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

Friday, January 28, 2011

President Obama, say the 'D-Word'

by Mark LeVine from Al Jazeera.
It's incredible, really. The president of the United States can't bring himself to talk about democracy in the Middle East. He can dance around it, use euphemisms, throw out words like "freedom" and "tolerance" and "non-violent" and especially "reform," but he can't say the one word that really matters: democracy.
Since the American and French revolutions, the crucial problem for ruling capitalist elites has always been to create the appearance of supporting the dreams of working people for social justice, democracy, and equality while doing precisely the opposite.

See also article by Stephen Gowans from his blog, "New York Times: "Democracy is Bad for US Foreign Policy". The author looks at the spin of US mainstream media regarding the unrest in Egypt, and finds hypocrisy and duplicity in its relations with various countries: 
The key to this duplicity is that Mubarak has sold out Egypt to US profit and strategic interests, while Mugabe has sought to rectify the historical iniquities of colonialism. Clearly, from Washington’s perspective, Mugabe is serving the wrong interests. Indigenous farmers don’t count. Western investors do.
Also read what the WikiLeaks cables reveal about the close relationship of US ruling class and their Egyptian puppet, by Luke Harding from the Guardian.