Sunday, October 10, 2010

Democracy enroute to Barbarism

In the Tea Baggers the Republican Party seems to have joined forces with quite a gang of social misfits. Here is the latest in a Nazi SS uniform.
Saturday's Le Monde has several pages dedicated to the French philosopher who recently died, Claude Lefort, and in particular his book entitled "democratic invention" that deals with the theme of 'neither socialism nor barbarism' , a refreshing examination of the spectrum of political and power systems. A fascinating read when looking at the world we live in and the political struggles taking place.

History clearly has shown us that total power corrupts. Monarchies, communism, dictatorships and religious dynasties inevitably become self serving and end up victimizing their citizenry. Their replacement, Democracy, a relatively modern intervention on a large scale (admittedly invented in ancient Greece) , attempts to mix a blend of centralized power with a fair amount of economic freedom to independently pursue ones own interests. As a system in North America and Western Europe it seems to have enjoyed its heyday from 1945 to the end of the century.

Now we are seeing the rapid rise of oligarchic power undermining that of central governments. If the current political struggle in the United States is an example of what is happening then democracy may just be a brief passage en route to the barbarism Claude Lefort talks about.

Where can this end? We are already seeing oligarchies doing battle with nation states to undermine their power so that they can escape into an international world where they can freely fight it out with their peers to own it all. I see the governors of nations states where an oligarchy unduly controls power as increasingly becoming the paid servants of this New World Order.

Under these conditions citizens are increasingly powerless, democratic elections become meaningless, and social systems break down. In the past this predictably led to social unrest, a sense of desperation, marching in the streets, civil disobedience, economic breakdown and if unchecked, revolution. A major difference over the past several decades has been the creation of a consumer society of entertained, preoccupied and indoctrinated citizens. In English speaking countries this has resulted in a surprisingly passive public and the streets are empty. In the United States living under permanent wartime conditions this has further reinforced their sense of loyalty and faith in their country.

The American oligarchy is clearly financing and controlling the Republican party including their inept and confused Tea Party members. If they should gain power they will clearly serve their masters by ensuring the deregulation of banking and corporations, reducing taxation by down scaling or eliminating social legislation that has evolved over the past century and the introduction of a church state alliance to control the allegiance of the masses. An assured highway to the barbarism that Claude Lefort talks about.

The US experience with democracy has lasted now for over two hundred years. The first 160 years reflects a heroic struggle by many great leaders to create an essentially middle class and just society. With the arrival of Reagan and his successors Bush Snr, Clinton, Bush Jr. and now Obama much of this is being dismantled, presumably to service the demands of their oligarchic princes.