How does a nation of 335 million people dominate a highly advanced continent with 447 million people and another highly advanced continent with 4.67 billion people? The short answer: it doesn’t. From Andrei Martyanov at unz.com:
Here are few numbers, we’ll start with two: 447 million and 4.67 billion. These two numbers speak volumes, and are in the foundation of the America’s decline and increasingly irrational behavior which may, quoting Bachman Turner Overdrive’s famous hit, get us to the point of a proverbial ain’t seen nothing yet. The first number is a population of European Union, while the second one is a population of Asia. Asia’s population constitutes around 60% of all the world’s population. Second place in this count is taken by Africa, around 1.37 billion, and the third–by Latin America and Caribbean with respectable 659 million which is considerably larger still than the population of the European Union. The Northern America’s population is around 371 million, which in the larger scheme of things doesn’t look that impressive. In fact, it isn’t.
The history of colonialism—I deliberately omit here this qualifier “Western”, there were all kinds of colonialisms—as related to classic capitalism was more than just about exploitation of colonies for the benefit of metropole. While images of extraction of natural resources from colonies and shipping those to metropoles are correct, they do not form a complete picture. In the end, colonies were viewed as markets where metropole would sell its products. The larger the colony, the more numerous its population was, the larger was the market for products manufactured in metropole. This all made a complete, however often bloody, economic sense in the times of a good ol’ industrial capitalism when metropole would get resources from colony and turn them into finished product and then will ship this finished product, with a huge value added, to be sold in colony. For Native Americans who sold Manhattan to Dutch in 1626 for allegedly, and hotly contested by historians, $24 worth in finished goods, whatever was offered was a huge value for them because they could not produce those items, be that, as mythology states, shiny glass bids or whatever else much more technologically advanced Dutch would offer them. That is how it worked more or less for centuries. The more and better items one produced the richer one would become. That is until FIRE economy and simulacrum of the post-industrialism were revealed to the world by people most of who would have difficulty passing a general contractor exam, not to speak of getting industrial engineering degree.