We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up
Monday, March 7, 2016
Nonconsensual “Democracy” and the Degradation of the American Electorate
I think Piety's essay is great as far as it goes. She starts of with a simple declaration that we don't have democracy in the US, and how one simple-minded retort to this is often used ("we don't have democracy, we have a republic"). She reveals the roots of democracy in the Enlightenment era, how propaganda tends to force people into voting for a "lessor evil", how ignorance and fear is used to control how people vote. But she leaves out the 800 pound gorilla in the room which is a ruling class that manages the elections (like everything else)! This ruling capitalist class will never allow people to vote for anyone whose views might interfere with their preoccupation with, or addiction to, profits and power. And, if somehow such people get into important offices, our masters have no compunctions about assassinating them.
This beast of capitalist class rule cannot be reformed. The only solution is revolution whether we like it or not. Most people refuse to face that enormous task and insist on remaining willfully ignorant out of fear that it is impossible and will only bring harm to them and their loved ones. Yes, a revolutionary path can and will likely be very dangerous, but it must be undertaken. The alternative is more poverty, more environmental degradation, more wars, more refugees, and more ignorance. Worst of all, their rule is a threat to the survival of humans!