250. Broken Giants

It is the fate of ene­mies and com­peti­tors to look ever more like each other. Carthage looked too much like Rome, impe­rial Britain too much like impe­rial Ger­many.  The United States now is a frac­tured and mil­i­ta­rized nation. In America’s cracked van­ity mir­ror,  Chris­tian fun­da­men­tal­ists want a per­ma­nent jihad against the world, and share views on gen­der which con­verge ever more closely with their veiled neme­sis, Salafist Islam. Mean­while America’s Wall Street pirates and law­less multi­na­tion­als sub­vert com­mon people’s labour to pri­vate, tax haven profit which ben­e­fits nobody. Their tools are pub­lic lies (spin) and the back­door coer­cion of sup­pos­edly demo­c­ra­t­i­cally cho­sen politi­cians. Across the Paci­fic Ocean, China’s pre­tend-lead­ers and grasp­ing bil­lion­aires sub­vert the com­mon people’s labour to casino binges and pri­vate, tax haven profit which ben­e­fits nobody. Their tools are pub­lic lies (spin) and the open coer­cion of any cit­i­zens who asks for real choice about the deploy­ment of China’s wealth. Amer­ica has a bro­ken sys­tem of democ­racy. One study of voter par­tic­i­pa­tion (1969–86) showed that only 45% of  Amer­i­can peo­ple con­sid­ered it worth­while to vote. As the blindly obstruc­tion­ist US Sen­ate shows, all the incen­tives in that sys­tem are  to block good gov­ern­ment. (Aus­tralia with 94% com­pul­sory par­tic­i­pa­tion, the world’s high­est, showed much more pop­u­lar atten­tion to major issues over the same period, with more ben­e­fi­cial out­comes). China, with no sanc­tioned pop­u­lar par­tic­i­pa­tion, has seen a lead­er­ship bru­tal in its dis­re­gard for the opin­ions of ordi­nary peo­ple, and con­se­quently faces almost 500 “mass inci­dents” (riots) every day of the year , and near uni­ver­sal cor­rup­tion amongst its pub­lic offi­cials. The United States looks almost inca­pable of gen­uine demo­c­ra­tic reform; ditto for China.


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