Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Mystified by the world? Cherchez le porc

David Seaton's News Links
Perhaps we are being misled by what we consider reality, perhaps the deaths, the suffering, the destruction of cities, either by bombs or by storms, cloud our minds. Perhaps these tragedies are simply incidents, static in the narration of the true story.

There are two articles, one by Paul Krugman and the other by Gideon Rachman, which if read side by side, indicate the true state of the world.

What we consider "democracy" is in fact an elaborate charade, run for the benefit of a very few. This is nothing new, but it was never called "democracy" before.

Until political parties are micro-financed from the base up, on the principal of "the widow's mite" this state of affairs will only get worse. As far as I know the only one taking any practical steps in this direction is Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean. If he is successful he will have executed a true coup d' etat. Much ridicule is heaped upon his head. DS


Anonymous said...

Originally, democracy was a kind of lottery in antique Athens. Citizens had a once-in-life chance to be part of the yearly parlament, nothing else.
Only the military had votes, and this privilege was controversial. In the end the the military destroyed the whole democratic system in the wars against Sparta, too.

The US system is no better than India, some grassroots democracy but not much else. Since their system was mainly designed to counter the flaws England had two centuries ago, the US look somewhat retarded compared to continental Europe that went through much more development since then.

RLaing said...

There are only two ways that a ruling clique can legitimize its rule (assuming that it needs to): one is to promise good government, and the other is to pose as a defender against external threats. From the point of view of those at the top, the great thing about the latter is that pressure to rein in corruption completely evaporates--it simply becomes irrelevant. Hence the 'War on Terror', a conflict deliberately designed to have no end. Democrat or Republican, those at the top support the WOT with one voice.

The U.S. public is divided (and conquered?) on the issue. Some are opposed, because they see the damage it is doing to good government. Others support it, because they see it as a justification for the violence needed to support the Empire. As long as the Empire lives, the world will probably continue to tolerate America's budget and trade deficits, for example, and perhaps the American people won't need good government.

I wonder though if America's political class hasn't fallen into the trap of believing its own bullshit. The Pentagon system is first and foremost a means of transfering public wealth into private hands. However, in their enthusiasm for what I suppose must be called fascist ideology, they've taken it to a place which threatens their own self-interest.

The American public tolerates the fantastic waste and expense of the U.S. military on the understanding that it will bring them the perks of Empire without significant danger of death or injury for the citizen (Powell doctrine, etc.). That unspoken social contract has now been broken: the elites continue to use the system to rob the public, but they are no longer providing a risk-free Empire in return.

Thus we have the curious spectacle of U.S. elites uniformly campaigning on the platform that America must win the 'War on Terror', while the American people are uniformly 'voting' to lose that war, by not showing up at the recruiting station to fight it. Now that's democracy in action!