It’s interesting that America now has an anti-democracy movement. That is democracy as in a form of government, not democracy as in the president’s political party, but that is no doubt a part of it.
Was it David Hume that said that “Democracy made the people thereby so curious & so arrogant that they will never find humility enough to submit to a civil rule.” That is roughly the thought behind the movement in opposition of democracy in the United States. It is the thought that democracy, and yes, even republicanism, is nothing more than mob rule, & a mob rule that will take the hard earned processions & rights of the few haves in this land & redistribute them to the have-nots.
The theory is the credo of Ayn Rand who believed in her rhetoric if not in her heart of hearts that charity is a sin. In some cases, though not all, it is also pushed by Christian Fundamentalists, the people who claim they follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, who was very much in favor of charity. But some times it is also championed by atheists who have taken Rand as their own prophet.
In either case, the concept remains the same. Democracy & the rule of the people harms the economy which, along with any government, should be ruled by the wealthy who have earned the right to rule over the masses that would only be wealthy if they stopped being lazy.
This is not new in the American political rhetoric. The Founding Fathers, including Thomas Jefferson, agreed that the nation should be best run by what they called the “Natural Aristocracy,” the exclusive club of landed & wealthy elites that had the education to govern & with their wealth had not the desire to oppress. The idea was formed off of the concept of Divine Right Monarchy, although lacking the inherited position of nobility. After they realized that the people were electing people closer to themselves than to the gendered elite, they took pains to ensure that it was the Natural Aristocracy that would win. The difference, however, between then & now is that the Founding Fathers were unwilling to take away the rights of the people to vote, the rights that are currently under attack.
And this is all at a time where Snowden and Manning made history by giving Americans the information that they needed to assume that democracy was ending in the United States. With both of these people & the court cases & threats that hound them, the very concept of the First Amendment has come under threat & with it the freedom & democratic tradition of America.
Noam Chomsky famously stated that in an authoritarian regime you don’t have to use propaganda, because you control what the people do, but propaganda in a republic like the United States, is essential, because if you cannot control what the people do, you have to control how the people think.
David Koch ran for vice-president on the Libertarian ticket in 1980. He lost miserably, but since then he & his brother have controlled the debate for both the Libertarian & TEA Party movements through force of dollar. Both are parties in America that have rejected democracy in the hopes of handing the nation over to the wealthy elite.
The debate has convinced people to go against their own needs. All of this is done through propaganda. Believe me when I tell you that much time & effort has been put into the formation of men’s attitudes & controlling how we think. There are a slew of different tricks of the brain that can be used to accomplish this from simply appealing to the anchoring effect, to nurturing a sense of justice, or simply the old & true means of playing on the prides & prejudices of the people.
For pride an example quickly comes to mind of a man in Georgia. The individual hung the Marine Corpse flag below the American flag. Enough of a mistake to lead any educated American to believe that his man was NEVER in the Marine Corpse. A Marine would not make that mistake. They understand the flag laws in America. The state of Georgia fined him & informed him that, with respect to the American flag, no flag, not even the flag of the Marine Corpse, can be flown above it. It stems from a long history of pride in the United States & this pride is also the reason that the United States, even at the Olympics, does not bow the flag to respect the host country.
Fox News took the story, along with the conservative media, & twisted it to make the individual a hero. This was now a matter of pride. He was trying to respect the troops over seas & being persecuted by the liberals that hate America & capitalism. The liberals were attacking his right to be patriotic. It doesn’t matter tat the man was certainly being unpatriotic by flying the Marine flag above the American flag, in fact, that was not mentioned in any of the articles written about the incident.
It had its desired effect, most of the individuals that read it were so focused on showing their support of the troops & the War on Terror & their hatred for liberals & socialism that they openly reject any argument about flag law & that even the Marine Corpse would punish a soldier that dared to fly the Corpse flag above the nation’s flag. If you were a Marine, the idea of not bowing the Marine flag to the American flag would probably be insulting. It goes against a lot of what the Marine Corpse stands for.
I know this for a fact. I’ve never served, but my mom was an air force brat & my grandfather was a lifer. He flew the air force flag every day & he made damn sure that, even when he flew them on either side of his garage door in Missouri, the air force was always noticeably lower than the American flag. He did the same after he moved back to Illinois and flew them on either side of his apartment balcony. But then, he was a patriot & a veteran. If anything, his years in the service of his nation, drove that point home.
One simple mistake. A redneck’s refusal to back down from that mistake, a bored suburban police officer with an eye for the flag code, probably a patriot himself, all came together for a national media event that placed the Liberals on the chopping block for not supporting the troops despite the fact that all involved were conservatives. This was done through propaganda & commentary & ignoring the facts of the case to suite the argument & it created the desired effect.
Sometimes, this is also done through the art of questioning. The scientific community has made an art of it, but this is not scientific questioning. The scientific community asks questions with an eye to disproving a theory. This is the questioning that comes from the pharmaceutical community & the use of double blind testing. A physicist will look to prove that his or her hypothesis is wrong & hope that they cannot so that they can advance it to a theory, which it will forever remain until it is proven wrong, then right, then wrong until it becomes accepted by the community as a whole.
The pharmaceutical community, on the other hand, simply wishes to prove that this or that drug has a positive outcome when pitted against this or that illness. They aren’t looking to prove that it is wrong, they are looking to prove that it works. This has been adapted in the use of propaganda as well.
In some cases, in most cases, a lack of evidence is all that is needed to prove that a statement is correct. In an absurd case, I cannot prove that the sun will not turn into a bran muffin next Tuesday. But I cannot disprove it either. Should a doomsday cult come into being that believes that the sun will turn into a bran muffin next Tuesday, that lack of evidence can be taken as proof. They have a theory & the theory has evidence that can not be proven nor disproved, but because the other side cannot prove or disprove that the word will not end due to act of bran muffin, it becomes a matter of which hypothetical the follower chooses to believe & without proof, the anchoring effect will inevitably push people to blindly follow one side or the other.
Sometimes it is the act of questioning itself that drives the individual into one camp or another. It is good to question the government, only a fascist will deny that, & America has seen that denial in the past, under the Bush Administration, when the same people that questioned the government before are more apt to follow it today & the individuals that blindly followed the government in the past & reported questioners to the FBI, blindly question it today, largely on the same talking points.
For the liberals, NSA spying is brought down to a single question; “who would you rather see with that power, Obama or Palin?” The obvious answer is that Obama would be the best person of the two to have that power. The question tends to stop there & placates a fair amount of people in Obama’s base that would rather nobody have it. The follow up, “What if someone like Palin is the next president?” or the better question, “why should anyone have that power?” Is stopped when it is rephrased as to who the individual would rather have that power.
Its the power of the question, but it can be used in another way as well. The right, the conservatives, those who are actively working to end democracy as America has come to know and understand it, have used the art of questioning to fool people into believing that they are rebellious questioners. Sometimes, in the case of the Libertarian Party, this can go to the extreme, in some cases they are no longer questioning if Obama was born in the United States but if Obama was born on the planet earth.
In any case, by allowing these people to ask in some cases very serious questions about the government, they cease to ask questions about the people telling them to question. They are fooled into thinking that they are free thinkers even though what they are thinking is a product of what they are spoon fed. If you can convince someone that by asking certain questions they are free & thinking on their own, they neglect to ask any further questions.
Again, Noam Chomsky illustrated this point in his Manufacturing Consent, when he stated that, it the press would work, it would have a slightly left wing bend to it & thus state that is far left as you can go & you dare not go any further. Both sides, it seems, have taken Chomsky’s advice on this, the right demonizes it as being radically left while the left in America believes that the media is so far to the left that they need go no further.
In either case, it prevents the population from asking some of the questions that matter & allows the those that are, mainly in the Occupy Movement, as labeled as radicals & an unruly mob, the unruly mob that is so curious & arrogant that it fails to submit to a civilized rule.
We can see the lack of questioning in a lot of the talking points of those that are willing to kill democracy in replace of a ruler ship of the wealthy elite. No doubt from fear of what will happen to the many ignorant & lazy should Atlas shrug & the rich leave the nation to resort to its own means.
Many of these talking points directly contradict themselves, but the fact that they are convinced that they are already asking the tough questions, the people that support this fail to see how they are contradictory:
Talking Point #1: Demand more Deregulation.
Contradiction #1: Ignore the fact that Regulation came about to end slavery, child labor, unsafe work conditions, starvation wages & a number of other things that America suffered from in the past.
TP2: People are too stupid for Democracy
C2: Believe that Banks are smart enough to self regulate.
TP3: Corporations are evil
C3: To fix this one must deregulate & give them even more power & make them vastly wealthier
TP4: Milton Friedman was an economic savior of capitalism
C4: Pinochet, who used Friedman’s policies was a communist
TP5: You cannot trust the government, for which you can vote
C5: You can trust private unaccountable for-profit corporations for which you cannot vote
TP6: Ron Paul will defend freedom & the Constitution
C6: Ron Paul wants to revoke the Civil Rights Act
TP7: Poor people are lazy, even though most of these people are poor & not lazy
C7: Inheritors worked hard for their money
TP8: Communism won’t work because it does not acknowledge human greed
C8: Social Welfare will be better handled through the charity of private corporations
TP9: Removing the Civil Rights acts will give people more Liberty
C9: You only have Liberty if you have the Liberty to strip away the Liberty of others.
Most of the anti-democratic belief is based on two guiding issues, the first is that anything that the government does to better the lives of the people is communistic or socialistic & wrong because it does not acknowledge human greed & the virtue of selfishness. The second is that these programs will best be handled if they are put in the hands of private for-profit entities who will provide to the people because they are not greedy & will do so out of charity.
The bottom line comes from the belief that democracy is a sin. They believe that if control of the world was placed in the hands of the wealthy, than it will open up the opportunity for the poor people who are not lazy to become wealthy. The concept comes in direct conflict with both documented history & common sense.
It ignores how much the world had changed & bettered itself once the authoritarian & totalitarian aristocracies were over thrown & with those bloody revolutions opened the door for the poor to achieve their own power, their own wealth, & allowed them to make their own way in life. It ignores the fight that came after the Age of Revolution, when the world industrialized & the wealth & power again solidified at the top, the fight that was only possibly through democratic ideals & allowed the people to win the right to vote for women, & created the middle class, & ended slavery. When that fight was over America had it’s greatest period of economic gain, but that fact is lost over the fact that, when the classes were the most divided in America, when the poor were at their poorest & the few rich were at their wealthiest, the GDP was also at its highest.
It’s a shameful fact of history. America had the highest GDP when the majority of its population was poor & the children were in sweatshops & not in schools & the wealthy were raking in the money, when the fewest Americans were able to vote. But then, America was at its strongest & had its best economy when the middle class was at its strongest & had the most rights. Enormous wealth & enormous poverty created enormous GDP while America struggled as a third-world poverty stricken country. An Enormous middle-class, however, created an enormous economy that made America a superpower both militarily & financially.
We are rejecting Democracy in America so that the wealthy can prosper at the expense of the people & many of the people support this under the assumption that they too will be rich & powerful one day. We are no longer trusting in our own means & skills, we assume that we do not have either, instead we are fearful that the only people smart enough & skilled enough, the only people with the potential to help Americans are the people of wealth that would strip away our rights.