Atlas Monitor | 7 Feb 2014
Eighty per cent of people polled distrust their government and business with distrust higher in Western countries such as the US, Germany, France and the UK than in India and China according to a recent survey.
Trust levels in business are higher than in government for peoples of the US, UK, Japan, France and Spain, which is a trend mirrored globally with 48% and 57% of people expressing trust in government and business respectively.
Peoples of Spain expressed the lowest levels of trust in both government (26%) and business (43%); peoples of India held the highest level of trust in government (82%) and business (84%);
Data gleaned from China suggests that more Chinese people trust their government (82%) than business (70%) which might seem ironic given the presumed conflation of both under the Chinese communist system.
Reasons suggested for the overall distrust in government and business globally include the ebola breakout, destabilization in Ukraine and the disappearance of the Malaysian airliner MH370 as well as the inconclusive details of the fate of MH317.
Distrust of government is not unfounded paranoia as demonstrated by political scientist Dr R. J. Rummel, whose research estimates that in the 20th century alone (between 1900 and 1987) more than 262 million people were murdered by their own government in non-battlefield; non-combal fatalities.
These deaths were a result of government domestic policy rather than from an exchange of fire between armed combatants in war and has been termed ‘democide’.
C. Wright Mills book The Power Elite depicted a shift in power from civil society to a power elite comprised of a conflation of hierarchies across government, corporate and military institutions.
Such a power shift has also been depicted in early 20th Century novels such as Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World and George Orwell’s Nineteen-Eighty-Four.
Today in the 21st Century, with the revelations by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, we see discernible evidence of life imitating art.