. Nevertheless, there are two empires in the international system, each moving in opposite directionalities in a gradual and slow manner. Nor can these directionalities and movements be stopped, because these directionalities and movements are being dictated by natural laws of the universe, not anthropomorphically. For instance, there is nothing anthropomorphic or empirical to explain the sudden rise of China over the course of the last two decades. As a result, it is becoming all the more difficult to explain power – the ability to control or influence minds – in an anthropomorphic and empirical manner in a postmodern age.