By Payman Yazdani

End of federalism!?

April 21, 2020 - 11:3

TEHRAN – American columnist Stephen Lendman believes that the federal system in the U.S. is on the path to breakdown.

“The U.S. is its own worst enemy. Its rage to dominate is self-destructive,” Lendman tells the Tehran Times.

Andrew Gawthorpe, a historian of the United States at Leiden University in the Netherlands, also says federalism has become another casualty of Trump and the coronavirus.

“Many American institutions and traditions have been challenged in the era of Donald Trump. The latest is federalism, the idea that power should be shared between the federal government and the states,” Gawthorpe wrote in the Guardian on April 18.

Lendman also says, “Imperial USA will crumble like all other empires in history. It’s just a matter of time, its counterproductive policies hastening its decline.”

Following is the text of the interview with Lendman: 

Question: The neo-liberalism paradigm seems to be failing in the U.S. at the moment. Different states are holding diverse positions in terms of Trumps' anti-corona policies. Many of these states oppose those policies insofar as Illinois governor ordered cargos of masks from China secretly without informing the federal government. It seems that federalism is on decline in the U.S. after almost 3 centuries. Is it true to say that the golden age of federalism in the U.S. is over?

Answer: The scourge of neoliberalism has been U.S.-led Western policy since what I and others call the neoliberal 90s.

China, Russia, Iran, and other countries are rising, the U.S. is declining. It’s all about transferring wealth from ordinary people to privileged ones. It’s been especially harmful since 9/11, a pretext for the U.S. to wage war on humanity at home and abroad by hot or other means, notably against sovereign nations the U.S. doesn’t control like China, Russia, and Iran.

COVID-19 is being used by the Trump regime and its Western counterparts to inflict greater hardships on ordinary people — notably greater poverty, unemployment, underemployment and erosion of human and civil rights.

It’s also a plot aimed at China to thwart its economic, financial, industrial, and technological development — aiming to prevent the country from becoming the dominant economic and political power in the years ahead.

I believe the scheme will fail. China, Russia, Iran, and other countries are rising, the U.S. is declining.

Because of this reality, dark forces in the U.S. are trying anything to retain dominance they’re losing to other countries.

History always evolves over time. U.S. policies are so harmful to most people everywhere that its agenda can’t stand the test of time forever. It hasn’t worked and I doubt will ahead.

By federalism, I think you mean neoliberalism and power concentrated in Washington.

U.S. dominance isn’t over but it’s fading, why I believe the 21st century already is multi-polar, no single country to dominate all others, notably not like in the 20th century.

Imperial USA will crumble like all other empires in history. It’s just a matter of time, its counterproductive policies hastening its decline.

Whether or not countries remain intact or separate into smaller nation-states, local autonomy will gain strength in countries where central authorities inflict harm on ordinary people like the U.S. and other Western countries operate.

Q:  We've seen a similar mindset among the people of other Western nations. Brexit could be underlined as an example. The Scottish independence referendum, recent events in Spanish Catalonia and so on. Is Western post-world war II civilization disintegrating? Is this a new rationality that breaks Western civilization into a new mental and geographical order?

A: History always evolves over time. U.S. policies are so harmful to most people everywhere that its agenda can’t stand the test of time forever.

What can’t go on forever, won’t. The U.S. is its own worst enemy. Its rage to dominate is self-destructive.

It’s just a matter of when its dominance ends. It’s coming.

Q: What changes the central government may make to keep states united?

A: The U.S. uses fear-mongering, war-wongering, and establishment media propaganda to promote its agenda, including control over its 50 states.

Imperial USA will crumble like all other empires in historyThe U.S. 10th Amendment affords to the 50 states and their people powers not delegated to Washington by the Constitution.

It gives the states great latitude on policies they can institute, constraining them as well.

In theory, some of the states could break away and establish a separate nation.

California’s GDP ranks it as the world’s 5th largest economy. If federal power inflicts unacceptable harm on ordinary people for an extended duration, it’s possible that some states could break away similar to how empires lose control over nations that declare their independence.

Q: Many theorists believe that Trump’s policies, overall, will bring an end to the American empire. What's your take on this theory? Can the social rupture in the U.S. accelerate this process?

A: U.S. presidents are figureheads, agendas set for them.

A cardboard cutout could sit in the Oval Office as president and it wouldn’t change a thing. Every U.S. president since at least the 1980s has been worse than their predecessors based on their foreign and domestic policies.

I expect whoever succeeds Trump in 2021 or 2025 will be worse than him, a dismal prospect. At this time, he exceeds the villainy of all his predecessors in both domestic and foreign policies. He's also a bombastic, self-centered narcissistic geopolitical know-nothing and failed businessman who went bankrupt at least four times.

Because of the above-explained long-term trend, the U.S. is growing weaker on the world stage. It's hastening its own decline which I believe is inevitable.

The wildcard is possible WW III by accident or design.

If launched and waged with nuclear weapons, we're all doomed.

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