HUBRIS

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Hubris describes a personality quality of extreme or excessive pride or dangerous overconfidence, often combined with arrogance. The term arrogance comes from the Latin abrogate, meaning “to feel that one has a right to demand certain attitudes and behaviors from other people.” America is guilty of extreme hubris. The US dollar is the world’s standard currency which means that people prefer the dollar to trade internationally. Being the standard currency allows America to weaponize the dollar to benefit itself and to the detriment of others. If other countries do not acquis with Washington’s demands, the neocons either go to war against them or sanction them. When Muammar Gaddafi, the deposed leader of Libya, demanded payment in gold for the country’s oil instead of the US dollar, the neocons waged war against the government. Qaddafi had ruled for more than four decades when a revolt ousted him in August 2011. After evading capture for several weeks, rebel forces killed him in October 2011. When Russia takes action to protect itself from the potential of nuclear weapons on its doorstep, the US engages in a proxy war against the nation. 

Despite the many political and economic mishaps, although Washington acts aggressively against other countries by war or sanctions, foreigners still prefer the dollar. As long as the American dollar is the world’s standard currency, where all other currencies are valued relative to the dollar, the demand for the dollar remains high. As long as the value remains high, the price of imports remains relatively low for Americans. But because America has weaponized the dollar and used its military to force other countries to bend to its will, governments are finding alternative ways to trade with each other. The Russian Central Bank has now pegged rubles to gold, and it has declared that Russia would only sell oil and gas in return for rubles. Under the leadership of the US, the European Union has used hubris when it announced that it would bar seven key Russian banks from using the SWIFT financial messaging system and may exclude more depending on Russia’s future actions.

The dollar rose to the world’s standard currency when in 1974, Henry Kissinger convinced King Faisal of Saudi Arabia to only accept dollars for their oil in return for America’s military protection. When other oil-producing countries followed suit, the dollar rose to the world’s standard currency. But today, the Saudis are making a deal with China to use the Chinese yuan in payment for oil. The de facto leaders of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have declined to arrange calls with Biden as the US, and its allies have sought to contain a surge in energy prices caused by the Ukrainian war. America’s hubris is even alienating our previous partners, and its de facto war against Russia will mark the end of America’s dominance over world affairs. The neocons are trying to dispose of President Putin and replace him with a puppet leader, just as they did in Ukraine in 2014 and in many other countries. But hubris will be the neocon’s downfall because Russia is a mighty nation and because much of the world is tired of America’s regime-change wars and its hubris.

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Published by Kenneth E. Long

Author, college professor of economics, swimming and tennis enthusiast

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