Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Democratic "kidney failure"

David Seaton's News Links
The center of the problem that Mearsheimer and Walt describe in their book, "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy ", is how politics is financed in the USA. Perhaps you remember this quote from M&W (taken from the Sunday Times):

They quote the experience of a Senate candidate who was invited to visit AIPAC early in his campaign for “discussions”. Harry Lonsdale described what followed as “an experience I will never forget. It wasn’t enough that I was pro-Israel. I was given a list of vital topics and quizzed (read grilled) for my specific opinion on each. Actually, I was told what my opinion must be . . . Shortly after that . . . I was sent a list of American supporters of Israel . . . that I was free to call for campaign contributions. I called; they gave from Florida to Alaska”.

That is really the nub of it, Lonsdale, who was running for the Senate in Oregon received donations from "Florida to Alaska". If people from all over the USA can contribute to local elections in other states, than that opens the door for special interest groups to control America's policies. Senators and congressmen are not representing the people they are said to represent... They can't, and they cannot reform the system either, because all the lobbies would gang together to save the system as it is.

This is a failure of the system and I think it is similar to kidney failure, the body poisons itself and all the other organs fail... and the patient dies.

This "democratic kidney failure" is why Americans are not only joined to Israel at the hip, it is why they have no universal health coverage and it is why the nation is awash is pistols and assault rifles... etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

Except for a massive, grassroots citizen's movement to reform campaign financing we are literally and without exaggeration looking at multiorganic failure and the death of American democracy. DS

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am learning about Heidegger right now. Part of what he says is that we only notice the properties of equipment when they have the potenitial to be used but are not being used 'present at hand'. He says that equipment is only equipment when we dont mindfully use it.
A complex political system cannot function when its properties are vulnerable. The vote is a thing worth keeping safe from being bought. Laws created to do this have always had loopholes designed into them. It would be a simple matter to turn a vote into true equipment to make democracy function, but so hard, in the face of greedy men and women who think of votes as assets with a price. They would never allow a vote to have no money value.

Lets say war was a natural condition for society, if it was then it would be equipment, man would never develop an horror of it. We notice war, even ones we dont personally fight. Why? Because it is unnatural. Peace is mans natural state. Helping, giving, trading, being good. These are better. We dont get as much thanks as we like because doing good is equipment for living and therefore unnoticed.

AIPAC a group that THINKS its is doing right, is tricking itself, is in fact jeopardising the future of Jews in Palestine. One day the 1967 borders may even be swept away. Because the region notices disfunctional living conditions. And what of the 'right to return' of the refugees that will outnumber the Jews in any true regional democracy?
Zionists fear population trends and demographics, far more than Hamas. Which is why in a year or two, they will recognise the 'republic of Gaza', and the left will cheer. But zionists know that they must split Pali brothers apart.