An alternative current world order with multiple great powers:

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,350
Florania
#1
An alternative current world order with multiple great powers is an interesting topic.
The ending in the Chinese webnovel Neo-Ming Empire is rather interesting and fun:
Superpowers do not exist in this scenario.
The Ming Empire with Chinese majority that has territories and vassal states in Southeast Asia, parts of India (Assam), West Australia, Arabia, Japan, and Korea.
It is essentially a maritime power and a highly developed country; due to alien technologies and access to current dimension, the Ming Empire is the most technologically and economically developed power. Its population and territorial system limits its potentials as a superpower. Its currency, the Dragon Dollar, is the most prestigious currency there.
United States has been severely weakened by conflicts in Japan (Japan is partitioned into three countries here); Korea (Korea is partitioned into three countries here), Vietnam (Vietnam did not become reunified), and South America; even so, it reminds a substantial power. Note that the United States lost repetitively to the Ming Empire there.
South Africa becomes much larger and powerful; its ruling elite includes both Caucasians and Chinese, and it rules South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. Due to Ming support, South Africa's apartheid policies remain.
European Union is formed; Yugoslavia remains intact; Eastern Europe is a buffer zone between Russia and European Union.
Europeans still controls North Africa (mostly Algeria).
Soviet Union still disintegrated; Russia keeps Ukraine, Belarus, and the Baltic states.
The People's Republic of China is the factory and market of the Ming Empire.

This scenario is interesting yet improbable.
What could keep the Soviet Union and the United States from becoming superpowers?
How powerful was South Africa in practice?
What are the "great powers" today?
 
Jun 2017
2,814
Connecticut
#2
An alternative current world order with multiple great powers is an interesting topic.
The ending in the Chinese webnovel Neo-Ming Empire is rather interesting and fun:
Superpowers do not exist in this scenario.
The Ming Empire with Chinese majority that has territories and vassal states in Southeast Asia, parts of India (Assam), West Australia, Arabia, Japan, and Korea.
It is essentially a maritime power and a highly developed country; due to alien technologies and access to current dimension, the Ming Empire is the most technologically and economically developed power. Its population and territorial system limits its potentials as a superpower. Its currency, the Dragon Dollar, is the most prestigious currency there.
United States has been severely weakened by conflicts in Japan (Japan is partitioned into three countries here); Korea (Korea is partitioned into three countries here), Vietnam (Vietnam did not become reunified), and South America; even so, it reminds a substantial power. Note that the United States lost repetitively to the Ming Empire there.
South Africa becomes much larger and powerful; its ruling elite includes both Caucasians and Chinese, and it rules South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. Due to Ming support, South Africa's apartheid policies remain.
European Union is formed; Yugoslavia remains intact; Eastern Europe is a buffer zone between Russia and European Union.
Europeans still controls North Africa (mostly Algeria).
Soviet Union still disintegrated; Russia keeps Ukraine, Belarus, and the Baltic states.
The People's Republic of China is the factory and market of the Ming Empire.

This scenario is interesting yet improbable.
What could keep the Soviet Union and the United States from becoming superpowers?
How powerful was South Africa in practice?
What are the "great powers" today?
USA and Soviets superpower status comes from there being no other true great powers, not from the US and USSR being exceptionally strong(though they were). The UK, France and China for example acquired nuclear capability and had the same UNSC veto but were not viewed as peers due to their inability to project power conventionally, the same is even more true of India, Pakistan and Israel(with China this is changing and perhaps with the EU as a bloc as well if they were to have a joint military). WWI and WWII left all the other traditional great powers a shell of themselves and the USA and the USSR were all that remained.

There is nothing that could have stopped the USA's rise to superpowerdom because of the USA's geographical location which made it impossible to be conquered(even without nuclear weapons and MAD). Even losing to the Japanese wouldn't change the USA's industrial capacity huge population and secure geographical location. With the Soviets the obvious answer is losing in WWII.

Today the great powers IMO are China, the USA and possibly the EU as a bloc(with or without the UK). Russia, France and the UK as individual states owe great power status to nuclear arsenals and the UNSC veto though Russia considerably less so than the other two. Russia is clearly weaker than the USA, China and the EU as a group and it's arbitrary whether it is a great power because international law is designed around that status, it has a nuclear arsenal and it has shown the ability to not be compelled to behave a certain way by opposing great powers(something the UK and France have not demonstrated the ability to do).

South Africa became a nuclear state in our timeline but gave up that arsenal under the guise of helping it's PR during an era where they were being condemned for their immoral social system. They are a regional power.
 
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VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,350
Florania
#3
USA and Soviets superpower status comes from there being no other true great powers, not from the US and USSR being exceptionally strong(though they were). The UK, France and China for example acquired nuclear capability and had the same UNSC veto but were not viewed as peers due to their inability to project power conventionally, the same is even more true of India, Pakistan and Israel(with China this is changing and perhaps with the EU as a bloc as well if they were to have a joint military). WWI and WWII left all the other traditional great powers a shell of themselves and the USA and the USSR were all that remained.

There is nothing that could have stopped the USA's rise to superpowerdom because of the USA's geographical location which made it impossible to be conquered(even without nuclear weapons and MAD). Even losing to the Japanese wouldn't change the USA's industrial capacity huge population and secure geographical location. With the Soviets the obvious answer is losing in WWII.

Today the great powers IMO are China, the USA and possibly the EU as a bloc(with or without the UK). Russia, France and the UK as individual states owe great power status to nuclear arsenals and the UNSC veto though Russia considerably less so than the other two. Russia is clearly weaker than the USA, China and the EU as a group and it's arbitrary whether it is a great power because international law is designed around that status, it has a nuclear arsenal and it has shown the ability to not be compelled to behave a certain way by opposing great powers(something the UK and France have not demonstrated the ability to do).

South Africa became a nuclear state in our timeline but gave up that arsenal under the guise of helping it's PR during an era where they were being condemned for their immoral social system. They are a regional power.
Let's review post-war developments:
Partially due to the lessons of Germany's harsh treatments for World War I, Germany, Japan, and Italy were allowed to fully recover after World War II.
Given their sizes, they cannot become major powers.
How were war productions converted? There were major military surpluses after World War II.
Currently, suggestions are made that the American superpower status is in crisis:
The current military is overly hefty to maintain.
Military expenditure oversea is staggering.
Budgetary deficits are unsustainable; the national debts keep rising to new levels.
Let's look at Russia:
Due to economic collapse after the demise of the USSR, Russia is economically and militarily weaker than the USSR by far; the Russian economic output is smaller than that of Canada.
Russia still maintains a certain military edge over others and should be a power to be reckoned with.
It suffers from an aging and shrinking population, aging infrastructures, and overdependence on resource extraction.
Other large newly industrialized countries (NICs) have potentials; then, they have their own issues to become great powers.
The current status is still one superpower and multiple major powers.
As far as "population dividend" is concerned, Africa is by far the most promising continent; then, such a young population also means major burdens on food supply, health and education.