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The world today: US is vulnerable, but foreign leaders will not attack until after election. It is time for the US to re-unite and exert its influence for good over the rest of the world.

2020-10-05
Boris on Muscat Avenue facing East– personal photo

The following is a completely personal essay. After writing it, I became concerned that it was too controversial– but, really, it’s not. It’s just too long. All the values in it are in agreement with majority public opinion in the United States. So:

This is about the situation in America and the need for us to come together as a country to return to leadership of the world. America’s greatest strength was its aspiration to be a multicultural democracy of immigrants. The Spanish approach– subjection of the aborigines (Native Americans) and forced conversion to Catholicism– was rejected. The English approach– naive, but well-intentioned– was accepted. We didn’t realize that the diseases we carried would wipe out 95% of the aborigines because they had no immunity.

Over the years, our country gradually became more inclusive and less white supremacist, less patriarchal. Under Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, our government began to develop equality of representation and checks against capitalist oppression (Food and Drug Administration, Health, Education, and Welfare, Equal Opportunity Commission.)

But our government has been subverted by ultra-conservatives for the last forty years, left to the mercy of capitalists since the deaths of the Roosevelts, and handed over to a psychopathic narcissist for the last four years.

Now we are in danger of being reduced to a secondary power by China’s new strength and Russia’s attempts to weaken us through internal division. We must not start another war, but we must re-assert our power to protect freedom where it still can exist, especially in Canada, the European Union, England, Australia, Taiwan, and the Philippines (and Iceland.)

With our president suffering the mental effects of COVID-19 and the virus sweeping through the Republican leadership, national security heads say the US is distracted by internal problems. We are uniquely vulnerable because of government corruption and incompetence, the pandemic, and internal dissension over racial injustice.

The leaders of antagonistic countries will not respond yet– they will wait until after the election. Our country is likely to be most vulnerable between the election and the inauguration, a period of two and a half months when we will be consumed by legal and public strife over the outcome of the election.

At this time, most of the world is not ruled by democratic governments. US democracy is in peril. Great Britain is formally democratic, but is suffering from continued strife over COVID-19 and Brexit. India’s democracy has been subverted by nationalism. The European Union, while democratically ruled, is also distracted by the pandemic and the rise of right-wing irredentist forces. Poland and Hungary are in the hands of right-wing nationalists.

The second largest country in the world, China, is in the grip of an authoritarian government that is still resentful over its subjugation by Western countries during the period from before the Opium Wars to the Communist victory in 1949– well over a hundred years. The Chinese are still influenced by their desire to shake off foreign countries’ attempts to control their internal affairs.

Since the Communists consolidated control over the entire country in 1949, China turned inward and tried to develop itself without the malign influence of other countries. They realized that they needed help from the rest of the world in the 1970’s. The radical authoritarian Communist Party has controlled China and shaped the minds of its people for seventy years. Now they are trying to extend their authority over the East with attempts to take over the China Sea and control other countries in Asia.

The Chinese Communist Party has begun to extend its control over other countries in the East, from Vietnam to the Philippines. They have used their economic power through the Belt and Road initiative over many poor countries in Asia and Africa, even into South America. The construction of infrastructure throughout the East has been accompanied by huge loans to poor countries, loans that can never be repaid and that will allow China to exert control over the foreign policies of these countries.

Now the Chinese have come into military conflict with India, at a time when India has been weakened by the pandemic. China has gotten the upper hand over the coronavirus through its massive control over the behavior of its people. India has no such social control, and is unable to quarantine its people as a result.

Russia is no longer democratic and has been attempting to revanch its control over territories it lost when the Soviet Union collapsed. They have regained power over the Crimea and are still attacking the rest of Ukraine. They have attacked Georgia and other small countries that used to be part of the Soviet Union.

After a brief period of chaotic democracy, during which oligarchs bought out industries and infrastructure at bargain basement prices, President Putin has gradually returned Russia to a police state. The oligarchs have cooperated with Putin and exert their power through extralegal means.

The opposition in Russia has been nearly crushed by taking over the media and persecuting dissenters. Physical intimidation and assassination have been freely used by Putin’s internal security apparatus for years, even in other countries.

The Middle East is controlled by authoritarian rulers, both in the Arab countries and formerly democratic Israel. Syria’s Assad and Turkey’s Erdogan are only the worst of these brutal tyrants.

Here in the US, we have been taken over by big capitalist interests. A concerted covert campaign by ultra-conservative forces has borne fruit in the capture of parts of the media (e.g. Fox, Facebook, and One America News Network.) The court system has made corporatist and anti-worker decisions at the same time that marriage rights have been extended to same-sex unions by the pressure of public opinion.

Conservatives have controlled the Senate and the presidency for almost four years, resulting in the appointment of many ultra-conservative judges. The rights granted to same-sex unions and the rights of women to control their own bodies are now at risk; worker’s rights are at an eighty year low. Another conservative Supreme Court Justice will seal the high court for many years against democracy (unless the Senate becomes Democratic and the Court is packed.)

Democracy in the US is in danger of voter suppression and intimidation in an attempt to keep control of the presidency and Senate for ultra-conservatives. At the moment, opinion polls suggest that, if a free election were held in November, the conservatives would lose their positions. The ultra-conservatives are panicking and trying to suppress a free vote.

The world is in a disorganized condition at a time when concerted action is needed to stop the carbon dioxide emissions that are causing global warming. Even the Communist Chinese recognize that our world’s ecosystems are on the brink of critical damage due the increase of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere.

Democratic forces in the US and the European Union can band together with the unfree world to stop global warming. At the same time, we must recognize that we need to oppose the control over unfree populations that authoritarian and nationalist governments exert. Cooperation on global warming must be balanced with opposition against authoritarian governments for their control over their people– and we must oppose their attempts to extend their control to other countries.

Taiwan, Ukraine, and the Philippines, in particular, are at risk and need the support of the US government to resist authoritarian encroachment from the Russians and Chinese. Syria, Lebanon, and many other countries are also at risk or have gone under.

Other countries need us to be free and to exert our powerful influence to protect them. Only the end of Republican government control in this country can lead to our extension of protection to small countries that will otherwise be overwhelmed by Chinese bullying and Russian subversion.

The Russian and Chinese governments benefit by our infighting and weakness. It is time for liberal forces in America to reassert control over our government so that we can help the rest of the world, at least the parts that have not yet been overwhelmed.

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