Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/09/04/can-us-democracy-be-fixed
Actually you can’t fix something you never had.
As some have said:
It ain’t broken. It’s working as designed
Richard Falk’s ‘Coda’ says a lot in a little.
The entire article is good, very good !
Right direction, definitely, imo.
The mess we\re in is actually probably a necessary precondition to the type of paradigm shift worldwide that this article lays out.
U.S. democracy is a lot like Russian communism. Both were mythological goals with a governing class who never expected (nor wanted) implementation.
To think Drumpf’s open fascism appeared from a vacuum is one of the reasons so many of us are feeling proper fucked these days - Mussolini’s fascism WAS corporatism. Sound vaguely familiar?
With Citizen’s United as law, Fascism 'R Us. The sooner we accept this and face it honestly, the better chances we have of fomenting change when that historic moment (or flashpoint) arises.
What Drumpf’s GOP is promoting is a lot closer to Hitler’s Nazism. But we all know this, don’t we?
But let’s be honest with ourselves here - undoing fascism under Biden is a lot more likely than undoing it under what’s looking more and more like 1933 Germany with each news cycle and the Fuehrer wannabie.
Americans are indoctrinated to recite the Pledge of Allegiance (to the flag–a symbol–[“I’l leave symbols to the symbol-minded.”–the Late Great George Carlin]). Now consider a country in which Americans were brought up studying and discussing ideas of independence, duty, honor, and The Enlightenment in depth. Can’t, because it ain’t going to happen. The Owners of this country ain’t going to let it happen. [insert more George Carlin redux here]
“is above all a referendum on fascism,”
Endless nonsense and ignorance.
A referendum on a less authoritarian interpretation of the Constitution perhaps - the alternative is the Democrats after all. However the electorate in November is not being given a choice between free-market capitalism and the corporatist ‘Third Way’ between socialism and capitalism that Fascism represented. See: ’ Corporatism and the Ghost of the Third Way’
Fascism was certainly ‘authoritarian’ (with totalitarian ambitions) but it was a specific (failed) political and economic ideology and should not be used as a ‘catch-all’ for authoritarianism in general and be left in the dust-bin of history where it belongs.
Good piece by Mr. Falk, with an exception of this line:
“This prospect would provoke an unprecedented constitutional crisis and could be resolved by the first coup in American history an unthinkable scenario until Trump came along.”
With the erasure of history, Falk can be forgiven for having no knowledge of the coup against FDR in the 1930’s.
Here’s another interesting read on the subject of possible 2020 election outcomes, written by Whitney Webb, a young, but brilliant, investigative reporter. If your unfamiliar with her work, do a search, she doesn’t disappoint.
A who’s who of past Washington insiders, from both sides of the aisle coming together, makes me just as nervous as Trump’s followers do.
It sounds very familiar regarding America’s general lack of understanding of what ‘corporatism’ is/was.
Please have a careful read of this: 'Corporatism and the Ghost of the Third Way ’
I think then you would agree that it is not something the ruling class in the U.S. would have any interest in experimenting in. They have done very nicely with things as they are and have been from the ‘get go’ of the U.S. Can you imagine the Republicans (or even the Democrats) campaigning for government control over the economy as per corporatist ideology?
However levels of authoritarianism in general have waxed and waned over the period that the U.S. Constitution has been in operation (people of ‘color’ in the U.S. for instance have centuries of experience of living under authoritarian regimes in the U.S.) and all should be vigilant against general authoritarian tendencies.
Other principles/values we need to inculcate (but NOT indoctrinate!):
reverence for nature and the planet
But a political-economic system - corporate capitalism - based only on greed (profits over people and planet) which infects every part of society, from politicians to commerce to entertainment, will never permit those values to thrive.
Falk mightily ignores straightforward matters:
- The forced removal of an elected president of either party will constitute a coup.
- Any coup is, by character, authoritarian
- A coup by either major party will be palpably fascist in a de facto sense. That is, it will involve people who use force and violence to curtail rights for capital. The term gets thrown around, but if you read Mussolini or Carl Schmidt, that’s the take-away. They assume a baseline necessity for force and hold concepts of rights as pretense.
One of the few things scarier than a Trump presidency is this repeated prepping of the population for a coup. Had anyone here exposure to the sorts of media campaigns leading up to recent CIA-driven coups in Honduras, Ukraine (Biden-involved!), Bolivia, and the attempts in Venezuela? I have not and would be curious. As one can observe here, this does resemble the sorts of media campaigns that in the United States preceded such regime change operations, and that preceded wars or acts of war in or around Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, and Libya–and I am of necessity leaving things out.
If US democracy is to be fixed, this will not be done by coup d’etat and the declaration or de facto acceptance of military government. Were I at Central Casting looking for a figure to believably take a fat check and a plain ticket to Moscow to play bad boy and sanctify a fascist coup, my first choice in the entire world would be Donald Trump. The Democratic Party rigged its nomination in '16 and again in’20, both with very extensive media support. None of this is far-fetched.
There are at present no feasible good results. Get ready.
You are aware that we have a Dept. of Homeland Security, and the Patriot Act firmly in place, right?
We have 25% of the world’s prison population. Plenty of authoritarianism, but representation?
No, it’s not twentieth century European fascism, it’s our own brand.
Good link btw - a good reminder of things. Doesn’t change my position though.
And… as for those parts of government which happen to work pretty well… the GOP-DNC plan is to hire professional vandals like DeJoyless to come in and wreck the People’s property and the People’s institutions.
If I had any drawing skills at all, I would draw a cute little editorial cartoon. One half of the cartoon would depict Harry S. Truman sitting at his desk, with a sign above him expressing his philosophy: "If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The other half would depict rumpdump sitting on his gold-plated toilet, taking a dump and tweeting on his phone, “If it ain’t broke, BREAK IT!”
Does anyone have drawing skills?
The author is wrong about a coup occurring to remove Trump next January.
His term ENDS on January 21, 2021 - no matter what - if Biden has enough
electorial votes cast in December 2020
There are a lot of possible court cases in many states and both parties are
lawyered up for ‘chad’ battles, absentee voting battles, etc. These delays
may cause Biden to appoint all the old Clinton / Obama clique if he wins
finally in mid december or later. The courts may cause a winner. The new
house of representatives may cause a winner. Hope Nancy is not speaker.
We are a REPUBLIC.
Not a democracy. The democracy idea is that all peoples are involved.
And we do not have every citizen performing some needed government
duty as a matter of regular life here in USA.
“Most people do not really want freedom and democracy because freedom and democracy involve responsibility and most people are frightened of responsibility” - Sigmund Freud
Fascism is not a “third way” between socialism and capitalism.
To see how Trump and Trumpism is indeed fascism go to the interview with Dr. Jason Stanley on Friday’s Democracy Now program.
How did they rig it? Sanders was on the ballot in every Democratic primary - and indeed he was leading until the pandemic-affected super Tuesday. Unlike 2016, everybody go to hear Sanders’ message this time. But a majority of Democrats are simply not leftists or social Democrats.
And you really gotta love those leftists against popular democratic uprisings in places like Egypt, Syria, Ukraine, Nicaragua and now, Belarus.
Stanley is neither an historian nor a political scientist. He is a religious philosopher who believes:
“At the core of liberal democracy is human rights. That’s what we get from Christianity. The Christian faith doesn’t allow us to say, “These people are not worthy of conversion and those people are.” The idea behind Christianity is that we are all potentially saved. I think it’s a glorious—Christianity has some of the best ideas in human history. Christianity says we’re all capable of being saved. That idea becomes the idea of human rights, where all humans—regarding the Constitution of the United States, its rights are human rights.”
A statement which has to ignore how various Christian polities operated before the Enlightenment and how various Christian denominations have acted since.
Further, he is either oblivious of (or chooses to ignore) ‘Corporatism and the Ghost of the Third Way’
Take time to read it. The Christian background to Corporatism may be why Stanley hasn’t.
Review the voting machines from Iowa forward. They’re discovered fraudulent, their count retained, the machines never replaced. Since the same personnel mostly remained in place from the more thoroughly documented fraud in '16, we may suspect a lot more, but the details are uncertain and the only the vote attribution problem demonstrable.
“Can U.S. Democracy be fixed”? Would I be pilloried if I said U.S. Democracy has always been FIXED ? America is not run by Democracy, but by an Oligarchy, votes are worthless.