Writing in 1795, just years before his passing, the great philosopher Immanuel Kant dared to imagine a world in “perpetual peace”. All nations, among other things, would pledge not to interfere with the constitution or government of another state, and free states would exist together in harmony.
Unfortunately for Kant – and the world – there is one country which poses a unique threat to peace on this Earth: the United States of America.
The imperialist history of the US needs no repetition. We are all familiar with the numerous US-backed coups against democratically-elected leaders, such as Chile’s Salvador Allende, and the current attempt to depose Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela.
While the Trump administration has attempted to paint its latest coup as a “humanitarian intervention”, US Senator Marco Rubio has unwittingly betrayed the government’s true intentions by pointing out that two US oil giants, Valero Energy and Chevron, are hugely depend on easy access to Venezuelan oil reserves. One only needs to hear “US” and “oil” in the same sentence to know what is going to happen next.
While chastising the US for its blatant imperial conquests would be much like beating a dead horse, it is important to use our knowledge of its history to analyse its actions elsewhere. In another flagrant contradiction of its own economic principles, the trade war it has waged against the mainland serves as a manifestation of its tendency to stop the progress of its competitors.
A Financial Times report, quoting a source in the US National Security Council, described the Huawei spat as a result of the country’s worry that 5G development will propel China to a position of technological dominance.
The claims about China’s trade practices have also been thoroughly debunked in a Bloomberg investigation, which casts severe doubt on the numbers used to calculate the loss from alleged cyber-theft and piracy. Together, these facts indicate that there is no principled reason for the US to act against China other than its own greed.
The main takeaway from this is to realise that Trump’s border wall and ill-treatment of migrants just scratches the surface of the country’s ill intentions. To hold up the US as a shining example of liberty and democracy is to equate Churchill with Gandhi. Trump is a symptom, not a cause, and this is what people need to wake up to.