The World Without US, a documentary by Niall Ferguson (watch it here), will certainly give most everyone a greater appreciation for the role of the United States of America as a force for good in the world (especially as the "Hammer" or Global Policeman-Jeremiah 50:23). He gave a fairly even handed view of the world's perspective of the USA as it evolved over the last 100 years. Though it was not Ferguson's intended goal, he further convinced me that the USA is indeed "Mystery Babylon", or rather, Daughter Babylon (see Traits of End-Time Babylon). She has brought much good into the world, but also great wickedness. For the latter (i.e. moral liberalism), Ferguson seems to be innocently or willfully ignorant... for the promotion of democracy nor individual human liberties provoke the Muslim world to hate America. It is instead the "immoral liberties" that the USA pipes to the entire world for consumption which infuriates many Muslim fundamentalists.
Furthermore, Ferguson incompletely depicts the negative side of capitalism / corporatism beyond just America's Oil consumption (for that side of the story, I suggest the film "The Corporation"). It would have been more intellectually honest if he could have shown how much America's elite profited from WWI, WWII, and the industrial war machine that President Eisenhower cautiously predicted and feared (see some of his statements below). Quotes like the following would have certainly been helpful in depicting a more balanced view of the delicate nature of being the world's sole superpower and world policeman.
We now stand ten years past the midpoint of a century that has witnessed four major wars among great nations. Three of these involved our own country. Despite these holocausts America is today the strongest, the most influential and most productive nation in the world. Understandably proud of this pre-eminence, we yet realize that America's leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.
Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together. - Public Papers of the Presidents, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960, p. 1035-1040
Maybe such statements could be added if there is ever a second edition of the film.
In spite of some of my frustrations, I still recommend people watch if they get a chance. If you're not sure if you want to spend the time or money, view a couple trailers here for a taste: The World Without US. Or go ahead and start the full film here.