How did the USA become the world’s most powerful country?
There are various reasons why countries develop and become wealthy. Looking at today’s superpowers or major economies, we can see that the reasons for that wealth can be grouped together under six headings; natural resources, colonialism, an interest-based finance system, technological progress, war industry and geostrategic position.
One by one examination of these headings makes it clear that form of government is not one of the primary factors. Choosing the healthiest form of government is very important in terms of human rights and liberties before all else.
The most vital benefits of democratic regimes are the establishment of human rights and social well-being and the use of acquired wealth for humanitarian aims, for the benefit of the people. Pluralist democracy is clearly the healthiest way of securing these.
1. NATURAL RESOURCES
It is a known fact that almost all countries with strong economies today have rich natural resources. When we look at the countries with large economies such as America, Russia, China and India, we see that they all have rich reserves of oil, gold, coal, natural gas, iron or copper.
Germany is a coal-rich country. Throughout the centuries when European industry was coal-based, that coal constantly enriched Germany.
To turn to the U.S., the country possesses some 30% of the world’s coal reserves. It stands in second place in coal output. According to a World Gold Council report, the U.S. has the world’s largest gold reserves, at 8,133 tons. It is still the third largest gold producer at 230 tons a year. The U.S. possesses 12.23% of the world’s oil reserves, making it number three in the world.
The U.S. possesses the eight largest reserves of iron, the backbone of industry, in the world, at 8.5 billion tons, and is the fourth largest steel manufacturer. Its iron reserves are some 200 times larger than those of Turkey.
Thanks to the vast territories (the size of Europe) that the U.S. acquired by killing millions of Native Americans, it is a global agricultural giant.
2. COLONIALISM AND SLAVERY
Countries that have grown rich from colonialism include Great Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Japan and the Netherlands.
If we also include slavery under the heading of colonialism, Great Britain, France and the U.S. again appear extensively. By the time of the Civil War in America in 1860, the country had a population of 31 million, and 4 million slaves. At least 11 million African slaves were made to work to death, at almost zero cost, in America over 300 years, and that inhuman practice made the U.S. a global agricultural giant. It came to have a monopoly on the global market with products worked by slaves from the cotton fields and sugar plantations.
In addition, the U.S. was able to kill two birds with one stone by influencing countries’ agricultural policies with the credits it made available. While earning money from interest on the one hand, they secured control over world agriculture on the other. The Marshall Plan, proposed in 1947 and put into operation in 1948-1951, and which involved 16 countries including Turkey, is the most concrete example of such lending.
3. THE INTEREST SYSTEM AND MONEY LAUNDERING
Countries that earned money from an interest-based finance system, selling money at interest, in other words, include Great Britain, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. For example, with its finance system, Switzerland is the global money laundering center, and grew wealthy by making money out of money. Industrial manufacturing represents only 20% of the Swiss economy; the main elements are banking and interest.
Luxembourg, with its 500,000 population and $82,000 GDP (gross domestic product) per capita based on purchasing power parity, is among the top countries. It possesses the second largest investment fund after the U.S.
Norway, with its 4.5 million population, used to be a very poor country. After the discovery of oil it established a fund, enjoying revenues of some $300 billion with interest from oil.
Turning to Great Britain and France, we see that they have grown wealthy for 300 years thanks to the interest system. Just as in the case of Switzerland, this power and wealth turned them into countries where bankers and financiers could safely send their money. These two countries took control of the American continent after its discovery and began exporting an interest-based finance system there, too. Since the 1800s, the U.S. has been the center of the global interest-based system. With the collapse of the European economies following the First and Second World Wars, the U.S. came to enjoy sole control of the worldwide interest-based financial system.
At the same time, owners of the monetary system known as national central banks, which are not in fact owned by the states but by certain families and consortiums , settled in America after the two world wars.
Before the First World War, all currencies were indexed to gold. After the war, the Pound Sterling, the most valuable currency, lost 30% of its value. The German, French and Italian currencies also lost value. The dollar, the currency of the U.S., with the world’s largest gold reserves, began being used in financial transaction in Europe, too, being described as ‘worth its weight in gold.’
4. TECHNOLOGY AND INDUSTRIAL PROGRESS
The most important of those countries that have grown through technological progress and West Germany and Japan. America supported the technological growth of these two so they would not have to submit to the communist bloc. Another technological giant is South Korea, which has always enjoyed U.S. backing against North Korea. Other leading countries that have made great technological progress are Israel and India.
Great technological progress was made in America with the contributions of tens of millions of people fleeing the repressive and freedom-restricting political cultures in Europe, becoming a technological giant by the 20th Century. Many scientists settled in America and supported this technological growth after the Second World War as well. America is still the country that benefits most from brain drains. Science and technology are thus constantly growing in the country.
5. THE WAR INDUSTRY
America attached great importance to the war industry in the wake of the conflicts known as the War of 1812, fetching up nowhere against the English and Irish alliance. The president at the time, Jefferson, attributed that lack of success to the lack of guns and bullets, and the U.S. began manufacturing them from that time on and became a country manufacturing and selling weapons.
Referring to the First World War, President Wilson said, ‘Britain owns the world, and Germany wants to take it away.’ One of the main features of that war was that almost all the materials used by Britain and France were bought from America. Great Britain in particular obtained one-third of the engines for its planes, more than half its bullets and 80% of its cereals from America: U.S. GDP in 1916 alone rose to $50 billion. Britain was indebted to America. Russia was unable to escape the debt trap because of communism. France emerged badly damaged from the First World War with the destruction of their industrial regions by Germany.
The American arms industry earned vast amounts of money following the First and Second World wars. After these wars, almost all countries were in debt to America, and as the only way to pay those debts they continued borrowing at further interest.
The populations of Germany and America were equal in 1870, and although the U.S. was the size of Europe in terms of land area, its GDP was only 30% higher than that of Germany. At the end of the Second World War, however, U.S. GDP was four times that of Germany.
As an additional note, the yearly expenditures of the countries of the world on security reached to $9.8 trillion. Bearing in mind that the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, the U.S., Russia, Great Britain, China and France, are also the five largest arms sellers, the role of the war industry in their economies can be more easily grasped.
6. GEOSTRATEGIC POSITION
Being located on energy lines or transportation routes is of great importance for the economies of countries. For example, Egypt earns some $5 billion a year thanks to the Suez Canal.
The position of the U.S. is also important in terms of security. Until the 20th Century, investment in the U.S., which was immune to external threats apart from civil war, was made in industrialization and urbanization, rather than on military spending. The U.S. territory suffered no proper damage during the Second World War. Great Britain, France, Germany and Russia were horrifically devastated, while America had no such problem. Its industrial zones were not flattened, and it suffered no loss of population to work in them.
As can be seen, it is not because of the presidential system that America has become a superpower. Looking at all its advantages and underground resources, it is clear that the country would be rich no matter how it was governed.
In fact, contrary to supposition, much of this wealth is not in the hands of the American state at all. As in other countries, the numbers of poor people, the unemployed, the illiterate and the indebted in America are just like other countries. The Federal Reserve (FED) is not the Central Bank of the American Government, but rather a private institution, as all such institutions are in the rest of the world. It is under the control of neither the president nor the U.S. Congress. Including the Federal Reserve, eight large private banks and institutions in the U.S. control assets worth approximately $15 trillion. That power lies not in the hands of the American people, but in the hands of the owners of these companies and their boards of directors of 60 people. Even if American industries, companies or cities declare bankruptcy, these wealthy people will not be affected by it one iota.
On the other hand, this excessive wealth is the result of methods such as ‘slavery, industry and the arms industry,’ which can never be approved.
Turkey has to form an alliance with the Turkish and Islamic countries if she is to become a wealthy superpower. A huge breadth of wealth can be secured in a Union of Islamic Countries formed on the basis of the EU model. What needs to be done is to concentrate on quality, science and technology, and on a spiritual regeneration. Adopting as its objective the very highest level of democracy, by the Will of God, Turkey will achieve far higher targets for 2023 and 2071 than those expected.
Another important factor is that the form of government to be chosen must represent a system that sustains the unitary structure of the country. If a country is formed as a result of the union of federative states then a presidential system may very well be an obligation. However, dividing a unitary state into federations would tear that country apart both physically, psychologically and economically.