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Commentary: The serpent’s egg

By Mickel Allen

While I may be the least informed or knowledgeable amongst my peers in many regards especially as it relates to the social sciences; I find it quite odd that everyone is still so flabbergasted that Trump is and remains at the helm of the United States.

Mickel Allen is a native of Jamaica, previously an English Linguistics and Literature Teacher. She is an active women’s advocate and sits on several boards.

The socially positioned, globally regarded, most dominant state – the hegemony of all hegemonies that has used its position and influence to chokehold, intimidate and control the seas, airways and cyberspace. The demi-heaven and its demigod that now seeks totally to alienate itself from the rest of the world despite not necessarily being the wealthiest or fastest growing nation today. America knows its hegemonic status is likely to be challenged and as an economy; a capitalist economy; many were uneasy with Hillary taking the helm.

In the grander scheme of things, America needs a bully, a take no prisoners, kill or be killed leader who, as we have seen, doesn’t have qualms about knocking everything out of his way. You know what I mean; the same kind of brazen we are seeing in the media repeatedly; yet he remains perched atop his hegemonic state untouched.

It is not by chance that the cutthroat business man is the president and quite frankly it is becoming less and less surprising that he remains there. Clearly there are many who have “invested” interest in America as implied by the questionable funding for the Republican /presidency campaign, questionable meetings, donations, goods and services allegedly received and of course the Russian meddling issue amidst other things that I assume will eventually come to the fore.

Americanism, as perpetuated historically, was perceived in a slightly different manner than in contemporary society and in most recent times seems to be reshaping itself yet again to suit the hegemony’s agenda. This whole notion of America the great and Americanism manifested after World War II; a war that reshaped the global landscape and its leaders; is metamorphosing into something yet again on the cusp of the third World War; a nuclear war.

Philosophers, social scientists and politicians alike suggested that there was a figurative war of ideologies being waged prior to and during World War II, which would revolutionize and greatly impact the way forward in terms of nationalism versus internationalism, socialism versus capitalism and what we see today – Americanism versus globalism.

It therefore follows that what we are seeing today are glimmers of both a literal and ideological war, all preempted by yet another shift. All this while we continue to be smoked-screened and bombarded by conflicting tweets and news via print and electronic media.

The United States, in a bid to define and maintain its positioning as America the Great, modeled a government system that would help to create a complex network of restrictive checks and balances that would ultimately render them greater control of its borders and ports of entry amongst remodeled impositions of trade tariffs and investor relations.

These all would then help create leverage for the United States and in so doing reduce the likelihood of insurgence or takeover by a smaller or “seemingly less powerful” state such as China – this approach also has tinges of Semitism and racism as well but I will leave that for another day.

The New America – the America we observe today – in a bid to protect its hegemonic status – perhaps under the guise of protectionism – as seen under Trump’s administration – continues to craft numerous measures that are being fortified, removed or implanted, which include the proposed tariffs and quotas on imported goods, from here in Canada that, along with subsidies and other control mechanisms and impositions, the United States will (they say) continue to ensure fair (but not free) competition between imported goods and local goods. Thanks to the recently elected president, the United States is steadily becoming highly protectionist, and abrasively so…

Americanism and protectionism as we observe today is nothing more than the creation of a divisible, classist, single, self-supporting, self-regulating economy; an aggressive and modified version of economic nationalism that employs protectionism as its vice. It simply is what it is, a robust attempt for the United States to strategically control their borders, the flow of goods and trade and investment and in so doing preserve the hegemony’s status which it has fought to maintain throughout the life of the country since its monumental ascension in WWII.

Now anxiously, we all watch this play out with issue after issue, inquiry after inquiry; with many onlookers still fixed on day one – how he won…because a huge segment of the populace is uninformed about the influence and implications of hegemony. Mind you, the most affected are oft the least informed in any grander scheme usually.

Trump’s aggressive economic nationalist and protectionist attitudes are harshly abrasive and exclusive. An approach that threatens the livelihood of “codependent” states and will result perhaps in more production and job creation in America but at a much higher cost-overhead. Small businesses will buckle and fold under the weight of their overheads and production costs that will force sale prices to be increased all while competing with bigger conglomerates.

Countries like Canada and Mexico will be forced to revisit trade relationships with perhaps Europe, due partly to the increasing cost to produce and export to the United States. The reality is that few would want to rely on or do business with a neighbour that, given the instability, could have a sudden and unexpected change of heart.

Trump’s changes will negatively influence and impact businesses in the long term resulting in a trickledown effect on consumers that could also “upend macroeconomic policies that have been in place for more than half a century – policies that historically have increased worldwide prosperity and have contributed to positive developments in the United States.” ~ Willem Buiter, chief economist at Citibank

But here comes the boom: while North Korea takes aim at their target, America, China remains in the shadows – next in line position – with high hopes for Chinese hegemony, which pundits suggest will only be attainable if it continues to grow and evolve as an economy. Despite its pitfalls, its GDP rankings and so on, economists are still of the opinion that China’s economy may account for over half of total global output by the year 2050 — (I would like to assert that this is likely to happen earlier than suggested) –something that was never achieved by the present hegemony. Today we see China being kept closely under the watchful eye of America, all while China is becoming a key player and a neutralizer of sorts.

“And since the quarrel
Will bear no colour for the thing he is,
Fashion it thus: that what he is, augmented,
Would run to these and these extremities;
And therefore think him as a serpent’s egg,
Which, hatch’d, would as his kind grow mischievous…”
~ Julius Caesar

Has the egg hatched or is it waiting to hatch? The answer is skewed and influenced by one’s vantage point.