Thursday, October 05, 2006

Absolute Friends

Recently I read Absolute Friends by ace spy-novelist and former spy John le Carre. The style of writing is incredibly readable, like warm apple juice it flows liquid and amber off the page and into your mind.

The anger and sense of betrayal the writer displays towards the British authorities for colluding with the Americans over the Iraq War is tangible.

Considering this lead me to analyse my own position regarding the US of A. I agree that the idea of American liberal democracy is compelling and I support it entirely, but the reality of present day America is rather different.

Hypocrisy is perhaps the greatest of the great media-oriented political crimes of our age. To preach against something and then do that thing yourself is seen as being qualitatively worse than simply doing the thing in the first place.

It irritates me that when a politician is caught committing political incorrectness, they are attacked more for their perceived earlier "holier than thou" stance than for whatever thoughtcrime they are meant to have committed. I suspect that this is a punishment by the mass media, which sees itself as the sole rightful arbiter of what is worthy and what is wrong.

That said there is something deeply sickening about a certain frame of mind that seem to be prevalant in America today. By far the biggest beneficiary of direct aid from the federal government are the large public limited companies.

These corporations present a fatuous image of what used to be called "The American Dream" in which these vast, monolithic, hierarchical, and deeply entrenched organisations play the card of righteous independence from government whenever they are demanded to reign in on issues like making vehicles that are more fuel-efficient, or when the American government threatens to cut subsidies that have prevented poverty-stricken African farmers from selling their crops.

In political discourse policies and political parties are generally defined along a rather strange spectrum. Fascists at one end, Stalinists at the other. I believe that this spectrum is obsolete. When the common man is being ground underfoot by authority, he doesn't care if the authority is a corporation, private company, government, state, or religion. We should define things in terms of what they are, not what they say they are.

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