Superpowers, A Good Thing Perhaps?

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This was a recent discussion with someone. This person says that the United States is the dominant superpower. China is rising as the next superpower on the world scene. People are fearing that having 2 super powers could lead to World War III. But is it truly bad to have another superpower or maybe even two. If the superpowers represent separate interests, they keep a balance in the world that could help prevent global war from breaking out. There would be small wars that could cause some issues. But each superpower deters the other since they both know that war would not be in their best interests. Does this make sense? I feel that desperate times could cause war regardless. But there might be a point here.
 
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There have always been superpowers - for as long as there have been civilizations. The Egyptians vied with the Assyrians, Hittites. The Chinese with the mongols and turks. Greeks, Romans, Khmer, Huns, Byzantines, and so on. Later the colonial powers: Britain, France, Spain, Portugal. Then the post war USA and USSR.

The danger is not the balancing of power, it is when there is a monopoly and no balance; like now. China is strong economically and has huge man power, but it is far behind the USA (not that they still couldn't annihilate each other and the rest of us as they stand!).

The balance is maintained through NATO, economically through G8/20/worldbank/IMF/etc - but right now the USA bullies its way through everything at will - NATO says no Gulf war, USA goes in anyway, twice - violations with Camp Xray and Guantanamo Bay, torture of prisoner held without trial for years, and so on. This is the first time there has ever not been a real balancing power - and China is stepping up -is that good news of bad? Ask me again in a century!
 
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This was a recent discussion with someone. This person says that the United States is the dominant superpower. China is rising as the next superpower on the world scene. People are fearing that having 2 super powers could lead to World War III. But is it truly bad to have another superpower or maybe even two. If the superpowers represent separate interests, they keep a balance in the world that could help prevent global war from breaking out. There would be small wars that could cause some issues. But each superpower deters the other since they both know that war would not be in their best interests. Does this make sense? I feel that desperate times could cause war regardless. But there might be a point here.
I think having two superpowers can be a good thing. The US had a good run but it's time for some competition. China and the US have a good relationship for now and we hope it stays that way.
 
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As if the continuous parade of dead people from the hands of trigger happy mongrels ain't enough. Why would we want more countries armed with enough fire power to sink a continent or two? As mentioned above, there is that big possibility that they will have conflicting interests. And if another world war does break out, smaller countries with an almost zero capabilities to defend themselves from massive attacks will certainly be obliterated first. Even if allied with one of these Super Powers, it will still be futile. Two is more than enough. I hope it stays that way.
 
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I think it is definitely a good thing, because it makes the US realize that they aren't the only ones out there now who have a lot of influence and power on a global scale. China has been investing a lot over the past years in developing countries, but also in developed countries, and has slowly developed its influence in every corner of the globe. I don't think the US and China will be going against each other physically anytime soon, but I think the rise of the middle class in China, and the development of their workforce will definitely allow them to step up in terms of having higher wages and improving their standard of living. I think one of the big issues China might face in the future is the competition of cheaper labor, as their workforce becomes more and more skilled, and more expensive.

Especially in today's day and age, a war between such massive powers is something that would only happen in retaliation of a MAJOR event, and even still, I'm sure they would firstly try to resolve it through diplomacy, placing sanctions etc.

But overall I think it is good that their are more superpowers now, because they now have the confidence and willingness to challenge countries like the US on a multilateral level, thinking of forums such as the UN and the WTO, where the US has often had too big of a say in proceedings.
 

saastil

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Superpower = Empire. These have been in existence since the dawn of civilization. They aren't going anywhere.

China will never be a superpower because they don't have enough innovation, they're only good at copying and mass producing. Also their human rights record is horrific, and they don't have the need that the US has to stick their fingers in all the pies in various countries around the world.
 
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Superpower = Empire. These have been in existence since the dawn of civilization. They aren't going anywhere.

China will never be a superpower because they don't have enough innovation, they're only good at copying and mass producing. Also their human rights record is horrific, and they don't have the need that the US has to stick their fingers in all the pies in various countries around the world.
How was the human rights record of any of the imperial powers? How about Ancient Egypt? Rome? This is a modern thing and with no precedent in history, so we do not know if it is a good thing or a bad thing for a superpower (we do know that it is better for the people therein). China is not an innovator - but they buy innovators instead. Look how many companies and industries outside of China that the Chinese own. They are long term thinkers (incidentally they invented a lot of things - only the UK have invented more in history - Chinese inventions include gun powder, the canon (albeit a bamboo one), the clock (water clock), paper and printing, alcoholic drinks, iron compass (i.e. not natural lodestone), and much much more).
 
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I do think it's the natural mechanism of this world - that in a group of countries, a few must stand out to lead the rest. If all countries are superpowers, everyone would be competing ruthlessly with each other. Power, after all, is a scarce resource that people, governments and other entities would like to have for themselves. The downside to having superpowers is that they make the decisions on behalf of weaker states, rendering the latter voiceless and devoid of discretion. Many developing countries don't even have a say in the war against ISIS.
 

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Superpowers have always existed and always will, in one form or another. For a very long time there were several European superpowers. This is what probably caused the competition which led us into the first world war. In today's times, I don't think that a large scale world war 3 would ever start, because countries know how destructive they are, and the majority of the war would just be ended before it started, by nuclear bombs and missiles.
 
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#10
As people have mentioned, superpowers are not a recent thing and I tend to agree that to have just the one is more dangerous than having two of 'em. Especially since having the US as a superpower means that they do break a lot of rules, cause a lot of wars and destabilize many places for their own interests. As a result, a lot of people hate USA's guts. I've heard people being happy about Cuba, Russia and NK's leaders opposing the US. Not because they really supported the governments or leadership in place in those places, just because they considered that it was good when people stood up to the US, because not enough people did.

China rising in power is a good thing. They spent most of world's history as a great nation and only fell down for a century or so; now they have tons of engineer and a booming industry and economy. F'course, they don't innovate too much on their own (and it seems almost like an evidence considering that intellectual property is not as protected as here, so why would people bother?) but the US economy has been going down anyway and nobody can really pretend that the US is at the top of its game either.

I just wonder how long it'll take for a significant shift to happen.