Someone has asked me my opinion about the US government shutdown.

Well, I have opinions, for what they are worth, about several aspects of this lamentable situation.

1. Trump is not without justification. He campaigned on the issue of the wall. It was one of his most publicised policies and he won, so one would think that he should be able to implement it. He has come under huge pressure to change just about everything that he campaigned for and so I can understand him digging his heels in.

2. At the same time, dividing the world's people up with walls, whether physical or bureaucratic, is something I abhor. I would never have voted for it myself. I believe in freedom of movement for myself and for others.

3. Behind these immediate opinions there are deeper demographic issues. Trump is probably right to think that Hispanic immigration represents an existential threat to the USA. The day is in sight when several states bordering Mexico will be majority Spanish speaking. Once this is the case it will become much more difficult to keep the USA as a single political unit. This has nothing to do with Hispaqnics being good or bad people, it is simply that a country so culturally divided becomes difficult to govern and may actually split.

4. But so what? I would not mind if California, say, did become an independent country. Why shouldn't it? It would have an economy bigger than those of most other countries in the world and would be quite capable. This would reduce the overall power of the USA slightly, but that would not be a bad thing either.

5. On an even bigger scale, demographic studies show us that if people are not allowed to move and mix then economic disparities between one part of the world and another will be greater than if they are so allowed. This will mean that the world human population will peak at a higher level - perhaps an extra trillion people - than if there is greater movement and levelling out. This excess of mouths to feed will substantially worsen the already highly threatening ecological problems that we know about - and probably many more that we don't yet know about.

6. On another tack, the Trump stand-off brings to light substantial problems in the supposedly democratic constitution of the USA. "Checks and balances" can, as in this case, become bitter divisions. Courts, which are supposed to be halls of justice,  become arenas of politics. Parties, which are supposed to present positive programmes, become means of obstruction. As long as there is a consensus among the governing class, it kind of works, but when somebody comes along who really thinks differently chaos soon breaks out. There is no perfect political system.

7. The advent of Trump in America reflects a trend across the world. One might count Brexit as another example and that vote occurred before Trump came to power. It would be a mistake to think that if one could just get rid of Donald everything will go back to how it was before. It won't. There are bigger forces at work. These are mostly to do with the way that the world trading and economic system works. This is not just about capitalism vs socialism, since neither has an adequate answer - but then, so far, nor does anybody else, it seems.

8. The shutdown might last a long time or might be solved tomorrow, but it is just one headline in the on-going story of how America and the world are being forced to confront the fact that the settlement that was partly explicitly and partly implicitly arrived at in the aftermath of World War II is no longer working as originally intended. The rich get richer, the poor poorer, achievements do not meet expectations, greed, envy and hatred are proliferating. This would historically have led to World War III by now, but the presence of weapons of mass destruction means we have to find another way. So far, nobody has a credible solution and so the signs of breakdown and outbreaks of chaos are likely to go on multiplying.

Views: 68

Replies to This Discussion

Remembering back, Trump tied two promises together. He will build a wall and Mexico will pay for it. So this current dispute over his demand the us pays for the wall has no legitimacy,.   Not that Trump himself has any issues regarding not having legitimacy.




ITZI Conference 2019

Subscribe to ITZI Conference Newsletter

* indicates required

Blog Posts

Sagesse féline...

Posted by Tamuly Annette on September 29, 2019 at 12:00 1 Comment

En l'absence de Darmavidya, j'ai - en ma qualité de voisine et d'amie - le privilège de m'occuper (un peu) de Tara, la petite chatte. C'est un bonheur  de la voir me faire la fête chaque fois que je me rends à Eleusis: elle s'étire, se roule sur le dos au soleil ou saute sur mes genoux. J'ignore si elle a profité de l'enseignement du maître des lieux, mais j'ai comme l'impression qu'elle me donne une belle leçon de sagesse: elle…



Posted by David Brazier on August 20, 2019 at 21:38 2 Comments

At the moment I am feeling very sad for the state of the planet. As I write the great forests are being consumed by fire, both the tropical forest in Brazil and the tundra forest in Russia. The great forests are the lungs of the earth. I myself have lung problems. When there are parts of the lungs that don’t work anymore one can run out of energy. It can strike suddenly. We will probably not do anything serious about climate change or wildlife extinction…



Posted by David Brazier on June 26, 2019 at 18:04 10 Comments

My medical condition continues to be a mystery. It is clear that I do not have any of the big nasty things - brain tumour, cracked skull, stroke, etc - as these have been ruled out by MRI investigation. Nonetheless I continue to have persistent, continuous head pain that varies in intensity and I become exhausted by the least effort so that I am functioning like an invalid incapable of doing very much. There is always a possibility that the whole syndrome is a…



Posted by Dayamay Dunsby on June 2, 2019 at 1:02 4 Comments

“Do we know what it means to be struck by grace? It does not mean that we suddenly believe that God exists, or that Jesus is the saviour, or that the Bible contains the truth. Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness. It strikes us when we walk through the dark Valley of a meaningless and empty life. It strikes us when we feel that our separation is deeper than usual, because we have violated another life, a life which we loved, or from which we were estranged. It strikes us… Continue

© 2019   Created by David Brazier.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service