There has been a lot of talk recently about the collapse of the unipolar world order, where virtually all political, military, and economic arbitrage lies with the United States of America. This is worth a serious discussion.
We have been living under this system since at least the end of the second World War in 1945 when the Allies defeated the fascist Axis regimes. In its first years, it was truly a monumental time to live in. It was the first time in almost a thousand and five hundred years that a pax regime of peace materialised since the fall of the Roman empire.
The unipolar world was founded and still supported largely by the idea of the Bretton Woods system — either tacitly or overtly. It sets out monetary management rules for commercial and financial relations among the United States, Canada, Western European countries, Australia, and Japan after the 1944 Bretton Woods Agreement.
It was the first example of a fully-negotiated monetary order intended to govern monetary relations among independent states. The system itself may have been abandoned as the U.S. economic dominance declined in the nineteen-sixties. But the tacit agreement of 1944 continued to be in use under different forms, as observed during the OPEC oil crisis or more recently during the 2008 financial crisis.
Economic jargon aside, the Bretton Woods system, or petrodollar, or any other name given to the system which regulates and facilitates global trade using the U.S. as a middle man, is what is called a unipolar world as you cannot engage in global trade without using the dollar or its adjacent. This gives the U.S. — and the western hemisphere in general — an oversized political, economic, and cultural importance despite the that their raw manufacturing capacity has been on a decline since the nineteen-seventies.
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