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Claim: The Philippines was called a “superpower” nation during the administration of former president Ferdinand E. Marcos.
Why we fact-checked this: The post containing the claim has over 11,000 views on Facebook as of writing.
What is a superpower? According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the term “superpower” refers to countries that possess “military or economic might.”
The original superpowers: The term “superpowers” originally referred to the United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union. The Philippines was never, nor has ever been, among them, even during the time of the late president Marcos.
According to Columbia University Libraries, the term “superpower” was coined by international relations theoretician William T.R. Fox, who wrote the book, “The Super-Powers: The United States, Britain, and the Soviet Union – Their Responsibility for Peace” published in 1944.
Sole superpower: The United States is the only remaining superpower, according to multiple sources such as Kentucky University professor George C. Herring in his book, “From Colony to Superpower: U.S. Foreign Relations since 1776” published in 2008, an article published by Time in 2015, and an article published by Tufts University in 2019.
What happened to the former superpowers?
- According to US Army Historical Foundation Director Derek Leebaert in a podcast of the University of Texas in 2019, the British Empire “remained a superpower at least until 1957.”
- According to the United States Office of the Historian, the Soviet Union collapsed in August 1991.
What makes a superpower? According to the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, the basic components of superpower stature can be measured along the following axes: economic, military, political, and cultural.
- Nuclear capacity: Kim Richard Nossal of Queen’s University in Canada also said that a superpower should have a “well developed nuclear capacity” also called as “second-strike capability.”
- Vast global influence: Eurasia Group president Dr. Ian Bremmer, in his book “Superpower: Three Choices for America’s Role in the World” said that a superpower “can exert enough military, political, and economic power to persuade nations in every region of the world to take important actions they would not otherwise take.”
– Lorenz Pasion/Rappler.com
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