Home | About | Donate

Future of American Democracy: On Inequality, Polarization and Violence

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/11/14/future-american-democracy-inequality-polarization-and-violence

4 Likes

THANK YOU, Ramzy, for this widely-based perspective on what we call here American democracy.
Our own national ability to reflect seriously on our deep-seated mythology of how we are THE World’s Example of Demoracy, is itself flawed.

• Ironically — but not so “amazingly” — our “bellief” in democracy at home is best captured by those MANY Americans who actually have so little of it — and are ignored by our media.

5 Likes

The EIU is behind the times or miles too kind. There is no statistically significant correspondence between public opinion and public policy. Policy corresponds to the interests of corporations. As such, democracy is “flawed” in the same sense as a car whose engine has seized and melted.

Still, the rulers have considerable motive to pretend to something representative. It is way more efficient and effective than having to enslave and coerce everyone directly and openly. When you have slaves guarding slaves, things become unstable. Sufficiently organized and informed, people could insist on representation.

A lot of the “future” here, then, is the future of manufactured consent, of consent manufactured more and less effectively. Talks of an “American Civil War” are nonsense. The major operational conflict is still between rich and poor, not between Mason and Dixon or saltwater and freshwater people. That won’t go away if you get rid of “those Hoosiers” or “those crazy Californians” or those stuck-up New Yorkers" or those white people or those black people or whatever.

This is all pretty much entirely a matter of PR people playing with ways to justify extraconstitutional force to establish power.

If they intended to give that power back when the trump or soon the biden is out of office or the this people or the that people quelled, there’d be no motive to set it up in the first place.

5 Likes

I disagree with several of the main points presented in this article.

The idea that there is a major Political Polarization in the USA is based upon a superficial

acceptance that democrats and republicans are opposing parties. While they do seem to be

quite passionate in performance, the truth is that they work together to a much greater degree

than they appear. That uniformity of priorities is what is destroying any semblance of democracy.

Approximately 98% of the voters regularly endorse the toxic imperialistic garbage through which

the democrat and republican office holders keep eating away the well being of people and the

environment around the planet

The article also cites the militarism as a problem and this is one of the most prominent examples

of the fact that there is one party with two faces. Democrats and republicans show no real sign of

challenging the juggernaut. Sure, there are occasional calls for a little restraint, but these are

always silenced and betrayed with ever larger military budgets which are always overwhelmingly

endorsed.

Democrats and republicans both think they are superior to each other while they both ardently

embrace rumors, falsehoods, willful ignorance, and made to order manipulations, as if they are facts.

The economic inequality is constantly expanding through policies which are almost unanimously

endorsed by the congress and while the democrats fake their concern about how economic policies

are destroying the social fabric, the vast majority of democrats in congress have repeatedly voted

to make matters worse.

It appears that the ones who see most clearly are the huge numbers of people who do not participate in

the circus of death elections

which are controlled by the two-faced corporate program of democrat/republican fraudulence.

The democrats did the most to elect Trump and the republicans have done the most to elect Biden.

There is a continuing expansion of degradation and it will not be stopped by accepting the misleading

notion that there is some great political polarization between democrats and republicans.

Also, this has been going on for much longer than this article implies.

4 Likes
In January 2017, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) downgraded the state of democracy in the United States from “full democracy” to “flawed democracy”.

The demotion of a country that has constantly prided itself, not only on being democratic but also on championing democracy throughout the world, took many by surprise. Some US pundits challenged the findings altogether.

Who are these “pundits” who are not able to see what is plainly obvious to any person of discernment and why do they still have jobs? They would be more aptly titled propagandists and their failure to educate the public concerning the true nature of the nation’s political circumstances is a major part of the problem.

4 Likes

The US is not now, nor has it ever been a full democracy. This fallacy is shouted from the rooftops by corrupt politicians and media infotainment stars.
Corporate duopoly. Electoral college. End of story.

We absolutely do not have a representative democracy. Most of our so called leaders do no give one poop what the people want or what is best for the citizenry as a whole.

May be of interest - how others see the ‘World’s Greatest Democracy’.

This from the Australian national public broadcaster:

Donald Trump is no despot, nor is he the first president to exploit the 'power lie
+tps://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-11-15/trump-no-despot-nor-first-president-power-lie-america/12876516

The root cause of this unwillingness to allow real democracy is a little known substrate of trade and investment instruments that prohibit largelythe entire progressive platform and only allow movement to deregulate. The progressive candidate you mentioned actually did the country a very big disservice by performing a cover up of he fact that a single insutrument, part of the WTTO barred in toto virtually his entire agenda, making it require an international effort on our part to withdraw, and compensate other countries for the lost business and jobs.

(The trade instruments also trade jobs, although this has not begin except on a fairly low volume level in a few service sectors, it promises to ramp up soon - possibly next year after the WTO gets its dispute body back. It will be interesting to see what Americans do with our lives after the core of skilled professional jobs start vanishing in large numbers.

This is being done to give foreign countries “skin in the game” where large parts of their economies depend on their relationships with the US.
in order to protect multinationals investment This is because these kinds of agreements are multilateral and US investors want the high yields overseas. Were we to allow democracy, their investments would be less predictable and indeed, US companies would be unable to ship manufacturing and service jobs overseas cutting into their profits somewhat.

We make a lot of these rules so out people have to be used as an example, in a sense we have to get the worst deals of all to show we mean business.

So, democracy in the US has been quietly limited to only the political world, and public services are being rapidly privatized, irreversibly. Politicians can pick whatever they want as long as its more deregulation, or removing regulations. Also they can remove regulations.

Of course in a country that’s traded away its good jobs and likely automated the others, it helps to be rich.

We are making a country where all money is equal. Maybe our motto should become “no millionaires left behind”

As the need for workers is going away, this loss of power to even exist, loss of standing, is fairly inevitable because political power revolves around economic relevance.

Corporations have standing in these international fora through mechanisms like ISDS and the similar state to state mechnanisms in WTO. But we the people are not really represented by our national government which seems to represent only our corprations where it counds in Geneva and in other global economic governance institutions. They dont seem to have a vision for this country’s people being all too eagar to trade off our jobs to the lowest bidders. Clearly their big priority is cutting cots for big corporations and getting more clout to enforce patents and other IP “rights” even with they directly conflict with human needs. Another priority is smoothing teh way to extractive industries to extort other countries as well as our own into every possible exploitation, with public healthy, pure water, the environment, safety if not the lowest priority certainly nowhere near the top. We have to show them how its done, by making sure we’re exploited as effectively as possible, served up on a platter, if you may, and not given any special deals.

We cant get any special deals. This is why no progressive policies can ever win. They have already been decided and traded away, we’ve just been kept totally out of the loop. But its easy to prove if you go to where the power is now.

Places like Geneva.

Of course they never told us, but we could have found out other ways, by reading.

When they started cutting our investments in education that should have been an incentive to read the international literature, had they they would have found a growing body of academic literature decrying a global push to defund and outsource education, healthcare, water and so on, all attached to policies on services.
Also, seeing that we would soon be competing with seven billion other workers instead of just 350 million, we should have realised that because of our high cost of living our investment was going to have to reflect our costs, and become much more substantial to keep up with the rising bar to decent employment,

Instead we’ve been relying on temporary guest workers in IT, and some other fielods, while negotiating terms of huge expansions in ouutsourcing and offshoring, even starting negotiations on a much more expansive deal that globalizes and outsources everything unless countries explicity exclude them, this will catch entire economies by surprise.
basically cutting off the most promising future careers to those without advanced college degrees, or the skills, no matter how promising, those without the mens to both get the skills and then work almost for free for years will be shut out.

When these things started happening, we should have recognized their implications and gotten to the bottom ofm it, not let fake NGOS and think tanks dominate and steer the national conversations into dead ends where nothing could possibly ever change…

I suppose the rich want taxes to keep falling even as the jobs vanish away.;

We should have realized back in the 90s and early 2000s while those talks were going on that the future of the middle class was dripping away like water draining out of a bathtub.

I find it quite tragic how easily the American people have been deceived out of our votes and futures.

Now its really a sordid mess.

1 Like