While I haven't been writing much lately, I have still paid close attention to recent world affairs. There has been an interesting thread running through many of these widely diverse events that has gotten my attention. That thread is the decline of the popular will in governance.
Two world leaders that are involved in these happenings are barely getting noticed by the domestic media due to the frenzied American primary coverage. Yet IMHO these two are setting a political behavioral precedent that is being followed in said primary.
The easier of the two to discuss initially is Silvio Berlesconi. In order to gratify his greedy self-interest, he has (and will again if returned to power) subverted the rule of law to advance his private portfolio or to silence his critics. His "L'impresa riservata domina il governo per il buon di impresa riservata" approach is essentially the policy promoted by Benito Mussolini, but narrowed down for the personal benefit of Berlesconi and his immediate circle of friends. A case can certainly be made - especially in light of the deepening economic crisis facing the nation - that this is the path blazed by Ronald Reagan and followed to varying degrees by all of his successors, including Bill Clinton (see: NAFTA & GATT). So to honor the rise of world neo-fascism, all citizens will immediately turn and face The White House and repeat after me, "Il Profitto Riservato È Supremo!" until you are instructed to desist.
Crossing the divide from the business-controls-government side, it's time to take a look at the other combination embodied by Vladimir Putin and his personal Pinocchio known officially as Dmitry Medvedev.
Maybe when George said he'd looked into Putin's soul and found a kindred spirit, maybe he wasn't too far off! But I digress.
I was watching ABC television this morning, and the comment was made on the "news" that the Russian people were OK with not having much of a say in who leads them as they have other interests which they consider much more important. They are completely OK with someone handling all of those nasty details that make participatory government so distasteful.
Considering that there are reports that Putin's political opponents are in the streets protesting the one-sided "election" of Medvedev, it just goes to show two immediate things: our domestic media is once again acting as the propaganda organ extraordinaire, and that Putin and Bush are closer than we know publicly.