What the hell is going on in the world?
You are right that it is more of a global phenomena. I highly recommend that you all learn up on the "New World Order" and the 'Bilderburg Group' to understand why it is that statism and oppression of populations around the world is in the rise. This includes western nations which were formerly much more free.
I'll try to put it in simpler terms. The monopolized monetary systems in place all around the world are corporate/government partnerships have come to greatly corrupt the political environments. There has been for some time, a global monetary elite which rules much of the world from behind the scenes, especially the western world. These bankers do not value freedom. They value power and control to perpetuate their greed for more and placate their fear of losing it.
This is why the US Congress can can pass laws that they haven't even read like Cap & Trade and the PATRIOT Act. They are ordered to do it. Threats come from the those who control the money (the US Federal Reserve, a bank) that if they don't get bailouts, civil war and worldwide depression will ensue. Those who control the money also work to assure their laws are passed.
The politicians are not the cause, but they are cooperating with the money powers. How does what I say here relate to this story? It is because the political systems have become more distanced from public interest, and more on their own self-serving dogmas and ideology's. "Yes we will save you all! Surrender your freedoms for security!"
Ego's love having enemies. Governments represent our collective egos. The thinking goes like this: "The more I differentiate myself from my enemies, the more I know who I am."
Perpetual debt is slavery.