In 1941, Henry Luce proclaimed the twentieth century the American Century. And in 1944, Gunnar Myrdal wrote of the American dilemma, the discrepancy between its values and the actual treatment of Black Americans. In the post-1945 period, the need of a hegemonic United States to project a positive world image led to major improvements in the position of Black Americans – an improvement however primarily for educated elites and much less for the Black working-class strata. In the period since 1970, U.S. power has been on the decline, which has caused increased internal tensions in the U.S. This intersects with the structural crisis of the world-system, manifesting itself as an increasingly chaotic world in which there is taking place a world political struggle between the forces of the spirit of Davos and the forces of the spirit of Porto Alegre over the nature of the new world-system that will be constructed. One major question is how the U.S. will react to its decline, the new American dilemma, and how that will affect its ability to deal with the old (Myrdal) American dilemma.
"An American Dilemma of the 21st Century?."
Societies Without Borders
Available at: http://scholarlycommons.law.case.edu/swb/vol1/iss1/1