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
Sunday, September 2, 2012
The Shriveling of Democracy
While I think that her version of socialism is of the social democratic variety, she does good work in this article by exposing the latest methods of One Percent political operatives to diminish even their fake version of "democracy" in the US.
In the US this version has always been about appearances. By very gradually expanding the vote to other than the original property holders after declaring and obtaining (with the vital help of the 99 Percent) their independence from England, American capitalists have used carefully managed elections as the major stage prop to create the appearance of democracy. Courts, laws, and legal processes were the other props. Until recently, all these devices continued to conceal biases that favor the One Percent and their exploitation of the labor of the 99 Percent. This deception is now wearing a bit thin.
Technological advances, created by the 99 Percent, have made it possible for the One Percent to expand their exploitation of people and resources to most areas of the planet. They are finding it easier and more profitable to exploit the labor of people elsewhere. They are relying less and less on American workers, and those they use are being forced to compete with low wage labor in other lands. They threaten to move more production offshore unless communities provide them with welfare in the form of subsidies, low taxes, trained workers, and infrastructure.
Naturally, citizens are protesting, fighting back, and generally creating a nuisance for the One Percent through their legal system of laws, elections, and courts. Hence, we are witnessing a growing police state and measures to limit citizen political action. The author's focus on the latter subject is a valuable contribution to understanding the latest assault on what little influence we have over policies and practices adversely affecting our daily lives.