West must end era of decadence
Published 14/08/2011 | 05:00
As the chaos in world markets begins to recede it would be nice to downgrade last week's turbulence to the status of a summer frolic. Sadly, it is more likely an unwilling world is experiencing the sort of tumultuous summer last seen during the construction of the Berlin wall in 1961.
The clearest measure of how the tectonic plates are shifting was provided by China's recent warning to 'Uncle Sam' that the decadent West can no longer live on 'borrowed prosperity'. The message was chilling for one of the key signs of the end of empire is when an imperial power becomes a debtor rather than creditor nation.
It will be a cold world if the Age of America is replaced by the less-than-alluring spectacle of Beijing (and Russia) rising. The distaste of both for the West is, however, understandable for decadent governments from Italy to America, and our own little fellows, have sowed the dragon's teeth of the current crisis. Their incompetent, soft leadership has allowed sovereign, personal and banking debts to escalate toward the edge of an abyss whilst the Tea Party have degraded political discourse to beneath junk status. Meanwhile, across Europe, decadence and the erosion of self-reliance are being accelerated by the imposition of a 'lifestyle' of mass unemployment upon its citizens.