Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Elites, Control of the Masses, and the "Crisis" of Democracy

Even a cursory examination of History tells us that since at least the 1700s, after every major war or other significant, traumatic national event, the elites of "democratic" countries have perceived what they believe to be a "crisis of democracy".  For example, in 1975 the Trilateral Commission (TC for brevity) issued a book-length report on the governability of democracies titled, The Crisis of Democracy, by S. Huntington, et.al.  [The TC is a think tank founded in 1973 by David Rockefeller and Zbigniew Brzezinski, the latter being the author of, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives (1998).  It's named "trilateral" because it supposedly represents the elites of North America, Western Europe, and Japan.]

Huntington expressed the following view, one held by so-called "Liberal Democrats", a view that differed very little (if at all) from that of the so-called "Right Wing".  The elites of both political persuasions, after the Vietnam War, believed that in the USA there was an "excess of democracy" which threatened the Establishment.  By that, they meant: large groups of people, normally passive, obedient, and apathetic, began to enter the political arena and essentially demand egalitarianism.  Further, and perhaps a bigger threat, value (truth, justice, equality, etc.)-oriented intellectuals were challenging the technocratic, policy-oriented, institutionalist intellectuals of the Establishment.  That was the "crisis of democracy".  From the elites' point of view, it had to be dealt with in a thorough and systematic way.

 It was believed that the "excesses of democracy" must be mitigated by returning the public to its proper state of obedience and apathy, and driving them from meaningful and full participation in the political process.  That best could be accomplished by further refining the control of the public (and their ideas) via Edward Bernays style propaganda---molding the public mind---and by making institutions even more difficult to penetrate.  As an example of difficult penetration, to get a third political party on the ballot in all fifty states is a complex, convoluted, frustrating, and virtually impossible task because of ballot-access laws concocted by both Democrats and Republicans.  Another example--- probably 90+% of political candidates are chosen, groomed, and financed by the Oligarchy; the rest largely are ignored.  A broader, different example--- today most all major institutions, public or private, are practically impossible to penetrate when trying to get a straight answer about any perceived problem or injustice.  "That's our policy" usually is the reply, as if that's a sufficient answer.

The elites' use of the Corporate Media (the Institutionalist Press) was key to further molding the public mind.  As a result, today ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and Fox News, as well as the major newspapers and news magazines, all gush with the oligarchical line---a specialized Class knows what's best for all of us...in social matters, in politics, in government, in medicine and physical health, in economics, in finance, in national defense, in education, or in anything else you can name.  The Corporate Media don't all agree with each other on insignificant matters (e.g., should "God" be printed on our coinage), but they all promote the idea that the Oligarchy should manage and control things.  They all promote the idea that the State-Corporate Complex is the best possible system.

The rise of the Independent Media (thought of as "insurrectionist" and "dangerous" by the elites) has resulted in a serious challenge to the Oligarchy.  Consequently, there is a concerted effort to demonize, discredit, and destroy the Independents.  Journalists are being criminalized (e.g., Glenn Greenwald), jailed, or in a few places around the world, tortured and then "disappeared".  The First Amendment in this country is being compromised by the National Security State.  Fear has long been a tool of the Oligarchy...there's always a boogie-man from which we need to be protected, and to be protected means (according to the Oligarchy) that we must give up some of our Natural Rights.  Apparently exposing government wrongdoing is one of those Rights that must be given up.  [NOTE: some of those boogie-men are genuine threats, but most are not.  The biggest boogie-man is the State-Corporate Complex...and it's the biggest genuine threat.]

It's important to recognize (I think/hope most people do) that the definition of democracy used by elites is not the same as the one commonly accepted around the globe.  Democracy applied by elites is a top-down process, not bottom-up.  As to constitutional republics, forget it...there are none left in the world, that is, none that are legitimate or genuine.  That includes the United States.

Around the world today, especially in developed countries, Oligarchies are being seriously challenged by the so-called "crisis in democracy".  People are fed up with oligarchical control.  As a result, elites have increased the propaganda, or the Information War.  The effort to control the masses...mold the public mind...has never been greater.  One consequence is that the internet, the greatest democratizing force on Earth, is being attacked with propaganda and efforts to restrict it as never before.  If we are to peacefully overcome the Oligarchy, the internet must remain free and unfettered.  [I realize it's not unfettered in all countries.]  The State-Corporate Complex is doing everything possible to make us believe that the net should be censored because it is sometimes a tool of various boogie-men.  Resist that propaganda.  Take a page from the people of Turkey.

[NOTE:  A significant portion of this essay is courtesy of a lecture by the brilliant political analyst, Noam Chomsky...a Professor Emeritus of M.I.T., and a man demonized by both the so-called Left and the so-called Right.  That, by itself, tells me we should pay attention to what he says. :)]

Partly just my opinion.  Happy Trails

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