It’s been hard to find glimmers of hope in the fallout of Donald Trump’s election, and it just got even harder. A Nobel Prize-nominated sociologist has warned that U.S. global power will be in a phase of accelerated decline under Donald Trump, and will collapse before his first term is over.
Norwegian professor Johan Galtung, who is credited with correctly predicting the fall of the Soviet Union, as well as the Tiananmen Square uprising in China, is known as the “founding father” of peace studies as a scientific object. Galtung attracted controversy in 2000 when he predicted U.S. global power would collapse by 2025. Under the Bush administration, he moved the prediction forward to 2020.
Now, Galtung is suggesting that Trump’s election has allowed this collapse to materialize. In 2009, Galtung published The Fall of the American Empire-and then What? in which he suggested that there would be a rise of fascism before U.S. power receded. Trump’s anti-immigration platform seems to herald this event, as the president-elect has vowed to deport three million illegal immigrants as soon as he enters office.
Galtung explained to Motherboard that Trump’s election “speeds up the decline,” before qualifying the statement by adding, “Of course, what he does as a President remains to be seen.” Galtung continued by explaining that Trump’s attitude towards NATO is an indication of the end of the U.S. as a superpower.
“The collapse has two faces,” Dr. Galtung explained. “Other countries refuse to be good allies and the USA has to do the killing themselves, by bombing from high altitudes, drones steered by computer from an office, special forces killing all over the place. Both are happening today, except for Northern Europe, which supports these wars, for now. That will probably not continue beyond 2020, so I stand by that deadline.”