By Mohammad Mazhari

American governance model has gone into decline: researcher

February 14, 2021 - 12:24

TEHRAN - A Lebanese political researcher believes that the U.S. as a model of capitalist democracy has failed to present itself as a republic that relies on values.

“The United States tried, through its political rhetoric, to present itself as a republic that relies on values and principles, but it drifted towards power and interests,” Tariq Aboud, a university professor, tells the Tehran Times.

According to Aboud, liberal capitalism opposes medical support for people who cannot afford to pay for insurance, leaving them to die.

In this political system, “the wealth is concentrated in the hands of a minority, while there are millions who cannot afford to pay for their daily food,” the Lebanese academic notes. 

“The American model as a pioneering and impressive example has gone into decline, a process that may ultimately lead to a great collapse,” he adds.

The following is the text of the interview:

Q: Is America still the dominant power in the world, or is it in the process of declining?

A: Yes. To this day, the United States is still the first power in the world, based on a number of indicators adopted in international relations, through both soft and hard powers. America is still ahead of rival countries, as it has the most powerful army in the globe, and it possesses the largest economy, while its companies are the largest and the most giant. The U.S. has controlled the field of technology to this day, through Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Instagram, Intel, and others, whilst its military budget is equivalent to budgets of ten countries that follow in order.

“The American model as a pioneering and impressive example has gone into decline, a process that may ultimately lead to the great collapse.” It still owns the largest naval fleet in the world. In addition, its universities are among fifty top universities in the world. More than 750 thousand foreign students study in its universities annually. We can add to this a number of elements in which the United States is still superior to other countries.

But America’s problem today is the rapid progress that China is making and its competition with the United States in a number of areas.

China is going to occupy the first place in size of economy in the near future.

 Not to mention that China is not an indebted country, unlike the United States that faces a debt of approximately 26,000 billion dollars and an annual budget deficit of about 2,000 billion dollars.

Q: What factors shape America's foreign policy? Is it relying on values or interests?

A: The United States tried, through its political rhetoric, to present itself as a republic that relies on values and principles, but it drifted towards power and interests.

 So the empirical values and principles imposed themselves on U.S. policies, where it adopts expansionist approaches to endorse occupation, colonialism, and destruction of opponents.

Q: What are the main elements of U.S. soft power? Hasn't this power declined under the Trump presidency?

A: At the first step we should study five elements, including the size of spending on universities, the number of foreign students studying in national universities, in addition to the number of students graduating annually with a bachelor’s degree, as well as the volume of funding scientific research centers and investment in minds. 

“What happened in the recent elections and when the former President Donald Trump accused Democrats of rigging the elections and stealing the victory from the Republicans, will constitute a major and deep stab in the reputation of American democracy.”If a system wants to be a model followed by others, it should be committed to some standards like credibility in its media and presenting a democratic civilized model based on justice, in addition to its leaders’ charisma and ability to directly persuade people.

 However, a great weakness emerged in the presidency of Donald Trump, who presented the United States as an expansionist colonial state, openly seeking to exploit people’s wealth, explicitly interfering in other countries’ domestic affairs, and trying to subjugate them through harsh and unjust economic sanctions that contributed to peoples’ starvation and depriving them of medical aid.

America failed miserably in controlling the Coronavirus, and it appeared as a weak, powerless, and miserable country.

This called for a great discussion over the efficiency of the liberal capitalist system, while it prevents the state from aiding its citizens and mitigates corporate huge profits at the expense of people.

Liberal capitalism opposes medical support for people who do not have money to pay for insurance, leaving them to die alone. Not to mention the wealth that is concentrated in the hands of a minority, while there are millions who cannot afford to pay for their daily food. 

Therefore, the American model as a pioneering and impressive example has gone into decline, a process that may ultimately lead to the great collapse.

Q: How do you describe the social rift in America after the presidential election?

A: It was evident in the recent elections that the United States suffers from a severe and vertical division in the society.
America faces a clear and large-scale racial discrimination, in addition to the class differences between the center and the peripheral areas, or the so-called Rust Belts, and this will reflect a great and dangerous challenge to President Joe Biden's administration.

Q: How could the disputes over the results of the November presidential elections affect the international position of the U.S. administration and its domestic legitimacy?

A: What happened in the recent elections and when the former President Donald Trump accused Democrats of rigging the elections and stealing the victory from the Republicans, will constitute a major and deep stab in the reputation of American democracy.
This can hamper American efforts to promote its democratic model, through which it calls on the world to follow its example and approach. 
What happened on the sixth of last month, from the storming of the Capitol building, will be a milestone and will separate American history of democracy to before and after 2021.

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