“The Unraveling of America” by anthropologist Professor Wade Davis was the most-read of tens of thousands of stories published by Rolling Stone in 2020. He argues that Covid-19 signals the end of the American era, that the moral and economic failure evident in the US Covid-19  disaster will help end the post-WW2  American economic, military  and ideological domination of the world. Unfortunately Davis’  analysis is flawed by massive omissions and he underestimates the IT- and AI-enhanced power of the US Establishment.

Professor Wade argues in “The Unraveling of America” [1] that there once was a nicer, more truthful and more altruistic America as encapsulated in the “American Dream” or indeed Canada. He argues that  post-WW2  America dominated the world economically,  militarily and ideologically but that ever-increasing wealth disparity and state power have seriously diminished the welfare, knowledge, altruism and democratically expressed power of ordinary Americans. Nevertheless this  essay about post-WW2 America, while having an altruistic intent and a seriously humane message,  suffers from massive flaws of omission.  According to Rolling Stone (2020): “Each year we publish tens of thousands of stories … Our most-read story of the year was an essay by anthropologist Wade Davis, titled “The Unraveling of America,” which ricocheted around the internet and was shared far and wide on social media and debated for months during the global Covid-19 quarantine measures” [2].  However the extraordinary popularity of this well-intentioned but highly flawed essay [2] – surely rating a Fail if written by one of Professor Davis’ students – illustrates the limits to Mainstream truth-telling in racist Corporatocracy America. Davis’ essay, while forthright,  fails to go far  enough and does not seriously challenge American cognitive dissonance over truth, altruism and democracy.

Before detailed analysis of Professor Davis’ article [1],  it is important to consider these  3 fundamental underlying notions of (a) Truth, (b) Altruism and (c) Democracy, especially as they relate to the US.

(a). Truth Spectrum on a scale of 0 to 10 . Re Truth, one can perceive a Truth Spectrum on a scale of 0 (“absolute” falsehood) to 10 (“absolute” truth) in which QAnon, Murdoch media, the yellow press, Biblical literalists and the Trumpist fantasists  score about 1 (through massive , anti-science falsehood  and lying by omission), the “quality” Mainstream media score about 5  (through massive censorship, self-censorship, lying by omission, half-truths, and cowardly complicity in Government lying), and progressive Alternative media score 9 (nobody is perfect in their search for truth, ideological and “bubble” biases inevitably arise,  and they operate in a world dominated in every corner by One Percenter wealth and mendacity). Even science by Popperian definition never attains 10 because it seeks ever better models of reality. Thus science is about the gathering of  accurate data and critically testing potentially falsifiable  hypotheses to achieve an ever-improving estimation of “the truth”.  In stark contrast, the anti-science “spin” that variously dominates the Mainstream from Trumpist fantasists to the “quality” Mainstream involves selective use of asserted facts to support a partisan position [3].

In the recent US Presidential Election nearly half the Americans voting  supported the incumbent Donald Trump who had uttered an estimated 25,000 falsehoods or misleading statements in his 4 years as US president but had massively reduced US forces in Afghanistan [4]. His opponent, avuncular and assertedly pro-Humanity Joe Biden, did not stoop to outright lying, but was certainly guilty, like Trump,  of massive lying by omission about US war crimes in a swathe of Muslim countries  from Libya to Afghanistan. Lying by omission is far , far worse than repugnant lying by commission because the latter at least permits public refutation  and public debate [3]. Both candidates were of course fervently supportive of nuclear terrorist, racist Zionist-run, genocidally racist, serial war criminal, grossly human rights-abusing , democracy by genocide and Nazi without gas chambers Apartheid Israel. While Trump ignored international law in supporting illegal Israeli annexations, Joe Biden was more circumspect and “proper”. However the Vice President-elect Kamala Harris  is a fervent supporter of Apartheid Israeli criminality as revealed by this report from the progressive Israeli newspaper Haaretz: “She [Harris] also co-sponsored a Senate resolution in January 2017 criticizing President Barack Obama – in his last week in office – for abstaining in a vote on a UN Security Council resolution [UNSC Resolution 2334]  condemning Israel’s [illegal] settlement policies”[5].

(b). Altruism, Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), racism and war. Evolutionary biologist Professor Richard Dawkins in his book “The Selfish Gene” describes the evolution of maternal altruism and human altruism in general through (i) the selection of genetic mutations affecting behaviours favouring survival to reproductive age, and (ii) the societal selection of similarly favourable ideas or “memes” such as “love thy neighbour as thyself” that enable mankind to rise above deadly non-altruistic, xenophobic  behaviours involving hatred of the Other [6]. Unfortunately the Agrarian Revolution of 10,000 years ago set Humanity on a destructive course of city-based “civilization” involving excess food production, xenophobia, violent patriarchy, and suppression of women [7, 8]. More recently in the last 4 centuries the Enlightenment led to freedom from superstition and the positives of science and secular humanism. However the libertarian thrust of the Enlightenment gave rise to unlimited freedom of the powerful to exploit, the perversion of science to create weapons of mass destruction, and the neoliberal excesses that are devastating the Biosphere and now threaten mass destruction of Humanity. Nuclear weapons and climate change existentially threaten destruction of Humanity and the Biosphere [9, 10], this  leading one of the greatest products of the Enlightenment, Stephen Hawking, to declare: “We see great peril if governments and societies do not take action now to render nuclear weapons obsolete and to prevent further climate change” [10].

Ironically the primitive, ignorant, xenophobic,  Biblical literalist Trumpist “deplorables” have rejected truth, reason and science as subverters of their “faith” but nevertheless arm themselves with most deadly small arms produced by science-based technology.  Professor Walter Davis’ “Death’s Dream Kingdom. The American Psyche since 9-11” is about how sensible humans attempt to understand themselves (through earnest, honest, painful  introspection) and others (through empathic internalizing and analysing of the suffering of others) – as compared to the psychotic,  “ideology-driven” simplicity of “compulsory happiness”, “endless demand”, “axiomatic rightness”, “certainty- and guarantee-demanding”, denial, avoidance of empathy and introspection, and  violent externalizing of inner fears by both the Religious Right and contemporary Capitalist America. The racist, religious right Republican (R4) Trumpists have “faith” that they are “saved” , have all the answers, and have no need for honest and painful personal introspection or empathy for Others. Indeed to the R4 Trumpists the Other represent a threat to their exceptionalism, nationalism, salvation ideology, and extraordinary cognitive dissonance . To the R4 Trumpists  the Other merit  hatred and destruction for perturbing and threatening their faith-based world of blind convictions [11]. In his  1967  speech “Beyond Vietnam – A Time to Break Silence”, Martin Luther King declared, “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death”.

Article 25 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR): “(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection” [12].  Thus Article 25 sets out a demand for social altruism that is unexceptional for Scandinavian countries but is fervently rejected as “socialism” by the merciless and ignorant R4 Trumpists. Unfortunately Article 25 of the UDHR was grossly violated in pre-Covid America through (i) greed, (ii) religious perversion (that linked prosperity with Godliness), and (iii)  racism. Thus, for example,  while the civil rights movement in the 1960s lead to improvement of African American circumstances through voter registration, de-Segregation of schools and greater economic possibilities, in the 21st century American Apartheid (“racism is American as apple pie”) means massive Black American de-registration through felony laws, massive wealth-based Segregation (Educational Apartheid), and race-based differential wealth (Black families have 5 times less wealth than White families and 27% of African-Americans live in poverty) [13].

War is the penultimate in racism, and genocide is the ultimate in racism. A deeply racist America has invaded 72 countries (52 since WW2), and  subverts every country on Earth [14-16]. The US has 700 bases in over 70 countries [17]. The US has overthrown a score of democratically elected government throughout the world, including that of my own country, Australia, in 1975 [18], and that of my late wife’s country, Fiji, in 1987 and 2000  [19].  Steve Kangas: “The Association for Responsible Dissent estimates that by 1987, 6 million people had died as a result of CIA covert operations. Former State Department official William Blum correctly calls this an “American Holocaust”” [20] (see [16] and [21]). Now “holocaust” implies a huge number of deaths whereas “genocide” is precisely defined by Article 2 of the 1948 the UN Genocide Convention as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group” [22]. The US has an appalling record of supporting ostensible non-state terrorism including jihadi non-state terrorism. Indeed jihadi non-state terrorists are powerful assets of the American Empire because every jihadi atrocity provides a ready excuse for US violence ranging from massive bombing to US or US Alliance invasion [23]. The US-imposed post-9/11 Muslim Holocaust and  Muslim Genocide  has been associated with 32 million Muslim deaths from violence, 5 million, or imposed deprivation, 27 million in 20 countries invaded by the US Alliance since the US Government’s 9/11 false flag atrocity [24, 25]. In its  “War on Terror” that is manifestly a “War on Muslims”,  a “War for oil”,  and claimed by the US Alliance to be a “War on Islamic Extremism”,  an utterly mendacious America  has replaced or attempted to replace  secular  regimes with fundamentalist regimes in Afghanistan (1978), Iraq (2003), Libya (2011), and Syria (2012) [23].

(c). Democracy. Democracy is fundamentally about meeting the basic wishes of the people such as a long life, a long life for offspring, peace,  dignity, shelter, food, modest economic security, dignity,  and provision of good health and education services.  Indeed democracy is about realization of the basic decencies set out in Article 25 of the UDHR. Under this definition the one party systems of China and Cuba are  very successful democracies. Thus the pluralist Chinese economic miracle has brought 800 million Chinese out of dire and deadly poverty. Cuba has a per capita GDP ($9,000) that is 7 times lower than that of the US ($65,000) [26] but the under-5 infant mortality per 1,000 live births is 6.5 for Cuba and 7 for the US [27]. Annual  avoidable deaths from deprivation are 4 million for ostensible democracy India (“the world’s biggest democracy”) but  zero for  one-party China [28]. That said, one hopes that China having been so successful in so many other areas will find a way to guarantee all human rights for dissidents as set out in the UDHR.

Unfortunately the much-vaunted Democracy of the West has transmuted into  Kleptocracy, Plutocracy, Murdochracy, Corporatocracy, Lobbyocracy and Dollarocracy in which  Big Money purchases people, politicians, policies, public perception of reality, votes, more political power and more private profit. The world is dominated by neoliberalism that demands maximal freedom for the smart and advantaged to exploit the natural and human resources of the world for private profit. It is argued by expert economists that this system is very efficient with asserted “trickle down” benefiting the disadvantaged. However, as argued by Professor Thomas Piketty, the massive and ever-increasing wealth disparity between the One Percenters and the Rest is bad for the economy (the poor cannot afford to buy the goods and services they produce) and bad for democracy (Big Money buys votes) [29, 30].

Whether in a one-party democracy like China or an ostensible two-party democracy like the US,  expression of the will of the people requires an informed  population and effective free speech.  Governments lie and in explicitly one-party states the people at least are  aware of this deception. However in the ostensible  2-party democracies of the US and the West the lying is deeply entrenched and sophisticated. In their book of the same name, Professors Edward Herman  and Noam Chomsky described the US Mainstream media manipulation by the Deep State as “Manufacturing Consent”.  Steve Kangas (1997): “Late 40s. Operation MOCKINGBIRD — The CIA begins recruiting American news organizations and journalists to become spies and disseminators of propaganda. The effort is headed by Frank Wisner, Allan Dulles, Richard Helms and Philip Graham. Graham is publisher of The Washington Post, which becomes a major CIA player. Eventually, the CIA’s media assets will include ABC, NBC, CBS, Time, Newsweek, Associated Press, United Press International, Reuters, Hearst Newspapers, Scripps-Howard, Copley News Service and more. By the CIA’s own admission, at least 25 organizations and 400 journalists will become CIA assets” [20].

It gets worse.  There is increasing recognition of governments “manufacturing dissent”  for their nefarious purposes, this leading to quite justified  paranoia over possible Deep State manipulation of the Black Lives Matter movement and the Trumpist invasion of the Capitol. Indeed this scepticism  borne of massive Government lying has led to dangerous scepticism over medical advice (some promulgated by Donald “25,000 lies” Trump) about  the deadliness of the Covid -19 Pandemic and the critical  need for masks, hand sanitizer, social distancing, testing, contact tracing and vaccination. America is awash with falsehood, this leading eminent US writer and historian Gore Vidal to assert: “Unlike most Americans who lie all the time, I hate lying. And here I am surrounded with these hills [in Hollywood] full of liars — some very talented… Yeah, [lying] about themselves, about their beliefs, about their histories. Degrees, from universities — this is piled up lies… Americans are not interested in the truth about anything. They assume everybody is lying because they go out and lie everyday about the automobile they are trying to sell you…This is a country of hoax. P.T. Barnum is the god of this republic, which is no longer a republic alas. It is an oligarchy and a rather vicious one” [31, 32].

With this background we can turn to a detailed analysis of “The Unraveling of America” by anthropologist Professor Wade Davis. In short,  he fails to identify massive Elephant-in-the Room realities and solutions.

(1). Davis correctly identifies the US “cult of the individual” preventing Scandinavian-style social altruism – but fails to name politically dominant rapacious neoliberalism. Davis does not explicitly name “neoliberalism”, the ruthless capitalist ideology that dominates the US and the world and seeks to maximize the freedom of the advantaged to exploit the world for private profit. However he does call out neoliberalism using other words: “The  American cult of the individual denies not just community but the very idea of society. No one owes anything to anyone. All must be prepared to fight for everything: education, shelter, food, medical care. What every prosperous and successful democracy deems to be fundamental rights — universal health care, equal access to quality public education, a social safety net for the weak, elderly, and infirmed — America dismisses as socialist indulgences, as if so many signs of weakness” [1]. Davis makes no mention of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that in Article 25 (as set out in (b) above) sets out these fundamental expectations for Humanity (what Economics Noble Laureate Professor Amartya Sen described in relation to avoidable man-made famines as “entitlement”).

The alternative to deadly neoliberalism is social humanism (social democracy, social altruism, socialism, eco-socialism, human rights-cognizant communism, the welfare state, universal basic income)  that seeks to maximize happiness, opportunity and dignity for everyone through evolving, culturally cognizant, intra-national and international social contracts [33-38].   Unfortunately “socialism” is a dirty word  in neoliberal America notwithstanding the resurrection efforts of Bernie Sanders and the success of the conservative and capitalist Scandinavian welfare states. Davis: “Danes earn roughly the same after-tax income as Americans, while working 20 percent less. They pay in taxes an extra 19 cents for every dollar earned. But in return they get free health care, free education from pre-school through university, and the opportunity to prosper in a thriving free-market economy with dramatically lower levels of poverty, homelessness, crime, and inequality. The average worker is paid better, treated more respectfully, and rewarded with life insurance, pension plans, maternity leave, and six weeks of paid vacation a year. All of these benefits only inspire Danes to work harder, with fully 80 percent of men and women aged 16 to 64 engaged in the labor force, a figure far higher than that of the United States. American politicians dismiss the Scandinavian model as creeping socialism, communism lite, something that would never work in the United States. In truth, social democracies are successful precisely because they foment dynamic capitalist economies that just happen to benefit every tier of society” [1].

(2). Davis correctly identifies Trump’s failure  to protect America from the Covid-19 pandemic – but  fails to specify  the extent of the failure  relative to the few highly successful countries. Davis merely states (August 2020) “COVID-19 killed 100,000 Americans in four months” [1]. Davis ignores the reality that many rich, European  countries had the same Covid-19 inaction policies as the US with comparable deadly consequences. Put simply, the US, Canada and other Western European countries deliberately adopted policies of putting “livelihoods” before “lives” with consequential huge “Covid-19 deaths per million of population” as follows (24 January 2021):  85 (Iceland), 100 (Norway), 339 (Denmark), 472 (Apartheid Israel), 500 (Canada), 528 (Greenland), 541 (Greece), 565 (Malta), 593 (Ireland), 626 (Germany), 787 (Netherlands), 818 (Austria), 893 (Luxembourg), 1,001 (Portugal), 1,041 (Switzerland), 1,086 (Sweden), 1,115 (France), 1,186 (Spain), 1,241 (Andorra), 1,234 (Hungary), 1,288 (US), 1,362 (Liechtenstein), 1,410 (Italy), 1,429 (UK), and 1,784 (Belgium). In stark contrast,  “Covid-19 deaths per million of population” values are  0.3 (Taiwan),  0.4 (Vietnam),  3 (China),  5 (New Zealand), 5 (Singapore),  22 (Hong Kong),  26 (South Korea), 35 (Australia), and 39 (Japan) [39].

Contrary to Davis’ implication of exceptional US failure, Covid-19-wise the US has performed a bit better than Liechtenstein, Italy, the UK, and Belgium, although it was worse than other Western European countries or US-backed Apartheid Israel.  Nevertheless the  US did an astonishingly 3,220 times worse than poor Vietnam that it had genocidally devastated  for 30 years after WW2 [28]. One can argue that it would be “fairer” to compare the US performance with that of New Zealand that is culturally very similar to the US and a member of the Anglosphere 5-eyes intelligence-sharing Club (the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) – as of 24 January 2021 America has  performed  a shocking 258 times worse  than New Zealand.

The leaders of Canada, the UK and the US in particular should face the International Criminal Court (ICC) for depraved indifference and mass murder in causing avoidable Covid-19 deaths now totalling about 19,000, 97,000 and 428,000 in their respective countries (as of 24 January 2021). It gets worse. 95% of American Covid-19 deaths have been 50 years and older, and there is a similar differential vulnerability of older people in the UK and Australia [40]. Not mentioned by Davis is that the Covid-19 pandemic has been associated with  avoidable mass death of older people. The leaders of Canada, the UK and the US in particular should be arraigned before the ICC for the deliberate, intentional mass murder of their older people (Gerocide). [40].

(3). Davis’ extraordinary  take on the Covid-19 tragedy is that it has primarily damaged America’s reputation –  but American mendacity, racism, militarism and genocidal violence has been apparent for 245 years.  Davis: “COVID’s historic significance lies not in what it implies for our daily lives… Unsettling as these [economic] transitions and circumstances will be, short of a complete economic collapse, none stands out as a turning point in history. But what surely does is the absolutely devastating impact that the pandemic has had on the reputation and international standing of the United States of America… In a dark season of pestilence, COVID has reduced to tatters the illusion of American exceptionalism. At the height of the crisis, with more than 2,000 dying each day, Americans found themselves members of a failed state, ruled by a dysfunctional and incompetent government largely responsible for death rates that added a tragic coda to America’s claim to supremacy in the world” [1].

As set out above, Covid-19-wise the US has performed a bit better than Liechtenstein, the UK, Italy, and Belgium, although it was 1.0 -15.2 times worse than other Western European countries. Apart from having more Nobel Laureates than other countries, America did not have much of a “reputation and international standing” to be damaged after 245 years of a trifecta of mendacity, racism and genocidal violence. The American Revolution of 1776 well illustrates this trifecta: thus American school children are still taught that 1776 was about freedom, liberty and “no taxation without representation” but the horrible reality was that it permitted the 13 colonies to expand genocidally westward into Indian territory – by the 1840s  Indigenous Americans were being totally eliminated from east of the Mississippi [28]. The US has invaded 72 countries (52 since WW2), has been at war for 94% of its existence, and has been  a serial violator of the UN Genocide Convention and the Fourth Geneva Convention.  The US is the world’s leading nuclear terrorist state, and the only state to have used nuclear weapons to destroy cities and hundreds of thousands of civilians. Yet these endless, continuing atrocities are ignored or described as “defending American democracy” and,  at best, as “mistakes”. Mendacity and genocide are as American as apple pie.

Indeed  Davis describes US post-WW2 militarism and devastating violence thus: ”But [post-WW2] freedom and affluence came with a price. The United States, virtually a demilitarized nation on the eve of the Second World War, never stood down in the wake of victory. To this day, American troops are deployed in 150 countries. Since the 1970s, China has not once gone to war; the U.S. has not spent a day at peace. President Jimmy Carter recently noted that in its 242-year history, America has enjoyed only 16 years of peace, making it, as he wrote, “the most warlike nation in the history of the world”. Since 2001, the U.S. has spent over $6 trillion on military operations and war, money that might have been invested in the infrastructure of home” [1]. However in the American tradition of horror-hiding mendacity there is no mention of the 7 countries subject to continuing deadly, war criminal  and Australia-assisted US drone attacks in recent years under relative  peacenik Trump , namely Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

War is the penultimate in racism and genocidal war is the ultimate in racism. Former Vice President Mike Pence correctly stated: “I’m proud to say, with just a few days left in this administration, this is the first administration in decades not to get America into a new war” [41]. Davis failed to point out this singular achievement of the otherwise deservedly much maligned Trump administration. Newly-elected Biden talks of re-joining the international community after 4 years of Trump isolationism.  Indeed under Biden  America is rejoining the WHO, the Paris Climate Agreement and the anti-nuclear pact with Iran unilaterally left by Trump. However Joe “Mr Nice Guy” Biden has an appalling record of complicity in the US-imposed post-9/11 Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide (32 million Muslim deaths from violence, 5 million, or imposed deprivation, 27 million in 20 countries invaded by the US Alliance since the US Government’s 9/11 false flag atrocity) [24].  African- and Indian-origin Vice President Kamala Harris has an appalling record of supporting nuclear terrorist, genocidally-racist Apartheid Israel. Indeed she co-sponsored legislation criticizing  Obama for his abstention from the otherwise unanimously supported UNSC Resolution 2334 that condemned Apartheid Israel for its crimes in the Occupied Palestinian Territories [5].  It is sensibly speculated that Biden’s search for “national unity” will be satisfied by a new war [42]. Which country will Biden invade next? I would not like to be a Libyan, Somalian, Yemeni, Palestinian, Lebanese, Syrian, Iraqi or Iranian at this moment in history.

(4). Covid deaths aside, Davis understates the deadly domestic consequences of  the American “cult of the individual” – but fails   to document the ongoing American Holocaust of 1.5 million annual American preventable deaths. Davis mentions obesity, gun deaths and homicide as serious afflictions of American society but fails to mention the appalling reality of 1.5 million American preventable deaths annually from “lifestyle choice” or “political choice” reasons . The updated breakdown of this appalling annual American Holocaust is as follows  (preventable deaths in brackets; there are some overlaps): (1). Adverse hospital events (440,000)[43]. (2). Smoking (420,000) [44].(3). Accidents (147,000) [45]. (4). Obesity (76,000) [45]. (5). Alcohol (73,000) [46]. (6). Drug overdose (69,000) [47].(7). Air pollution (60,000) [48]. (8). Influenza and pneumonia (57,000) [45].  (9). Lack of health insurance (45,000) [49]. (10). Suicide (44,000) [45]. (11). Preventable under-5 infant deaths from comparing US and Singapore data (20,000) [27]. (12). Homicide (19,000) [51, 52]. (13). Guns (15,000) [45]. (14). Jihadi-caused deaths in America, post-9/11 annual average (4) [53-58].

Davis correctly declares that “Since 2001, the U.S. has spent over $6 trillion on military operations and war, money that might have been invested in the infrastructure of home” [1]. However  Davis ignores not only the 1.5 million annual American preventable deaths (29 million since 9/11) but also the 32 million Muslims killed by violence (5 million) or imposed deprivation (27 million) in 20 countries invaded by the US Alliance since the US Government’s 9/11 false flag atrocity [24, 25]. Racism is as American as apple pie, and in the last 2 decades a deeply racist America has committed trillions of dollars to killing over 30 million Muslims abroad instead of trying to keep about 30 million Americans alive at home.

(5). Covid-19 is serious, deadly and certainly warrants rigorous and sustained Lockdown and other draconian anti-Covid-19 measures for suppression – but Davis absurdly ignores other massively deadly threats to Humanity. Imperial College scientists (26 March 2020): “We estimate that in the absence of interventions, COVID-19 would have resulted in 7.0 billion infections and 40 million deaths globally this year. Mitigation strategies focussing on shielding the elderly (60% reduction in social contacts) and slowing but not interrupting transmission (40% reduction in social contacts for wider population) could reduce this burden by half, saving 20 million lives, but we predict that even in this scenario, health systems in all countries will be quickly overwhelmed” [59]. 10 months later, as of 24 January 2021, globally there have been about 99 million cases, 71 million recoveries, 26 million ongoing illnesses and 2.1 million deaths [39] i.e. the measures taken globally, while differing markedly in effectiveness,  have saved scores of millions of lives. By way of comparison, Johns Hopkins Medicine states: “The World Health Organization estimates that 290,000 to 650,000 people die of flu-related causes every year worldwide” [60].

Davis comments: “Pandemics and plagues have a way of shifting the course of history, and not always in a manner immediately evident to the survivors. In the 14th Century, the Black Death killed close to half of Europe’s population. A scarcity of labor led to increased wages” [1]. However he surprisingly  fails to mention the 1918-1919 global influenza epidemic at the end of WW1 that originated in the US, was spread by travelling soldiers, and killed 50-100 million people [28]. A team of WHO-appointed experts is presently in China investigating the origin of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Davis in his “North American bubble” also ignores the horrible realities that air pollution kills 9 million people each year [61], that 15 million people die avoidably from deprivation each year  in an ongoing Global Avoidable Mortality Holocaust [28], and that in the absence of requisite  action a worsening Climate Genocide is set to kill 10 billion people en route to a sustainable global population of only 1 billion in  2100 [57, 58, 62, 63].

In an article about Covid-19 and global altruism , I wrote with Professor Richard Hil (2019): “The world has responded to the threat of the pandemic with a drastic  economic lockdown and other preventative measures that will cost an estimated $4,500 billion  annually (mostly spent in richer nations), whereas each year a comparatively modest $250 billion is spent on trying to prevent starvation in ‘developing countries’,  along with $167 billion on alleviating deprivation, $165 billion to reduce the mortality rate in children aged under five, and a mere $3.6 billion to reduce malaria deaths. Clearly, richer, more powerful nations are vastly more altruistic towards COVID-19 sufferers than they are towards people threatened with premature death from preventable causes in poorer parts of the world” [64].

Davis comments thus on global threats and altruism: “How can the rest of the world expect America to lead on global threats — climate change, the extinction crisis, pandemics — when the country no longer has a sense of benign purpose, or collective well-being, even within its own national community? Flag-wrapped patriotism is no substitute for compassion; anger and hostility no match for love” [1]. However he ignores the substance of these threats and totally ignores one of the 2 key existential threats to Humanity, namely nuclear weapons. A nuclear winter from a nuclear exchange that could happen at any moment would wipe out most of  Humanity and the Biosphere [9]. Climate change inaction threatens mass destruction of Humanity and the Living Planet  [62, 63]. Also ignored by Davis in his “North American bubble” is the existential threat of deadly poverty to the billions in the Developing World (minus China), this horrendous deprivation killing 15 million people each year [28].

(6). Davis commendably reports the worsening conditions of ordinary Americans and of Black Americans – but Davis fails to provide solutions except for emergency responses to Covid-19 and being “nicer”.  Davis laudably sets out the appalling socio-economic differentials between Black and White Americans (for a cogent summary of these differentials see [65]).  Davis ambiguously asserts in relation to Covid-19 deaths  that Black Americans are dying  at 3 times the rate of White Americans (the UK Guardian reports a 2-fold difference) [66]. Davis presents the following shocking statistics: “Today, the base pay of those at the top is commonly 400 times that of their salaried staff, with many earning orders of magnitude more in stock options and perks. The elite one percent of Americans control $30 trillion of assets, while the bottom half have more debt than assets. The three richest Americans have more money than the poorest 160 million of their countrymen. Fully a fifth of American households have zero or negative net worth, a figure that rises to 37 percent for black families. The median wealth of black households is a tenth that of whites. The vast majority of Americans — white, black, and brown — are two paychecks removed from bankruptcy. Though living in a nation that celebrates itself as the wealthiest in history, most Americans live on a high wire, with no safety net to brace a fall. With the COVID crisis, 40 million Americans lost their jobs, and 3.3 million businesses shut down, including 41 percent of all black-owned enterprises” [1].

However all that Davis can recommend is a WW2-style emergency economic response to the Covid disaster and greater social altruism but without fundamental  systemic change. There needs to be a radical change in America but, as the recent presidential election showed, that is not going to happen – America swapped a mendacious, bullying, ultra-nationalist and far right but  anti-war leader for a gentlemanly, consensual, politically correct racist (PC racist) and right-wing   warmonger and serial war criminal.  Americans will embrace mass murder of  foreigners with great enthusiasm but even humble proposals for a modest  wealth tax on the rich  or getting the rich  to actually pay tax fatally offend the neoliberal American Dream that any Joe can become a Henry Ford or a Bill Gates.

 (7). Davis praises Canada as a beacon of societal decency in North America – but he ignores   Canadian failure in the Covid Pandemic and Canadian complicity in US nuclear terrorism, war crimes, climate criminality and support for nuclear terrorist Apartheid Israel. Davis asserts: “Over the last months, a quip has circulated on the internet suggesting that to live in Canada today is like owning an apartment above a meth lab. Canada is no perfect place, but it has handled the COVID crisis well, notably in British Columbia, where I live. … Canada performed well during the COVID crisis because of our social contract, the bonds of community, the trust for each other and our institutions, our health care system in particular, with hospitals that cater to the medical needs of the collective, not the individual, and certainly not the private investor who views every hospital bed as if a rental property” [1]. However as set out in section (2) above,  in terms of “Covid-19 deaths per million of population” rich Canada, while doing 2.6 times better than the US, did 1,250 times worse than poor Vietnam, 1,667 times worse than Taiwan and 100 times worse than its cousin Anglosphere  country New Zealand.  Justin Trudeau, like Donald  Trump and Boris Johnson, should be arraigned before the International Criminal Court for the intentional , passive mass murder of elderly citizens (Gerocide) [40].

At an individual level in my limited experience Canadians are an exceptionally  nice and friendly lot. Indeed civilized Australians  on encountering civilized North Americans, and if they haven’t picked up on the Canadian “oot” for “out”, will inquire whether they  are Canadians. Indeed a very nice  Canadian gave me a  book “A War Against Truth “ by Canadian journalist and war correspondent,  Paul William Roberts, who recounts encountering an angry Iraqi in smouldering Baghdad who is going to shoot him for the destruction of his city,  but relents and apologizes when Roberts explains that he is a Canadian. However Canada as a US lackey is intimately connected with the 2 major existential threats to Humanity and the Biosphere, namely nuclear weapons and man-made climate change. One of the world’ greatest minds, Professor Stephen Hawking, has expertly stated the problem very succinctly: “We see great peril if governments and societies do not take action now to render nuclear weapons obsolete and to prevent further climate change” [10]. Canadians  have been and still are intimately connected with American nuclear terrorism [9, 67].  Canada enthusiastically supported the Keystone “Alberta oil to Texas” pipeline that was rejected by Obama, enthusiastically approved by climate change denialist Trump and is now set to be cancelled by Biden. Leading climate scientist Professor James Hansen (Columbia) declared that Keystone meant “game over for the climate” [68]. For a cogent monstering of Davis’   assertions about Canada in general and Vancouver in particular  (and notably high Vancouver property prices) see the review by Deanna Kreisel [69].

Assertedly “nice” ,“democratic” and “politically correct” Canada ranks third in the world after the US and thence US lackey Australia as a fervent supporter of nuclear terrorist, racist Zionist-run, genocidally racist, serial invader, serial war criminal, grossly human rights abusing, child abusing, mother abusing, democracy-by-genocide Apartheid Israel. However this may finally be changing under weight of decent international opinion and genocidal Apartheid Israeli criminality. Thus the Zionist JNS indignantly reported that Canada had departed from decades of blindly supporting Apartheid Israel by voting for a December 2020 UNGA motion “denouncing Israel’s presence in [East] Jerusalem, characterizing it as “Occupied Palestinian Territory”… [the vote]  passed 167-5 with 11 abstentions” [70]. The UNGA Resolution (A/C.3/75/L.45) stated: “The General Assembly… Affirming the right of all States in the region to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized borders, 1.Reaffirms the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to their independent State of Palestine; 2.Urges all States and the specialized agencies and organizations of the United Nations system to continue to support and assist the Palestinian people in the early realization of their right to self-determination” [69]. 168 countries (including Canada) voted Yes, 10 countries abstained (Australia, Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire, Guatemala, Honduras, Kiribati, Palau, South Sudan, Togo and Tonga) and 5 voted No (Apartheid Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and the US) [71, 72]. One swallow doesn’t make a summer,  and Canada remains unforgivably soiled by its support for Apartheid Israel and hence for the UN-condemned crime of  Apartheid [].

America and Canada, like Australia, the UK and the EU are hardly beacons of democracy as they continue to fervently  support genocidally racist, democracy-by-genocide Apartheid Israel. Politicians who support Apartheid Israel and hence Apartheid are unfit for public life in any one-person-one-vote democracy. Yet Biden/Harris: “Vice President Joe Biden has consistently made solidarity with Israel, combatting anti-Semitism, and fighting for social justice pillars of his decades-long career in public service. As President, Joe Biden will continue to ensure that the Jewish State, the Jewish people, and Jewish values have the unbreakable support of the United States… Firmly reject the BDS movement — which singles out Israel and too often veers into anti-Semitism — and fight other efforts to delegitimize Israel on the global stage” [73].

In falely smearing BDS as “anti-Semitic” Biden  is smearing a large body of anti-racist  Jewish and non-Jewish humanitarians  throughout the world who are utterly  opposed to Apartheid Israel and its ongoing Palestinian Genocide [74].  And it is not just Apartheid but genocidally racist Zionism and all its appalling crimes  that leave pro-Apartheid Israel America utterly soiled and morally compromised. Zionism is genocidal racism. Zionism is Nazism without gas chambers. The Zionists and their evil supporters are the worst anti-Semites in the world – anti-Arab anti-Semitic through support for the Palestinian Genocide, the Muslim Holocaust and Muslim Genocide [24, 57, 58], and anti-Jewish anti-Semitic by horribly defaming anti-racist Jews opposed to Apartheid Israeli crimes [74-80] and by utterly falsely conflating Apartheid Israel and its crimes with all Jews. Anti-racist  Jewish humanitarians cry “Not in our name!” [74-80]. Voters in Zionist-dominated, neoliberal America have a “choice” between Evangelical and Pentecostal Racist Religious Right Republican (R4), Trumpist  Christian Zionists versus   racist Jewish  Zionist-dominated, One Percenter-controlled  Democrats in what is an  effective One-Party Zionist American political system from an anti-racist Jewish perspect

Final comments.

There is a lot wrong with America as correctly set out by Professor Davis. However,  as I have argued  in this essay,  Davis has ignored a veritable Herd of Elephants in the Room and on that basis his effort must rank somewhere about 5 on the 0-10 Truth Spectrum together with “quality” media such as the New York Times and the Washington Pos

The horrendous Covid-19 deaths in America now total over 427,000 and things are set to get even worse before the presently slow  mass vaccination begins to negatively impact infection and deaths [39]. America will retain its ruthless   capitalist  model with the social safety net set much lower than in social democracies like the Scandinavian countries. The closest America has got to considering Scandinavian–style social democracy was the unsuccessful tilt for presidential office by self-styled “socialist” and oxymoronically “liberal Zionist” Bernie Sanders.

A major obstacle to social democracy in the US are (a) entrenched ignorance,  primitive superstition, and denial, (b) the entrenched  power of the vastly disproportionately  wealthy, neoliberal  One Percenters, and  (c) racism, exceptionalism, “every man for himself” and rejection of “love thy neighbour as thyself”. The American system is based on self-reliance and capitalism  with massive  Government intervention (but without systemic change) when system failure causes  unacceptable suffering, as with  the Depression countered with the Keynesian New Deal, and presently with the hoped for Biden Federal action to overcome the Covid-19 devastation of American jobs and lives.

It is not just the Covid-19 Pandemic but also the worsening Climate Crisis,  Climate Genocide and Biodiversity loss that demand a radical global new deal.  There must be an urgent global  change to  a sustainable and humane order to avoid devastation. America made a great ideological  contribution with “All men are created equal and have an inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” that in turn stemmed from the wonderful Palestinian humanitarian Jesus’ “Love thy neighbour as thyself” and “ Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

As perceived by  some writers, most notably by the great Indian writer Arundhati Roy, the Covid -19 Pandemic should be used as an opportunity for re-booting the world in a humane, equitable  and sustainable way summarized by  the term Green New Deal.  Unfortunately  the billionaires  are evidently already achieving  the opposite  with huge increases in their  wealth to $10.2 trillion during the pandemic,  as opposed to massive losses being borne by the rest of Humanity [81]. The One Percenters running the world are evidently taking advantage of the Covid-19 Pandemic with a massive wealth transfer from and a massive debt transfer to the rest of us [82, 83].

Professor Dabo Guan  (School of International Development, University of East Anglia, UK) has commented thus on inescapable limits to growth (2016): “For everyone in the world to have an American lifestyle, we would need seven planets, and three to live as Europeans” [84].  The world is presently operating at a “2 planet” level of consumption –  there must be negative carbon pollution (atmospheric CO2 draw-down from the present 415 ppm CO2 to a safe and sustainable 300 ppm CO2), negative population growth (population decline by about 50%) and a corresponding negative economic growth (degrowth) of about 50% (to be mainly borne by rich Developed Countries) to halt and reverse this worsening disaster brought about by thoughtless neoliberal greed [85]. This sustainability crisis must impel adoption of the moral imperative  that  “all people are created equal”. Our present circumstances of existentially-threatening greed and gross inequity  are intolerable.

The climate emergency and attendant resource use limitations mean rejection of terracidal neoliberalism and global adoption of social humanism involving sustainably maximizing  the happiness, opportunity and dignity of everyone. Exceptionalist  America, like all other countries, will have to submit to this humane survival agenda on Spaceship Earth. A key immediate institutional vehicle for this urgent change would be a one-person-one-vote-elected Third Chamber of World Government that would deal exclusively with economic and sustainability issues.  Radical global change is required – just being “nicer” will be grossly insufficient.

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[84]. Irene Banos Ruiz , “China’s new love affair with dogs – as pets, not food – presents environmental  problems”, DW, 21 June 2016:  https://www.dw.com/en/chinas-new-love-affair-with-dogs-as-pets-not-food-presents-environmental-problems/a-19197523 .

 

[85]. Gideon Polya, “Post-Covid-19 needs-based economy, zero emissions, UBI, Green New Deal & free university education”, Countercurrents, 3 May 2020: https://countercurrents.org/2020/05/post-covid-19-needs-based-economy-zero-emissions-ubi-green-new-deal-free-university-education/ .

 

Dr Gideon Polya taught science students at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia over 4 decades. He published some 130 works in a 5 decade scientific career, most recently a huge pharmacological reference text “Biochemical Targets of Plant Bioactive Compounds” (CRC Press/Taylor & Francis, New York & London , 2003). He has published “Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950” (G.M. Polya, Melbourne, 2007: http://globalbodycount.blogspot.com/ ); see also his contributions “Australian complicity in Iraq mass mortality” in “Lies, Deep Fries & Statistics” (edited by Robyn Williams, ABC Books, Sydney, 2007: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/ockhamsrazor/australian-complicity-in-iraq-mass-mortality/3369002#transcript   ) and “Ongoing Palestinian Genocide” in “The Plight of the Palestinians (edited by William Cook, Palgrave Macmillan, London, 2010: https://countercurrents.org/polya170612.htm ). He has published a revised and updated 2008 version of his 1998 book “Jane Austen and the Black Hole of British History” (see: http://janeaustenand.blogspot.com/  ) as biofuel-, globalization- and climate-driven global food price increases threaten a greater famine catastrophe than the man-made famine in British-ruled India that killed 6-7 million Indians in the “forgotten” World War 2 Bengal Famine (see recent BBC broadcast involving Dr Polya, Economics Nobel Laureate Professor Amartya Sen and others: http://www.open.edu/openlearn/history-the-arts/history/social-economic-history/listen-the-bengal-famine  ;  Gideon Polya: https://sites.google.com/site/drgideonpolya/home  ; Gideon Polya Writing: https://sites.google.com/site/gideonpolyawriting/ ; Gideon Polya, Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gideon_Polya ). He has recently published Gideon Polya, “US-imposed Post-9-11 Muslim Holocaust & Muslim Genocide”, Korsgaard Publishing, Germany, 2020, and Søren Roest Korsgaard, Jerry Day, Paul Craig Roberts, James Corbett, Gideon Polya, John Remington Graham, and Reiner Fuellmich, “The Most Dangerous Book Ever Published: Deadly Deception Exposed!”, Korsgaard Publishing, Germany, October 2020. When words fail one can say it in pictures – for images of Gideon Polya’s huge paintings for the Planet, Peace, Mother and Child see: http://sites.google.com/site/artforpeaceplanetmotherchild/ and http://www.flickr.com/photos/gideonpolya/  .


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