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The United States is no longer a Western Nation.

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posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 04:06 AM
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This week, the United States nearly allowed itself to succumb to economic disaster. Increasingly, the divided country has more in common with a failed state than a democracy. In the face of America's apparent political insanity, Europe must learn to take care of itself.

The word "West" used to have a meaning. It described common goals and values, the dignity of democracy and justice over tyranny and despotism. Now it seems to be a thing of the past. There is no longer a West, and those who would like to use the word -- along with Europe and the United States in the same sentence -- should just hold their breath. By any definition, America is no longer a Western nation.

The US is a country where the system of government has fallen firmly into the hands of the elite. An unruly and aggressive militarism set in motion two costly wars in the past 10 years. Society is not only divided socially and politically -- in its ideological blindness the nation is moving even farther away from the core of democracy. It is losing its ability to compromise.

America has changed. It has drifted away from the West.

The country's social disintegration is breathtaking. Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz recently described the phenomenon. The richest 1 percent of Americans claim one-quarter of the country's total income for themselves -- 25 years ago that figure was 12 percent. It also possesses 40 percent of total wealth, up from 33 percent 25 years ago. Stiglitz claims that in many countries in the so-called Third World, the income gap between the poor and rich has been reduced. In the United States, it has grown.

Economist Paul Krugman, also a Nobel laureate, has written that America's path is leading it down the road to "banana-republic status." The social cynicism and societal indifference once associated primarily with the Third World has now become an American hallmark. This accelerates social decay because the greater the disparity grows, the less likely the rich will be willing to contribute to the common good. When a company like Apple, which with €76 billion in the bank has greater reserves at its disposal than the government in Washington, a European can only shake his head over the Republican resistance to tax increases. We see it as self-destructive.

The same applies to America's broken political culture. The name "United States" seems increasingly less appropriate. Something has become routine in American political culture that has been absent in Germany since Willy Brandt's Ostpolitik policies of rapprochement with East Germany and the Soviet Bloc (in the 1960s and '70s): hate. At the same time, reason has been replaced by delusion. The notion of tax cuts has taken on a cult-like status, and the limited role of the state a leading ideology. In this new American civil war, respect for the country's highest office was sacrificed long ago. The fact that Barack Obama is the country's first African-American president may have played a role there, too.

There's no deliverance in sight. One can no longer depend on politics in America. The reliance of Congress members on donations from the rich has become too great. Nor will there be any revolutionary storming of the Bastille in America. Popular anger may boil over, but the elites have succeeded in both controlling the masses and channeling their passions. Take the Tea Party, which has enjoyed godfather-like bankrolling from brothers and billionaire industrialists David and Charles Koch and found a mouthpiece in Rupert Murdoch's populist, hatred-stirring Fox News.

Source

While this is an opinion piece, it is obviously to anyone with half of a brain that the author is correct.

Corporations and the ultra-rich have tricked nearly half of the population into believing what is good for them is also good for the people. Which is demonstrably untrue. The only way out that I can see is to put the corporations in their place. Whether that means mass protests or a straight up revolution, it is hard to say.

However I doubt it will happen since the corporate-funded government has done such a good job of pacifying the younger generations.

The best that we can hope for is that the Tea Party fractures the conservative base enough that they lose majorly in the next elections. And while many Democrats are just as big corporate-slaves as the Republicans at least they are socially progressive. Hopefully if the extreme-right like most Republicans and Tea Party can be eliminated the United States will be able to be a model to the world again and flourish.




posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 04:35 AM
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Originally posted by SG-17


The word "West" used to have a meaning. It described common goals and values, the dignity of democracy and justice over tyranny and despotism.


While this is an opinion piece, it is obviously to anyone with half of a brain that the author is correct.




I disagree.
It starts off with a bogus argument and bases the rest of the text on that.
The wikipedia entry gives a much better description of the term, and while rather lengthy and multifaceted, there certainly isnt any of the self congratulatory "better than thou" overtones that the author puts on it.
wiki



posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 04:44 AM
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With nearly 50% of congress being millionaires its no small wonder that our government is detached from reality. Looking after their own interests before those they govern with no regard or sense of their social responsibilities. It seems obvious to me that the S&P downgrade was political. I say this due to the fact that Standard & Poor's is owned by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. The president of this company happens to be Harold W. McGraw III who incidentally served on President George W. Bush's Transition Advisory Committee on Trade. At what point then does self interest become treason to ones country.



posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 04:46 AM
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One of the big problems behind this is how corporate law inhibits social responsibility www.nancho.net... . With executives having no personal liability in the decisions they make they are free to act without justification and responsibility while taking all the profits. When a bunch of numbers becomes more important than society, environment and the individual it is a recipe for disaster.
edit on 8-8-2011 by kwakakev because: removed 'the'



posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 05:36 AM
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Well I feel you're still Western as we EU are,
and can remain in the same sentence together.

The problem is that China (Eastern as it is) is now assuming your and our debt, so paying big amounts to let you and us maintain our growingly delusional sense of supremacy...



posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 05:38 AM
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When the author of that article learns that America is a Republic and not a Democracy, I will put some stock into the information...



posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 05:53 AM
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reply to post by DerbyCityLights
 


while the terms are not equivalent, they do not exclude each other - quite the opposite.



posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 06:01 AM
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reply to post by CriticalCK
 


A Republic state and a Democratic state are two different animals altogether. It is a common mistake and one that should not be made if you are putting together an intelligent article. If the author does not know the difference, then I don't put much faith into the rest of it.



posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 06:04 AM
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i know the author and i don't like him.
he's always arguing for a strong state - personally i think the weaker the better. I agree however that the US has gotten on the wrong track. It needs develop a demographically more sustainable set of tax, transfer, minimumwage regulations. Also more of the gov spending needs to go into infrastructure and education - these are always good long term investments.



posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 06:12 AM
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Geographically..the USA is still a Western Nation.

Culturally...the USA is still a Western Nation.

And, despite the efforts of those in Washington...Economically, the USA is still a Western Nation.

In fact, the USA is the epitome of western nations. I suppose the US lost it's western status also during the American Civil War...or perhaps during the socialist/ populist movements of the early 1900s and of the 1930s?

The commentary is typical of so-called "enlightened" peoples. Things are hard...times are hard... and now they have to put in a little extra effort to succeed and survive. No more lounging around with their X-Box eating Doritos with their friends...they have to work..might have to work two jobs if they can find them...or have to cut back on things...

The US is hitting on hard times...if we have any sense, we will get some real leaders in office or we will fold. Then we will reincarnate as some other sovereign, political entity. History teaches us that nations and status are not eternal... how many times has Germany fallen only to re-emerge?

The USA is a western nation...and even though the name may change some time down the line..we will even then be a western nation...imagine 100 years from now fighting the Second War of Independence from our oppressive masters... The Chinese.

I bet John Wayne coffee mugs will still be sold too.



posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 06:18 AM
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reply to post by DerbyCityLights
 


i'm quite sure the author knows about the difference. the US is both, despite democracy often found wanting. a republic can be ruled by the elite or by the people. of course the more it is the former the less of a democracy it is. however to say the US is no democracy at all is a very harsh judgment.



posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 06:44 AM
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reply to post by CriticalCK
 


Nope. A Republic is not ruled by the people. A Republic is ruled by a ratified set of laws. Doesn't matter if 51% of the people don't agree with said laws. A Democracy is mob rule.



posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 07:00 AM
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reply to post by DerbyCityLights
 


the rule of law or constitutional state also a common ingredient of a republic. your definition of republic is somewhat flawed, please just look it up. this is no political theory lesson.



posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 07:14 AM
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reply to post by CriticalCK
 


My definition of a Republic was pretty accurate if not just a tad dumbed down. And actually, you pretty much described a Republic as I did with the addition of lawful States. I am not trying to give a political theory lesson but was instead trying to make a point: If the author of the article does have the intelligence to distinguish between a Republic and a Democracy then why should I believe the author has enough intelligence to make any kind of educated assumptions on the subject he is writing about?

Hopefully this didnt come across as being sarcastic or anything. Im going on 3 hours sleep and trying to stay awake at work



posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 07:21 AM
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reply to post by DerbyCityLights
 


roger that. i'm pondering how i ended up defending this guy anyway



posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 08:09 AM
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reply to post by SG-17
 


You were right in your first statement - its an opinion piece.

An opinion piece from to self described leftists/socialists. Both Stiglitz and Krugman have been spouting superstate economic theorys for a long time and are, like many academics quite pissed that the world does not simply drop to their knees and thank them for their wisdom. Listen to either one of them speak and you can almost feel the anger.

Krugman is the worse of the two. He has been wrong on so many macro-economic issues it is not even funny. He is close to a facist in economic terms, clearly wanting state control of the means of production to construct his economic utopia. It is hard to find a real world economist who shares the views of either of these gents.

I don't understand what the concept of "western" nation means in any event. A western nation is one that has a liberal democracy and how ever flawed ours is, we still have a liberal democracy.



posted on Aug, 8 2011 @ 08:21 AM
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reply to post by SG-17
 


sooo then we are in which part of the world if we are not in western society? Last night as I slept did the axis change and we are know where?



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