America has long pushed its culture on the rest of the world and these days developing countries are scrambling to catch up with ‘the west’ as they try to emulate, mirror and mimic American capitalist consumer society – confused and deceived into thinking that glorified glossy advertisements and the artificial realities that much of modern day man exists in and feeds upon, are the pinnacles of life that everybody is trying to reach, unending happiness to inevitably ensue.
Force fed, told to consume, urged to acquire material possessions, fattened up from their former selves, the ‘Americanisation’ of the world – ever apparent in South-east Asia, Central and South America and Australia (to name just a few) – is a scourge that many who know no better (and equal amounts of those who do) blindly accept as ‘the way forward’.
Parodied in the film ‘Team America’, dissected by the most honest of political writers of our time – more and more are we disseminating our new desire to be free, to have identities of our own and live without the star spangled banner, draped blindingly across our forward gazes. Yet still, America continues to insidiously influence our lives like a rogue state, choking the world.
As countries across all oceans blindly aspire to emulate America’s levels of spending and consumption – for reasons shoved down their throats – an oblivion to the harm that they are causing for their one-minded, short-sighted gains (not just to countries outside their own, but to their very own people as well) casts a dark and dangerous cloud (that might be seen as smoke and mirrors at best) over the world as we know it.
For all the glory, happiness and prosperity that the US shoves in the world’s face – as though they lead a hopeful mass to a state of ultimate nirvana – one need only look at the state of their own affairs to uncover an agenda that benefits the vast few, at the peril of the vast many.
Boasting of all kinds of greatness that ‘lesser’ countries must obviously be striving for, and smearing it in our faces with carefully controlled mass-media, the US could also boast of having the highest prison population in the world (well beyond China’s), of standing virtually solo as an industrial nation that grants the state power to kill its prisoners and being the only nation of any type that considers it acceptable to lock up juveniles without possibility of parole. But these aren’t the kind of boasts that they want to share.
Statistically, an Amnesty International and Human rights watch report counted 2,225 such juveniles, compared to just 12 in the rest of the whole world combined (not to mention the fact that the number of children sentenced to life imprisonment in the states, has risen faster than the rate for adults in the last quarter century). No-one would dare reveal such things though, especially when the US essentially has complete control of an absurd majority of mediums through which we may learn of these atrocities. It’s all green grass on their side of the fence.
While you may wonder just how the US gets away with such actions – in complete violation of the UN convention on the Rights of a Child – it simply has everything to do with the fact that they are one of only 2 member states that didn’t ratify the treaty – the other being the government-less Somalia.
And it’s simple to see why such behaviour is deemed necessary – to profit and gain. One need only look at disgraceful US support for sick tyrants in oil-rich countries around the world (and if they can’t support them, why not overthrow them?) such as Uzbekistan – who enjoy millions in US military aid – Honduras, Guatemala, Brazil, Iran & Chile, where dictators were often famously, and with much regalement, brought into power, enjoying US money at the demise of the marginalised and the murdered.
‘Overseeing’ elections, policing ‘democracies’, ‘supporting change’ – the United States of America will leave us all be, as long as we play to their economic and strategic interests, and as long as no-one blinks an eye to the fact that they believe that they have the right to stand alone – often above World Court orders – while bandying about their catchy slogans and propaganda, whether the world approves or not (including their own citizens, whose polls actually show vastly different opinion on foreign policy to their government’s – completely ignored).
Take one look at the US’s insatiable appetite for military might and how it has long laid the foundations for the dangerous, potentially catastrophic proliferation of weapons around the world – nuclear included – and its easy to see that their brand of ‘democracy’ is clearly causing a general state of disease, tension and terror within the world’s population, while they continue to lay the blame on anyone and everyone they can point their dirty fingers at, revelling in a state of fear-driven consumption that sees their company profits soar.
Their capitalist-consumer model is failing us all, and true democracy is becoming more and more rare, as the word is refashioned to mean ‘our way, or the highway’. Slowly but surely though, people are catching on. Slowly but surely, the real tyranny is being exposed. Slowly but surely, we are all rising up.
As Noam Chomsky says in his critical and revealing must-read book ‘Failed States’ – “It takes wilful blindness not to see how these commitments [to narrow sectors of power and wealth, and to global domination] guide current US policy”.
Chomsky also makes note of the fact that “the most salient properties of failed states is that they do not protect their citizens from violence – and perhaps even destruction – or that decision makers regard such concerns as lower in priority than the short-term power and wealth of the state’s dominant sectors.” And it begs the question of who really needs a social, political, economic and democratic intervention…
Chomsky alludes to just how America might positively influence the world, simultaneously pointing out their gross misconduct in world affairs: “accept the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court and the World Court; sign and carry forward the Kyoto protocols; let the UN take the lead in international crises; rely on diplomatic and economic measures rather than military ones in confronting terror; keep to the traditional interpretation of the UN Charter; give up the Security Council veto and have “a decent respect for the opinion of mankind,” as the Declaration of Independence advises, even if power centres disagree; cut back sharply on military spending and sharply increase social spending.”
Exposing the brutal truth about corporate control over public access to this collection of dark facts, and revealing morbid summaries of public policies, Chomsky also points out that his sentiments listed are aligned essentially, with “the majority of the US population, in most cases the overwhelming majority”. Yet their population – and anyone else who might stand in the way of a small number’s greedy aspirations – remain ignored.
As developing and developed nations alike follow American capitalism’s ideals with blind enthusiasm, and a perilous state of gigantic consumption and spending continues to rule national agendas and personal desires, alongside an almost constant state of consumption-inducing, and propaganda-induced fear, we must realise that serious social and political changes are long overdue, lest we live in a ‘democracy’ ruled by the few, and suffered by the many. Long overdue is the shift, long overdue is the change. The whole world must open its eyes.