In today's Guardian Mark Lawson writes of his impressions of America - where, he says, there is 'a sort of galloping spiritual inflation':
I was astonished by the extent to which the country seems to have become a theocracy...Funny, that was exactly my impression, too, when I was there. I thought: this is just like Saudi Arabia or Iran. Except for one thing. Which is that I didn't think that.
The Economist has a report on a Pew opinion survey:
Pew asked its respondents to give favourability ratings to five nations: America, France, Germany, Japan and China. America came bottom of everyone's list everywhere except in India, where it was top, Poland, where it was in the middle and China, where it came above Japan. The British view France and Germany more favourably than they do America. China is more popular than the United States throughout Europe.I have to say I find this difficult to credit: I don't mean that I think the pollsters weren't given the responses which yielded these results; I mean I find it difficult to credit the responses themselves. I think many who say they think better of China than of the US wouldn't put their money where that part of their mouth is if it was a matter of where they had to live, or if they had to seek redress for an injustice done to them, or if they were to be tried for something they didn't do, or in terms of their opportunities for free expression and political association, and so forth. Whether they do really believe what they say or don't and are just mouthing off, it's a symptom of culpable prejudice and/or ignorance. (Economist item via Clive Davis.)