By Paul Craig Roberts on April 19, 2012
Americans, the British, and Western Europeans are accustomed to thinking of themselves as the representatives of freedom, democracy, and morality in the world. The West passes judgment on the rest of the world as if the West is God and the rest of the world are barbarians in need of chastisement, invasion, and occupation. As readers know, from time to time I raise questions about the validity of the West’s extreme hubris. (See for example, the following articles: Washington’s Insouciance Has No Rival and Is Western Democracy Real or a Facade? )
China is often a country about which Washington’s moralists get on their high horse. However, China’s “authoritarian” government is actually more responsive to its people than America’s “elected democratic” government.
This is heady stuff providing astonishing details of how poorly Americans are served by their elites.
America has failed, because political elites represent only the powerful special interests that write the country’s laws in exchange for funding the political campaigns of “lawmakers.” To divert attention from their failures, American elites point fingers at external scapegoats. China, for example, is accused of manipulating its currency. As Unz says, the scapegoating is political theater designed for the ignorant and gullible.
America’s economists, or most of them, have so prostituted themselves that propaganda has become wisdom. Most Americans believe that if China would simply let the value of its currency rise more rapidly relative to the dollar, America’s economic woes would be at an end. It is beyond belief that any economist could think that Americans with stagnant and declining incomes would be made better off by a sharp rise in the prices of goods manufactured in China on which Americans are dependent, or that the US dollar’s role as reserve currency, the main source of American power, could survive such a manifestation of Chinese economic superiority.
Americans associate lawlessness with unaccountable governments and view China’s government as unaccountable. However, Unz points out that it is the Bush/Obama Regime that has declared itself to be unaccountable to both US and international law.
The demise of the War Powers Act and the Geneva Conventions, and the asserted power of the executive to imprison without trial or charges or to assassinate any American whom the executive thinks might be a “national-security threat” are indicative of a total police state masquerading as an accountable democracy. In America six-year old little girls who misbehave in school are handcuffed, jailed, and charged with felonies. (see, 10 Disgusting Examples of Very Young School Children Being Arrested, Handcuffed and Brutalized By Police ) Not even Hitler and Stalin went this far.
Americans have lost control of the government, and governments that are not controlled by the people are not democracies. In America today, Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, and the entire social safety net are threatened by the vociferous desire for war profits by armament plutocrats and by financial institutions determined that ordinary citizens bear the cost of the banksters incompetence and fraud.
Unz’s comparison of how the Chinese media and government handled the melamine or infant formula scandal and how the American media and government handled Merck’s Vioxx scandal is especially damning. It was China’s controlled media and unaccountable government that punished the infant formula wrongdoers, while America’s free press and accountable government allowed Merck to walk.
Unz’s conclusion is that it is in America, not China, where life is regarded as cheap.
Ron Unz is an American hero, and a very courageous one. As George Orwell said, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
It is an even more courageous act when no one wants to hear the truth. As Frantz Fanon said, “Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.”
Or as it is explained to Neo in the film, “The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system, and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.”
Most of the people I know personally are not willing to be unplugged. I assume my readers are, so seize the opportunity to be further unplugged and read Ron Unz’s comparison of America and China.
Then do what you can to unplug others.
Paul Craig Roberts [email him] email@example.com was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. His home page is paulcraigroberts.org.
He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded the Legion of Honor by French President Francois Mitterrand. He is the author of Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider’s Account of Policymaking in Washington http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/067485621X/103-9747828-0329461; Alienation and the Soviet Economy and Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0945999631/002-8915021-8428856?n=283155, and is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?tag=vdare&creative=373489&camp=211189&link_code=as3&path=ASIN/076152553XClick here http://www.vdare.com/articles/pb/death_of_due_process.htm for Peter Brimelow’s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts about the epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.