Skip to content


Electoral Politics and the Illusion of Control

Electoral Politics and the Illusion of Control

dissidentvoice.org
By William Hawes

We have all been told a lie. The lie that says democracy can be maintained only through voting, through purely representative, parliamentarian means. When the founding fathers set up the Constitution and Bill of Rights, they were wary of any truly popular, working and middle class control of the United States. Our government was to be run as a republic, designed by elites, for the elites. Our three branches of government were not simply invented for checks and balances: another reason was to stymie any massively popular mandates that would go against the interests of the oligarchy.

Today, the checks and balances used ostensibly to prevent tyranny are being used against us: even though a high majority (65%) is against government surveillance which violates privacy, and 78% want Citizens United overturned, we are stuck with a broken system and statesmen bought off by corporations. Even though 80% of eligible citizens didnt vote in the 2014 elections, this year our out-of-touch pundits and mass media puppets prattle on unceasingly about our democracy, still misguidedly believing these candidates represent the will of the people.

Just sixteen years ago, our very own electoral system, in the form of a gilded cage, shut down the popular will of the people, as Al Gore won about 500,000 more votes than George W. Bush, yet still lost. Although the decision was made over 200 years ago, we have decided that the antiquated Electoral College system should still be used today.

More broadly, our never-ending election cycle serves as a palliative for ordinary Americans, but does nothing to cure the underlying disease and rot within our political system. Progressive liberals can take pleasure in Sanders statements supporting a raise in the minimum wage, debt relief for students, fighting income inequality, etc. Yet Sanders has no broad coalition in Congress to advance his agenda and to fight his revolution. Isolationist, non-interventionist conservatives can take pride in Trumps support of Russias fight against ISIS in Syria, and his token rhetoric towards re-working unfair free trade agreements and bringing back jobs. Yet Trumps pandering towards racists and xenophobes will only accelerate the descent towards fascism that the US has been slipping into for decades.

The second lie weve been told, or assumed implicitly, is that we are in control of our national destiny. Through the vote, we can supposedly make a clean slate every four years, to make up for the misdeeds of our past political leaders. The truth is much murkier. Our national security state and intelligence services have been built up to Leviathan levels, and presidential candidates are instantly discredited and marginalized for suggesting even small decreases in military spending. Corporate lobbyists and the conglomerate multinationals control the political landscape, determining the limits of discourse and shutting down anyone who exceeds the boundaries. Absurdly, third party candidates, some of the only ones with fresh ideas to invigorate our democracy, are demonized. Mainstream media coverage reinforces these imaginary limits of discussion, and Independents, Greens, Socialists, and Libertarians are relegated to the sidelines.

As the neoliberal order reinforces and deepens material poverty and intellectual ignorance, public discourse narrows without totalitarian overt manipulation. This makes issues seem as if they are progressing naturally, when public debate and consent is in actuality homogenized and conformist. This is analogous to the concept known to scientists as shifting baselines : here it applies to a public that accepts deeper cuts to social services, increases in privatizations, and increased militarization and policing of the public sphere, because the momentum seems inexorable and immutable. The establishment uses rhetorical threats and excuses to further corporate agendas and destroy civil society, all in the name of maintaining economic growth and upholding law and order.

The truth is that only by staring into the abyss can we collectively begin to dig ourselves out of our self-dug graves. The US has been in an unofficial recession since 2008. Millions of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, with minimal society safety nets, leading to insecurity, uncertainty and cynicism towards the future, and crippling anxiety. Politicians routinely show they do not care about the working class and the poor when they speak to the middle class , whatever that means anymore. Our leaders are handpicked by Wall Street billionaires, and/or defense and fossil fuel industrialists. Abroad, covert war is ongoing in a dozen or more countries in Asia and North Africa.

With so many minds confined to the hypnotic and myopic gaze focused on high technology, mass media, and our official leaders , 21st century man falls further into enslavement every day. As Fromm would say, we Escape from Freedom into self-indulgence and apathy, leaving hard decisions to technocrats and oligarchs. Control over our food, medicine, intellectual property, and basic social and environmental rights are consolidated into a handful of multinational corporations who inundate us with false needs through advertising and propaganda. Computer algorithms tell us what to buy, and social media manipulates our emotions, fulfilling the preaching of techno-dystopian prophets who warn of non-human intelligence guiding humanity towards dark futures.

Revolutionary fervor lurks under the surface, yet whether a popular progressive movement can blossom remains to be seen. Conversely, a missed revolution could easily result in an authoritarian and fascist takeover by the reactionary far-right. One thing we know for certain is that continuing under this two-party charade will only lead us to our doom.

Average citizens have never had any control of the republic since its founding. A complete constitutional overhaul is needed, and forms of direct, consensus, and deliberative democracy must be woven into a hybrid system. Elections should be funded by the public, with no corporate money allowed, shorter election cycles, and no discrimination towards third parties, unlike the current Commission on Presidential Debates. State governments should gain power, and federal programs reigned in and redefined towards streamlined regulation and oversight. Tax subsidies should be stripped from the fossil fuel industries entirely and redirected towards the best scientists and engineers in the field of renewable energy.

What is desperately needed is a shift in worldview to promote government that sees its job as not simply to tax and legislate, but to also support healthy life-world systems. Also, promoting humble and dedicated leaders who are stewards of community and the Earth, who do not insist on blatant exploitation of distant nations and pillaging resources, would go a long way. This cannot be done within the confines of the Democratic and Republican parties, who thrive on domination, coercion, control, and manipulation of public interests.

To break the cycle, we must collectively embrace our frailties and limitations. The deadly, patriarchal energy technologies such as the petrochemical industries and nuclear energy must be shut down. We must learn from the man-made tragedies of Bhopal, Katrina, Chernobyl, and Fukushima, and dismantle dangerous plants and factories, and begin to move humanity away from areas susceptible to natural disasters and coastal flooding. The US, Russia, and the nuclear nations must formally apologize for the atmospheric nuclear testing in the fifties and sixties which will kill millions from cancer, and ban nuclear weapons for good.

Learning to relinquish control and learning to keep ones ego in check are two of the ultimate tests our leaders must accept. As the Tao Te Ching says:

Therefore the sages:
Manage the work of detached actions
Conduct the teaching of no words
They work with myriad things but do not control
They create but do not possess
They act but do not presume
They succeed but do not dwell on success
It is because they do not dwell on success
That it never goes away.1

  1. Tao Te Ching: Annotated and Explained. Derek Lin. SkyLight Paths. 2006. Translation by Derek Lin. []

William Hawes is a writer specializing in politics and environmental issues. You can reach him at: [email protected]. Read other articles by William.

View the original article at dissidentvoice.org

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Posted in Analysis & Review, Politics.

Tagged with , , , , , , , , .

Support #altnews & keep Dark Politricks alive

Remember I told you over 5 years ago that they would be trying to shut down sites and YouTube channels that are not promoting the "Official" view. Well it's happening big time. Peoples Channels get no money from YouTube any more and Google is being fishy with their AdSense giving money for some clicks but not others. The time is here, it's not "Obama's Internet Cut Off Switch" it's "Trumps Sell Everyones Internet Dirty Laundry Garage Sale".

It's not just Google/YouTube defunding altenative chanels (mine was shut), but Facebook is also removing content, shutting pages, profiles and groups and removing funds from #altnews that way as well. I was recently kicked off FB and had a page "unpublished" with no reason given. If you don't know already all Facebooks Private Messages and Secret Groups are still analysed and checked for words related to drugs, sex, war etc against their own TOS. Personally IU know there are undercover Irish police moving from group to group cloning peoples accounts and getting people booted. Worse than that I know people in court at the moment for the content they had on their secret private group. Use Telegrams secret chat mode to chat on, or if you prefer if you need to or buy a dumb phone with nothing for the NSA to hack into if you are that paranoid.

So if your not supporting this site already which brings you news from the Left to the Right (really the same war mongering bollox) then I could do with some. Even if it's just £5 or tick the monthly subscription box it will be much appreciated. Read on to find out why/

Why?

Any support to keep this site would be appreciated. You could set up a monthly subscription for £2 like some people do or you could pay a one off donation as a gift.
I am not asking you to pay me for other people's articles, this is a clearing house as well as place to put my own views out into the world. I am asking for help to write more articles like my recent
false flag gas attack to get WWIII started in Syria, and Trump away from Putin. Hopefully a few missiles won't mean a WikiLeaks release of that infamous video Trump apparently made in a Russian bedroom with Prostitutes. Also please note that this article was written just an hour after the papers came out, and I always come back and update them.

If you want to read JUST my own articles then use the top menu I have written hundreds of articles for this site and I host numerous amounts of material that has seen me the victim of hacks, DOS plus I have been kicked off multiple hosting companies, free blogging sites, and I have even had threats to cease and desist from the US armed forces. Therefore I have to pay for my own server which is NOT cheap. The more people who read these article on this site the more it costs me so some support would be much appreciated.

I have backups of removed reports shown, then taken down after pressure, that show collusion between nations and the media. I have the full redacted 28/29 pages from the 9.11 commission on the site which seems to have been forgotten about as we help Saudi Arabia bomb Yemeni kids hiding in the rubble with white phosphorus, an illegal weaapon. One that the Israeli's even used when they bombed the UN compound in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. We complain about Syrian troops (US Controlled ISIS) using chemical weapons to kill "beautiful babies". I suppose all those babies we kill in Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria are just not beautiful enough for Trumps beautiful baby ratio. Plus we kill about 100 times as many as ISIS or the Syrian army have managed by a factor of about 1000 to 1.

I also have a backup of the FOX News series that looked into Israeli connections to 9.11. Obviously FOX removed that as soon as AIPAC, ADL and the rest of the Hasbra brigade protested.

I also have a copy of the the original Liberal Democrats Freedom Bill which was quickly and quietly removed from their site once they enacted and replaced with some watered down rubbish instead once they got into power. No change to police tactics, protesting or our unfair extradition treaty with the USA but we did get a stop to being clamped on private land instead of the mny great ideas in the original.

So ANY support to keep this site running would be much appreciated! I don't have much money after leaving my job and it is a choice between shutting the server or selling the domain or paying a lot of money just so I can show this material. Material like the FSB Bombings that put Putin in power or the Google no 1 spot when you search for protecting yourself from UK Police with "how to give a no comment interview". If you see any adverts that interest you then please visit them as it helps me without you even needing to give me any money. A few clicks per visit is all it takes to help keep the servers running and #altnews alive!

However if you don't want to use the very obvious and cost free ways (to you) to help the site and keep me writing for it then please consider making a small donation. Especially if you have a few quid sitting in your PayPal account doing nothing useful. Why not do a monthly subscription for less money instead. Will you really notice £5 a month?


0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.



Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.



css.php