Monday, November 03, 2014

US-Style Democracy

US-Style Democracy

by Stephen Lendman

Tuesday, November 4, Americans vote. For congressional, state and local officials. An earlier article said vote independent or stay home.

Voting Democrat or Republican is like choosing death by hanging or firing squad. Either way you're dead.

Duopoly power runs America. Monied interests alone are served. Ordinary people don't matter. Lofty claims otherwise are rubbish.

Democracy is pure fantasy. None whatever exists. None from inception. America's 55 founding fathers were largely self-serving wheeler-dealers.

A Wall Street crowd by today's standards. Believing America should be run by elitists who owned it.

US voting rights were constitutionally flawed by design. America's founders enfranchised adult white male property owners only.

Laborers were excluded. So were women. They were considered homemakers and child-bearers alone. Appendages of their husbands. 

Slaves were property, not people. Native Americans, free Black men, apprentices, felons, and persons considered incompetent were denied.

From inception to today, US elections were never open, free and fair. Big money controls them. Electoral fraud is rife.

Things are pre-scripted. Voters have no say. Secrecy and back-room deals substitute for a free, fair and open process.

Candidates are pre-selected. Monied interests own them. Key outcomes are predetermined. America is a one-party state.

Republicans and Democrats are two sides of the same coin. Not a dime's worth of difference separates them.

Independent candidates are shut out. Media scoundrels ignore them. 

Issues mattering most are unaddressed. Horse race journalism and trivia substitute. It shows in the run-up to this year's November 4 federal, state and local elections.

Millions of Americans are disenfranchised. Criminal records alone exclude many. Efforts to suppress minority voters are rife.

Half of eligible voters opt out. They do so because interests they most care about go unaddressed. 

Because candidates from either party don't care. Because corporate-controlled touchscreen electronic voting machines are rigged.

They're programmed using secret software. They're easy to manipulate. They steal elections.

They provide no receipts. Excluding them prevents vetting. Winners lose what's rightfully theirs. Losers are declared winners.

Partisan politics serves privileged elites. Democracy is pure illusion. A figure of speech. Americans get the best one money can buy. 

Fundamental freedoms don't matter. They're disappearing in plain sight. In real time.

Obama presides over a ruthless police state apparatus. No one is free and safe. Big Brother watches everyone. 

Mass surveillance is official US policy. State-of-the-art technology permits the worst of what's ongoing.

Decades earlier spying was crude compared to today's. Modern capability is unprecedented. 

Virtually everyone can be monitored everywhere at all times. Nothing too secret or personal escapes scrutiny. 

Free and open expression is our most precious right. Without it all others are endangered. 

Candidate Obama promised transparency, accountability, and reform. He called sunlight "the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse."

He said whistleblowing reflects "acts of courage and patriotism."

"Often the best source of information about waste, fraud, and abuse in government is an existing employee committed to public integrity and willing to speak out."

"We need to empower federal employees as watchdogs of wrongdoing and partners in performance." 

He pledged to "strengthen whistleblower laws to protect federal workers who expose waste, fraud, and abuse of authority in government."

He said one thing. He did another. He usurped diktat powers. He wages war on truth. He targets whistleblowers. He threatens free expression. 

Press freedom is endangered on his watch. He prioritizes surveillance powers. 

Practices include warrantless wiretapping, accessing personal records, monitoring financial transactions, and tracking emails, Internet and cell phone use. 

Domestic spying is longstanding. It's for control. To know what everyone is doing all the time.

It has nothing to do with protecting national security. It's institutionalized. It's unconstitutional. It doesn't matter. Nothing is done to stop it.

Abroad it's for economic advantage. To be one up on foreign competitors. For information used advantageously in trade, political, and military relations.

Obama wants truth and full disclosure suppressed. He wants whistleblowers silenced. He targeted more than all his predecessors combined. 

Rogue states operate this way. None in world history match America's ruthlessness. More egregiously than its most merciless tyrants.

None more threaten humanity's survival. Stopping its rampaging matters most. Doing it before it's too late to matter.

Michael Parenti calls US governance "democracy for the few." In his book by that title. It explains the "shadier sides of US political life."

"Proponents of the existing social order have tried to transform practically every deficiency in the US political system into a strength." 

They ludicrously claim "millions of nonvoters are content with present social conditions, (and) the growing concentration of executive power is a good thing because the president is democratically responsive to broad national interests." 

They say "exclusion of third parties" enhances America's democratic process. Makes it work better. Turns vices into virtues.

Popularly spread political rubbish turns truth on its head. It's polar opposite what state-sponsored propaganda wants people to believe.

America the beautiful exists for its privileged alone. It's always been this way. More than ever now.

Ruled by predominantly rich, white Judeo/Christain elitist men. Powerful privileged gentlemen. Excluding the vast majority of others.

America's Constitution was drafted for their interests alone. Including the Bill of Rights.

They weren't added as a democratic gesture. "We the people" are entirely excluded. "The Constitution was consciously designed as a conservative document," said Parenti.

Framers wanted it this way. With provisions to "resist the pressure of popular tides."

Ones protecting "a rising bourgeoisie('s)" freedom to "invest, speculate, trade, and accumulate wealth."

The way things work more than ever now. Benjamin Franklin was asked whether America's founders created a monarchy or republic.

"A republic, if you can keep it," he responded. Without acknowledging faux notions of an egalitarian nation emerging stillborn at birth.

Despite pretense claiming otherwise. America is polar opposite real democracy. According to Parenti:

National greatness is judged by its freedom from "poverty, racism, sexism, exploitation, imperialism (and) environmental devastation."

Its opposition to war. Pursuit of peace. Governance of, by and for everyone equitably and fairly. With equal justice for all.

America is more hypocrisy than democracy. A corporatocracy merging state and corporate power. Serving capital's divine right. 

Shutting out ordinary people entirely. Exploiting them for elitists' gain. Accumulating enormous amounts of money to make more of it.

Doing it the old-fashioned way. Grand theft is longstanding elitist policy. At the expense of ordinary people. Popular interests. Rule of law principles. 

Doing the right thing because it matters. Not in America. Not now. Not ever. Not as long as monied interests rule.

As long as profits count more than people. As long as unprecedented inequality in modern times persists. 

As long as democracy is pure fantasy. As long as tyranny reflects today's America. Heading toward becoming full-blown.

Adam Smith once said governance should be "instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor." Today's America reflects it and then some.

Poverty is a growth industry. So are unemployment, underemployment, hunger, homelessness and despair.

A race to the bottom persists. Police state harshness targets nonbelievers. State terror is official policy. So are permanent wars.

Monied interests run things. They "exercise trusteeship over educational institutions, foundations, think tanks, publications, (and) mass media," Parenti explains.

They operate extrajudicially. Parenti calls it "coup d'etat (power) by international finance capital…(A) logical extension of imperialism…"

"(A) victory of empire over republic(an) (governance and) corporate capital over democracy." Sacrificing "the interests of the many (for) the greed (and power hunger) of the few."

"How can we speak of the US politico-economic system (reflecting) the democratic will," Parenti asks?

What democratic mandate directed government to transfer wealth from ordinary people to super-rich ones?

Which one justifies giving corporate giants huge subsidies?

Permitting imperial wars for greater wealth, power and dominance.

Risking ecological destruction. Serving privileged interests at the expense of all others. Creating the illusion of democracy when none exists.

It's "no mystery what needs to be done to bring us to a more equitable and democratic society," Parenti explains.

  • condemn pro-war, pro-business, pro-privilege, pro-super wealth, anti-progressive, anti-dissent, anti-freedom, and anti-government of, by, and for everyone equitably policies;

  • eliminate police state laws; 

  • abolish mass surveillance;

  • return public airwaves to their rightful owner;

  • open them fully to all views on all issues with no corporate or government censorship;

  • put money power back in public hands where it belongs; 

  • enact progressive policies;

  • prioritize social justice;

  • curb corporate power;

  • obey international, US statute, and constitutional laws;

  • get money entirely out of politics;

  • aid impoverished millions; 

  • run free, fair and open elections;

  • let independent candidates compete freely;

  • stress environment conservation over financial gain;

  • strengthen the disappearing middle class; 

  • safeguard vital entitlements;

  • mandate universal healthcare; 

  • save public education;

  • support organized labor;

  • protect human and civil rights;

  • shut down predatory banks;

  • prosecute corporate crooks;

  • reinstate progressive taxes;

  • end corporate personhood; and

  • much more.

"Our goal should be an egalitarian, communitarian, environmentally conscious" social democracy, Parenti explains.

A new dawn. Sweeping change. Real democracy. Representing everyone equitably and fairly. 

Consigning today's system to history's dustbin. It can't happen a moment too soon.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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