Sustainable countries are sustained, literally, by a type of secular nationalism, imposed by their national institutions, and showing up as local traditions. This peculiarism is akin to a religious structure, and often related to the local superstition(s). Religions have moral systems. Moral systems have very practical consequences: countries behave according to them, according to their own national morality.
The tradition of crooks confessing on national TV (that they were honest crooks, so to speak) is a tradition in the USA. And also, confessing, and that is obvious in the case of the cyclism crook Lance Armstrong, can be itself a manipulation.
American peculiarism is of peculiar interest because of the great influence of the USA, and its pretensions to universalism. It is always inappropriate to masquerade peculiarism as universalism. Yet peculiarism is often there to hide exploitation below red herrings, and other irrelevance.
In the USA, the bigger crooks, the more they visit visit the White House regularly. During the “Chinagate” affair, under Clinton, the chief crook visited the White House no less than 58 (fifty-eight) times (in less than 4 years). He was a major money contributor to the Democratic Party, and also a Chinese government agent. (22 other agents were convicted.)
Aaron Swartz was an Internet genius (having been co-author of the RSS program at age 14). JSTOR is an organization to STORe Journals. It is restricted to those who are viewed favorably by the powers that be (for example I do not have presently access to JSTOR, being an enemy of the established order).
Never mind that the research published in the academic Journals was financed by the public (yes, even arrogant Harvard is financed by the public, the word “private” as in “private university” is a joke).
In plutocracy, the public is made to be stolen, and the great priests (now played by Nobel prize winners and the like in “prestigious” institutions) are there to make that into a religion.
For a very long time, academic journals, or, more generally, academic publishing, have been a good trick to make multi-billion dollar fortunes, so the wealthy have been partial to this system, one more system to divert public funds to their pockets. (In Great Britain alone, several multi-billion dollar fortunes arose from academic publishing.)
Aaron Swartz noticed this, that JSTOR was an organization to steal public property. He downloaded millions of articles of JSTOR, to allow the public to access it own public property. That was an important violation of the plutocratic principle that only the mighty has access to knowledge, because knowledge is power, and power belongs to those who have it.
(The Obama administration uses this plutocratic principle when it uses secret recipes to decide which citizens of the USA will be summarily executed by robots, for whatever those citizens did that crossed the secret red lines.)
Aaron Swartz was relentlessly pursued by the government of the USA, the latter thus proclaiming, for all to see, that the established order had a moral right to steal public property. Swartz risked 35 years in jail, no less (for trying to give back to the public, public property, the primary crime in plutocracies!) He faced a trial, public humiliation, enormous cost in time, worry, money, gigantic injustice, the feeling that he was nothing, and would be crushed by plutocracy, no matter what.
Aaron Swartz committed suicide. When he was still free to do so. At age 26. He was made an example by plutocracy. Morality, plutocratic style, re-established. All plutocrats can rejoice. JSTOR came out with a declaration oozing with haughty hypocrisy.
Notice the analogy between JSTOR and the banking system: banks also use public money, and the full back-up of the public, through the money giving (“printing money”, “monetary base”, “quantitative easing”) of the public’s government.
However, in recent times, after a number of corrupt individuals tweaked the system to their advantage under Clinton, the bankers became convinced they could get away with anything. Now they have got used to confiscate the money, and keep it to themselves, their friends, politicians, and (so called) public servants. That’s why they have the command and control of the red carpet at the White House, and the president calls them “friends”, express his admiration, and go play golf with them.
Banking is another case of stealing public money by an oligarchy. But of course not too many academics will protest about JSTOR, and, thus, banking. Once “top” academics are fed at the trough in Harvard or Stanford, they laud the plutocracy that feed them, as Roman intellectuals used to do, to their great satisfaction, as small thinkers, and great greedsters.
A related case is that of Mr. Assange of WikiLeaks, an Australian. His greatest crime should have seen him decorated by the USA Medal of Freedom. Indeed it showed an attack helicopter destroying like vermin a number of civilians, and rescuers, having mistaken a reporter’s camera with a gun. It demonstrated that the U.S. Army had criterion of engagement inside cities that should be changed. And yet, Assange is pursued with rage, as if he were a danger for civilization.
Instead it is those who are gun happy and those who steal public property are threats to civilization.
In barely more than a week, the Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” experienced a brake failure, a fuel leak, a fire which fire fighters took 40 minutes to extinguish with specialized equipment, on the ground in Boston, a cracked front cockpit window, and finally smoking battery that leaked corrosive fluids, projecting flammable liquids 4 meters away, provoking an emergency descent and landing. The 787 Dreamliner was ordered off the skies, worldwide.
Immediately, propagandists with weasel words implied that this had happened before. But not so, to see a new model of planes with so many problems is an unprecedented event in aviation history.
(The Comet in the early fifties exploded mysteriously four times, and the DC10 also had two very deadly crashes; they got grounded, but these were, essentially mysteries about unforeseeable metal fatigue problems; the 737s also had a mysterious control failure, over several years, but, there again, this was more of mystery, a subtle, unforeseen problem; right now the A380 “Super Jumbo” is the object of a recall of cracking aluminum rib brackets in its wings, 4,000 of them per plane, because a British company made a slight mistake; but that’s no big deal, just a recall, and most companies will wait major revisions to do so.)
Why did not this happen before? Because Boeing was an engineering company based in Seattle. It made great planes. Now Boeing is a financial company with headquarters in Chicago, making financial-political plots, worldwide. So the 787 is a shoddy plane.
Meanwhile the F35 Lightning II, another worldwide USA led political-financial plot, is delaminating (the layers of composite material of the tail are separating from each other). Same story at Locckeed-Martin as at Boeing.
There is nothing like sheer violence. To impose oneself, and get to the top. Lance Armstrong (not his true name) made a fortune of more than 100 million dollars, and it’s entangled in his “charity” (“Live Strong”). OK, granted it’s little relative to ex-president Bill Clinton’s fortune, and much less of an ethical breach.
All along Armstrong cheated, and the rumor has it that his cheating was so successful, because it happened with the complicity of some controlling authorities.
The same thing happened with the USA Olympics committee in the times of Marion Jones, and for decades before that. Times magazine made a cover claiming she would get five gold medals. Never mind that Marion Jones was tightly connected, and even married, to notorious drug circles in the San Francisco Bay Area. Unfortunately the Olympic committees of other countries had enough of this American corporate circus, and Ms. Jones got finally busted. She went to jail a bit.
The fact remains that known drug addicts are celebrated as great sport figures, and entire sports are going control free, because they are big business, and the grotesque, steroid exhuding aspect of the athletes is part of the draw.
So Arm Strong confessed, a sort of religious ceremony USA citizens are eager for, in their simplicity. He was questioned by Oprah Winfrey, herself a monument of the system, a billionaire of her own, paid to ask the right questions in the right way on the authorized subjects, as part of the general lobotomization program. One could nearly see the dollars scrolling across the screen. It has always been clear that Armstrong benefited from the highest complexities, and still do.
That way Armstrong (not his true name) is pretty much like USA corporations and plutocrats. No paying their way, but profiting from the system, arm stronging the rest of the cycling world into oblivion, just like the USA corporations and plutocrats are arm stronging the rest of the planet into oblivion. While USA industries were making billions from Armstrong, the rest of the planet, once again, was getting the short stick.
Countries come with their moralities. The USA long enjoyed the moral and judicial system exhibited in “Django Unchained”. But what did work, sort of, exploiting a rich and empty continent, killing millions of slaves and Indians, will not work on a crowded, simmering planet, full of people who are neither slaves, nor Neolithic American natives.