At midnight tonight, a passenger plane bound from Hong Kong to San Fransisco will disappear. A husband calling his wife from overseas will be disconnected. Traffic on border-crossings along the Rio Grand will dry up. Futures information from the New York stock exchange will cease transmission, and from sea to shining sea, an uneasy quiet will settle over the land.
America has gone silent.
Many villains throughout history have insisted that the world would be a much better place to live if America could be subjugated, enslaved, or simply wiped off the map. Could they be right? By 12:01 tomorrow morning, the world will be beginning to find out.
The most immediate impact of a post-American world would be felt in the financial sector. Billions of dollars of commodities and securities (and trillions of dollars of US debt) would suddenly become worthless. Even if it were possible to prevent an immediate global financial meltdown, world growth would slow tremendously. Prior to the US’s appearance on the world stage in the early 1900s, global economic growth hovered around 1% of GDP annually. After the US stepped up to fill the post-WWII power vacuum, that number quadrupled to 4%.
The United States has been one of the best engines for economic growth the world has ever seen. The world without the United States will be much poorer.
But bond-swappers and pork-dealers won’t be the only people at the edge of a cliff tomorrow morning. World governments will also quickly go ballistic – literally. Even with the assumption that the immediate removal of the US from the world map wouldn’t cause a nuclear Armageddon amongst the remaining world powers, a major war would be inevitable. As the world’s policeman, the US prevented many bushfire wars from flaring up in global hotspots, and as the strongest of the superpowers, she was able to keep the other world powers in line. In the 1600-1900s, France, Spain, Great Britain, Russia, and Germany were constantly warring with each other. After the emergence of the US in the 40s and 50s, however, such conflicts quickly died down.
The United States is the linchpin of an international pax Americana – an American peace. The world without the United States will be more far dangerous.
And who would come out on top in these coming global conflicts? Dictators. With the protection and aid of the US, the number of democracies (or variants thereof) in the world grew from just a few dozen to over 100 in less than 60 years. China and Russia have continued to prop up dictatorships in countries in which they have strategic interest. With the counterbalance of American Republicanism removed, dictatorships would once again become the norm for national governance.
The presence of the United States has protected the freedoms of millions of people around the world. The world without the United States will be significantly less free.
By lunchtime tomorrow, the citizens of the planet earth will finally be waking up to the fact that the post-America world will be poorer, bloodier, and more oppressive than anything they could have imagined. They’ll finally realize how much darker the days ahead for them will be. But by then, of course, it won’t matter – it will already be too late.
The views in this post are entirely hypothetical. I don’t want to destroy the US to teach everyone else a lesson! I just wanted to illustrate in the most vivid terms why the world needs America to survive. Thankfully, the US still has the best days ahead of her – no need to worry about this nightmare scenario for a long time to come!