US Hegemony and Its Perils: Part I

Date: 13 March 2023

Author: Michael C.

Tags: N. America, Internationalism

“The United States has developed a hegemonic playbook to stage ‘color revolutions,’ instigate regional disputes, and even directly launch wars under the guise of promoting democracy, freedom and human rights. Clinging to the Cold War mentality, the United States has ramped up bloc politics and stoked conflict and confrontation. It has overstretched the concept of national security, abused export controls and forced unilateral sanctions upon others. It has taken a selective approach to international law and rules, utilizing or discarding them as it sees fit, and has sought to impose rules that serve its own interests in the name of upholding a ‘rules-based international order.'” 


On 20 February 2023, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of the People’s Republic of China published a paper titled US Hegemony and Its Perils. The 5-page paper, which received virtually no coverage in western mainstream media, is a scathing criticism of US foreign and domestic policy: deconstructing the facade of America as a “benevolent superpower” and unmasking the heinous, imperialist machinations lurking just beneath the surface. The paper, along with others published the same month regarding rampant drug abuse and gun violence in the United States, punctuate the sustained and calculated shift in the stereotypically boilerplate, reserved, and diplomatic tone of the MFA. Beginning around the period of Nancy Pelosi’s illegal “visit” to the renegade Chinese province of Taiwan in late-2022, the United States government has ruthlessly pursued a policy of increasing tensions with China; punctuated by routine violations of international norms and flagrant provocations aimed at drawing China towards conflict. The recent series of papers released by the MFA point to a clear and decisive shift in China’s posture: the United States has made it abundantly clear that it wants war, and will stop at nothing to compromise, and ultimately destroy, the freedom, independence, and democracy of the People’s Republic of China. China’s new approach, then, is one of sternness, and equal clarity: that even if the United States does not reverse course, China will push forward, and all consequences resulting from violating China’s legitimate interests as a sovereign State will be borne by the United States.

The first step of this shift in Chinese position is to mark a clear delineation between the values proclaimed by the liberal-capitalist hegemony versus the reality as experienced by its people at home, and its victims throughout the world—to “throw off the mask” and present the United States for what it really is: not a bastion of freedom, but a prisonhouse of nations; not a land of liberty, but a heinously corrupt dictatorship of the bourgeoisie; not a safe haven for the pursuit of happiness, but a settler-colonial slaver empire.

This analysis of the MFA’s paper on US hegemony is organized into two parts: part I will cover the first two aspects of US hegemony analyzed by the MFA: Political Hegemony and Economic Hegemony. Part II will cover the remaining three aspects: Economic Hegemony, Technological Hegemony, and Cultural Hegemony.

One of the last photos of Chilean President Salvador Allende as he exited the Presidential Palace, prepared to die in combat in a last stand against the US-backed fascist coup. 11 Sept. 1973

I. Political Hegemony—Throwing Its Weight Around

“From its 61-year hostility toward and blockade of Cuba to its overthrow of the Allende government of Chile, U.S. policy on [Latin America] has been built on one maxim-those who submit will prosper; those who resist shall perish.”

The first aspect of US hegemony is the ruthless exercise of political hegemony—the usage of various schemes, tactics, and other underhanded games in order to trample on the sovereignty of foreign nations and instead enforce its own will upon people throughout the world; all cynically carried out in the name of “promoting democracy and human rights.”

Beginning with the Monroe Doctrine in 1823, the US government set out on a program of imperialist domination: first of Latin America, and then of the world. Specific color revolutions and other programs of political interference in the sovereignty of foreign nations mentioned here include:

Beginning around 2003, a strategy of “Neo-Monroe Doctrine” took shape, with the unleashing of influence campaigns and color revolutions both in Latin America and around the world, notably:

And many more examples of color revolutions, with the US playing a central role in orchestrating them all, and US meddling, exist from the same period—including Kazakhstan, Myanmar, Hong Kong, and more—so it is worth noting which ones the MFA did specifically mention. The paper likewise notes that former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo published a new book in January of this year, in which he explicitly stated that the US government had planned interventions against the government of Venezuela, specifically targeting the 2018 elections, and even, as John Bolton revealed, attempting a coup d’etat. 

The paper then elaborates on the general diplomatic failures and double standards of the US government in its relations with the international community and law:

These agreements range from human rights, to climate change, to nuclear non-proliferation and general military de-escalation—some of the most important areas of shared interest for the whole of the human species today; but the US, when not given what it wants, simply walks away. This is not the behavior of a civilized nation, nor the policy one would expect from a nation expecting to be taken seriously on the global stage—let alone viewed as a leader of great influence. 

The paper then highlights the general obstructionism present in US diplomatic activities within the international community:

“opposing negotiations on a verification protocol for the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) and impeding international verification of countries' activities relating to biological weapons. As the only country in possession of a chemical weapons stockpile, the United States has repeatedly delayed the destruction of chemical weapons and remained reluctant in fulfilling its obligations. It has become the biggest obstacle to realizing ‘a world free of chemical weapons.’” 

According to the Arms Control Association, as of 2022 the US still possesses 646.7 tons of chemical agents and munitions; as per international agreements, they should all be destroyed, yet the US appears to be apprehensive about giving up these weapons of mass destruction despite simultaneously attacking others—most famously Iraq and Syria—over alleged chemical weapons possession and usage. This same US mentality extends into all areas of international diplomacy. 

Despite repeated claims of foreign nations aligning to attack the US, such as the make-belief “axis of evil” dreamed up by the Bush administration, the US actively seeks to form small blocs by which to enforce its will throughout the world, such as the “Indo-Pacific Strategy” in east Asia, forcing smaller and unaligned countries to choose sides—sowing division and stoking confrontation, undermining peace and stability for no reason other than the extension of US hegemony. While the vast majority of Asian countries have rejected this approach, US puppets in Korea and Japan have increasingly been pulled in, exacerbating tensions in the region whereas previously relations had been on a positive trajectory; as well as stoking the separatist dreams of the would-be renegade province of Taiwan, currently occupied by the “Republic of China.” Despite the overwhelming majority refusing to take part in such games, the US has succeeded in creating division, and even pulling in Australia as an accomplice to stoking tensions in the region.

As part of its campaign of division, the US unilaterally declares other countries “democratic” or “authoritarian” based solely on whether or not they conform to US interests, creating “a false narrative of ‘democracy versus authoritarianism’ to incite estrangement, division, rivalry and confrontation.” The MFA here highlights the failed “Summit for Democracy'' held in 2021, which was roundly criticized as a cynical ploy for expanding the US’ faux “democracy'' narrative at the expense of anyone not willing to submit to US hegemony; another such summit is scheduled to take place at the end of this month, co-hosted by the US with the governments of Costa Rica, the Netherlands, southern Korea, and Zambia—all of which are marred with unaccounted for histories of human rights violations that go unanswered for. 

Highway 80, known as the Highway of Death, where US forces slaughtered at least 1,000 people; including retreating Iraqi forces, as well as refugees and other civilians

II. Military Hegemony—Wanton Use of Force

[T]he United States has fought or been militarily involved with almost all the 190-odd countries recognized by the United Nations with only three exceptions. The three countries were ‘spared’ because the United States did not find them on the map.

The second aspect of US hegemony is the barbaric exercise of overwhelming military hegemony—the outright domination of weaker countries through the ravenous application of an extremely complex and organized military apparatus. During the era of manifest destiny, the US expanded territorially to its current borders through the genocide of indigenous nations, invasion of Canada, invasion of Mexico, annexation of Hawai’i, and war of colonial supremacy with Spain. Following World War II, these wars took on a new form, and include:


Remains of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, Serbia, following illegal US bombing 

So central is the military’s role in US hegemony and continued existence that the amount of money allocated to it by the US government has come to exceed $700 billion annually, propping up over 800 bases throughout the world, “with 173,000 troops deployed in 159 countries.” The US military budget alone accounts for 40% of the total world military spending, and amounts to more than the next 15 highest-spending countries combined. Up to 2019, the US had participated in around 400 military interventions: 34% in Latin America, 23% in East Asia, 14% in the Middle East, and 13% in Europe.

“As former U.S. President Jimmy Carter put it, the United States is undoubtedly the most warlike nation in the history of the world.”

US military adventures have resulted in the deaths of at least 900,000 people since 2001, at least 335,000 of whom were innocent civilians; untold millions and tens of millions have been injured and displaced. Those left to pick up the pieces often face the long-term consequences of the US’ widespread and unapologetic use of “massive quantities of chemical and biological weapons as well as cluster bombs, fuel-air bombs, graphite bombs and depleted uranium bombs”.

Leaders from Saudi Arabia and Iran agree to begin normalizing diplomatic relations in Beijing 


“Countries need to respect each other and treat each other as equals. Big countries should behave in a manner befitting their status and take the lead in pursuing a new model of state-to-state relations featuring dialogue and partnership, not confrontation or alliance. China opposes all forms of hegemonism and power politics, and rejects interference in other countries' internal affairs. The United States must conduct serious soul-searching. It must critically examine what it has done, let go of its arrogance and prejudice, and quit its hegemonic, domineering and bullying practices.”

In this section we have explored and analyzed the first two facets of US hegemony outlined by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Political Hegemony and Military Hegemony—how the US government throws its weight around and unleashes wanton force against its targets in order to enforce its demands, through meddling in internal affairs to foment unrest, to direct invasion and occupation. 

Coinciding with the release and analysis of the MFA’s paper, several other developments in recent weeks highlight how the Chinese government is becoming an increasingly problematic “competitor” to this one-sided US imperialism: politically, it was announced on 11 March that China had successfully brokered a deal between the governments of Saudi Arabia and Iran to begin normalizing relations. This development marks a seismic shift in the geopolitical realities of the Middle East, as Saudi Arabia and Iran had, until now, represented rival forces within the region—a rivalry that the US often took advantage of in order to pursue its own interests. With the US completely left out of the negotiation process, and the apparent winding down of the Saudi-Iranian rivalry in favor of Chinese-led mutual cooperation and win-win development, this deals a potentially catastrophic blow to US interests in the region, and signals China’s own growing political influence—an influence it wields, not to foment war, but to establish peace and pursue prosperity. In the same vein, militarily the US has continued to attempt to increase tensions with China in order to maintain its position as hegemon; primarily through exacerbating tensions around Taiwan province. However, as highlighted by MFA spokesperson Mao Ning on 08 March, China is not backing down; without the political influence necessary to continue pushing its interests, it is likely that any overt US military intervention will be met with complete disaster. 

Read Part II on Economic Hegemony, Technological Hegemony, and Cultural Hegemony.