Living behind the CNN curtain
Good Bye, Lenin! is a 2003 German tragicomedy film. Directed by Wolfgang Becker captures the confusion inhabitants of East Germany (the GDR) had after the Berlin Wall came down and the West suddenly flooded in.
What the East Berliners didn't appreciate, to comic effect, was how incredibly behind the times they had become. Consumer culture and technology had leaped dramatically during the preceding Cold War years in ways that were unimaginable.
I am reminded of this film whenever I hear Secretary of State John Kerry or presumptive Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speak. Their words appear to come from a time warp from a previous era before the US middle class fell behind Canada's when measured in terms of standard of living; before America's press freedom dropped to 46 on the Reporters Without Borders league table, and before the America's prison population skyrocketed to over 2 million to swell the profits of private prison operators like Corrections Corp. of America.
What those living behind what I call the 'CNN Curtain' in America, a population that represents 5% of the world's population miss, is that the other 95% has been busy these past 15 years (post China entering the World Trade Organization) inventing a post-America future. Many think that the past 15 years has been notable for an uptick in globalization but I would posit that the modern growth of financialization is more important; and the commensurate gapping of wealth and income that we've seen - resulting in the most extreme concentration of wealth amongst the new robber barons of Wall St. and the City of London in history.
In many ways, since China joined the WTO, we've witnessed a de-globalization in terms of a breakaway from the dominant ideology of the 20th century that drove American soft power and global hegemony. Instead of a unipolar world, we've seen a fracturing and a move away from the 'freedom and democracy' meme emanating from Washington D.C. and the rise of the so-called BRIC nations of the East and 'Global South' who see the world quite differently and have the resources and capital to shape their own destinies.
This is why, at the moment, we are witnessing a gross caricature of America's previous global ideological grip - in the persons of Kerry and Clinton - who appear remarkably out to touch with the times; their news conferences attempting to justify America's latest incursion into Ukraine, become instant verification for the world's 'other 95%' that the US is clueless.
Living behind the CNN curtain
Just like the people living in East Germany pre-Berlin wall coming down, gradually lost touch with the outside world to the point of a comical disconnect, as portrayed in "Good Bye, Lenin," so too Americans and their leaders appear comically out of the loop. The reason being: they watch CNN and actually believe CNN's narrative about Russian advances into Ukraine, the sanctity of Wall St., and the wholesomeness of American culture as a 'shining city on a hill' as Ronald Reagan called it.
Living behind the CNN curtain means that 330 million Americans are gradually seceding from the rest of the world - that is now happily moving on - creating their own financial system, their own culture, their own destiny.
There's John Kerry again talking as if America just landed on the moon and the USD is the unimpeachable stalwart and world reserve currency backed by a growing economy with little debt and lots of gold. HAHAHAHAHA! Sometimes the effect is even more detached. Sometimes it's as if John Kerry's words have been broadcast from a planet 20 or 30 light years away and are now just reaching us.
Will the US ever, 'tear down that CNN wall' as Reagan may have put it, and rejoin the world community?
I would like to see America once again be a thought leader and lead by example. It would be great if the U.S. didn't resolve all their disputes with drones and autocratic fiat dictates that authorize summary executions of political enemies in the U.S. and abroad; including US citizens.
It would be nice to not feel embarrassed every time a John McCain, John Kerry or Hillary Clinton speaks in public. I hope that day comes again.In the meantime, watch RT and see what the other 95% are up to.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.