For 30 years the model of a global village dependent on American innovation worked… for the US. Now that illusion is fading fast

As Donald Trump’s America gears up for a full-blown trade war with the resurgent China, Washington seems to have forgotten the very mechanisms that assured its dominance in the post-cold war era. Those mechanisms were underpinned not just by America’s military might, but also by its ability to minimise the odds of any anti-systemic dissent.

American policymakers have known perfectly well that the hallmark of effective hegemony is the invisibility of its operations. Getting other people to behave as desired is easier if those others believe that doing so is not only in their interest but also the natural course of history and progress.

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