Failed States

Perhaps the most notable comment that anyone has made thus far about the current state of affairs in the United States was made recently by the legendary Noam Chomsky, who in an interview argued that the ‘Republican Party’ in the United States is no longer a normal political party, but rather, the ‘Republican Party’ is now a ‘right-wing insurgency’ which is threatening the basic democratic foundation of the American system. And as Afghanistan and Iraq have shown us, insurgencies rise in a society when corruption has peaked and when there is a lack of credibility and legitimacy on the part of the central government due to the central government’s lack of responsiveness to the public will. Karma truly does exist, and as the saying goes, what goes around, comes around. 

And as Chomsky noted, poll after poll in America over the course of the last few decades have shown that Americans “do not feel that the government is responsive to the public will.” In turn, the “democracy promotion” out of Washington has now run into a situation where many Americans believe that “the project might be needed at home.” Yet, institutions like the “State Department” and “U.S. Institute of Peace” are focusing outward rather than inward. 

There are both economic and social factors which play into the loss of credibility and legitimacy on the part of the central government in Washington, both of which Chomsky highlights. For one, the “neoliberal” agenda which began being implemented out of Washington in the 1970’s led to either a drastic decrease in wages or the stagnation of wages in the face of rising costs and prices. In terms of the economic factor, and as Chomsky noted, before the neoliberal agenda took root in America in the 1970’s, real wages in America were the highest in the world. Now, real wages in America are amongst the lowest in the industrial world. A lack of responsiveness to public will in Washington is then demonstrated by the fact that the demands for social services and social welfare which would offset the downturn in economic and social conditions in America are stonewalled by the neoliberal agenda. 

And in terms of the social factor, the main issue is education in the United States. As Chomsky noted, since the implementation of the neoliberal agenda in America in the 1970’s, more and more control and suppression of academic freedom in the United States has taken root under the name and guise of “academic freedom.” Over the decades, corporate legislation and subsidies have targeted universities in an effort to make universities in America less critical of U.S. foreign policy. As Chomsky noted, before the neoliberal agenda made progress over the course of the last few decades, about 80 percent of professors in America were left-leaning and socialist in their intellectual and social orientation and outlook. 

Corporate legislation and subsidies after the neoliberal takeover in the 1970’s were then aimed at supposedly bringing “ideological balance” to universities which in turn had severe consequences in terms of the quality of education in the United States. Corporate-imposed “ideological balance” in America’s education system has in practice translated into conspiracy theories and “QAnon” and the rejection of evolution and so forth, all of which are now carving out their space in the legislative and political process of what is arguably a “Failed State” in the United States.  

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