The Degradation of Democracy

The anniversary of 911 nears, and there will be heartfelt memorials commemorating the dreadful day, but productions suitable to terrorism theme parks may be more common. Far deadlier than that one day performance, which will fast be forgotten, is the longer range performance potential of an intellectually disabled regime, presiding over a structurally disabled system.

The assault on American democracy that followed the bloody terrorist attack has been matched by an assault on global humanity. A rush to repression imprisoned many innocent Americans ,threatening every citizen’s future, and it has been accompanied by the equally thoughtless murdering of innocent foreigners. Beginning with Afghanistan and close to a greater slaughter in iraq, our pea-brained government warheads approach insanity, with few mainstream voices in opposition, and without any critical discussion of national policy.

Objection to US behavior has been strong internationally , online and in activist circles, but the “homeland” mainstream has featured uncritical repetition of preposterous propaganda about threats from Iraq. The public can be forgiven for swallowing the disinformation it has been fed, hardly having been offered a healthy information diet. But it must ultimately show more sense than its leaders , or we will all suffer the consequences of our rogue nation’s increasingly arrogant and murderous behavior.

The American government is run by a regime of materially rich and intellectually poor fanatics. Some, like the president, made millions simply by being born, or being placed on corporate boards run by marketplace swindlers who made them rich . And many of these dim-wit serial killers are breathlessly awaiting, along with their half-wit allies in Israel, something called “the rapture”. That’s not a porn film, but a scriptural ,hallucinatory fantasy, a promised orgasmic epiphany featuring a savior-messiah from heaven returning to earth, vanquishing satanic evil – once communism, now Islam – from the “holy land”, and rewarding his gentry with prime real estate, in UFO land. This biblical pipe dream serves to rationalize a mad policy that endangers the entire world, and not just monomaniacs in the USA and Israel.

The American cabal gained power by losing a popular vote, and winning an unpopular decision. They were enabled to do so by the ineptitude of an alleged opposition party. But the communist party of the USSR had a lesser hold over that nation than the capitalist party of the USA exercises here. Its official opposition wing acts in craven cowardice at a time of desperate national need. These defilers of democracy watch polls and focus groups, hoping to gain the courage to finally speak up, when Bush’s numbers go down. Meanwhile, we move closer to further savaging Iraq and further endangering Americans all over the world, with only some conservatives speaking critically, and with the real problems of our system remaining unquestioned.

The present economic bust is the result of an artificial boom which was about credit and nothing more. As the nation’s savings rate tanked, its collective debt skyrocketed and the inequality gap between the rich and the rest of us became greater than ever. The most affluent made so much that they could afford paper losses in the tens of millions and still remain wealthy. Their obscene riches are not derived from production of material goods, but from faith-based, immaterial financial profits, which nevertheless cause personal, social and ecological material degradation.

Consumers take on ever more debt, and Wall Street witch doctors hail that as a sign of confidence, rather than a sign that the consumer, as the nation, is dangerously over extended . Personal and corporate bankruptcies are at record levels, but the capitalist party moves to make it more difficult for private citizens to erase their debts. This, while additional financial burdens are put on their backs, through colossal corporate bankruptcies, which are more permissible than ever.

The American economic structure rests on a foundation of debt and is kept standing by a constant infusion of new credit, which is created by religious belief that has nothing to do with material production. If the flow of credit ever stops, or begins to be understood, the whole structure could collapse. How are we dealing with this? By finding terrorists under every bed, and using military spending to create production that isn’t simply financial paper castles, but wastes resources with more murderous haste. We’re alienating the world with our arrogant foreign policy, and treating our own citizens like children, when they stay distracted, and like traitors, when they pay attention.

The minority president’s “axis of evil” does exist, but not in a foreign country. It isn’t international terrorism, whatever that is supposed to mean. The evil that threatens American workers by stealing their jobs,their pensions and their future, is the evil that threatens the globe with exploitation, injustice and pollution . It treats certain people as less than human, in places like Palestine, the developing world, and in centers of poverty here at home . It markets politicians as though they were automobiles , uses mass media as a weapon of mass distraction, and creates debt, poverty and conflict for a majority of the planet’s inhabitants. And this, to benefit a tiny minority which gains wealth far beyond its capacity to use, let alone its ability to create.

This axis of evil’s attack on democracy didn’t begin on 911, but the pace of assault has increased since that day. The source of democracy’s degradation is the political economics of capitalism . The intellectually anorexic Bush, his religious fanatic cohorts, and their disgracefully inept opposition have declared war on an invisible, external enemy. But our enemy is visible, internal, capitalism. Don’t expect to hear much about that in the outpouring of 911 commemorations offered by mass media. But citizens need to understand that evil and act on it, by seeking, creating and voting for alternatives, before terminal damage is inflicted on democracy, and the planet.

Mr. Frank Scott contributed above article to Media Monitors Network (MMN) from Bolinas, California. It was first published by the Coastal Post.