"Russia went bankrupt in August," Gitanas said. "Maybe you heard? Unlike our elections, this was widely reported. This was economic news. This mattered to the investor." (2.874)
Again we see how economic and political concerns have become indistinguishable. In this new world, the only citizen that matters is the one with money.
"Since they encouraged us to privatize, maybe they're interested in the fact that our privatized nation-state is now a zone of semi-anarchy, criminal warlords, and subsistence farming? Unfortunately, IMF is handling complaints of bankrupt client states in order of the size of their respective GDP." (2.887)
This is a classic catch-22: A country can only become developed when it has money, but it can't get money until it's developed. Is it any surprise, then, that Gitanas went over the law's head?
To publicize the plight of small debtor nations, Gitanas had created a satiric Web page offering DEMOCRACY FOR PROFIT: BUY A PIECE OF EUROPEAN HISTORY [...] "It was a nasty little joke," Gitanas said [...] "But who laughed? Nobody laughed. They just sent money." (2.1013-1014)
Gitanas may have started this as a joke, but it worked better than he ever imagined. It seems like there are plenty of business that would find value in owning a democracy.
Nick had taught Billy to love politics, and Billy had repaid him by taunting him with the epithet bourgeois liberal, bourgeois liberal. (5.8)
The political situation isn't much better back in the U.S. Although Nick's political beliefs were considered radical in his youth, they're nothing compared to the calculated insanity of Billy's agenda.
"It killed my dad when I was eleven [...] and everything made sense. There was always an enemy with a big red target on his back. There was big evil daddy U.S.S.R. that we could all hate, until the nineties." (5.951)
Gitanas grew up in a black-and-white political environment: The government that is actively oppressing his people is bad and the ones that are helping them are good. By the early 2000s, though, things are nowhere near as simple.