Blood Diamonds

After having arrived at the question of whether a 200-year period of Anglo-American global hegemony was an anomaly and aberration from the normal course of world history which spans approximately 300,000 years, one must basically assess the effects of Colonialism, the Cold War, and finally the period of American global hegemony on balance with some of the other economic, political, and social dimensions of this epoch in world history. Having a balanced and nuanced view of this period in world history entails looking at how the international system has been shaped by 200 years of Anglo-American global hegemony in both an adverse and positive way, and as holistically and thoroughly as possible.

One of the first questions which come to mind is whether British colonialism – which is essentially the first of three stages through the course of Anglo-American global hegemony – was an extractive or inclusive institution. Aside from establishing the English language as a global means of communication, British colonialism was largely an extractive institution when one takes the history of slavery, imperial wars, the creation of artificial and arbitrary borders between ethnic groups and tribes that were once united, and the wave of independence movements which were essentially reactions to the extractive nature of British colonialism.

After the diminution of British imperial power came the Cold War and the ascendance of the United States as the chief propagator and sustainer of Anglo-American global hegemony over the international system. Despite the notion on the part of realist theorists that a bipolar system leads to greater stability in the international system, the Cold War between the United States and the former Soviet Union led to the killing, imprisonment, and displacement of millions of people throughout the globe. Regions of the world which absorbed the brunt of Anglo-American global hegemony within a Cold War context were Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Although a Eurocentric view of the Cold War suggests that the international system was largely stable as a result of the bipolarity of the international system during the Cold War because Europe did not descend into war after World War II ended, those who were trampled as a result of the Cold War in the “Global South” would perhaps beg to differ.

Thus, there is both a Eurocentric view towards the 200-year period of Anglo-American global hegemony, as well as a non-Eurocentric view of Anglo-American global hegemony. A holistic and thorough view of Anglo-American global hegemony would entail putting oneself in the shoes of non-Europeans and analyzing this period of history from a non-European perspective. Moreover, Anglo-America represents only about 5 percent of the world’s population. Thus, on a broader level and from a big picture perspective, the Anglo-American view of world history does not constitute a majority view, analysis, or consensus amongst the world’s academics and journalists. Once we consider that the Anglo-American view of world history is narrow in scope and does not take into account the viewpoints of approximately 95 percent of the world’s population, we can then conclude with a certain degree of confidence that the 200-year period of Anglo-American global hegemony was perhaps an anomaly or an aberration from the natural course of world history.

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