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Sunday, February 26, 2012

The United States is a THIRD-WORLD COUNTRY

Friends back home sometimes ask me, “Why did you leave the United States?”

My reply is that I didn’t. I say it's rather that the United States left me – and you and everyone else.

I say this because the United States is turning into an oxymoron: it is, today, an extremely wealthy Third World country.

And, yes, I know a thing or two about Third World countries; I live in the country of Panamá, which is widely considered to be part of the Third World. But my new homeland is a haven of democracy and justice and liberty compared to this strange new United States!

Third World countries are typically marked by oligarchies or dictatorships that do whatever they want, paying no attention to their constitutions. In the United States, the ultra-rich plutocrats control elections such that they have stacked the Congress and state legislatures with bought-and-paid-for puppets. State and federal courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States, have been widely subverted by crass ideologues.

Third World countries are typically marked by a ruling elite that distributes priviliges only to those of their own color and creed. In the United States, the dominant color, white, the dominant religion, evangelical Christianity, and the dominant gender, men, are doing everything they can to consolidate control. Civil rights legislation is being annulled, women’s health rights are being eliminted, and all religious minorities, including liberal Christians, are being systematically hounded.

Third World countries are typically marked by an extreme differential between rich and poor. Nowhere is this more true than in the United States. Most common people are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet - I was not alone in having to work five jobs, and still have trouble paying my bills. I was not alone in seeing my health coverage become more expensive and cover less, and then get eliminated altogether. I was not alone in watching prices for necessities climb ever higher. I am not alone in seeing my pension payments shrink.

Third World countries are typically marked by an access to decent medical services that is limited to the ruling elite and the wealthy members of the upper class. In the United States, an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) procedure costs on average $1,080, where in France it costs $280. Most people are forced to wait forever to see a doctor for only the brief moments prescribed by health insurance policies, and to all but force expensive testing and procedures dictated by those companies, out of fear of lawsuits.

Third World countries are typically marked by a gigantic do-little bureaucracy and powerful military that greedily suck in most of the government's finances and engage in meaningless unending wars so the rich profiteers who manufacture expensive missiles and tanks can make more fortunes. The clear and simple reason the United States is in such extreme debt is its unnecessary, unjustified, and extremely expensive wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere – with Iran probably soon to be added to the list. Cutting necessary services to the middle and poorer classes will never balance the budget, but that - plus cutting taxes to the wealthy - is what these crazed rulers are telling us is necessary. And the wars continue.

Third World countries are typically marked by weapons everywhere; by mass murders; by weapons fire for the "fun" of it; by murder for vengeance, robbery, insanity, or bigotry; by military aircraft often streaking across populated areas to keep them in a state of intimidated fear. The United States has more weapons per capita than pretty much any other country. It is marked by mass killings, especially lately in schools. It is marked by white bigots killing gays or Muslims or blacks just to "prove" some lame-brained "point" about their hatred of these people.

Third World countries are typically marked by censorship – the use of law to ban certain books from public libraries and schools, to forbid the teaching of certain subjects at universities, to control what doctors may say to their patients and, ultimately, to restrict free speech (both speaking aloud and in print) as regards any healthy criticism of the government and its agents. In Arizona, for instance, a law has forbidden university study of Mexican-American studies (which are important in that border state) and the reading of such classics as “The House on Mango Street”. In several states some of the greatest classics of United States (and other) literature have been banned from classrooms and libraries.

Third World countries are typically marked by rampant use of illegal mind-altering drugs and alcohol. The United States is the biggest consumer of both. The international illegal drug trade is fueled by American with money, and will come to an end not because the police arrest the "mules", the relatively poor people (usually minorities, leading to a far higher percentage of minority prisoners than in the general population) who sell on street corners, but by going after the rich (mostly affluent white) buyers.

Third World countries are typically marked by unusually high rates of violent crime, including rape and murder. Third World countries are typically marked by gigantic prison populations, with most of these comprising an unusually high percentage of whatever minorities are hated. Third World countries are typically marked by legal systems that can be "bought": if you have the money you get justice, but if you are poor you get an unjustly heavy sentence; if you rob a bank you go behind bars, but if you're the president of a financial institution that destroys the savings of millions of families, you get to retire richly. Nowhere are these things more true than in the United States.

Third World countries are typically marked by a gradual disappearance of farmland and a gradual deterioration of infrastructure (roads, bridges, etc.). Every year enough farms go out of business in the United States to bulldoze a ribbon several miles wide right across the country. Experts agree that roads and bridges are falling apart, and it is but a matter of time before their disintegration leads not only to transportation difficulties, but injury and death.

Third World countries are typically marked by an increasingly angry populace that is kept helpless by the threat of arrest, prevented from expressing its anger by a heavily armed, unnecessarily brutal police or military. Police in Oakland, California; Atlanta, Georgia; and elsewhere have used excessive force to put down the “Occupy” movement, resulting in injuries and even deaths.

Third World countries are typically marked by news media that refuse to investigate and expose government corruption, but instead defend it, and spread lies and slander against those who still have the courage to speak the truth. Fox News (or, as I call it, Faux Noise) leads the pack, but other news outlets have increasingly shown an alarming tendency toward jingoistic conservatism; all of the countrywide news outlets are owned by ultra-rich potentates who have clearly given orders to downplay this citizens’ revolt. Even National Public Radio, desperately afraid Republicans in the Congress will cut off its funding, has sunken all too often into ultra-right gibberish. The major media, including NPR, at first ignored the Occupy story, then they denigrated it (with false stories about violence and drugs, as not having a clear message, and so on). At the last count I’ve seen, 34 reporters working for independent news outlets (i.e., those not owned by the ultra rich) have been arrested and charged for covering – not taking part in, but covering – Occupy events. And a man who deserves the Nobel Peace Prize, Bradley Manning - who had the courage to expose government wrongdoing - remains unjustly behind bars, and will never be set free. He is a martyr, and joins Leonard Peltier as a political prisoner.

Welcome to the future, folks. George Orwell will take your ticket, Aldous Huxley will sell you popcorn, and Yevgeny Zamyatin will show you to your seat.


Sixteen of my books are now available in E-BOOK format (Kindle, Nook, etc.) at this website. L'un de mes romans est disponible en français, y una de mis novelas está disponible en español.

The same sixteen books are available in uniform, meticulously copyedited and designed, softcover editions as follows.

Across the Silence: Poems of James David Audlin

All You Need (novel)



Rats Live on no Evil Star (novel)

Undr (novel)

Seven Novels of the Last Days Volume I: The Voice of Day

Seven Novels of the Last Days Volume II: The Wings of the Morning

Seven Novels of the Last Days Volume III: The Productions of Time

Seven Novels Of The Last Days Volume IV: A Mirror Filled With Light

Seven Novels of the Last Days Volume V: A Stitch in Time

Seven Novels of the Last Days Volume VI: The Stars Blindly Run

Lives of the Saints (stories)

Mooreeffoc: Stories from This World

The Other: Stories from Elsewhere

The Circle of Life (nonfiction)

Undr (novel)

1 comment:

  1. As an anecdote Switzerland has comparable gun ownership rates because each reservist in the Swiss Army own and maintain their own personal firearms.

    Switzerland is the only country with comparable gun violence rates. Just sayin'...