American development economist, Jeffery Sachs is considered by many as the doyen of “the dismal science”, if not, then among the best international minds in the field. So, when Sachs speaks the rest of the social sciences, rather the academic, financial political worlds listens.
His resume includes special adviser to the UN Secretary-General, director of the Earth Institute, Quetelet Professor at Columbia University, and author of many books on sustainable development, including The Price of Civilisation, in which he wrote: “That America is in crisis is plain to see… The nation than until recently was widely considered as the world’s superpower, the “new Rome”, and the “indispensable country” has become the epicentre of financial instability, political paralysis, and even business immorality”.
In a recently-circulated video Sachs told an audience at the Vatican, that he had undertaken a world tour, meeting leaders and policymakers, to warn them of “American thuggery, and its complete lawlessness” on the world stage, and that his country’s behaviour would only get worse if US president, Donald Trump gets re-elected next month.
He warned that as America declines as the dominant world power multilateralism is under threat. America, however remains strong militarily, with 8,000 military bases around the world, and 14 shooting wars, but it is yet to realise that military might cannot solve political problems.
He said the Trump administration had blocked every multilateral agreement, even creating a so-called US-China trade war, which in reality is not a trade war, but an American war on China, because of that country’s technological capability, and advances in artificial intelligence, and areas of security.
The American “grand strategy today is still based on that country’s “primacy” in the world, but the world no longer works that way, he said. So, America has displayed “thuggery” in Iraq, and continues to bully its relationships with other countries. It is now “a dangerous country”, which would be moreso under a re-elected Trump.
America accounts for only 4.2 per cent of the world’s population, and 15 per cent of productive output, but it seeks to decide for the other 96 per cent. He urged world leaders to stay strong, and not to yield to “America’s bullying or pressure”. “They threaten everybody; its lawlessness is against everybody. It is complete lawlessness. It is an abuse of our laws every day,” he said.
It is a point that CNN anchor, Fareed Zakaria has made years earlier when he wrote of America’s decline as the dominant world power and the arrival of “The Post-American world”.