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Editorial January 26, 2008
America’s Dangerous Decline
By Eduard Lukasovich Browse author

This week, in the wake of further falls on the world markets, U.S. President George W. Bush announced that he is prepared to push through yet another "stimulus package" on top of the $195 billion already put forward. Meanwhile, murky Chinese and Arabic state-backed funds are investing tens of billions of dollars into leading Western multinational banking institutions like Citicorp and Merrill Lynch, with others soon to follow.

This is exactly the wrong policy at the wrong time. The free market should be allowed to resolve and harmonize the distortions in whatever way it sees fit. State intervention to shore up banks and put money in the citizens' pockets will only reduce competitiveness and create a cycle of dependency. Bush's decision to use socialism to "cure" the free market is yet another indication of how far America is declining, and how little it has come to terms with this decline.

For several years now, America has been suffering from a "hyperpower complex," in which it still likes to act is if it is the world's only superpower, and can dictate terms to anyone. In reality, America's geopolitical power has suffered one of the most rapid declines since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Who would have thought that a few thousand poorly-armed insurgents in a pair of backwards nations, Iraq and Afghanistan, could defeat superior American forces, and at the same time bankrupt the empire?

In retrospect, it's easy to see why this happened. A combination of imperial overreach and state-interventionism is exactly what doomed the Soviet Union, as well as Great Britain. Sadly, America is making the same mistake. It cannot admit that it has lost the war in Iraq, and in fact has embarked on a bizarre self-esteem campaign to convince itself that its so-called "surge" has actually worked, and the war now is won. It's like watching a terminally ill man making plans to take up hang gliding as soon as he's up and out of the intensive care unit.

Indeed, America today reminds one of the tragic finale in Of Mice And Men, with George Bush as Lenny pointing across the ocean, dreaming of his plans to build a series of democracy farms as far as the eye can see, while his friend George, played by Adam Smith, holds up an old musket-pistol to Bush's head, and, with a heavy heart, fires a giant musketball of market economics reality into Bush's uncompetitive state-interventionist brain.

Today, Americans are too misguided to understand that even if hundreds of billions of dollars disappear in the credit crisis, or the American banking system collapses, or they and hundreds of thousands of American families lose their homes to the waves of foreclosures--that these are not necessarily bad things. It's like ripping off a bandage, I like to say. So if you lose your house, your job, your kids, your future, it's actually just like ripping off a bandage. Really, it's for your own good. How hard is it to understand that?

Hard, apparently. That is why I believe that the world's Ascending Powers (APs), namely China, Russia, and India, should demand that the United States halt its state intervention into its failed banks and let the market sort it out. Because nothing sorts out economic distortions better than the free market.

Furthermore, American markets must be pried open to allow Chinese, Russian and Indian banks to move in and snap up the collapsing American banks at firesale prices. True, old nationalist feelings will stir in the American heartland, and Americans will not like watching their once-prized assets sold off to foreigners for cheap, but Americans must be made to understand that they have no other choice. Their finances are in a mess and no amount of socialism can help. They must sell everything off now, quickly, and cheaply, to those who understand how to compete in the 21st century market. Fat is everywhere, and here are just a few suggestions: America could sell NASA to the Chinese and raise a few hundred million dollars, the school system to Russia for perhaps half that, and the Environmental Protection Agency to India, including the parks and recreation services, all legacies of socialism, in return for allowing India to bury its toxic waste in America's parklands. If America wants to survive in the new millennium, it will have to undergo a period of pain. Since each American is less and less valuable on a per-capita basis, it only makes sense that toxic waste should be increasingly directed to American territory.

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Save The eXile: The War Nerd Calls Mayday
The future of The eXile is in your hands! We're holding a fundraiser to save the paper, and your soul. Tune in to Gary Brecher's urgent request for reinforcements and donate as much as you can. If you don't, we'll be overrun and wiped off the face of the earth, forever.

Scanning Moscow’s Traffic Cops
Automotive Section
We’re happy to introduce a new column in which we publish Moscow’s raw radio communications, courtesy of a Russian amateur radio enthusiast. This issue, eXile readers are given a peek into the secret conversations of Moscow’s traffic police, the notorious "GAIshniki."

Eleven Years of Threats: The eXile's Incredible Journey
Feature Story By The eXile
Good Night, and Bad Luck: In a nation terrorized by its own government, one newspaper dared to fart in its face. Get out your hankies, cuz we’re taking a look back at the impossible crises we overcame.

Your Letters
Russia's freedom-loving free market martyr Mikhail Khodorkovsky answers some of this week's letters, and he's got nothing but praise for President Medvedev.

Clubbing Adventures Through Time
Club Review By Dmitriy Babooshka
eXile club reviewer Babooshka takes a trip through time with the ghost of Moscow clubbing past, present and future, and true to form, gets laid in the process.

The Fortnight Spin
Bardak Calendar By Jared Lindquist
Jared comes out with yet another roundup of upcoming bardak sessions.

Your Letters
Richard Gere tackles this week's letters. Now reformed, he fights for gerbil rights all around the world.

13 Toxic Talents: Hollywood’s Worst Polluters
America By Eileen Jones
Everybody complains about celebrities, but nobody does anything about them. People, it’s time to stop fretting about whether we’re a celebrity-obsessed culture—we are, we have been, we’re going to be—and instead take practical steps to clean up the celebrity-obsessed culture we’ve got...


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