Hitchens: We're Now a Banana Republic

Accountability is nil, the president useless
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2008 2:28 PM CDT
President Robert Mugabe addresses the crowd upon his arrival in Harare, Monday, Sept. 29, 2008.   (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
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(Newser) – The credit crisis has laid bare the failings of US government, writes Christopher Hitchens in Vanity Fair, putting us on par with other banana republics such as Zimbabwe and Venezuela. How else to describe this "collusion between the overweening state and certain favored monopolistic concerns, whereby the profits can be privatized and the debts conveniently socialized"?

In a banana republic there is no government accountability—and have you seen a single figure resign, or even apologize, for presiding over the financial markets' self-destruction? Bush is positively Mugabe-esque as he swings from despot to helpless figurehead. Hitchens sees "an almost perfect metaphor for Third World conditions: a money class fleeces the banking system while the very trunk of the national tree is permitted to rot and crash."