The answer will surprise you since has nothing to do with all the reasons you have already heard thousand of times before. In many places in Latin America USA yields so much power and influence that is half-jokingly referred to as "La Madre Patria" or loosely translated as the "Mother Homeland" or "Motherland". But why is USA irrelevant? To find out why the USA is and it's not important you will have to keep reading.
THE THREE PILLARS
The power of US rests on three pillars. They are:
Over many decades the Political System in US has been very busy marketing itself as the highest moral and ethical ground around. They have labeled their president as the “leader of the free world”. They have created a gigantic public relations machine geared at make you believe that its political system unquestionably stands for democracy and freedom. All this was done to such a degree and with such a success that even the people in US started to believe it.
With the citizenship behind them, it was easy for US to project political power throughout the world because by self-definition they were supreme amongst countries.
The US president Nixon once declared that the presidency was the “pulpit to intimidate”. And he was right! The US political power has its roots not only in the facts previously discussed, but in the fact that the other two pillars have teeth and bite.
However, the political system in US has been loosing all its previous public relations gains. This has been so because old enemies have been dying out (most notably the USSR) and the new ones lack the political extremism that made the US look so good. More importantly, because the rest of world started to realize the degree of cynicism US politicians have.
They have been unmasked. There is nothing there but naked lust for power at any price. And that’s the truth.
The US used to be important because of its ability to project political power. This is so increasingly less and will continue to decline.
The US is not currently important because of this pillar.
There is not doubt that the US military power is the only true organized world-wide brute force machine out there. No other military can compare to US. They have the best logistics and equipment. The largest supply of force multipliers anywhere in the world. The most sophisticated satellites, the largest intelligence gathering network (human or signals) and the will to act. This is why the US Military Power is important. Because they can strike at will anywhere in the planet with any degree of force (sub-lethal to mass destruction) they may wish to apply.
However, this awesome power is being diminished and corroded by four factors. The first is the resurgence of new enemies (most notably China, India, Brazil, Turkey, Poland and others) with the will and the capacity to set up their own military forces. These forces may not be a match for the US at a global scale, but they are a match at a local scale.
The second factor is the development of inexpensive, force-denial weapons that can nullify US military might on the cheap. Such weapons are satellite killing rockets which can blind Command and Control Centers instantaneously, or high speed torpedos which can sink or severely damage aircraft carriers, among many others naval vesels.
The third factor is the spread of nuclear weapons. This places the US in the uncomfortable position to have to play quasi-M.A.D (mutually assured destruction) with too many players.
The fourth, and most important factor: the decline of the US economic power. Any military power depends, at its most basic, of money. Stop the money influx and the military falls into disrepair first, disorganization second, finally vanishing into oblivion. It happened to all empires and it will happen again. It happened to Rome and the USSR and everybody in between. The US is not immune.
So, the US military made the US important. However, as its power increasingly declines over time, ithis makes the US a less and less important.
The US is the biggest unified market in the world. There is no question about it. They produce more than any other market. This is powerful indeed! Money talks. And it is a polyglot. It can talk politics, military or plain old fashion greed. Economic power supports political and military power by making them real. We all know that a military action can hurt, but economic sanctions can be terrifying too! And that’s power. Naked, raw power. The US has it and has been the king for quite some time. However, it can no longer claim to be the undisputed champion. There are many other contendents to the throne and they are serious. We have large established economies such as Japan, EU and Canada. We also have the new kids in the neighbourhood: China, India, Brazil and Russia. And let's not forget the upcoming visitors such as Turkey and Poland and many others working just as hard.
The US economy, for all its might, its losing its predominant position. It used to be important but it's increasingly less every day. The US has been transforming from a country that generated true wealth to a country living on borrowed and printed money. Because of this, the US market used to be important, but now it is increasingly less.
THE REAL IMPORTANCE OF US
The US as an Austro-Libertarian experiment
So, if neither US Political, Military or Economic power matters, then what?
In a single sentence, the US is a shining example of why Austro-Libertarian systems work and at the same time, why Democracy is dying.
The US was the first attempt at an Austro-Libertarian system done at a massive scale. Why the US was created will be the subject of a different essay. What is important is that the system that was set-up when the US was first created was as close to an Austro-Libertarian system as you can get and still call yourself a democracy.
This system was based on a ridiculously small number of political axioms, most of them destined to the wasteful task of managing a democracy. The few remaining ones, were simply Austro-Libertarian. These axioms were committed to paper in the US Constitution. Which is a document well worth a read.
At its most basic, the Constitution was designed so that the government had an absolutely minimum impact on the people’s lives. This was done by creating three branches with the same goal but opposing points of view: The Executive, Judiciary and Legislative. Furthermore, the US constitution is primarily about what the government cannot do. In essence, the government is there to provide a Post system, levy import tariffs and be the arbiter of states. That’s pretty much it!
Of course, this is not the modern US government view of the Constitution. This is what the constitution was designed to do.
During those initial decades where the US government essentially stayed away from people, they experienced unparallel stability and growth. This wealth creation was widespread, constant and consistent. This was no fluke or temporary blip. During those decades there was a quasi-true-free-market with a true currency: gold and silver. There were almost no regulations or impositions. There were no taxes other than import tariffs. The only thing that existed was prosperity. This was so because the system that they created was an economic Austro-Libertarian system. They did not know it at the time, but all the elements were not only present but they were the ruling ones. That’s what made US great! That’s what makes US important.
It’s a historical lesson about the power of Austrian-Libertarian systems. Yet another highly successful acid test.
The US provides the reasons for the failure of all Democracies
The US is also important as a history lesson about why Democracy fails. It is a clear warning not to follow blindly into democratic hands, because they lead to slavery. We understand that you are skeptic, but don’t worry. This blog will provide you with ample proof over time. What matters in this essay is what actually happened to the US democracy.
As we mentioned above, the US democracy was set-up to get government out of people’s lives. The constitution was created to state only what the government could do. However, over time, politicians being bureaucrats, and having no other means of increasing their power than increasing the size of the government, turned the constitution upside down. Nowadays, the constitution is dead, whereby the government can do anything it wants as long as it is not explicitly forbidden by the constitution.
In other words, the government became a machine destined to grab power by stealing it from its people. People became slaves to the government.
The US democracy has devolved to this stage because of the single most important flaw any democracy has: its dependency on people.
You can have as many documents, laws and regulations you may want, but people have, are and will always outsmart documents. People are the ultimate bypassing machine.
In normal circumstances this would be good, because it is what drives innovation in markets. However, when translated into a system that prevents clever and determined people (politicians) from participating in a free market, then this drive can only be used to accumulate power from the people. And so, the very second a Democracy is born, its destruction begins.
Only an Austro-Libertarian System is capable of dealing with this flaw. No other system comes close, because they all depend on documents and politicians. The AL System does not. It depends on a voluntary contract and a free market. The drive to innovate and succeed in the market is its primary machinery. All the people are not only involved, but necessary participants based on self-interest. In other words, in an Austro-Libertarian System is impossible to gather power by any other means other than economic prosperity.
Well… almost. We do recognize that the Austro-Libertarian System is not perfect and that eventually, after many decades of use, cracks will start to appear in it. That’s OK. That’s evolution. We recognize it and welcome it. However, in the meantime, there is nothing superior to it.
The US is important because it proves that an Austro-Libertarian System can work, and work well. But it also proves that Democracies are doomed.
In the end, it is your vote. Vote your representatives or vote against a doomed system. Your choice.
Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.