Normally, researchers, writers, analysts, and observers begin a task with a question or a thought. And as I mentioned previously, the key question and thought behind international affairs is whether or not America can go back onto a Keynesian and progressive path after having been derailed from that path by a tiny and sociopathic cabal a little more than twenty years ago. America was very much on a Keynesian and progressive path after the Cold War ended. Thus, one path the United States can take in the next few years is a Keynesian and progressive path, given the nature of economic, political, and social life in a globalized context. Competition with China very much compels the United States to assume a Keynesian and progressive path.
Or, the United States can once again resort to populism and an anti-democratic impulse which completely disregards democratic norms and rules. During the Trump era, America had a taste of populist and anti-democratic politics, which is undoubtedly a retrogressive force. Moreover, populist and anti-democratic politics is particularly retrogressive for an economically advanced nation and society like the United States. A return to populist and anti-democratic politics in the United States would mean following the footsteps of Afghanistan, which is possible given the parallels between Afghanistan and the United States over the course of the last two decades. Plus, America is the third modern power to go in and out of Afghanistan, and the two previous modern powers who went in and out of Afghanistan did not fare well.
But in any case, a “Great Man” figure is likely to orchestrate and shape international affairs, regardless of whether the American system goes towards a Keynesian and progressive path or a populist and anti-democratic path. Trump very much represents the “Great Man” of the populist and anti-democratic brand, and his movement is very much an American version of the Taliban. Thus, Trump is very much a ‘Mullah Hebatullah’ type figure who wields reverence from American populists. On the other hand, it is not very clear as to who would assume a leadership role if the United States goes towards a Keynesian and progressive path. Given the challenges put forth by the populists, it is incredibly difficult to steer the American system towards the Keynesian and progressive path at this stage in the game. Plus, Joe Biden is not qualified to steer the United States towards that particular path.
Nevertheless, “Great Men” are the main determinants of world history. As the late great Martin Luther King Jr. said: “The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood.” Also, without justice – and especially “transitional justice,” given that transitional justice is a requirement for nations and societies with a history of corruption and war crimes – there cannot be peace. And if peace is missing, the social harmony required to sustain democratic life will be absent. Thus, even if our power and voice is limited by certain elements in American society, we as disciplined nonconformists whom the late great Martin Luther King Jr. highlighted will continue to push the envelope so that America goes forward, not backward, as was said by the late great John Lewis.