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Bannon: One of Us is Going to be a 'Hegemon'

"Something (such as a political state) having dominant influence or authority over others"


Hegemon, the ugly duckling younger cousin of hegemony, had a rare moment in the sun on the 16th and 17th of August, 2017, rising to the top of our lookups after playing a starring role in comments made by White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon to The American Prospect.

steve-bannon
Photo: Gage Skidmore

'Hegemon' and 'hegemony' come from the Greek word for “leader” (hēgemōn).

“We’re at economic war with China,” he added. “It’s in all their literature. They’re not shy about saying what they’re doing. One of us is going to be a hegemon in 25 or 30 years and it’s gonna be them if we go down this path. On Korea, they’re just tapping us along. It’s just a sideshow.”
—Robert Kuttner, The American Prospect (prospect.org), 16 Aug. 2017

Hegemon (“something (such as a political state) having dominant influence or authority over others”) and hegemony (“the social, cultural, ideological, or economic influence exerted by a dominant group”) both come, rather obviously, from the same source, which is the Greek word for “leader” (hēgemōn). Hegemony, which came into use in the 16th century, is older than hegemon (which began in the 19th).

Despite the shared root hegemon and hegemony are pronounced in slightly different fashion. The former is HEJ-uh-mahn and the latter is hih-JEM-uh-nee.

If we gamble that this unique German combination of imperialism and revolution will stop at our shores, if we gamble on the peaceful collaboration of two hegemons in a tense and shrunken world, the United States is beaten.
—Barbara Spofford Morgan, The New York Herald Tribune, 24 May 1941



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