The West is The Best. (The End, Jim Morrison 1967).
William Gibson, whose multi-layered Neuromancer trilogy is in my view one of the great art-works of the 20th century, explained to us that ‘the future is already here – it is just not very evenly distributed.’ He wasn’t talking about health, but his words are entirely relevant to the matter in hand – which is, as usual, health and/or the lack of it.
Today I am in the capital of a small Eastern European nation, and the many contrasts between the folk here and the Americans (or British) are painfully obvious. It is a warm July evening, and locals are running, walking, cycling, skate-boarding, scooting, paddle-boarding on the river which runs through the city, and generally being physically active. They are variously lean or muscular; none of the land whales that clutter public spaces in the West. There is not one cigarette smoker to be seen, no butts littering the pavement. One isolated vaper lingers in a doorway.
Few of them display logos or slogans on their clothing, and relatively few of the young folk sport tattoos. Compare that to British and American yoof, frantically demonstrating their individuality with tattoos and brands just like everybody else’s; unaware that as they age muscles will shrink and fat will grow, distorting tattoo shapes while their colours bleed and fade, forming Rorscach inkblots on their sagging bodies.
These neue Europäer, on the other hand, appear content and secure. You can discuss politics, art or literature with the local chef, the bar-staff, and people you meet in the street. The age of equipoise the 19th century historian Thomas Macaulay found in mid-Victorian Britain has left the building, and taken up residence in this Eastern corner of ‘le continent.‘
Meanwhile, in the US and UK, the fat, inarticulate and disenfranchised are everywhere. In any shopping mall you see lost adults with the confused eyes of the children they once were, peering through the fleshy bars of their obese, diabetic bodies while expectations and life expectancy fall down all around them. They do not know their fleshy prison walls were constructed by their own governments, who sanctioned the food deserts and cheap junk foods that surround them and fatten them for premature slaughter.
Nor do they know that these same government policies have gifted them, in their diet and therefore in their body cells, an omega 6:3 ratio of around 15 in Britain and 25 in the USA. This makes them excessively prone to chronic inflammation, and therefore degenerative disease;
US citizens constitute 5% of the global population but swallow 54% of the world’s prescription pharmaceuticals (1). The lack of omega 3’s also reduces their impulse control (2). Every American I know, personally knows someone who has either murdered or been murdered. That is not the case in any other developed nation.
Where I am today, however, government policies on tobacco and alcohol (alcohol consumption has fallen 30% in the last 18 months!), have transformed culture, and health and life expectancy. While US life expectancy falls (the Brits show clear signs of following suit), life expectancy here is rising. Excitingly, the health minsters know there is more they can do to help their citizens be even healthier …. And before any accusations of ‘nanny state’, I should point out that this small country has far less government and far les government spending per capita than either the US or the UK.
Politicians in large and lucrative countries are rented by the hour or bought outright by lobby groups working for the big industrial groups and other elements of the deep state. Representative democracy is increasingly being replaced by crony capitalism / corporatism; in the US, more than half of all legislation is introduced at the behest of the super-rich (3, 4). In this minuscule nation, however, a sizeable number of politicians still appear to be working for their country, and for their people.
In North Ameica, a toxic combination of vanity, victimhood and virtue signalling – the so-called ‘strength’ of diversity – is destroying social fabric. Shoddy intellectualism in the cities has identity politics as its lowest common denominator, and offers no help. This tiny but perfectly formed country shows, in contrast, that unity can be strength.
It may sound as if I loathe the US, but I don’t. Not at all. People in the mid-West, the Deep South, and flyover country in general are A-OK with me. Many of them hold a shared morality I do not agree with in all respects, but it is still works better, in practical and social terms, than the low-grade ethical relativism you find on campus and among soi-disant intellectuals.
The US has been great, although you have to go back to the founding fathers to see true greatness. The old independence of spirit still holds out in e-pockets such as ZeroHedge and State of the Nation on the alt-right; Slate, ocasionally, on the alt-left, and Spiked, situated closer to the alt-middle. But the West is fading, despite Trump’s Art of the Deal; their bubblegum bandit culture, built on the petrodollar, debt and global sociopathologies such as Operation Gladio, is dying.
Hopefully something better will take its place. The world needs North America to be an adult, at the top table in the emerging multi-polar world.
To all small nations I say, hold onto your identity. Be proud of what you are. And batten down the hatches, because a storm is approaching.
- Zhong W, Maradit-Kremers H, St. Sauver JL, Yawn BP, Ebert JO, VL, Jacobson DJ, ME, Brue SM, Rocca WA. Age and Sex Patterns of Drug Prescribing in a Defined American Population. Mayo Clin Proc. 2013 Jul; 88(7): 697–707.
- Patrick RP, Ames BN. Vitamin D and the omega-3 fatty acids control serotonin synthesis and action, part 2: relevance for ADHD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and impulsive behavior. FASEB J. 2015 Jun;29(6):2207-22.
- Gilens M, Page B I. Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens. Perspectives on Politics. 2014, 12(3), 564-581
- Bashir O S. Testing Inferences about American Politics: A Review of the “Oligarchy” Result. Research and Politics 2(4). 2015,October 1, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1177/2053168015608896