The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Way Past Time to Leave America

I wrote this article in January of 2010. I’m re-posting it because, alas, it is STILL important. I had some hope Biden could at least put through a good economic package; I was wrong.

My errors are far more often on the side of “hope” and optimism than pessimism, which is something people who consider me a pessimist get wrong.

I have updated commentary after the piece.

The Unvarnished Truth About the US

I’ve been meaning to write this post for some time and in light of yesterday’s Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited corporate money into the political system, I think it’s time.

Yesterday’s decision makes the US a soft fascist state. Roosevelt’s definition of fascism was control of government by corporate interests. Unlimited money means that private interests can dump billions into elections if they choose. Given that the government can, will, and has rewarded them with trillions, as in the bailouts, or is thinking about doing so in HCR, by forcing millions of Americans to buy their products, the return on investment is so good that I would argue that corporations have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders to buy out government – after all, if you pay a million to get a billion, or a billion to get a trillion, that’s far far better returns than are available anywhere else.

And no politician, no political party, can reasonably expect to win when billions are arrayed against it.

The one faint hope is that politicians in the Senate will panic, know they have ten months to do something and ram something through. Of course, that will only be a stopgap measure, until the Supremes overthrow it, but in the meantime, maybe Dems will get serious about the Supreme Court and not rubber-stamp radical right-wingers like Alito and Roberts.

That is, however, a faint hope.

Add to this the US’s complete inability to manage its economic affairs, and its refusal to fix its profound structural problems, whether in the financial system, the education system, the military, concrete infrastructure, technology, or anything else, and I cannot see a likely scenario where the US turns things around. The US’s problems in almost every area amount to “monied interests are making a killing on business as usual, along with ologopolistic markets, and will do anything they can to make sure the problem isn’t fixed.”

Even before they had the ability to dump unlimited money into the political system, they virtually controlled Washington. This will put their influence on steroids. Any congressperson who goes against their interests can be threatened by what amounts to unlimited money. And any one who does their bidding can be rewarded with so much money their reelection is virtually secure.

This decision makes the US’s recovery from its decline even more unlikely than before -— and even then, it was still very unlikely. Absolute catastrophe will have to occur before people are angry enough, and corporations weak enough, for there to even be a chance.

So, my advice to my readers is this:

If you can leave the US, do. Most of the world is going to suffer over the next decades, but there are places which will suffer less than the US, places that have not settled for soft fascism and a refusal to fix their economic problems. Fighting to the very end is very romantic, and all, but when you’re outnumbered, outgunned, and your odds of winning are miniscule, sometimes the smartest thing to do is book out. Those who came to to the US understood this, they left countries which were less free or had less economic hope than the US, and they came to a place where they thought freedom and opportunity reigned.

That place, that time, is coming to an end. For your own sake, and especially for the sake of your children, I tell you now -— it is time to get out.

I am not the only person thinking this. Even before the decisions, two of my savviest American friends, people with impeccable records at predicting the US meltdown, told me that within the next few years they would be leaving.

There’s always hope, and those who choose to stay might stop this terminal decline.

But you need to ask yourself, seriously, if you are willing to pay the price of failure, if you are willing to have your children pay the price of failure. Because it will be very, very steep.

I understand that not everyone can leave the US. Look within the US for places that will be least affected. I don’t know what those are. I suggest being willing to adopt “protective” coloring; if you aren’t, and things go really south, understand that the right (and a big chunk of what passes for the center in the US) is itching to do a purge of left-wingers and, indeed, of a lot of centrists (the Clintons, for example).

Next, I’m Canadian, and despite our image, things aren’t going great in Canada. We are badly infected by US-style politics, but even if we happen to win against them (not a sure bet at all — and remember my comment about my errors being errors of optimism), we are a US satrapy which the US may decide to take direct control of. Even if they don’t, Canada cannot realistically resist most US demands if the US is serious; well, not without steps Canada has refused to take, like getting a credible deterrent.

Smart Jews fled Germany to other European nations, and wound up in the camps anyway.

Canada and Mexico (a completely failing state) may well not be far enough away.

Next: Understand that the world IS moving towards a new cold war. It looks like China/Russia + allies vs. America/Europe plus allies, at least so far. There is some chance that Europe will try to go third-path, but so far it is choosing to go with the US, despite misgivings. You can see this in its rejection of Huawei 5G, after a great deal of wavering. Some countries even started to deploy 5G, and are now dismantling it.

There are some other considerations, like China now competing with Germany more than being a customer, but overall Europe seems to be choosing the current hegemon over the new rising one. This is a startling failure on the part of Jingping (who is incompetent at almost everything except controlling the Party). Other countries should be falling into China’s arms, but China now wants to be a bully, too; to reap the rights of being powerful.

So, where you settle will have a lot to do with your future mobility; which part of the walled internet you’re in and so on. Look at countries and consider which side they’ll be on, or if or how they might manage the neutrality dance. This will matter for extradition, visiting the relatives, what technology you use and much more (Russia, for example, is where people in the US really want go, not because Russia is great (it’s a mafia state) but because Russia won’t extradite).

It is, of course, possible that I am wrong, and the US will pull it out. Every great nation (“great” is not a synonym for “good”) pulls it out over and over again until they don’t. England lost an empire then created another, for example, but Britain seems unlikely to exist soon: Both Northern Ireland and Scotland will likely go, and it’ll just be England and Wales again (and even Wales may go in 20 to 30 years, which would be losing a possession conquered 800 years ago).

So, it’s always possible that the US will pull it out. History goes in waves: There was a Gilded Age before, and it ended. That may happen again this time, either by force or luck of disaster.

That said, I don’t think that’s where the smart money is, and you’ll be gambling with more than your life.

If you do stay, remember that you have two defenses: (1) Other people who care for you and will fight with you (fight is not entirely a metaphor here), and; (2) Anonymity: Sliding along with no one really knowing anything about you and your beliefs (far harder than it once was).

All of this is complicated by climate change and environmental collapse putting pressure on systems never designed to withstand shocks.

Be well and be safe, whatever you do.

(The more people subscribe or donate the more I write. So please consider subscribing if you like my writing.)


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  1. Joan

    One thing the US has going for it is, even after all the damage done by industrial agriculture, its wilds and natural landscape. I can’t help but think that Americans who stay, if they survive, will do so because of this.

    Of course this also applies to Canada and Russia, if it gets warm enough. I could see a soft annexation of Canada by the US: nothing official, but forced trade agreements or something else that amounts to the same thing. If the US doesn’t do it, surely Russia and China will push to do this. Canada is viewed as a huge forest that hasn’t been cut down yet, filled with nice people who apologize for no reason. It’s not an intimidating image; it doesn’t force a standstill in a world of empires.

    Even though this is the route I myself took, I do not ultimately think emigrating to Europe is the best idea. Europe has very firm geographical constraints and a number of pots set to boil. There are tensions everywhere: the migrant crisis and the understanding that it could happen again, Russia making moves in Eastern Europe, Turkey, the Belt Road Initiative with China, discontent with the EU, etc. I’m glad we didn’t go for 5G at least.

    Also, at some point, the tide will turn against Americans. Right now it still feels like people understand that Americans are somewhat held hostage by their own system, that it’s been taken out of their hands. I haven’t had anyone personally blame me for what America is doing in the Middle East and such. I had someone say to me, “I like you personally, but I don’t trust your president not to drone strike my house.”

    What I worry about is if or when people will begin to blame all this on common Americans. It honestly might be safer to stay in the US because of this. It’s not too much of a stretch to imagine European and East Asian countries simply kicking us out, and that would be one of the nicer options, since there’s a chance to survive!

  2. astrid

    This is just my thoughts – I’ve been wrong many times in the last 15 years, mostly from excessive faith in the existing system to self correct. So I may be wrong again.

    From a climate change perspective, moving north and east is better. Comparatively less heat and more water. Comparatively cheaper.
    There’s at least the chance of successful dry gardening to supplement your diet in a partial breakdown. You need a lot of land to do successful dry gardening (though if you can afford it, put in a good and deep well anyways) since wider spacing is necessary to allow plants to obtain enough moisture from the soil. Steve Solomon wrote on some of his strategies for coping with a seasonally dry well, so that’s something to consider.

    The PNW had the Cascadia Fault, for which the US will not have resources to recover from. The coastal SE and Gulf Coast have similar problems with hurricanes. Coastal NE is potentially problematic in the next 100 years, if the Greenland melting results in earthquakes and tsunamis. (This is also a problem for western coast of Europe). There won’t be money to rebuild, so the current settlements will be abandoned and the residents become refugees elsewhere.

    If you’re in the west and can do so, sell out and hope for a window of opportunity to buy in a target location when the Covid buying frenzy dies down and the evictions start. It’s risky but there may be opportunities coming up soon for the cash buyer. Even if you can’t leave your current location due to jobs or family obligation, think about selling and renting, then look for transition opportunities in your target area. Of course, the risk is holding USD too long, after “smart money” leaves it. I guess you can hedge with stocks, a foreign currency basket, precious metals, etc, though holding anything carries it’s own risks.

    As for heat index, think of what you’ll do if the AC is out on your current hottest days of the year and envision those days increasing by 3-5x. A generator with a window AC unit in a cool room, big screened windows that can take in cool night air, improved insulation, basement living, big cooler out west, geothermal heating/cooling are all options depending on your budget and time horizon. Even small things can greatly help with comfort. We have a number of Rowenta fans, which are very quiet at low settings. I find that I’m quite comfortable working at 85 degrees (with highish humidity) if I’m dressed appropriately and have a regular air current. Something as basic as statyng out of the sun with a good hand fan and a wet towel can do a lot to help prevent heat exhaustion.

    Take a look at your family and friends, both as sources of help and people to provide help to. If there are healable rifts, do your best to do so.
    Politics is stupid and intentionally divisive, try to get beyond that. But there will be people that are unreliable or are users, it’s best to recognize those people for what they are, distance yourself from them and be wary about providing help to them if asked. We all have a limited amount of resources (including patience and time) and need to think seriously about how to expend them.

  3. Astrid

    It would seem that portions of Latin America where you won’t stand out might be the best escape option. So Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, maybe Brazil/Peru/Ecuador. Definitely not expat ghettos in Mexico or Panama.

    I’ve talked a bit about my investigating dual citizenship options in European countries in the ongoing survival thread. If you have provable European ancestors from the late 19th century onwards, you might qualify. There are various other visa schemes where having ancestry, investment capital, or just proven income is enough to let you stay and eventually acquire residency rights. Wikipedia had a decent recap of nationality laws for various countries.

    I also found Reddit and to be good starting point for investigating other places.

    I do think that handling of COVID might be a game changer for status of China in the world. People around the world in 2020/2021 sees Russia and China offering vaccines and medical assistance, and China effectively quarantining its populace. They see the US openly siding with pharma companies on IP and hoarding vaccines/supplies, and trying to freeze Europe by disrupting the gas pipelines from Russia. Then the recent Israeli war against it’s captive Palestinian population, incredibly ugly and clearly ethnically cleansing and fully supported by the US. The governments and media may still fear US and Israel, but I suspect popular sentiments are changing.

  4. Stirling Newberry

    Public Pension Goes South

  5. Tony

    Ian I would really like the details on this decision by the Supremes. I tried useless google searches I want the details please provide. I am in a position to sell high and rent while I wait for the right time to buy in the right place. Details like the exact decision name are important to readers like me.

  6. Ché Pasa

    Leaving the US is not and will not be an option for what may be the majority of Americans. Neither, essentially, is staying in place under the threat of collapse of local economies and institutions, let alone the loss of critical infrastructure. Internal migration has been taking place for a long time, accelerated by the advent of the corona virus — which, of course, has been allowed to transmit freely through much of the population.

    So for the masses, even finding a protected haven is not really safe from existential peril. We’d like to think that’s true for our Overlords as well, but realistically it’s not. Barring sudden catastrophic collapse (the long hoped-for Giant Asteroid, for example) they are safe from nearly all the consequences of their actions and inactions. Peril is a foreign concept to them. Practically nothing can touch them, but God-like, they can and quite happily will use their influence and power to dispose of however many of us is pleasing to them.

    The signs are pointing to a few more months of relative peace and momentary prosperity for the lower orders. All that extra money they received to tide them over while the COVID was being investigated and partially mitigated is being sucked up efficiently by the Market as inflation in the costs of goods and services the little people need and use takes hold. Shortly, there will be no extra or financial cushion for the common folk. And when it’s gone and the screws tighten even more, what will happen?

    The rightists demonstrated how easy it would be to overthrow elected government. They didn’t do it for whatever reason, but they showed it can be done and more or less how. What passes for the left, on the other hand, cleaves ever more strongly to that frail and sclerotic government. So I think the pattern for the future is pretty well set. As things get worse, the ascendant right will take ever fiercer actions to protect itself; no one and nothing will protect those not in that club.

    Leave the US if you can, but don’t expect to find conditions any better elsewhere. If they are, so much the better. But don’t be surprised if they’re worse.

  7. Astrid


    He’s referring to Citizens United, a 2010 court decision. The original article is being published now that it’s clear that Democrats are not serious at addressing the wealth inequality and structural issues that is quickly destroying the nonfinancialized/MIC/FIRE portions of the US economy.

    Am reading through the comment section in the original article. I miss a lot of the old commenters who appear to have left. I hope they are doing well in life.

  8. Steve of Plainfield

    Astrid, I agree with you the commentariat is not what it used to be. I hope they are doing well and sharing wisdom elsewhere. I hope to be able to survive in the USA via homesteading but holding the land will be the weakness of that plan as it will be easy to tax people off of the land for the WEF re-wilding plan. They continue to introduce a requirement that landowners pay taxes on the unrealized gains of property. The likes of Blackrock and Bill Gates could handle that as they will always be getting government fiat through sales. Someone or a group trying to subsist and barter will not be able to hire the tax attorneys and borrow the capital to pay the tax so it would be off the land and into Blackrock owned housing to work on Bill’s farm or a Sovern wealth fund farm at best. More likely a refugee in prisoned in a southern urban center so we don’t contribute to greenhouse gasses.

    The only problem (from the elites perspective) with refugee camps is people still create more people that don’t have useful skills so perhaps it is homelessness for the rabble until arrest and imprisonment like they do at the southern border.

  9. Ché Pasa

    Reading through the old comments, it really seems like we’ve been stuck in a feedback loop for well more than a decade, doesn’t it?

    The basic problems and issues don’t change, nor do the responses. Everything’s going to hell in a handbasket, we should leave if we can or find a haven somewhere in the country, grow and build our own, all politics is corrupt, the Overclass is oppressive…

    Stuck we are as if in hot tar.

    Cui bono?

  10. jef

    There is no escape. You might buy a few more months or a year or two but make no mistake it is way past time where you can “get away”.

    Virtually every stream, river, pond, lake, ocean including the most remote regions of the planet has high levels of poisons, toxins, and forever chemicals enough to bioaccumulate in all flora and fauna, which by the way we humans are a part of.

    The US, or more appropriately TPTB will eventually go to war before giving up/giving in to a peaceful, equitable world because it would mean the end of the luxury lifestyles of the wealthy west which would be far worse than global war in their opinion.

    We either shut them down big time or get ready for The Big Ugly”.

  11. Synoptocon

    Don’t come to Canada because it isn’t far enough away. Don’t come to Canada because we’re frankly tired of the collateral damage. Eight of every ten political nutters I have to deal with have MAGA iconography somewhere on their social – enough toxin seeps across the border that we can’t really absorb any more, thanks. Fix chez vous.

  12. different clue

    About Americans going into exile overseas for political or cultural breakdown reasons, most of us won’t go anywhere because we have nowhere to go and no way to get there. And a lot of us are too old to move. So we will either SIP or DIP. ( Survive In Place or Die In Place). There may be all kinds of internal refugee migration within America.

    The big move out won’t happen till global warming makes a lot of America, and Mexico, and Central America, and the Caribbean uninhabitable. Once that happens, Canada can expect tens of millions of penniless climate refugees from America, and tens of millions more from Mexico, and tens of millions more from the Caribbean, and ten million or so more from Central America.

    Sorry about that, Synopticon.

  13. different clue


    And by the way, speaking of toxin seeping across borders , it looks like we Americans were able to shut down your Keystone XL pipeline. So I guess you won’t be able to seep your Alberta Tar Dreck and Benzene toxin across our border the way you hoped.

    And if we can shut down your Enbridge Pipeline across the Straights of Mackinaw, that’s even more Canadian petro-toxin you won’t be able to seep across our border anymore the way you would have preferred to be able to continue.

  14. Synoptocon

    Oooooh. The band-aid purity signalling. I am put in my place.

  15. different clue

    Happy to help.

  16. someofparts

    Odd to read my own comments from over a decade ago. Both of the jobs I had back then that seemed so stable just blew me off a few years ago in some mad spiral of crazy. It has left me with a lot less money than I expected to have back then. The big surprise for me was that the crazy came from the effing Democrats. It is why I have been so focused on understanding how the alleged left went nuts.

    Before I chucked it into the recycling bin in disgust, I read the opening sections of a book last week (Battle for the Soul, by Dovere) that finally satisfied my curiosity about Trump Derangement Syndrome . I could not understand why the PMC would devolve into hysterical dingbats. Much as I deplore them for being the worst reptile opportunists, they did seem like the last corner of the community that would descend into spittle-flecked mob lunacy.

    Now I know it happened because there was a real challenge to their dominance and egotism. Obama was really upset that Trump was rude to Susan Rice. He was not upset, and still is not upset, about the vicious war crimes she committed against Libya and god knows who else. He is also not upset that the vile destruction of Libya was undertaken only to burnish Hillary’s public image for her anticipated run for President. On the contrary, he sidelined Keith Ellison and stopped Bernie because he thinks they are the reason Hillary lost to Trump. There is no language I can summon that is adequate to describe the utter loathsome pettiness and sub-humanity of these people, but failing to see it has been my blind spot.

    Reading comments from that long ago, it’s also interesting to see what I did not even imagine, much less anticipate. I did not expect Trump, which seems understandable, but also did not anticipate covid, which actually was something that could have been foreseen I think. I absolutely did not expect to see the commanding forces of global public health deliberately expose the planet to an engineered virus and then use their power to deny the cure (ivermectin) to millions. It seems like an obvious strategy for our lizard overlords now that I am watching them do it, but I did not anticipate it.

    At the very least, it looks like the reptiles in charge plan to kill off or immiserate to third-world levels about 80% of the population here. With any luck, this country might reduce itself to a powerless ugly joke before we can destroy the rest of the planet. That may seem improbable right now, but I would not rule it out.

  17. different clue


    A question I have posed in comment sections here and there, now and then, goes like this . . .

    If the global overclass wanted to quietly kill off 7 or 8 billion people over the next century and make it look like fate or an accident, what methods would they use?

  18. Astrid

    Different Clue,

    So much like what we already have but more…
    Sanctions. Poor public health and welfare systems. Destabilize countries for”humanitarian intervention’ and regions and then memoryholed when the targeted areas become hell. Price healthy food and adequate medical care so high that only the very rich can afford it. Continue to allow pollution that will render most of the population effectively sterile. Make sure the political system is so broken everywhere that positive change that provide for welfare of the majority is impossible.

  19. Tony

    @Astrid Thanks for clarifying. I don’t know why I glazed right over the fact that this wasn’t a recent piece. I read recently or watched a video I forget that this problem really started in the late 70’s. Reagan used all that cash to win soon after and when the unions disappeared Clinton did the same. Anyway money in politics is the single greatest threat IMHO thx again for the help.

  20. Ché Pasa

    2010, like 2000, was catastrophic for ideals of free and fair elections, both times thanks to the intervention of the Supreme Court, first lawlessly intervening to hand the presidency to Bush/Cheney, then tortuously interpreting the first amendment to hand essentially unlimited political power to corporations and the rich.

    Interestingly, little or nothing (positive) has been done about it. We’re still stuck with unlimited corporate power to influence and/or determine the outcome of elections. We still don’t have truly secure and auditable election systems throughout the country, and we’re facing at least another decade of voter suppression, gerrymandering, and worse thanks to the catastrophic failures of the Democrats to successfully deal with these issues at the state and local levels for election cycle after election cycle.

    Bush v Gore sounded the death knell; Citizens United buried the corpse of anything resembling free and fair elections in the United States whether or not the outcomes are pleasing to one faction or another.

    Leave the US because of it? Well, some do. Some will. Are those who do more or less selfish than my Irish and German ancestors who left their homelands on crowded fever ships in the mid-1800s? I really doubt the absence of free and fair elections in either homeland entered into their calculus, but I don’t know.

  21. Jeff Snyder

    FWIW, regarding location, I think the two biggest factors are 1) local sustainability in terms of food, water, heating if you are in a climate that gets too cold, and factoring in effect s of climate change, without reliance on 200+ mile supply chains and fossil fuel freight transportation systems; and 2) prospects for local community ability to work together and support each other because, like it or not, the future, like the past, is local. Are you somewhere where the members of the community have a desire to work together for a communal purpose and help one another?

    Being an expat and outsider can make the second quite difficult, but staying the US where nearly all relationships are transactional is no joke either.

  22. different clue

    @Che Pasa,

    If your German ancestors were among those who came in 1848 or in the few years right after 1848, they could have been political exiles in flight from the suppression of the German-zone revolutions of 1848. Historians love a clever phrase and their clever phrase for 1848 is that “History reached a turning point and failed to turn”.

    I heard a theory that so many liberal-minded Germans left the Germanies that the remaining more conservative German population gave a conservative bias to the Germanies in general.

  23. different clue


    Yes, some of these sound like Darwin filters the Overclass would try pushing us all through in order to ” filter out” most of us. Our mission, should we decide to accept, is to pass through the Darwin filters and come out alive.

    One more such filter might be the ” Believe It or Not” filter. Some or maybe many people will “just can’t believe it”. Their “just-can’t-believe-it-ness” will raise their chances of dying in one of the Darwin filters whose existence they just can’t acknowledge even as they are bleeding to death on the poisoned barbs and blades of the electrified triple-strand razor wire of whatever Darwin filter they find themselves hung up in next.

    A lot of the survival advice offered at Ian Welsh’s surviving-the-hard-times thread might well be about passing through these carefully engineered and cleverly crafted Darwin filters.

  24. Antibody

    overall Europe seems to be choosing the current hegemon over the new rising one. This is a startling failure on the part of Jingping (who is incompetent at almost everything except controlling the Party.) Other countries should be falling into China’s arms, but

    It is early days yet. Did you really expect Europe, which has been a defacto colony of USA, Inc. since 1945, to grow a backbone overnight and ditch its big daddy at the first hint of turbulent waters? China is building bridges with Russia, Central Asia and the global south which is where the vast majority of humanity lives and does business. There are more “other countries” in this world than just Europe.

    As for Xi being an absolute incompetent, well, he is going to be around for a while so I guess China is finished and the moribund west can breathe easy and look forward to reigning supreme for the next thousand years.

    And by characterizing China as the “rising hegemon” you are channeling a western zero sum game mentality that imagines a powerful China will be a carbon copy of the US empire. China is a massive country, a civilization really, with 1.4 billion people. It’s going to have a certain amount of power and influence in the world. Thinking that this means China is, or seeks to become, a hegemonic power and rule the world USA style suggests a poverty of imagination and more than a little projection. History does not begin and end on a western timeline and the west either adapts to reality and learns how to cooperate and compromise and bargain in good faith or it will consign itself to the dustbin of history.

  25. Astrid

    Citizens United was my jolt too. I stopped trusting the Democratic party after Obama’s appointees, but 2010 was when I realized that the US was finished.

    Nowadays I’m ready to dance on its grave, even if I’m buried along with it. The US has done so much evil in the world, in the always in the service of a tiny ruling class. If it’s gone, maybe, just maybe the rest of the world can have a fighting chance.

    I am not ready to write Mexico off yet. Dysfunction doesn’t equal being finished, if there’s the capacity to course correct. AMLO and the various leftward waves hunts at what’s possible, if only USA would leave them alone.

    I have no intentions of surviving the filter. Even if a population makes it to the other side, human nature seems a cussed thing. I made a choice not to have children because it personally feels like a monstrous act to bring a sentient being involuntarily into this future. I will be grateful if my spouse and I can die peacefully in our beds.

  26. Astrid

    Having said all that. China and what’s happening in Latin America very much in spite of the USian regime are hopeful signs that positive change is possible. Maybe even enough positive change to one day do away with billionaires and psychopaths and actual work for the common good.

    We should not forget that America was founded on tax evasion and unfettered stealing of indigenous lands. Maybe other countries, founded on somewhat better ideals, might do a little better.

  27. Astrid

    Ian’s faith in Western reporting about Russia and China is a major blind spot for him. Somewhat understandably because their system of governance is so alien to the modern Western educated mind. Perhaps also, despite intellectually understanding that Western liberal “democracy” is about manufacturing consent, rather than obtaining consent, of the governed, does not understand that there’s no inherent superiority of multiparty (especially 2 party) systems compared to a one party state.

    Thus, Ian believes in MSM’s reporting of Xi’s purported incompetence (I think Xi’s made plenty of mistakes, but his predecessors made other mistakes that simply went unreported by MSM. The mistakes are also not clear own goals, but may simply reflect non-orthodox approaches that didn’t pay off or overlooking issues due to conflicting priorities) and that China’s intentions now must be evil and dominating, even though the few reliable accounts I hear is that the Chinese government is interested in mutually beneficial trade and is strictly non-interventionist, thus more trusted and less exploitative than the US. Thanks to the awfulness of the US headed trade regime, there’s a lot of room in Russia, China , Iran, and the rest of the global South to achieved mutually beneficial trade agreements.

    As for the clunkiness of Chinese PR stunts.
    I would say it’s a combination of inexperience and performing for an internal audience. But China learns very fast and now it has millions of Western educated citizens and a diaspora who are likely increasingly disenchanted with the West. They can probably put together something as effective as RT quickly, just as MSM finish selling of the last of its credibility.

  28. Jessica

    Astrid: “I miss a lot of the old commenters who appear to have left. I hope they are doing well in life.”
    If they took the original article seriously, they might be lying low. Or have set up a different identity for posting.

  29. different clue

    There is an interesting internet video political commentator ( strictly self-propelled) called ” Beau of the Fifth Column” that I sometimes listen to. Here he offers a little 5 minute chunk of thought about how Trump is just lately working with Gingrich to craft a “Contract With America” type platform for Republican Officeseekers to run on in 2022, why Trump is doing this, and why it could work, especially if the current Biden DemParty officeholder grouping does nothing really major for any commandingly large group of potential voters.

    If the Democrats engineer a Republican House & Senate sweep in 2022, laying the foundation for Trump Term Two or a Trump Annointed Successor, then the number of Americans seeking entrance into other countries may increase more and faster than otherwise.

    And if the Franco-Pinochet-nostalgiac Republicans try to start a Spanish Civil War in America and end up with a kind of Mexican Revolution of 1910, Canada may end up with millions of strictly political exiles from America faster than Canada ever expected.

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