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Martin A. Senn

July 26, 2003 Features

The Conceited Empire

A historian credited with predicting the downfall of the Soviet Union in the 1970s now says that the US has been on its way out for the last decade

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The power and influence of the United States is being overestimated, claims French historian and demographer Emmanuel Todd. "There will be no American Empire." "The world is too large and dynamic to be controlled by one power." According to Todd, whose 1976 book predicted the fall of the Soviet Union, there is no question: the decline of America the Superpower has already begun.

NZZ: Mr. Todd, you write that America is economically, militarily, and ideologically too weak to actually control the world. This would gladden many anti-Americans. But how is this anything but the wishful thinking of an intellectual who is the product of the French US critical tradition?

ET: This is neither wishful thinking nor anti-Americanism. Why would I have been so prominently criticised by the left? The French career anti-American paper "Le Monde diplomatique", was the only major paper that remained conspicuously silent on my book. The over-estimation of America is fundamental to these people. It is on this topic that they agree with the American ultra-conservatives: the former to demonize, the latter to aggrandize. - by Martin A. Senn and Felix Lautenschlager -

A historian credited with predicting the downfall of the Soviet Union in the 1970s now says that the US has been on its way out for the last decade

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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