In Can Life Prevail, Pentti Linkola writes,
“The US is the most wretchedly villainous state of all times. Anyone aware of global issues can easily imagine how vast the hatred for the United States – a corrupted, swollen, paralysing and suffocating political entity – must be across the Third World – and among the thinking minority of the West too.”
Clodovis Boff writes,
“The U.S. will never be a free and happy nation while they continue to exploit and marginalize the Third World. The Third World will never be happy or free so long as there is a First World stuck in the mire of consumerism, alienation, indifference.
WTF? How did we get here? How are we not only the bad guys, but the worst guys?
After WWII, we not only built our own economy, but helped improve the economic condition of people all around the world. Between 1970 and the 2008 financial crisis, global output quadrupled.
The number of people living in extreme poverty in developing countries fell from 42 percent in 1993 to 17 percent in 2011.
The percentage of children born in developing countries who died before their fifth birthday declined from 22 percent in 1960 to less than 5 percent by 2016.
Yet statistics like these do not reflect the lived experience of many people. The shift of manufacturing from the West to low labor-cost regions has meant that Asia’s rising middle classes have grown at the expense of rich countries’ working-class communities. And from a cultural standpoint, the huge movement of ideas, people and goods across national borders has disrupted traditional communities and ways of doing business. For some this has presented tremendous opportunity, but for others it is a threat.
This disruption has been closely associated with the growth of American power and the liberal world order that the United States has shaped since the end of World War II. Understandably, there has been blowback, both against the United States and within the nation.
John F. Kennedy had understood these issues well. When he accepted his party’s nomination, he invented the “third world” idea, saying,
“Abroad, the balance of power is shifting. There are new and more terrible weapons–new and uncertain nations–new pressures of population and deprivation. One-third of the world, it has been said, may be free- -but one-third is the victim of cruel repression–and the other one- third is rocked by the pangs of poverty, hunger and envy. More energy is released by the awakening of these new nations than by the fission of the atom itself.”
And in his inaugural address, he said,
“If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”
But JFK is long gone. We are embarking on the era of DJT.
Will our position in the world be improved in the coming years? Will the U.S. be less hated or hated even more? Will our petulant man-baby engage with these issues?