The Verisimilitude We Refer to as Democracy,
A Reality Check
The United States Constitution starts with the phrase, We the People, a lie from the start as the constitution was a compact among the thirteen original States and thus, the proper introductory phrase would have been, We the States. That was its essence and democracy an irrelevancy at the federal level. The Bill of Rights did not remedy that, it merely allocated powers between the Federal government and the States, with almost all of the purported rights involved being merely powers reserved to the States. The phrase “Congress shall make no laws” did not apply to State legislatures until well after conclusion of the Civil War, and then only on an incoherent and tortured basis.
Democracy seems dead, everywhere, but perhaps the truth is that it was stillborn and has never really existed. Democracy, considered as majority rule, requires massive participation by the public and in the absence of such participation, it is an illusion, a farce, a smokescreen behind which oligarchic movements subvert democracy for their benefit and at everyone else’s expense. The charade of democracy under the guise of neoliberalism has been used to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of a miniscule minority even less representative and less responsible to the “People” than the nobilities in place prior to the nineteenth century.
In addition to massive popular participation, democracy requires individual equality, something the ancient Greeks were fully aware of, albeit hypocritically as their concept of citizenship was extremely limited. And for individual equality in a democratic context to exist, two other elements are essential, access to accurate and complete information, and a fair arbiter of disputes, in modern parlance, an honest and independent mass media, and an honest and independent, non-politicized judiciary. Neither seem to exist today almost anywhere. Both have been coopted by the real rulers of today’s world, the cabal of international financiers so many warned of for so long, but which have usually been dismissed as mere conspiracy theories. And why not, many of the accusations were tainted by xenophobia and antisemitism and seemed almost designed to permit their refutation. I recently noticed that when I viewed a supposed documentary entitled “Zeitgeist”: credible conclusions, very possibly accurate, tainted by purported supporting facts many of which were clearly inaccurate. What better way to deride accusations dangerous to those in power. Machiavellian, or, in modern parlance, “Clintonesque.”
Not everyone everywhere has failed to notice the illusory nature of modern “democracy”. Thus, it’s no wonder that a number of countries in Latin America, in weighing the balance between democracy on the one hand, and an independent press and independent judiciary on the other, have determined that at present, the equation is misleading as neither independent judiciaries nor independent press exist, rather, they are both controlled by financier – investor oligarchies whose primary tools require subversion of democracy. Exactly what is happening in the United States today. Unfortunately, while the problem has been clearly identified, no adequate solutions have been implemented. Instead, the executive branch, which is more closely aligned in such countries with the democratic process but not with individual liberty, has been given power that is too easy to abuse, and the counter attack through the media and the judiciary by oligarchic elites has been ferocious and efficient, e.g., the de facto coup d’etats in Honduras, Paraguay, Brazil and Egypt. Such efforts are usually preceded by brutal attacks by the wealthy and their international allies on the economies of the countries involved, designed to bring recalcitrant voters to their knees, e.g., Venezuela.
Now, the current presidential electoral cycle in the United States is demonstrating the same sad reality. The media is madly churning the news to assure the election of the financial cabal’s designee, obviously bought and paid for, and, with the subverted justice system, is giving her free reign to steal the election, regardless of how obvious the process. And fear, that marvelously effective tried and true electoral weapon of the worst among us, is ascendant. Theirs the banner of the lesser evil, notwithstanding the existence of decent and viable options to the contrary maintained at the periphery through the mainstream media’s “conspiracy of silence”, even more successful than the conspiracy of hyperbolic distortion aimed at their heroine’s unprincipled principle adversary.
Sheep to the slaughter and suicidal lemmings come to mind. With no end in sight.
© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2016; all rights reserved