Post by email@example.com Post by Super User For Ever Post by Miguel Post by rgomez
Y seremos como el Che...
Asi que el pueblo esta con Fidel? Convencelo que tenga elecciones
libres en Cuba y que permitan a cualquier candidato anti=comunista
contra Fifo el Loco, a ver que pasa.
Veamos que queda de esta eleccion "democratica" viendo en
las de irak.
Deja a Iraq tranquila y piensa que queremos elecciones como en toda
Europa, en la mayoria de la America Latina, en Norte America y en la
todos los paises civilizados del mundo.
En norte america???.... Lo que es la ignorancia funcional!
- Anti-Americanism is especially
virulent in Europe and Latin America, where countries have
established their own distinctive ways—none made in America
- When the soviets withdrew from Central Europe, U.S.
constitutional experts rushed in. They got a polite
hearing, and were sent home.
- the Czechs' firm decision to adopt a European-style
- After American planes and bombs freed the country,
Kosovo opted for a European constitution
- South Africa rejected American-style federalism in
favor of a German model
- The new democracies are looking for a constitution
written in modern times and reflecting their progressive
concerns about racial and social equality
- Nearly all countries reject the United States' right
to bear arms as a quirky and dangerous anachronism
- the growing sense that American law, once the world
standard, has become "provincial."
- the conviction that America's Constitution and legal
system are out of step with the rest of the world
- there's as much economic dynamism in the newly
industrializing economies of Asia, Latin America
and even eastern Europe. All are growing faster than
the United States. At current trends, the Chinese
economy will be bigger than America's by 2040
- Airbus recently overtook Boeing in sales of commercial
aircraft, and the EU recently surpassed America as China's
top trading partner. This year's ranking of the world's
most competitive economies by the World Economic Forum
awarded five of the top 10 slots—including No. 1
Finland—to northern European social democracies.
"Nordic social democracy remains robust," writes
Anthony Giddens, former head of the London School
of Economics and a "New Labour" theorist, in a
recent issue of the New Statesman, "not because
it has resisted reform, but because it embraced it."
- "In Sweden, you are three times more likely to rise
out of the economic class into which you were born
than you are in the U.S."
- Even in poorer, pro-American Hungary and Poland,
polls show that only a slender minority (less than
25 percent) wants to import the American economic model
- Small wonder that the World Health Organization
rates the U.S. healthcare system only 37th best in
the world, behind Colombia (22nd) and Saudi Arabia
(26th), and on a par with Cuba
- Not long ago, the United States was destination number
one for foreign students seeking university educations.
Today, growing numbers are going elsewhere—to other
parts of Asia, or Europe. You can almost feel the
- The failure of the American Dream has only been
highlighted by the country's foreign-policy failures,
not caused by them. The true danger is that Americans
do not realize this, lost in the reveries of greatness,
speechifying about liberty and freedom.
Published in the January 31, 2005 issue of Newsweek International
Dream On America
The U.S. Model: For years, much of the world did aspire to the American
way of life. But today countries are finding more appealing systems in
their own backyards.
by Andrew Moravcsik
Not long ago, the American dream was a global fantasy. Not only
Americans saw themselves as a beacon unto nations. So did much of the
rest of the world. East Europeans tuned into Radio Free Europe. Chinese
students erected a replica of the Statue of Liberty in Tiananmen Square.
You had only to listen to George W. Bush's Inaugural Address last week
(invoking "freedom" and "liberty" 49 times) to appreciate just how
deeply Americans still believe in this founding myth. For many in the
world, the president's rhetoric confirmed their worst fears of an
imperial America relentlessly pursuing its narrow national interests.
But the greater danger may be a delusional America—one that believes,
despite all evidence to the contrary, that the American Dream lives on,
that America remains a model for the world, one whose mission is to
spread the word.
The gulf between how Americans view themselves and how the world views
them was summed up in a poll last week by the BBC. Fully 71 percent of
Americans see the United States as a source of good in the world. More
than half view Bush's election as positive for global security. Other
studies report that 70 percent have faith in their domestic institutions
and nearly 80 percent believe "American ideas and customs" should spread
Foreigners take an entirely different view: 58 percent in the BBC poll
see Bush's re-election as a threat to world peace. Among America's
traditional allies, the figure is strikingly higher: 77 percent in
Germany, 64 percent in Britain and 82 percent in Turkey. Among the 1.3
billion members of the Islamic world, public support for the United
States is measured in single digits. Only Poland, the Philippines and
India viewed Bush's second Inaugural positively.
Tellingly, the anti-Bushism of the president's first term is giving way
to a more general anti-Americanism. A plurality of voters (the average
is 70 percent) in each of the 21 countries surveyed by the BBC oppose
sending any troops to Iraq, including those in most of the countries
that have done so. Only one third, disproportionately in the poorest and
most dictatorial countries, would like to see American values spread in
their country. Says Doug Miller of GlobeScan, which conducted the BBC
report: "President Bush has further isolated America from the world.
Unless the administration changes its approach, it will continue to
erode America's good name, and hence its ability to effectively
influence world affairs." Former Brazilian president Jose Sarney
expressed the sentiments of the 78 percent of his countrymen who see
America as a threat: "Now that Bush has been re-elected, all I can say
is, God bless the rest of the world."
The truth is that Americans are living in a dream world. Not only do
others not share America's self-regard, they no longer aspire to emulate
the country's social and economic achievements. The loss of faith in the
American Dream goes beyond this swaggering administration and its war in
Iraq. A President Kerry would have had to confront a similar
disaffection, for it grows from the success of something America holds
dear: the spread of democracy, free markets and international
institutions—globalization, in a word.
Countries today have dozens of political, economic and social models to
choose from. Anti-Americanism is especially virulent in Europe and Latin
America, where countries have established their own distinctive
ways—none made in America. Futurologist Jeremy Rifkin, in his recent
book "The European Dream," hails an emerging European Union based on
generous social welfare, cultural diversity and respect for
international law—a model that's caught on quickly across the former
nations of Eastern Europe and the Baltics. In Asia, the rise of
autocratic capitalism in China or Singapore is as much a "model" for
development as America's scandal-ridden corporate culture. "First we
emulate," one Chinese businessman recently told the board of one U.S.
multinational, "then we overtake."
Many are tempted to write off the new anti-Americanism as a temporary
perturbation, or mere resentment. Blinded by its own myth, America has
grown incapable of recognizing its flaws. For there is much about the
American Dream to fault. If the rest of the world has lost faith in the
American model—political, economic, diplomatic—it's partly for the
very good reason that it doesn't work as well anymore.
AMERICAN DEMOCRACY: Once upon a time, the U.S. Constitution was a
revolutionary document, full of epochal innovations—free elections,
judicial review, checks and balances, federalism and, perhaps most
important, a Bill of Rights. In the 19th and 20th centuries, countries
around the world copied the document, not least in Latin America. So did
Germany and Japan after World War II. Today? When nations write a new
constitution, as dozens have in the past two decades, they seldom look
to the American model.
When the soviets withdrew from Central Europe, U.S. constitutional
experts rushed in. They got a polite hearing, and were sent home. Jiri
Pehe, adviser to former president Vaclav Havel, recalls the Czechs' firm
decision to adopt a European-style parliamentary system with strict
limits on campaigning. "For Europeans, money talks too much in American
democracy. It's very prone to certain kinds of corruption, or at least
influence from powerful lobbies," he says. "Europeans would not want to
follow that route." They also sought to limit the dominance of
television, unlike in American campaigns where, Pehe says, "TV debates
and photogenic looks govern election victories."
So it is elsewhere. After American planes and bombs freed the country,
Kosovo opted for a European constitution. Drafting a post-apartheid
constitution, South Africa rejected American-style federalism in favor
of a German model, which leaders deemed appropriate for the
social-welfare state they hoped to construct. Now fledgling African
democracies look to South Africa as their inspiration, says John
Stremlau, a former U.S. State Department official who currently heads
the international relations department at the University of
Witwatersrand in Johannesburg: "We can't rely on the Americans." The new
democracies are looking for a constitution written in modern times and
reflecting their progressive concerns about racial and social equality,
he explains. "To borrow Lincoln's phrase, South Africa is now Africa's
'last great hope'."
Much in American law and society troubles the world these days. Nearly
all countries reject the United States' right to bear arms as a quirky
and dangerous anachronism. They abhor the death penalty and demand
broader privacy protections. Above all, once most foreign systems reach
a reasonable level of affluence, they follow the Europeans in treating
the provision of adequate social welfare is a basic right. All this,
says Bruce Ackerman at Yale University Law School, contributes to the
growing sense that American law, once the world standard, has become
"provincial." The United States' refusal to apply the Geneva Conventions
to certain terrorist suspects, to ratify global human-rights treaties
such as the innocuous Convention on the Rights of the Child or to
endorse the International Criminal Court (coupled with the abuses at Abu
Ghraib and Guantanamo) only reinforces the conviction that America's
Constitution and legal system are out of step with the rest of the
ECONOMIC PROSPERITY: The American Dream has always been chiefly
economic—a dynamic ideal of free enterprise, free markets and
individual opportunity based on merit and mobility. Certainly the U.S.
economy has been extraordinarily productive. Yes, American per capita
income remains among the world's highest. Yet these days there's as much
economic dynamism in the newly industrializing economies of Asia, Latin
America and even eastern Europe. All are growing faster than the United
States. At current trends, the Chinese economy will be bigger than
America's by 2040. Whether those trends will continue is not so much the
question. Better to ask whether the American way is so superior that
everyone else should imitate it. And the answer to that, increasingly,
Much has made, for instance, of the differences between the dynamic
American model and the purportedly sluggish and overregulated "European
model." Ongoing efforts at European labor-market reform and fiscal cuts
are ridiculed. Why can't these countries be more like Britain,
businessmen ask, without the high tax burden, state regulation and
restrictions on management that plague Continental economies? Sooner or
later, the CW goes, Europeans will adopt the American model—or perish.
Yet this is a myth. For much of the postwar period Europe and Japan
enjoyed higher growth rates than America. Airbus recently overtook
Boeing in sales of commercial aircraft, and the EU recently surpassed
America as China's top trading partner. This year's ranking of the
world's most competitive economies by the World Economic Forum awarded
five of the top 10 slots—including No. 1 Finland—to northern
European social democracies. "Nordic social democracy remains robust,"
writes Anthony Giddens, former head of the London School of Economics
and a "New Labour" theorist, in a recent issue of the New Statesman,
"not because it has resisted reform, but because it embraced it."
This is much of the secret of Britain's economic performance as well.
Lorenzo Codogno, co-head of European economics at the Bank of America,
believes the British, like Europeans elsewhere, "will try their own way
to achieve a proper balance." Certainly they would never put up with the
lack of social protections afforded in the American system. Europeans
are aware that their systems provide better primary education, more job
security and a more generous social net. They are willing to pay higher
taxes and submit to regulation in order to bolster their quality of
life. Americans work far longer hours than Europeans do, for instance.
But they are not necessarily more productive—nor happier, buried as
they are in household debt, without the time (or money) available to
Europeans for vacation and international travel. George Monbiot, a
British public intellectual, speaks for many when he says, "The American
model has become an American nightmare rather than an American dream."
Just look at booming bri-tain. Instead of cutting social welfare, Tony
Blair's Labour government has expanded it. According to London's Centre
for Policy Studies, public spending in Britain represented 43 percent of
GDP in 2003, a figure closer to the Eurozone average than to the
American share of 35 percent. It's still on the rise—some 10 percent
annually over the past three years—at the same time that social
welfare is being reformed to deliver services more efficiently. The
inspiration, says Giddens, comes not from America, but from
social-democratic Sweden, where universal child care, education and
health care have been proved to increase social mobility, opportunity
and, ultimately, economic productivity. In the United States, inequality
once seemed tolerable because America was the land of equal opportunity.
But this is no longer so. Two decades ago, a U.S. CEO earned 39 times
the average worker; today he pulls in 1,000 times as much.
Cross-national studies show that America has recently become a
relatively difficult country for poorer people to get ahead. Monbiot
summarizes the scientific data: "In Sweden, you are three times more
likely to rise out of the economic class into which you were born than
you are in the U.S."
Other nations have begun to notice. Even in poorer, pro-American Hungary
and Poland, polls show that only a slender minority (less than 25
percent) wants to import the American economic model. A big reason is
its increasingly apparent deficiencies. "Americans have the best medical
care in the world," Bush declared in his Inaugural Address. Yet the
United States is the only developed democracy without a universal
guarantee of health care, leaving about 45 million Americans uninsured.
Nor do Americans receive higher-quality health care in exchange. Whether
it is measured by questioning public-health experts, polling citizen
satisfaction or survival rates, the health care offered by other
countries increasingly ranks above America's. U.S. infant mortality
rates are among the highest for developed democracies. The average
Frenchman, like most Europeans, lives nearly four years longer than the
average American. Small wonder that the World Health Organization rates
the U.S. healthcare system only 37th best in the world, behind Colombia
(22nd) and Saudi Arabia (26th), and on a par with Cuba.
The list goes on: ugly racial tensions, sky-high incarceration rates,
child-poverty rates higher than any Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development country except Mexico—where Europe, these
days, inspires more admiration than the United States. "Their solutions
feel more natural to Mexicans because they offer real solutions to real,
and seemingly intractable, problems," says Sergio Aguayo, a prominent
democracy advocate in Mexico City, referring to European education,
health care and social policies. And while undemocratic states like
China may, ironically, be among the last places where the United States
still presents an attractive political and social alternative to
authoritarian government, new models are rising in prominence. Says
Julie Zhu, a college student in Beijing: "When I was in high school I
thought America was this dreamland, a fabled place." Anything she bought
had to be American. Now that's changed, she says: "When people have
money, they often choose European products." She might well have been
talking about another key indicator. Not long ago, the United States was
destination number one for foreign students seeking university
educations. Today, growing numbers are going elsewhere—to other parts
of Asia, or Europe. You can almost feel the pendulum swinging.
FOREIGN POLICY: U.S. leaders have long believed military power and the
American Dream went hand in hand. World War II was fought not just to
defeat the Axis powers, but to make the world safe for the United
Nations, the precursor to the —World Trade Organization, the European
Union and other international institutions that would strengthen weaker
countries. NATO and the Marshall Plan were the twin pillars upon which
today's Europe were built.
Today, Americans make the same presumption, confusing military might
with right. Following European criticisms of the Iraq war, the French
became "surrender monkeys." The Germans were opportunistic ingrates. The
British (and the Poles) were America's lone allies. Unsurprisingly, many
of those listening to Bush's Inaugural pledge last week to stand with
those defying tyranny saw the glimmerings of an argument for invading
Iran: Washington has thus far shown more of an appetite for spreading
ideals with the barrel of a gun than for namby-pamby hearts-and-minds
campaigns. A former French minister muses that the United States is the
last "Bismarckian power"—the last country to believe that the pinpoint
application of military power is the critical instrument of foreign
Contrast that to the European Union—pioneering an approach based on
civilian instruments like trade, foreign aid, peacekeeping,
international monitoring and international law—or even China, whose
economic clout has become its most effective diplomatic weapon. The
strongest tool for both is access to huge markets. No single policy has
contributed as much to Western peace and security as the admission of 10
new countries—to be followed by a half-dozen more—to the European
Union. In country after country, authoritarian nationalists were beaten
back by democratic coalitions held together by the promise of joining
Europe. And in the past month European leaders have taken a courageous
decision to contemplate the membership of Turkey, where the prospect of
EU membership is helping to create the most stable democratic system in
the Islamic world. When historians look back, they may see this policy
as being the truly epochal event of our time, dwarfing in effectiveness
the crude power of America.
The United States can take some satisfaction in this. After all, it is
in large part the success of the mid-century American Dream—spreading
democracy, free markets, social mobility and multilateral
cooperation—that has made possible the diversity of models we see
today. This was enlightened statecraft of unparalleled generosity. But
where does it leave us? Americans still invoke democratic idealism. We
heard it in Bush's address, with his apocalyptic proclamation that "the
survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of
liberty in other lands." But fewer and fewer people have the patience to
Headlines in the British press were almost contemptuous: DEFIANT BUSH
DOES NOT MENTION THE WAR, HAVE I GOT NUKES FOR YOU and HIS SECOND-TERM
MISSION: TO END TYRANNY ON EARTH. Has this administration learned
nothing from Iraq, they asked? Can this White House really expect to
command support from the rest of the world, with its different strengths
and different dreams? The failure of the American Dream has only been
highlighted by the country's foreign-policy failures, not caused by
them. The true danger is that Americans do not realize this, lost in the
reveries of greatness, speechifying about liberty and freedom.
With Christian Caryl in Tokyo, Katka Krosnar in Prague, Mac Margolis in
Rio de Janeiro, Tracy Mcnicoll in Paris, Paul Mooney in Beijing, Henk
Rossouw in Johannesburg and Marie Valla in London
© Copyright 2005 Newsweek International