IS DEMOCRACY REAL OR A MYTH?
In the wake of the US presidential elections it is worth reminding ourselves about what ‘democracy’ is or what it should be. This word is so deeply entrenched in the American psyche that most people perceive it to be as American as an apple pie? So let’s examine what democracy is or at least what it ought to be.
Democracy is a form of government in which power is held directly or indirectly by citizens (demos) under a free electoral system’ under the principle that all members of the society (citizens) have equal access to power and that all members (citizens) enjoy universally recognized freedoms and liberties.
Is this correct?
Do you know anyone or have you personally ever felt that you had the power to change anything? Under the postulates of democracy you should have experienced, at least once in your lifetime, such a pleasure. Do you think you have a choice in choosing the ‘political elite’ to represent you, or are just a peon of the corporate owned media which can stir your vote any way it wishes? Why does the choice of presidential candidates always boil down to two representatives of pretty much he same agenda (Democrats and Republicans are only the two sides of the same political coin)? And what happens when ‘people’ start to think with their own heads and demand a change? You get 9/11, Al Qaida, and the far more sinister SOPA, to scare the crap out of you and to put you back in order.
The ancient Greeks gave us the word democracy, but they also gave us another one: aristocracy! And here is the definition: aristocracy (from Greek ‘rule of the best) is a form of government, in which a few of the most prominent citizens rule.
Sounds familiar? It should, for it is exactly what we have in most systems today, and nowhere else as evident as it in America. The so called political elite (the stress being on the word elite) stems from the age of the first accumulation of capital, otherwise known as the age of classical robberies and murder. The great Cornelius Vanderbilt built his Mississippi shipping empire by slashing his competitor’s throat in 1807. The Rockefellers were not much better either, or Carnegies (read their biographies!) for that matter. Later in the century they set various ‘charity’ organization to wash away the blood from their hands and free their souls from accumulated guilt, and to give their powerful empires a humanitarian facade.
Then in the early twentieth century came the so-called International bankers, in essence the offspring of a single family from Vienna, the Rothschilds. They set up the Federal Reserve Bank (a privately owned venture) and the wheels of the 20th century economy were set into motion. The bankers took over the succeeding governments by creating money through loans; the citizens and the government became slaves of this insatiable cohort. They found the most fertile soil for their ‘operation’ in America; they saw the opportunity like no time before or since. This was still the age when ‘the Sun never set in the English empire’ making necessary the new world order which could not be achieved without wars, hence the commencement of the WWI. What happened after that? The world map was drastically changed and the USA gloriously entered the world stage. Its citizens were fed a story of peaceful American policy which against its own will was thrown into the throws of ‘European war’, to save the democracy and to liberate the oppressed peoples of Europe, an outright but as it turned out a palatable lie. The new world map created even more antagonism, especially amongst the so called oppressed nations for most of them found themselves thrown into unnatural and forced alliances; Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, enlarged Romania at the expense of thusly crippled Hungary, etc. The borders were drawn unfairly in order to create an unending strife (think of Gaza today) which can always be called upon should the need arise. If you wish to keep people in line you must keep an element of fear nearby. The political elite knows this all too well and has been exploiting it to its advantage on numerous occasions throughout the twentieth century.
And the public bought into that! Why shouldn’t it when the educational system is not designed to breed free thinkers but to mold them into useful servants of the elite through various ‘professions’? You choose your major and what do you do when you graduate? You get a job, first to pay off your inexplicably and unjustifiably exorbitant student loans, and then to pay off all other loans which will accumulate in order to maintain a standard of living befitting a member of “Western” society.
Let’s say you are an engineer and a large auto company hires you. Your education was narrowly specialized for the tasks for which you get hired and you produce automobiles for the good of the general public, right? Wrong! The public cannot afford your product so it must get a loan (because most of us are not trained to see the larger picture but only the monthly payments), the bank profits and so does the industrial elite. You are trained to serve and to pay your loans and your taxes; the banks and the political elite (most of the time the same coin with two sides) get satiated while you go home lulled into thinking that you have the power to change the world trough your work and through your votes. But, whom are you really voting for? Haven’t you noticed they are the same people term in term out?
Another famed American institution is ‘freedom’. Let’s examine that one too.
From the political standpoint you are free to cast your vote, to acquire an education, roof over your head, and to move freely within the territorial boundaries of your country. If you posses a passport and have no incriminating records you can even move about various countries as far as your finances allow you. Wonderful, a typical citizen would say. Putting aside the fact that everything but casting a vote (interesting!) cannot be achieved without money which either must be earned or borrowed (or a combination of both) you can still say that it, the freedom, is within your realm and is your inalienable right.
The Government has also told you that you cannot be discriminated against based on your ethnicity, gender, age, sexual preferences, etc. We are all equal before the law, a fact so easily disputed if you are ever to get into a jam and have no money to afford an expensive layer. Yet, most people seriously believe in these postulates and are ready to give their lives in far off places such as Iraq or Afghanistan to defend this ‘abstract’ principle (trained well buy the educational system and the media).
The government is also quiet successful in rallying masses around certain divisive issues - abortion, gay rights, and minorities - in effect creating opposing subgroups – not unlike the creation of nation states in the past few centuries. As the nation states die out the importance of these subgroups becomes crucial for the political elite to survive and thrive on; it needs opposing groups to manipulate in order to maintain its power. If need be, a disaster of any kind or an incident can be created to pin one group against the other. We know of many don’t we?
These subgroups are made equal before the law; some of its members are sometime even elected into governmental bodies (but without real power) as to paint a picture of an evolving human condition and relations. However, if any of them get out of line by actually evoking their constitutionally given powers they are publicly ostracized via corporate media through publicly exposed or invented private scandals, asked to resign due to the ‘public pressure’ or when all fails, even murdered!
So what will change with Obama in the office? Nothing, as it nothing would really change if Romney took the office. The average Joe will continue paying his taxes, praying to God that he doesn’t get laid off, argue with his friends and neighbors over women’s right to abortion or gay marriage, put his last loaned penny into his kids’ education fund, watch more of mind numbing reality shows, and four year from now cast his D&R vote again…