US centric views cannot imagine a world where the US is not the dominating superpower economically, politically, and militarily. Probably, this was what many British felt like post WW1. It's not surprising that empires rise and fall, but it's difficult for many of those who are participating in the empire system to be objective, and to really grasp how fragile world power is. In the case of the US, a confluence of interests coagulated during, and notably after WW2, where the US was the only remaining industrial power that had an atomic bomb, and other technology (see paperclip). In other words, US hegemony was to a large extent, an accident. There has always been a country that is the world reserve, and it has always correlated with the most dominant economic superpower of that time. See chart:
President Obama, the US federal government shutdown, the omnipotence of the National Security Agency and the anger of the world at just how much the USA flouts the laws that we thought we might have lived by. These are all reasons and more for the rest of the world to turn their backs on the most powerful country in the world and play a role in its demise. What the USA has not realized is that when the going gets tough, the rest of the world will just turn their backs on them and jump into bed with China. That’s happening right now, but is there actually anyone (except the billions of people that live outside the country) in the USA that believes that this is going to happen? It may not happen tomorrow and it’s certainly not going to happen overnight. But, the necessary groundwork is being laid down and the demise of the USA is in sight already. But, there are probably still 313.9 million people that are under the belief that it will never happen. How wrong they will be. Or have they just been sheepled into a complacent state of acceptance? Full article
A short list of reasons that 95% of the world would like to replace the US as dominant superpower:
- NSA listening to their conversations
- US bully trade policy
- Military largely ineffective, political
- Unfair policies such as "Do unto others as you do not want done unto you" (i.e. rendition, IRS auditing republicans, Israel can have the bomb but Iran can't, etc.)
The big argument about US collapse is who will take over the 'responsibility' of being the world's leading superpower? China is the usual suspect with Russia a leading 2nd. But this is a very shallow argument, if anyone had looked at the US in 1915 they would not have guessed that an isolationist, agricultural, poor nation would have been a world leader 50 years later. China may not be in a position to take over the US position, but they may be the least dirty of all the shirts. They certainly have proven to be the manufacturing hub of the world, if not the world's banker. Which comes first, banking or manufacturing? Let's not forget that China invented every form of money including fiat currency.
China Created the First Metal Coins
After trading for many years in shells (3000 to 4500 years ago), and then in shell-shaped currency made out of bone, wood, stone, lead and copper, China apparently moved into bronzed shells (circa 1500 BC to 1046 BC), various shapes of bronze coins such as small knives and spades (5th century BC to 221 BC) and then round bronze coins with square holes in the middle (starting around 221 BC ).
China Created the First Paper Money
During the Song dynasty (960-1279), a form of promissory note in the Sichuan province called “flying money” became very popular, and – in 1024 – the government took over production of printing flying money, and then expanded the system into the world’s first paper money currency.
By the twelfth century, various forms of paper money had become the dominant forms of currency in China
China Created the First Fiat Currency
The world’s first currency not backed by precious metals – called the “Chao” – was created during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368).
Six Centuries Before FDR, China Took Emergency Measures and Seized Gold
The above information comes from numerous sources. A good introduction can be found here.