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Redacting Democracy


Redacting Democracy

Karen Greenberg

The Nobel Prize-winning Czech author Milan Kundera began his 1979 novel, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting, by describing two photographs. In the first, two men are standing side by side, a Czech nationalist later executed for his views and the country’s Communist ruler. In the second, the dissenter is gone, airbrushed out. Just the dictator remains.


"Trump, Barr, Pompeo, Bolton, Pence, McConnell, and the Republican Party in general," require being redacted.

Or at least, reborn.

If only we could push them back inside the womb.


never mind!


The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming!


It is not just the government that reacts, deletes, omits, rewords and mischaracterizes or outright lies - call them sins against democracy - but our corporate controlled media too often acts like an all too willing co-conspirator in ‘redacting democracy’. Increasingly it becomes more and more obvious just how powerful a role the media plays in the way America functions. Trump cunningly uses Tweeting to maintain an unofficial/personal presence in the media outside of his presidency. It is a new age of electronic identities and social media and he shamelessly uses it to his advantage as any con man would.

However the media while purporting to be objective is sometimes outrageously biased and often the purveyors of disinformation and lies. Outlets like Fox News et al knowingly and willingly choose to present falsehoods like repeating the Trumpism that climate change is a hoax etc.

The mainstream media has taken on the role as an extension of government and the corporate elites rather than as the fifth estate as they once had done previously. Of course it is not all black and white and the media is not only rightist but some still fight the good fight but with much decreased resources and funding.

Our democracy is heavily dependent on our media functioning as an independent participant and not only as a paid employee. To paraphrase an old saw about hearing a tree falling in a forest…

…If a news item doesn’t get published or presented on TV/radio then did it ever happen?

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To begin with, Wereflea, I agree with your observational analysis. I disagree on using the word democracy instead of republic. A democracy is when all people have a direct say in all the things that fundamentally affect their lives … not having democratically elected representatives make laws and decisions on your behalf.

Even today, only 45 states have ratified the Equal Rights Amendment! That doesn’t sound much like a democracy to me.

Unless you were a propertied white male at the time our Constitution came into being, one had zero ability to have any input or vote on the things that could dramatically affect their lives.

We are being asked to elect a new government through what is said to be a democratic process. It is true that the vote, together with other hard-won rights such as the rights of assembly, political organization and free expression, are most important. But can the act of electing a government result in a democratic society?

To govern is to direct, control and to rule with authority. Operating as the state this is what governments do. But to say that democracy is merely the act of electing a government to rule over us cannot be right because democracy should include all people in deciding how we live and what we do as a community. Democracy means the absence of privilege, making our decisions from a position of equality. Democracy means that we should live in a completely open society with unrestricted access to the information relevant to social issues. It means that we should have the powers to act on our decisions, because without such powers decisions are useless.

Source | Passion for Socialism

Just as one example: did you, as a citizen of the USA, have a direct voice in all the military interventions and wars you have experienced in your lifetime? Of course not. These decisions were made by Executive and Legislative branches of our government. This one example alone illustrates the difference between a republic and a democracy.

Also consider this: every time the electorate votes a person into a political office, they are giving their permission and desire for a ruling class … and its continuity. I am not saying we should not vote. I’m just making an off-the-cuff observation but this isn’t any form of democracy I am advocating for.

“The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.”
― Karl Marx

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Unfortunately I was busy at the time the forefathers created this republic otherwise had they asked me I would have been highly critical of a few things.

Nevertheless, our democracy continues to be a work in progress and imperfect as it is, this is my home. If your home has a slightly leaky roof you fix it not buy another house.