20 Oct 2020

American Viziers

Lucidly written article from the FT on American destiny:

Levinson’s third option, which he considers the most likely, is that America falls victim neither to secession nor to war. It simply drifts into becoming the “sick man of the west”, a 21st-century version of the once-mighty Ottoman Empire, which gradually descended during the 18th and 19th century into sclerosis. In this story, which is arguably under way, America grudgingly reconciles itself to the fact that renewal is not possible. Rather than providing a blueprint for modern reforms, its constitution acts as an ever more entrenched roadblock to change. Like the grand viziers of Istanbul, Washington’s elected and berobed elites comfortably acclimatise to a system that services their personal needs. Dynamism unconsciously morphs into stasis. A country that prided itself on its political radicalism turns inwards...

It was precisely in anticipation of the unforeseeable that Thomas Jefferson, the most poetic of America’s founders, recommended the US change its constitution every generation. “Imagine you are sitting in a room and you’re trying to figure out how to solve some 21st-century challenge we face,” says Brooks. “Then someone bursts in and says, ‘Hey, I’ve got the answer. I’ve found this document written in the late-18th century when America only had four million people, most of whom were farmers.’ Do you really think they would have a clue?”

With a passing swipe at the UKs constitution or lack thereof:

Yoo adds an ingenious argument from the conservative point of view. “Brexit would not have been possible with the US constitution,” he says. “America’s system prevents sweeping changes with 51 per cent of the population.” Under the US constitution, of course, Britain would have been prevented from joining the EU in the first place. Earlier this month, Mike Lee, a Republican senator from Utah, said it even more baldly: “We’re not a democracy. The word ‘democracy’ appears nowhere in the constitution.”

Hair raising stuff.


Chancee is a designer who codes from London Town.

They have worked for the likes of Nike, Vodafone, Sky, Disney and Pearsons. Won awards from Promax, BAFTAs, the Appys and The Drum. Spoken at The Waldorf and Southampton University - despite swearing like a sailor. Available for hire to draw pretty curves and code clever things.