The Inconvenience of Democracy… for the Elites

 

As the primary phase of choosing the next occupant for the White House trundles on, it should be obvious to us all that there is a serious, existential threat that is laying waste to the cherished idea that the United States is a paragon of rules, fair play and democracy. Stories of rampant voter suppression, disenfranchisement, media gaslighting, electoral fraud and a destructive, regressive political discourse has made it very clear that it is impossible for America to be a functioning democracy within a capitalistic economic system. Politicians no longer serve the people they “represent,” and both parties have been corrupted and compromised by the dirty, filthy money that allows them to remain protected, seemingly forever, within their cocoon of legalized graft. It has taken a quixotic Presidential run by Bernie Sanders to drop the scales from our eyes, and at last, people are beginning, at their level of understanding, to realize that it just might not be possible to have both a functioning democracy and a just economic capitalist system at the same time, without serious re-examination and reconsideration of what kind of social contract we as a nation are prepared to accept to live under.

Obviously, this realization can only lead to a single conclusion:  which should prove that capitalism is in essence, anti-democratic.

Team Democrat and Team Republican may have slightly differing ideologies, and really, these are merely comforting, self-serving myths that allow the gaslighting to have legs – until this election season when the bottom of the pail has fallen out of too many people’s lives, but the parties are united under one overarching principle: gathering and extracting more and more money from the taxpayer and giving it to the elites, the banks and stateless corporations who in turn are quietly planning God-knows-what for the hapless dupes who still believe that the problems in their lives stem from undocumented aliens, liberals and conservatives. These elites benefit from the division the media generates while ignoring the shameless corporate welfare which their lobbyists have managed to write into laws, and are ultimately planning to gift the corporations sovereignty over governments themselves with the TPP.

That President Obama is aiding and abetting this “trade deal” as a good thing for America, should be evidence enough on how easily one can be corrupted by power so completely, that all common decency and common sense evaporates, along with any moral barometer that should awaken and alert one’s conscience that something has gone terribly wrong with one’s judgment and ethics. But we’re talking about beings who clearly operate under another criteria of “ethics.” One, apparently, that doesn’t include  a consideration for what is best for everyone, but only considers those who are sitting the the seats of great wealth, power and influence.

Which brings us back to this point: capitalism has proven to be the most anti-democratic force in the world, if not in America, where it seems that every day, new and surprising ways are being invented to make voting as difficult and unpleasant as possible. This is hardly surprising, although I suspect the blatant rigged gaming of the fraudulent electoral process may have come as a dreadful shock to most who believed in the “rule of law,” and that they truly lived in “the land of the free,” but the fact of the matter is that an open, citizen-led democratic process can be very bad for “business.” The movement inspired by Bernie Sanders has awakened to this awful realization, and the anti-democratic forces; the media-industrial complex, the stateless corporations, Wall Street, the billionaire class and the establishment politicians that loyally serve them will be doing everything they can to make sure the movement – and by extension, the expression of democracy – is quashed.

Therefore, be prepared to witness a titanic barrage of forces to be unleashed to nullify, marginalize and stifle this natural, suppressed expression of democratic values where one person – one vote still has meaning and value. It will be a massive effort for the grassroots activists to overcome this inevitable onslaught, but the future is not yet written, although it appears more and more likely that the Democratic convention in Philadelphia this summer is going to make Chicago ’68 seem like a Methodist bakery sale in comparison. The genie has been let out of the bottle, and with it, the elites’ stranglehold on democracy is in peril.

 

 

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Jesus and the 3rd Roll

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A man once accompanied Jesus, saying to him, “Let me go with you and be your disciple.” They set out and got as far as the bank of a river, and they sat down to eat. They had with them three bread rolls. They ate two and a third was left. Jesus then rose and went to the river to drink.
When he returned, he did not see the third roll, so he asked the man: “Who took the roll?”
“I do not know,” the man replied.
Jesus and his companion got underway again and he saw a doe with two fawns. Jesus called one of the two and it approached him. Then Jesus slaughtered it, roasted some of it, and shared it with the other. Then he said to the deer, “Rise, if God grants.” The deer did get up and left. Jesus then turned to his companion and said, “I ask you in the name of him who showed you this miracle, who took the roll?”
“I do not know,” the man replied.
The two of them next arrived at a lake in a valley. Jesus took the man by the hand and together they walked upon the water. When they had crossed over, Jesus said to him, “I ask you in the name of him who showed you this miracle, who took the roll?”
“I do not know,” the man replied.
Then they came to a parched desert and sat down on the ground. Jesus picked up some dirt and sand, then said, “Turn to gold, if God grants!” And it did. Jesus separated the gold into three portions, saying, “A third for me, a third for you, and a third for whoever took the roll.”
The man said, “It was I who took the roll.”
Jesus said, “The gold is all yours.”
Jesus then left him. Two men overtook him [the man] in the desert, saw the gold, and wanted to rob and kill him. He said to them, “Why not split it three ways? Then one of you may go into town to buy us some food to eat.” One of them was sent off and then said to himself, “Why should I divide the gold with those two? I need only poison the food and I shall have all the gold for myself.” He went off and bought what he required.
Meanwhile, the two who stayed behind said to each other, “Why should we give him a third of the gold? Instead, let us kill him when he returns and divide the money between the two of us.” When he got back, they fell upon him, ate the food, and died.

The gold remained in the desert with three corpses beside it. Jesus passed by, found them that way, and said to his companions, “Such is the world. Beware of it.”

Demons of Folk Friday Tune of the Week: Moral Panic!

 

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Security. Give me some security! 

There is something about the God concept that is relentless. Unfeeling. Brutal. Hidden from plain sight yet manifest as systems, desires, entertainment, war, money. It is a monstrosity.Basically this: from all the evidence we can verify in physical, practical terms, “God” could not give a rat’s ass about us. “God” is not Life, but a consuming thought experiment that shuts down any discourse about human affairs. Yet, people will submit to maintaining the illusion  of an omnipotent, Invisible Father. People will trade security and comfort for themselves first before working out the problems that besets humanity as a whole. “God” is dangerous idea because “God” does not ever doubt.

If you are not in the presence of “God,” you have no value. And you will not supported and all your works will be as dust. And even if you play by the rules and succeed, years and years of toil, effort, blood, sweat and tears in creating a world for yourself  can all be taken away in a second. This is the story of Job.

As a system “God” exists to manifest self-defeat.

We accept our own enslavement and self-limitations as if it were a winning lotto ticket. We fight for the right to be slaves who will never stand for life but will accept the unacceptable: hell on Earth. This is bad news, because we cannot be more than what we are. Thus, “God” is that point where we give up on ourselves forever. The point of the ultimate self-doubt, self-loathing and self-dishonesty. Self-defeat.We call this, “security.”

 

Demons of Folk Friday Tune of the Week: Social Panic #4

 

Social Panic #4

 

All over the world, the forces of casino capitalism are invoking austerity measures that produce a kind of social and civil death as they dismantle the historically guaranteed social provisions provided by the welfare state, defining profit-making as the essence of democracy, expanding the role of corporate money in politics, waging an assault on unions, augmenting the military-security state, overseeing widening social inequality, promoting the erosion of civil liberties, and undercutting public faith in the defining institutions of democracy. The script is not new, but the intensity of the assault on democratic values, civic engagement and public service has taken a dangerous turn and provides the ideological, political and cultural foundation for a society that seems unaware it is in the midst of an authoritarian stranglehold on all of its most cherished institutions, ranging from schools and health care to the very foundation of democracy. Austerity has become the weapon of choice, an economic poison designed to punish the middle and working classes while making clear that casino capitalism will administer the most severe penalties to those who challenge its authority. The police have become the new private armies of the rich, designed to keep the public in check hoping to make them fearful of being exposed to police brutality, state violence or the expanding mechanisms of the multiple surveillance apparatuses that now collect every piece of information that circulates electronically. Conformity has become the order of the day and fear the new norm, reinforced by a disimagination machine and the punishing state now mutually informing each other.

-Henry A. Giroux, Reclaiming the Radical Imagination: Challenging Casino Capitalism’s Punishing Factories.