Dan74 wrote:Could you back this up, Huseng?
Specifically could you justify that Americans enjoy prosperity due to the threat of violence?
It isn't so much prosperity but unfair trade arrangements that favour the USA.
For starters the US can print all the money it needs to buy oil in US dollars. Meanwhile other nations buy treasury bonds from the US despite said country being in more debt than could ever be repaid in this century. In a sense it is a kind of tribute. If the US was a small player like Greece the creditors would have called in the debts long ago, but you can't do that with a country like the US. Rule of law doesn't really apply to military superpowers.
The fact that oil is sold in US dollars and US banks can continually hallucinate wealth into existence is another privilege that comes with being a military power nobody is in a position to challenge.
There's also the long history of the US quashing any challenges to its economic hegemony. Iraq and Libya are two recent examples. In the last century the US fought viscously against socialist movements in South America which would have undermined US business interests. The US model has been different from the former British one in that instead of directly ruling colonies with viceroys and so on they just install a local tyrant and some elites to run the show while they extract the wealth. The elites get a share of the pie and a nice standard of living while the US turns a blind eye to whatever inhumane actions occur.
Just look at Bahrain or Saudi Arabia. They're just as awful as Gaddafi's regime was, if not worse, but they're close business and military allies of the US, so they're free to run their countries the way they want to with no concern for "democracy" and "human rights". The US provides military assistance to Saudi Arabia to keep the oil flowing. If the US didn't do so chances are the people would have risen up and killed their leaders long ago. If Iran towed the line and was pro-US in their business and military policies there wouldn't be all this warmongering as of late.
The threat of violence is enough to deter other potential rivals from oil interests in the Middle East. If the US had no significant military power other nations would step in to get their share of the oil wealth. Instead at the moment the US gets unfair access to the oil while paying with dollars they can summon into thin air from nothing.
As a citizen of the US or a client state you get unfair access to the world's resources in obvious and subtle ways. It is only partially because of GDP. The currency game is rigged in favour of select nations. Weak countries have to play the fiat currency game and sell their stuff for chump change to other nations with far more valuable currencies. We don't even have a gold standard anymore, so the value of currency is essentially how much people value your IOU notes. It is determined by forces outside a third world country's power. They just have a dirt cheap currency and need to live with it. If you're a NATO member though you get to enjoy special currencies. The system is rigged in your favour.