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Registered: 02/26/01
Posts: 9,134
Real Democracy
    #1012814 - 11/01/02 11:55 AM (15 years, 7 months ago)


Graham Greene once described a "subterranean world, where the hopes and dreams of the mass of the people reside, unconnected with the rarefied world above, until those above take one step too far". There is a stirring in this people's world as those above take many steps too far.

In the United States, according to the Institute for Policy Studies, there were at least 400 major demonstrations against an attack on Iraq up to mid-October. "There is a rising tide of activism," reported the Washington Post, "a burgeoning national anti-war movement that is gaining momentum by the day . . . They talk of protesting by people who have never protested before."

The acknowledgement was unusual. One measure of the strength of popular anti-establishment movements is their suppression as news. Millions of people took to the streets in Italy last month, yet the main political news in Britain the next day was the latest Machiavellian utterances of Gordon Brown. On 28 September, the historic demonstration of 400,000 people in London was considered worthy only of trivialisation by the Observer. Nowhere in the begrudging reporting of that extraordinary day was there recognition of a new, diverse and growing constituency of angry people no longer interested in the small circuses that fill tombstones of column inches, such as the diddum tears of Estelle Morris.

My guess is that a great many people would agree, for very different reasons, with Peter Mandelson's prediction that "the era of representative democracy is coming to an end". That has long been demonstrably true in the United States. It is a truth that has eluded many journalists and broadcasters, understandably, as the main function of so much political reporting is to run a cigarette paper between the parties and to channel spin.

The public understands this, which is why the audience for political news on television has slumped. Blaming the public for its "lack of interest in politics" is the self-deluding excuse of media executives who claim an insight into the popular mood, yet are contemptuous of it. In truth, the public has never been more interested in real politics, which it does not associate with the deceptions and gossip of an elective oligarchy.

Certainly, Tony Blair's obsession with Iraq has provided the fastest-emerging public arena. But it runs deeper than that. Public anger at the demise of true democracy has long been misjudged by the media as apathy, in the same way that the public's "compassion fatigue" was invented to cover the failure of broadcasters to report the lives and struggles of the majority of humanity. That Blair is prepared to tear up the United Nations' Charter and attack a country that offers Britain no threat, transparently so that America and Britain can get their hands on Iraqi oil, is perceived as an offence to basic decency and to democracy itself.

People understand, I believe, that a government which has no popular mandate for major policies covering war, health, education, privatisation and transport is not democratic. A prime minister who is prepared to use the royal prerogative, "the divine right of kings", to attack another country illegally against the wishes of the majority of his people, is clearly not a democratic leader.

Don't worry, B. Caapi

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Registered: 09/11/01
Posts: 1,351
Loc: BC Canada
Re: Real Democracy [Re: Xlea321]
    #1014171 - 11/01/02 09:44 PM (15 years, 7 months ago)

In reply to:

People understand, I believe, that a government which has no popular mandate for major policies covering war, health, education, privatisation and transport is not democratic

Yep. Not democratic in the true sense of the word. Sure, these sorts of governments are technically elected, but it's always through misleading the electorate.

Democracy now is just a way of legitimizing a regime. "This is what people voted for" when there is no real attempt to educate people deeply on the issues.

Free trade agreements are shackles and chains to democracy. In the early 90's, Ontario voted in a government (NDP) that promised to bring in public auto insurance (like Saskatchewan has). The free trade agreement made this impossible and they backed down.

The federal government tried to ban a fuel additive (someething like MMT?) and was unable because of free trade.

Yep, Democracy is in the crapper right now. The most frightening aspect of it is that many people don't even seem to know it. Mass delusion reigns in the underclasses, while the ruling class laughs all the way to the bank.

It might take a while to sort this all out...

  -I'd rather have a frontal lobotomy than a bottle in front of me


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Registered: 04/23/00
Posts: 532
Re: Real Democracy [Re: carbonhoots]
    #1016734 - 11/02/02 10:21 PM (15 years, 7 months ago)

Democracy is dead, just look at corporate influence. According to democratic ideals, representatives are supposed to vote according to what the people want, while the republican view holds that voting should be more along a party line. Democracy in its pure form does not exist in the USA.

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