God bless America!

Paul Kelly thinks it’s the end of America:

The most powerful nation on Earth is being brought undone from within by its pent-up governance and moral failures. The crisis has multiple triggers — abuse of police power, entrenched disadvantage of black Americans, mounting anger in American hearts, cultural schisms across the nation and political polarisation driven by Donald Trump’s populism and Democrat progressivism.

The intolerable killing of ­George Floyd has erupted into something far larger. On display now is a conflict between two contradictory visions: resentment at the injustice, racism and despair embedded in the American project, and Trump’s resort to the executive “dominance” against lawlessness, casting himself as “your President of law and order” to defend the public by threatened military deployment.

The fourth year of the Trump presidency has turned into a nightmare that has shaken the lives, livelihoods and confidence of all Americans. COVID-19 was the perfect storm that exposed US frailties. Trump’s response was appalling; more than 100,000 Americans have died, the economy plunged into a downturn with unemployment heading to 20 per cent, consigning millions of households and businesses to misery. But the bottom 50 per cent — and that includes most African-Americans — are the most damaged.

Peter Hartcher wrote the same yesterday:

America’s problems are not intrinsic to liberal democracy. They are American failures. Above and beyond any single US problem is the system that is supposed to fix problems – its political system.

When a country’s political system fails, its problem-solving mechanism fails. The US today is in such a poor state because its biggest problems never get solved – they just accumulate.

The dry tinder piles up. The dreadful race riots of the 1960s should have been a catalyst for fundamental reform but turned out to a premonition of race-based rage to come. As Serena Williams says: “The worst part is this is nothing new, it’s just filmed.”

The fact that the US is the only rich country to suffer declining life expectancy should have led to change in the underlying problems – deep inequality and ramshackle health care. Instead, the political system continues to enact tax cuts for the well-off and exploitative working conditions and threadbare social welfare for the poor. And health care? America’s unique status as the only rich country without universal health care remains, in spite of Barack Obama’s efforts.

That sounds like Australia to me. The difference is degree not kind. Crucially expressed via cultural proclivities. US identity is pre-occupied with vehemently defended personal power and rights. Australian identity is pre-occupied with vehemently defended poor self-esteem and conformity. Which is better?

This American episode is no different to those that have come before. We’ve seen many race riots in our lifetimes. It is understandable. The history of race relations is a tale that began in the disaster of slavery and has convulsed through dialectical surges and pullbacks for hundreds of years since.

Yet, since the Civil War, the trajectory has usually been up. We are only four years from President Barack Obama and raining Nobel Peace Prizes upon racial harmony. It’s not really a surprise that there’s step backwards after that. That’s dialectical history for ya.

This is not the end of America. It is not a failed state. The issues are real but the reaction is likely, in part, an explosion of angst coming from the COVID-19 trauma. US democracy is still among the most robust in the world with checks and balances embedded in its power structures that most others could only dream of. Even if it had to fall back into civil war for time to reclarify the national compass, those values and processes would survive it.

Is it a troubled place? Sure. It hasn’t changed much since DeTocqueville described it in the 19th century. It is still a bizarre fusion of the ultra-modern and ultra-primitive. An enlightenment state dragged back, and sometimes elevated, by a paradoxical evangelical spirit.

But that’s what you get with a society that privileges freedom above all. It’s a glorious, often chaotic, sometimes bloody, mess.

More power to it, I say. Excessive order is the real danger. The order that comes with repression and repressive regimes.

Give me the odd race riot, black president, white president, sandy grey russet president, progress and retrenchment any day over that.

David Llewellyn-Smith


  1. The rioters should be getting down at the Fed reserve building and through the nice burbs of the Hamptons at the true places that caused this inequality

    Jerome Powell has literally no shame in seeing the market shoot like nothing happened when by every metric it should be half of what it is…disgusting greedy people

    • That’s true
      That is why this is happening
      They just don’t know it and they don’t know where the FED is or what they are doing
      Central banks are destroying our society
      How about a little price discovery

      US is still the safe haven reserve currency

      • CB’s have destroyed democracy and free market economies, nothing fails because these CB boards and Governors, who are not elected by the population, will buy everything with the printing press cause everything is now too big to fail….everything is a lie…

        • Rob
          The truth always eventually comes out ….
          They’ve just thrown the last roll of the dice

          • Not so sure about that Bch, when we only have 2 political parties to choose from (who are v much entangled with one another and have total control of everything) and the CB have total control of our money supply, we in fact have control of nothing….they will not give that up, they will continue to keep the population dumb and subdued and when challenged spark up nationalism to keep the mob occupied and back under control of the govt…just buy property and watch master chef….

        • Rob,

          Having only two parties to choose from is a problem for the US because they don’t have preferential voting, which means that people are strongly tempted to vote for the lesser evil rather than a candidate who expresses their values. It is not a problem for Australia, which is not encumbered by an 18th century constitution. It is continually amazing that young people especially, who have been shafted in every imaginable way, continue to vote for the parties that are responsible for their misery instead of putting them last.

    • They need to hurry out to the flash bits of the Hamptons while it is summer. Many of those 15 million dollar-plus mansions only get used for 6-8 weeks a year around now.

    • Yep, fake money has done more to corrupt society than anything else. Take away fake money and you neuter Governments and reduce banking to the simply utility it should be. No other outcome could be healthier for society.

    • Hartcher and Kelly are an embarrassment to Australian journalism that they have their posts.So much verbiage. So little insight.

  2. Second rate intellects trying to read the tea leaves by looking at the latest “events’ and going OMG!. If these people had any sense of history, they’d know that violent riots are a great American tradition going way back. It will pass. Then there will be lots of chest beating from both sides of politics and oh gosh “analysis” and then it will fade away. .

    • This.

      Place had a revolution and a civil war plus numerous frontier wars during its founding. It’s in their blood.

      Australians like Peter Hartcher, on the other hand, have their feet up on the couch with a glass of red in one hand while squeezing some pearls in the other.

    • These riots may pass but there’s nothing improving about the conditions that led to the riots — much the opposite.

      • The US has worse wealth inequality than Oz, if we also had as an extensive underclass with limited social mobility we would see the same. We are currently less divided however our trajectory is the same as middle class jobs fall away into sh*tty low end service jobs.

        What I admire about the US is they do have these ructions but they also bring change, Australians usually don’t have the balls to protest in a big way like the yanks or the French – we tend to whinge but don’t get out on the street – and our society/political class has rarely had the spine to be at the vanguard of change.

        • Most of us have something to lose – for the time being. Tens if not hundreds of millions of Americans have nothing to lose except their lives. They don’t even have $500 in their bank account, and the ones that did probably spent it after they lost their jobs in March. Every institution in the US government seems hell-bent on increasing inequality further, to Latin American or African levels. Therefore the politics will be in the style of the third-world.

          • @ The Senate agreed mate, I initially didn’t understand the looting of high end retail, it makes more sense to me now if you think of the protests as having transcended Floyd’s demise and now being an explosion of an underclass who are structurally locked out of ever participating in the consumption of stratospherically priced goods, may as well burn it to the ground

  3. Bashing America is all the rage on social media at the moment. Professional victims and sanctimonious types out in force.

    Being anti-American really is the last acceptable cultural prejudice in Australia.

    • They should verbally bash the leadership and the Fed reserve and their evil corporates who have donated NEXT TO NOTHING for any pandemic relief etc…

      How much has Bezos donated? Zuckberg?? Sfa

      They should all look forward to a long hot summer and they should all have the best security detail they can but because imo they will need it when the American masses come looking to dance with them

    • migtronixMEMBER

      I remember it was only 4 years ago that righties loved to bash America for all its pink haired liberalism…


      “if Hillary wins EEEERMAGWAD it won’t even be America, it will be communist”

  4. Australians are virtually bereft of any knowledge of the USA, yet every last one of them seems to have an opinion. I honestly don’t see why we are allies.

    • 100% It’s all “stupid fat white rednecks with guns and blah blah blah” and no real nuanced analysis. But they’ve been to California, maybe NY and got really drunk in Las Vegas one time so they all believe they’re entitled to an opinion.

      All while we rely on them for military protection. (all kinda forgot Americans sacrificed themselves at the Coral Sea to push the Japanese back)

      • “All while we rely on them for military protection. (all kinda forgot Americans sacrificed themselves at the Coral Sea to push the Japanese back)”

        Haven’t we joined enough mindless, self-destructive wars to repay the favour? We don’t owe Americans anything. Our relationship is or should be purely based on mutual self-interest.

        • No I agree, we’ve done enough. Just saying many loudmouthed journos and social media brigade unaware of the historical context and the current arrangement.

          They don’t owe us anything either. We don’t have to host their military bases either but that would mean we would have to go WMD or national service and that’s not palatable for most of the Melbourne/Sydney crowd. Swings and roundabout.

          • Suggesting America would do something out of the goodness of their heart? Now that’s laughable.

          • The USA has been the guarantor of security in the region through which 95% of the shipping trade comes through to Australia since WW2, dolt.

          • Are you arguing for intervention everywhere? Pax Americana has been the most peaceful period in human history.

          • If you read the article, this near-genocidal event was undertaken with American assistance, support and approval.

          • Care to refute my last point? Or that the 7th fleet are the only reason the CCP doesn’t control the SCS? Or Australia’s role in Indonesia itself?

          • Yes, America is involved in Australia to benefit its own interests. These interests also led it to collaborate in the deaths of at least half a million people in our region. America has no heart, as we can see by the things it did in the Cold War which, if China had done, we’d never have heard the end of.

            Or do you think America feels differently about Australians because we’re white or Anglophone or capitalist or something?

            I find it off-putting that you just found out about this horrific atrocity and you’re going all “can u refute my point” like we’re in high school debating. It hasn’t led you to reevaluate anything?

          • I find it off-putting that you can’t refute my argument. But I get a laugh, anyway/

    • The anti-USA outrage and protests around the world are sad and amusing.
      I would be confused if I were a Rohingya or a Uighur. Or even just a Chinese or Russian doctor who blew the whistle on Coronavirus or a shortage of PPE.

    • Every time I visit the US I like it more. It may coincide with shift to wanting less government intervention in my life. The thing about the US is it is not one thing. Any attempt to describe it us such, especially by what is seen in TV through Oprah to Fox, is a failure. They have the world’s smartest and dumbest people. They also have the world’s kindest and psychotic. I think Australia has a lot more in common with them then is fashionable to admit. Currently there is a massive divide between the antitrumpets (fake left) and everyone else. This hatred isn’t often based on fact, but the hatred and sense of victimhood is real. It is encouraged. Riots and violence results, as it always has throughout history.

    • That’s true. Why is nobody steamed up about France where this stuff has been going on for years?

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Because it’s France ?

        Hardly anyone in this country wants it to be like France.

        LOTS of people want it to be like America (America the idea, that is, rather than America the reality).

  5. migtronixMEMBER

    ” US democracy is still the most robust in the world with checks and balances embedded in its power structures that others could only dream of.”

    Dunno about that, money is the only cheque that balances.

    I’m thinking Trump is more Hoover than Jackson, we could end up with another Roosevelt next year….

  6. Actually well done to DLS on this – because it’s an excellent summation. Certainly far superior to the vast majority of the Aussie press. These idiots could be describing themselves this way, yet they are too prejudicial to see it.

    • GentaurMEMBER

      Indeed. Have been to the US many times and lived there for a while. It has it’s flaws for sure (who the hell are we in the narco-realty state to throw stones at them?!?!?) but is in many ways a great nation with excellent people and a lot of variety in all manner of things from state to state. US bashing is a popular sport here. I wonder how many people who indulge in it have even been to the US or spent significant time there. Our thinking as a nation is tiny compared to that of the US.
      One small example, all this talk of a manufacturing renaissance in Oz is pure fantasy. Where would we find the people with the confidence and imagination to have a crack? You would have no problem finding people like that in the US.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Since youre so well acquainted let me ask, do Americans ever bash any other country? Or even all others? Asking for a friend.

        • Generally, no. And we should be bashing the hell out of you for being such hypocrites.

        • codeazureMEMBER

          I’m not sure they’re aware other countries exist, or matter enough to think about for most Americans.

          As to why we are allies, when the rubber hits the road they are the only real choice. Yes, they have their issues, serious ones, but the alternative is unthinkable.

        • GentaurMEMBER

          Some Americans do on occasion, of course. But it’s not one of the standard conversational topics that people revert to, so not often in my experience.

          • migtronixMEMBER

            I listen to American radio broadcasts and podcasts constantly. Currently listening to Republic Broadcasting Network – I assure bashing other countries all the livelong day is a feature not a bug.

          • You are wrong. If you visited the US, you’d be worshipped as an Australian. Here it is the opposite.

        • Generally no. They seem more polite in their day to day dealings on average than in Australia.

        • migtronixMEMBER

          North Korea

          • GentaurMEMBER

            You can listen to as much media rubbish as takes your fancy, and find whatever you like to confirm what you already think. That’s not the same as spending time in a place talking and working with actual humans. If you listened to Alan Jones all day but never spent time in Oz what would you think of the country?

          • migtronixMEMBER

            Pretty much what I do think. Alan Jones captures A LOT of what is Straya, which Australia are you talking about???

          • Nobody bashes Canada in the US. Even the “Blame Canada” thing was a South Park rip on dumb Americans. Compare that with Rick Mercer, the TO Star, CBC -and pretty much all other Canadian media.

          • Gotta love the Toronto Star. If Torstar hadn’t sold their bodice ripper publishing arm Harlequin Enterprises to News Corp, maybe they wouldn’t have been sold to a PE firm last week for a measly C$52 million. “Get woke, go broke” indeed.

        • Is there are country that doesn’t bash another country? My experience is Americans don’t anymore than anyone else. Mostly they don’t think about other countries. Just like we rarely think of NZ, but they seem obsessed by us.

    • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

      I generally agree – his views on many subjects can be wildly pompous, but he generally is a pretty good observer of Aust and the US. Americans are some of the politest people in the world, especially compared to most Australians. Pity that the new cultural elite are so determined to remake and re-invent it in their own image, and so quick to condemn any aspect of America that existed before their arrival.

  7. The rich have been looting in the USA for years, and continue to do so. The looting by mainly black Americans is just a little “I got mine too, Jack”. The rich will be delighted if this resets things, a tax right off and insurance claims, then things will settle down and the share buy backs can start again.

    • Blottridesagain

      It’s NOT the rich who are being destroyed in this. It’s the little people and their livelihoods and neighbourhoods. But it’s all good. let’s bash a few more small Asian women for trying to defend her small market from looting. While we’re at it let’s kill some more cops. That will improve everything.

  8. “Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”

    Frederick Douglas – 19th century Abolishionist

  9. Jumping jack flash

    “That sounds like Australia to me.”

    For sure! Its not just an American problem.

    The underlying problem is of course the inequality, but not as many think.
    The eligibility for the amounts of debt that are required for success is a big contributing factor. A lot of these disadvantaged people can never hope to attain the necessary amounts of debt.

    The fact is that people are people. We can all work hard. Most of us do. Most of us aspire to success and greatness. What really separates us is the eligibility to take on the correct amounts of debt to propel ourselves to success and greatness. Incomes alone are not nearly enough.

    I guess the old adage of “you can’t get rich from working” has never been truer. These days more than ever you can only get rich from a pile of someone else’s debt, and for someone else to give you that stonking great pile of debt for you to get rich from, you need to own something that inflates in value as the debt does, and to afford to buy something like that takes a lot of debt.

    So as you tuck your kids into bed, make sure to tell them that with a lot of hard work and study they may be able to get a job one day that makes them eligible to take on the correct amounts of debt that are required for them to be successful.

  10. Australia is nothing like America. We have universal health care, good public schools, reasonable welfare system and not the deep inequality found in the States. We are not perfect, but comparatively much better than them. It’s a cliche, but we are the Lucky Country. All we need at the moment is an Opposition Party. Where have they disappeared to.

      • Good public schools? Nah. And how about the tertiary system? The differences are far less pronounced than people think. I could go back to the US and have a much higher standard of living than I have here in terms of public schools, health care and housing affordability.

        • Go talk to a few poor families in Australia and in USA and then get back to me. Of course I could have a great standard of living in either country. Sound like you could too. Others with less than us, there is no contest that Australia is the fairer place, with quality universal healthcare and public school education.

          • You know nothing about the primary/ tertiary system in the USA. You’re proving it now. You don’t even know the issues.

    • You are absolutely right Christian. There is no safety net here in the US. If you lose your job, you have a limited amount of time to receive unemployment benefits before you are cut off. If you are sick or injured, you can be easily bankrupted by the hospital system without mercy. The poor and middle class live on the razor edge of total financial destruction at all times. Australians have no idea the peace of mind they enjoy as a result of the safety net of free healthcare and the dole.

  11. Tell me about the near eradication of your indigenous peoples, blackbirding and war adventures, my dear moral superior.

  12. If you ask me these riots have little to do with race / policing and everything to do with the social needs of the people in these communities.
    Humans are pack animals, if you enforce social distancing then you create social stress, the longer you hold the pack apart the greater the attraction force until one day they break free of their bounds, clump together and achieve some good or evil all done to meet this primitive requirement for social interaction.
    If you’ve ever had backyard Chickens you’ll know what I’m talking about, chickens need to surrounded by other chickens, if you feed one a treat they squawk and chirp and run around in circles until they have the attention of every other chicken in the pen, now the weird thing is that they’ll often get chased and drop the treat you gave one of them but they are much happier with this outcome then to quietly sneak into the corner and eat their treat. Humans are no different, the same social need drives us to do all manner of stupid things and riots are just another way that we fulfill this need especially when the we’re told to stay apart.

      • True, but again this militarization of the Police is about group behaviors replacing individual policing.
        That officer in Minneapolis who killed George Floyd was putting on a show for his fellow Police officers.
        This is the way we handle members of that “other” group. From what I could see the whole confinement thing was completely unnecessary but that’s the whole point, it wasn’t about the necessity of this action but rather about the group perception of the action that you as a member of this para-military-police force took.
        An individual was suppressed (and in this case killed) while simultaneously the social standing (pecking order) of the policeman was enhanced. Without Police militarization you just don’t have the same group dynamics at play.

        • I agree that the issues here are nuanced. But there is a cultural problem in the police forces of many metro areas.

        • Blottridesagain

          I might be wrong but I think there is something personal in what happened. Reportedly they worked together. Now, any normal person would have put a stop to abuse of someone they worked with. This was seriously weird and doesn’t look as simple as cops abusing power. Everything abut this thing was weird and my take might be wrong. Just my take on it.

          • The problem is that there appears to be a pattern. And this execution was especially egregious.

    • The90kwbeastMEMBER

      Its interesting because right now, all media is only focused on this being an issue of racism.

      Obviously racism has a solid part to play, and that needs to be addressed wherever it spikes up. What happened to George Flord is horrendous. But the fact that the media haven’t even begun to delve into (from mine) other key driving factors as some have mentioned above warrants pause for thought:

      a) Large and growing wealth inequality – people that have jobs and healthcare don’t tend to resort to looting
      b) A busted healthcare system related to a), because no job = no healthcare. Seriously what a joke.
      c) COVID19 hitting the poorest (many of whom of colour) the most via loss of Healthcare – right in the middle of a pandemic
      d) Poor and inconsistent police training and oppressive policing tactics, which appear to be culturally accepted
      e) Unhealthy gun culture creating a negative feedback loop of trigger happy police, in a country full of guns (I’d pull my gun out first too if I were a cop in that country)

          • You’re just distilling what Hartcher and Kelly say. The reality is far more complicated.

        • The90kwbeastMEMBER

          Ok Kodiak so past your one liner comments, what is your take on the situation?

          • My take is that the credit cycle and trickle-up since the 1980s has led to bubbles and wealth inequality by bi-partisan elites. The outsourcing to China of virtually everything has led to the near-eradication of the middle class. Essentially there has been wealth transfer by stealth.

            The welfare state took fathers out of black homes and local school funding has created a hopeless, permanent underclass – also for poor whites. Some of these are protestors. Some are looters. A lot of them voted for Trump as a vote of no-confidence, which has not been delivered. What’s left of the white middle-class and upper classes do not recognize their privilege or that they have been bailed out in 2000 and 2008 – and even now. So they see any reaction on tv as puerile and anarchistic. And there is an issue with a more militarized police force. Though wealth transfer has taken place in stealth, looting is not done by stealth. And neither is police brutality on camera anymore. Different factions have been conflated. Some are trying to stop this, but I don’t think it’s working. It isn’t really about race, but their is a racial element. It isn’t really about politics, but it is being politicized. It’s about inequality of money flowing to the elites that people are angry about, but probably can’t articulate. It’s about the S&P going bonkers while the poor get minimum wage and meth mouth.

            And it’s difficult to see and end to it in the next 4 years until a Roosevelt like figure rises from the ashes and the USA takes a big turn left – but the current left is too stupid and corrupt to campaign on the real issues. They want transgender bathrooms and big, green social programs.

            That’s the Reader’s Digest version anyway.

          • The90kwbeastMEMBER

            Haven’t we just agreed Kodiak on literally every point you just made? Refer my point a), albeit you have expanded further upon it, but yes growing wealth inequality (and yes – some racism) is one of the key causes behind much of what seems to be going on.

            I just take issue with almost every media outlet framing the issue of racism alone when there is just so much more going on.

          • No. 3 of your points are about healthcare, which I think that the current situation has precious little to do with and I suspect that you know very little of if you think that no job = no healthcare.

            One is about generalized police training. The training isn’t the problem. The culture is.

            And for the trifecta, you go for the armed citizenry. It’s Australian view of the USA 101.

          • The90kwbeastMEMBER

            Ok to be fair no job = no *subsidised* healthcare. The fact is the US still has one of the most busted healthcare systems in the developed world, and if you lose your job you will likely be unable to pay for many things taken for granted in Australia. Like you know, getting tested for CV2019.

            Police training and culture I would suggest are mostly the same thing to the average outsider looking in e.g. was the knee on the neck training, cultural or both? In what world is a militarised and antagonistic police desirable? Especially towards minorities &/or African Americans.

            And I refer the armed citizenry as being a key reason to me why USA cops are so quick to pull out their guns and at times literally shoot first ask questions later. In a nation of so many guns how are police supposed to have an edge of suppression over the regular public when called for, other than to pull their gun out first? What is your explanation for so many police shootings in the USA then?

          • The90kwbeastMEMBER

            Kodiak, I think the world is a better place as a result of the USA’s leadership the past century but you seem to be unable to take completely valid criticism of the country without resorting to lazy one line replies.

            I appreciate your extra detail on the economic side, but to ignore or deflect what I am also raising shows willful ignorance of other increasingly serious issues that primarily only affect the USA. Good day sir.

          • Jumping jack flash

            100% kodiak,

            The downtrodden don’t even need to be wealthy, they just need the means to be able to become eligible for the correct amounts of debt to become wealthy.

            Presently they can’t even do that. They’re locked out of the cycle. Now, in a true ponzi, that fact would eventually lead to the ponzi’s collapse, but in a big place like the US, they don’t even need them to participate.

            Forget bread, give the yearning, downtrodden masses some debt!

            They won’t find any laying around during the looting, either.

      • All true, but all these things were equally true 4 years ago, 14 years ago and 40 years ago, so they don’t really explain the sudden need that the citizens of at least 3 continents seem to have to simultaneously express anger / outrage over something unfortunate that happened to someone they’d all normally try to simply avoid tripping over.
        So nah in my opinion this sudden need for moral outrage has very little to do with George Floyd and everything to do with our social need to be part of a group, Covid 19 has prevented our normal grouping behaviour so we’ve simply discovered a new way to group together, it’s called a riot, but it’s fun while it lasts and it fulfills a social needs on both sides of the Blue line.
        Think of this as a competitive sport,
        we have teams that are easily identifiable
        we have goals (for both sides)
        we have irrational mob support for their particular favorite
        we have vicarious living through our team’s success
        we have endless Monday morning quarterbacking, opinions stacked on opinions all reacting to opinions
        So I’ll stick with my opinion that these riots serve a social need, and that’s why they’re so popular.

        • The90kwbeastMEMBER

          Unsure on this one sorry.

          Never mind tens of millions just lost their job, and their healthcare support in the middle of a pandemic, and are all being locked up inside with little money and healthcare support. Oppressive policing in parts trying to subdue to frustration. No, that has nothing to do with it at all.

          • Ah not sure what to say, I started out by acknowledging that Covid19 has created the crises and that riots are our solution. the rest is just today’s cause celebre

        • drsmithyMEMBER

          14 and 40 years ago we didn’t have social media. Heck, 14 years ago The Australian was still a semi-respectable newspaper.

          Even 4 years ago I would argue it’s not as pervasive as it is now, and it certainly wasn’t anywhere near as influential.

          I would argue the results here are a combination of greater awareness (via social media) and an increasing feeling of powerlessness in many countries against their ruling classes.

          • You lost me there, Are you arguing that I’m right or wrong?
            Social media isn’t a substitute for physical interaction and in many ways social media is just the appetizer that whets the appetite but never satiates. Physical interaction and physical closeness, group interaction and group closeness are what we need and curiously exactly what we get when we choose a path like Rioting.
            We get to be close to our group and simultaneously we get to be close and even physical with other groups.
            Our pack animal social needs are thereby met, it’s really not that hard to understand.

          • drsmithyMEMBER

            I don’t think your idea that this is because people are lonely is correct.

            Social media means information is disseminated far more widely, more quickly and in greater quantities than ever before. Social media today is also far more credible and influential than it was even four years ago.

            Increasingly naked corruption in many western countries is leaving people feeling more powerless than they have for generations. Increasingly wealth inequality is exacerbating this.

            These are the drivers of the current sympathetic protests worldwide, IMHO, not because people haven’t been physically socialised for a couple of months.

          • All true, but also all unnecessary extraneous information
            When it comes right down to it we all need a cause for the things we do, but it is never the cause that satisfies our needs. Yet our needs get satisfied, how can that be unless of course the “cause” is simply the fact that we use to trick our logical selves into behaving in a manner that serves some deeper need for which we have no logical cause.
            All that I’m saying is that in the end we behave exactly as nature always intended us to, the sad part is that we need to trick ourselves before we allow ourselves to behave as nature intended.
            Now maybe I’m drifting into a region of uncomfortable truths especially for a blog dominated by hikikomori alas sometimes the simplest answer is the right answer.

  13. mikef179MEMBER

    People should be looking at China for the potential failed state. At least this all comes out into the open in the US allowing for things to re-adjust. In China, it’s all suppressed waiting for the massive explosion. Are these protests still going to be going constantly and be around a year from now ala Hong Kong? America is far from perfect, but it’s nowhere near China and as others have said, Australia is not one to be throwing stones.

  14. Your little analysis is worth far more than all the “serious” mass media analysis in Oz put together. The thing about these riots is that it’s an “event”. It will simply confirm either side in their beliefs and won’t change a thing in any meaningful way, just as the yellow vests riots in France a year ago, remember them? lol

  15. ” Even if it had to fall back into civil war for time to reclarify the national compass, those values and processes would survive it.”

    We’ve got a stake in this too y’know. We’re hoping our investments in previous US adventurism will pay off when China sails its fleet to our neighbourhood. I’m not convinced it will.

  16. Interested Party

    It line with David’s comments, the idea that is the USA; it is under direct and concerted attack from the far left democratic machine that is determined to break then rebuild America into some sort of socialistic utopia. It has been under attack since before Trump was inaugurated.
    The clip below is a segment from Fox news that gives voice to exactly what David has written above. Exactly.
    3 mins in…..

    The globalists are all in with these riots. Multiple fronts.
    Trump is weak…hid in bunker.
    Trump is bully…..calls Nat guard.
    Trump hides….Trump hold bible…….Trump trump trump.

    Meanwhile…the good folks on the street see through the bullshlt, see the democratic support for the riots, for antifa, for the looting and the attacks on LEO’s.

    This will not end well for the dems. America will survive this. America will come back stronger that you can imagine.

    • Blottridesagain

      No! No! No! Beating up small women; looting small businesses; destroying the fabric of neighbourhoods; shooting cops especially black ones; it’s all good and justified.
      You’ve got key legal people and governors of these states saying that it is ALL good. Not sure how US comes back from that. They are NOT going to prosecute ANY rioters, looters or thugs beating up women. They have said so quite plainly.

    • Narapoia451MEMBER

      If you honestly think that the democratic establishment, or the majority of the dem voting majority in the US support violence in the streets, looting, or that there is even a far left socialist component to the Dems with any influence at all (using the actual definition of the word socialist) then you should probably stop watching fox news, you have been misinformed. I’d recommend examining biases and other sources of information you use as well.

    • You’re using Fox News, that neocon flog fest, as a credible source of information? Put the shovel down and step away.

      • Interested Party

        Oh…I hear you. Not a common thing for me to watch…..it came up on a certain persons twat feed is all. In fact….I don’t have the tv plugged in. Too expensive replacing them after throwing things at them.
        They all tell the same story….just spun in different directions.

      • graphicMEMBER

        Waving not drowning? Ah, the good old ad hominem, eh. That’s always a good sign of being on the right side of the argument.

  17. Good post David.
    I hear what you’re saying. Australians have long been too complacent, but over the past 20 years they’ve grown smug as well. They are like the pod people from Invasion of the Body Snatchers. They have no spark, no inner fire that gets them off their asses. Exhibit one inch of individuality and the majority will tell you to “pull your head in”, label you a troublemaker, shake their heads and wonder what is wrong with you. The US has it’s problems but at least a lot of Americans have the balls to try and improve their lives, to get out there and fight for justice. Australians are more likely to fight for franking credits and to keep negative gearing.

    • You have brought this discredited pile of bollocks up a dozen times on this board.

      • Pretty sure I have brought it up only once before. Also it is not discredited in the slightest, there is ample evidence in the article to support the accusation and now that the transcripts from Kerr are due to be released there will be even more.

  18. desmodromicMEMBER

    Indeed. Any culture that can give the world Jazz, Blues and Rock and Roll deserves our thanks. I hope things get better soon.

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      Pfft. America’s three great contributions to the world are Jack Daniels, hotdogs and cheerleaders.

  19. few things I don’t agree with but overall it’s good assessment. My view is that the fix is lot easier than many think. If US enacts laws that make the Media totally independent and unbiased (not an easy task) all will fall in place.
    This is the silver bullet in my view.
    Another one that can make huge difference is to make lobbying illegal with heavy jail sentences and loss of privileges if anyone caught practicing it.

  20. my comment awaiting moderation – can someone tell me why? There is nothing in there offensive. god..

  21. Super Phoenix

    If you think the US is a single entity, you are gravely mistaken. The US is a collection of the 50 states plus a few territories. These 50 states do different things, some of them stupid. But it doesn’t matter!! America does not need all the 50 states to do the same thing or even the majority of them to do the same thing.

    Look at it this way…. if all the 50 states did the same thing, and if that thing were wrong, it would be bad. But that’s not going to happen!! Not efficient but more robust.

  22. A. Powell – Citi memo

    B. The U.S. as reserve currency – has – to run *persistent* deficits which is akin to exporting jobs.

    C. Rewarmed Corporatism aka neoliberalism ushered in during Carter and barn doors thrown open in Reagan’s years in the survival of the fittest atomatistic individualistic pay to play skin in the game poverty is a choice [tm] anti social paradigm – E.g. freedom and liberties ….

    D. You have a Democracy of Money [or mammon] in the U.S. and not liberal or social, all policy is organized through ideological mobs like ALEC et al, and its economics is and has been dominated by the same forces E.g. money and rank self serving ideology.

    For the freedom breathers I can recommend working in a “right to work state” and suffer some act of goat and see how that freedom tastes at the dumpster or food bank.

  23. America really needs to break up and subsets of states regroup into smaller and hopefully more democratic units. The same should also happen to China and a few other large countries.
    What I see as the main problem in America is that there is zero democratic decision making around the important economic issues in peoples lives. There are two political parties that people are allowed to decide between but they have largely identical economic policies, which are the neoliberal privatisation of everything that moves and free movement of goods, services, capital and labour. Trump has chucked somewhat of a spanner in the free movement of labour and goods to slightly appease his voting base, but on the other hand has pushed privatisation and tax cuts for the rich. The economist/historian Michael Hudson made a good point that the rich elite of the Democratic party would prefer Trump to win over any of their own candidates and it may be the reason they wanted the Senile Biden to win the primary. The reason being that Trump will cut taxes for them and make them better off in ways that no democrat president could get away with without causing a massive rift in the democrat voting base.

  24. DazzlerMEMBER

    Someone somewhere once said America is not a country.
    America is a business.
    May be some truth in that. As a pleb in the American Business empire I’m a happy shareholder, and vey much appreciate Pax Americana .

  25. Floyd's Rap Sheet

    If the US is a failed state then so are most countries on Earth.

    People throughout Asia and Africa work hard and survive on $20 per week without resorting to criminality.

    The media and democrats have whipped this up with their sustained campaign.

  26. SoCalSurfCreeperMEMBER

    DLS you have a good grasp of what America is. Most do not. These authors do not. I moved here 20 years ago for what I expected would be a year or two. I remember thinking even then that the whole place was permanently on a knife edge of meltdown and chaos. It’s like that in the best of times. It’s like that in the worst of times. I would guess that it has always been that way. And maybe that’s the source of its endless dynamism. Nobody could ever say it’s perfect. Far from it. But if you don’t mind a wild ride there is no place more alive with individualism, diversity, edginess, risk taking, bold ideas and nutty optimism. Australians and Americans are culturally similar in many ways, but the biggest point of differentiation is Americans are more willing to take big risks. Almost no enforcement of speed limits, very little policing of dunk driving, lots of guns, lots of drugs, dirt cheap booze, limited government safety net, a low tolerance of government, low tolerance of lock downs, high tolerance of pandemic, riots, expensive health care, and a willingness to bet big on startup companies and long shots. Australia isn’t even willing to risk a recession.

  27. OK folks, in two-three weeks this will be past none even remembers

    same as covid doom in March

    • Probably not because you don’t have a grasp on statistics:

      Los Angeles County, California had its usual daily spike: 1,202 new cases and 60 new fatalities.
      That raises the total number of LA County cases to 57,118 and the total fatalities to 2,443, which puts Los Angeles County in 3rd place, nationwide.

      So what would Jefferson do if such occurred in his nail shack and how that could effect his entire operation down the “long road”.

  28. slatteryMEMBER

    ‘Excessive order is the real danger. The order that comes with repression and repressive regimes.

    ‘Give me the odd race riot, black president, white president, sandy grey russet president, progress and retrenchment any day
    over that.’
    Is that the choice?