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I am incensed! I am angry!

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I just heard, unbelievably, a statement on a BBC politics show that in a discussion about raising the time allowed for police to keep suspects without charges in terrorist cases, from 28 days to 42, that the government should not pander to public opinion!

I'll say that again the government should not pander to public opinion!

I thought that Democracy was government by the people for the people This statement made with a perfectly straight face, that politicians should not listen to the public, is at the heart of what ails the western democracies. The People are not listened to. Put another way, the politicians want you to shut up and let them get on with their jobs. This is the most outrageous statement I have ever heard from an elected by the people, 'representative'.

That is what they are, representatives. They are supposed to represent our views.

Notwithstanding that they have the reins of power, manipulate the media to tell us what to think and when to think it, they also want to ignore what the people think.

What absolute arrogance. What complete and utter vanity and conceit.

This attitude of elected officials goes right across the board in every country in Europe and also America. And do you think that the dictators in Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan listen to their people?

This is the clearest example of who the enemy really is.

The ruling class, the elite, the money bankers, our elected representatives, call them what you will; they live in a bubble, secure in the knowledge that the common folk will sit down and shut up and turn on the TV.

But it is very likely that the rising fuel and food prices is going to wake up the common people who will look for someone to blame for their pain.

And to all you people sleeping comfortably in your McMansions, be prepared for the consequences of your unbelievable conceit and impudence.

Everybody talks about democracy; very few know what it is in practice. What does it really mean? From Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary -

1. Government by the people; especially: rule of the majority by a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections.

2. A political unit that has a democratic government.

3. Capitalized: the principles and policies of the Democratic Party in the United States (from emancipation Republicanism to New Deal Democracy- C. M. Roberts)

4. The common people especially when constituting the source of political authority.

5. The absence of hereditary or arbitrary class distinctions or privileges.

So number 1 and 2 seem straight forward and so does number 3 and 4, but number 5 is kind of inferring that lack of democracy is the opposite of this, i.e. that hereditary and arbitrary class distinctions or privileges are not democracy.

Not being an American and not wishing to bore you all with tons of quotations and links, I have heard that the senators and representatives enjoy quite good pensions and health care privileges, simply because they are senators and representatives.

I have also heard that, given the high cost of getting elected in the first place, requiring raising millions of dollars, that almost everyone in office is a millionaire. A lot of them invest in the weapons industries and make lots of money whilst in office.

The lobby people are curtailed from directly buying things for senators but millions pour into the campaign funds for elections. Everybody knows that money talks, so it is reasonable to assume that the lobbies get what they pay for. What idiot would give millions of dollars with no return?

Here are some other definitions of Democracy from The Quotations Page.

1. "Democracy consists of choosing your dictators, after they've told you what they think you want to hear." Alan Corenk.

2. "Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule and both commonly succeed, and they are right." H.L. Mencken (1880 1956)

3. "It's not the voting that's democracy, it's the counting." Tom Stoppard (1937) Jumpers (1972) Act 1.

4. "On account of being a democracy and run by the people, we are the only nation in the world that has to keep a government for four years, no matter what it does." Will Rogers (1879 1935)

Of the few quoted above from a large collection, number 2 and 3 are in fact, what sums up the present state of democracy in the United States. Namely, that both parties are unfit to rule. Strange terminology used in a definition of democracy, 'unfit or fit to rule'. What has ruling got to do with it? Isn't that the terminology used to describe what Kings and Emperors do? It is indicative of the Orwellian language, like representatives that do not represent.

Now it could be argued that being a representative is not a robot, subject to every whim of every voter, pressure group and lobbyist, but that is what the name representative implies. But the disgusting scenes in Representative's and Senator's offices of people like Cindy Sheehan and the CodePink girls and others, where they are arrested trying to put their views to their elected representatives, belies even the idea that America is a democracy.

I know, I know, people will jump to correct me and say it was never a democracy but is and always was a republic. So what is the difference? "A state or nation in which the supreme power rests in all the citizens entitled to vote. This power is exercised by representatives elected, directly or indirectly, by them and responsible to them".

And here is an interesting one...

James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay articulated this conception of a republic in their 1788 essays that were later compiled as The Federalist Papers. These essays, intended to support the ratification of the federal Constitution in New York, distinguished a republic from a pure democracy, describing the latter as "a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person." In the context of The Federalist Papers, a republic differed from a pure democracy only in that it was "a government in which the scheme of representation takes place."

According to this interpretation, a republic was a representative democracy. As Madison pointed out, the representative principle mitigates against the irresponsible exercise of majority power, for it makes a large republic possible, and it is difficult in a large republic for any faction to become a majority. According to these authors, a large republic would foster the formation of many factions, and this sheer multiplicity of interests in turn would create shifting coalitions, which would hinder the formation of an oppressive or irresponsible majority.

Furthermore, because of the checks and balances and separation of powers between different branches and levels of government, any upstart tyrannical faction would encounter many legal and institutional roadblocks.

So the way the republic was conceived was to prevent factions (parties) from forming oppressive or irresponsible majorities. The rules of the Democratic and also the Republican parties, although I know absolutely nothing about them, seem, from hints and comments about the 'set-up' under which they operate, prevents many third and fourth parties from getting any chance of representation. What's all this about delegates and super delegates? Is this how democracy works in America? One-man (apologies to women) one-vote would be the principle, yet here we have delegates and super delegates, (whatever they are) exercising power, which transcends the one-man one vote principle. The whole set up stinks.

It is just as bad as Gordon Brown and many other European heads of state, promising in their manifesto that the treaty/constitution of Europe would be put to the people of Europe in a referendum. And that it would have to be unanimous yes vote in order to pass. When the French and the Dutch voted no, the game was up, no other country bothered to have a referendum the constitution was dead. But lo and behold, they changed the name to 'treaty' and the proceeded to implement it without the aforesaid preconditions that everyone should have a referendum on it. Only Ireland has undertaken a referendum, because it is explicitly written into their constitution, and everyone is watching with baited breath as to the outcome, especially since the verdict is not certain. The British have been denied a referendum, in spite of the manifesto promises; yet another obvious indication of the absolute conceit and egotism of the 'ruling class's' attitude towards the people. We are not fit to have a referendum, we do not have the necessary sophistication or intelligence to vote in a referendum that affects the way our government works. But I guarantee that if they thought the vote would go the way they wanted it, we would have it tomorrow. The only reason for not having a referendum is because they are frightened of losing it. Notwithstanding that they tell us what to think, when to think it and be silent in front of your betters.

This arrogance is a natural consequence of human nature; power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That is precisely why the founders of the United States constitution wrote into it the checks and balances, to prevent the arrogant elites who think they are better than the rest of us from riding roughshod over us all.

George Bush and his enablers have little by little, rode roughshod over you all, trashing the constitution, calling it a 'godamn piece of paper'.

He has done the world a great favour. He has shown without doubt, what the elites of the world really think of democracy. It's a tool to keep us quiet while they get on with the business of government, lining their pockets, stealing from the common purse to enrich their buddies in the corporations.

What is the alternative to this system? I am no communist or socialist, but the abusers of the system do have something to fear.

Witness the Chavez revolution. I do not want you to rely on the mainstream media for information about what is happening in Venezuela. They are terrified of what is happening there. Never mind about the American empire in South America, which is a litany of horrendous overthrow of governments, repression and oppression of its people, murder in the thousands of union leaders and priests for fifty years or more. The elites of the world are terrified that the people might get wise and implement a system that works for them. That people might want to vote in a referendum, to have a say in how things should be organized. That is why there is so much anti-Chavez rhetoric about him being a dictator and bad for democracy. They do not believe in democracy anyway, yet they use any excuse to assassinate him, overthrow his government system, demonise him, print outright lies about him, because he works for the people, just like a true representative of the people is meant to do. They can't have that. It shows that the system can work for the benefit of the people and others might take it as an example and try to copy it. So he must be stopped.

There is a period of time fast approaching where people will be asking questions of our rulers. Why is the price of fuel and food rising? Is it the speculators, shortages of supply, failed harvests, peak oil, diversion of food production to biofuels? They spin the answers to these questions telling us all that they cannot control the market, that regulation of the markets is not feasible, they tell us anything but point to the real reason, that they set up the market system in the first place.

Among the news from around the world are many demonstrations and riots about rising food prices truckers and fishermen striking because of higher fuel costs. But one in particular caught my attention and that is the situation in Vietnam, that bringer of good tidings to the American psyche. The reason for the huge demonstrations in Seoul, which 20,00 police could not control is because the people there do not want American beef imports. Why? Because of the mad cow disease, which they think, is contaminating American beef. This may or may not be true and I don't want to go into that now but, is it a symptom of hatred of America? Of its policies of allowing subsidies to American agribusiness and Monsanto's manipulation of Genetically derived seeds? I have heard Ron Paul, for instance in the Presidential debates saying that we fought Vietnam in fear of communism and yet now we trade with them. Some trade, if they have thousands of demonstrators NOT wanting American beef!

Isn't it always the way though, we demonise a people because of their leaders, fight wars with them, common people against common people, whilst the elites direct things safely from their privileged-secure-behind-the-lines bunkers. And what is the outcome? Look at any war; after the hostilities are over and a sufficient amount of time has passed, we are all friends again - until the next 'tyrant' needs taking out. What a crock! What an absolute manipulation of people. The thing is, they are doing it all the time, it is just much more obvious when there is war in the air.

Cancelled referendums, spinning the facts about rising prices, meltdowns in financial markets, sub prime loans, which they have the gall to try to blame the people who took out the loans to buy a house. It goes on and on. In every society there are the haves and the have-nots, whether it is in America, England, Europe, China, Russia, Iran and especially in Afghanistan and Iraq. The haves are having a field day in the 'war zones', whilst the have-nots are killed or are refugees in other countries, eking out a meagre living with teenage prostitution the only means of feeding their families. What an absolute shame. What a corrupt, devious, scheming, set of 'rulers' we have in the West. They operate without the consent of the people and have no regrets or conscience for what they have wrought on innocent people. They witness, or turn a blind eye, to what their policies are bringing on the people of the West Bank and Gaza. They blithely talk of bombing Iran back to the Stone Age haven't they seen what they have done to the Iraqis and the Afghanis? Don't they care? Are they the reptilian-soulless-non-people that some have called them? And I've only mentioned a few places where their terrible policies have brought hunger, death and disease to millions, all from their desks and offices where they 'make policy statements' and proclaim their 'objective judgments' about this theatre of war or another. Safe in their Pentagon, or their Senate, they pontificate about abortion rights or gay marriage whilst millions die in 'their' wars, or are dying from starvation, or will be soon.

What an absolute arrogant-evil-reptilian-self-seeking set of the most disgusting people you are ever likely to have the misfortune to represent you. Ha!

Except Saddam Husain/Stalin/Hitler/Ahmedinejad of course.

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A well traveled and slightly worse for wear 72 year old Englishman; widower, several children and grandchildren and a penchant for wondering 'what is the hidden agenda' in almost everything I read. A keen interest in American culture (an oxymoron?) (more...)
 

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Yes we are just in time for the capitalistic folli... by Wolfie on Thursday, Jun 12, 2008 at 9:21:39 AM
I've watched the reaction to some of your post... by ibrahim turner on Thursday, Jun 12, 2008 at 9:38:20 AM
Bush's comment on the Constitution just being ... by Roger on Thursday, Jun 12, 2008 at 2:00:43 PM
the americans have a long way to go to suffr what ... by ibrahim turner on Thursday, Jun 12, 2008 at 2:52:04 PM
     "Why" asked the... by mikel paul on Thursday, Jun 12, 2008 at 4:45:23 PM