Posts Tagged ‘Authoritarianism’
A new study from Princeton spells bad news for American democracy—namely, that it no longer exists.
Asking “[w]ho really rules?” researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page argue that over the past few decades America’s political system has slowly transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where wealthy elites wield most power.
Using data drawn from over 1,800 different policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, the two conclude that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of or even against the will of the majority of voters.
TPM Interview: Scholar Behind Viral ‘Oligarchy’ Study Tells You What It Means
“The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy,” they write, “while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.”
As one illustration, Gilens and Page compare the political preferences of Americans at the 50th income percentile to preferences of Americans at the 90th percentile as well as major lobbying or business groups. They find that the government—whether Republican or Democratic—more often follows the preferences of the latter group rather than the first.
The researches note that this is not a new development caused by, say, recent Supreme Court decisions allowing more money in politics, such as Citizens United or this month’s ruling on McCutcheon v. FEC. As the data stretching back to the 1980s suggests, this has been a long term trend, and is therefore harder for most people to perceive, let alone reverse.
“Ordinary citizens,” they write, “might often be observed to ‘win’ (that is, to get their preferred policy outcomes) even if they had no independent effect whatsoever on policy making, if elites (with whom they often agree) actually prevail.”
A Moment of Clarity from Lee Camp.
The excerpt below shows that the Elite (a polite term for Authoritarians) don’t always use double-speak when they address their problems– but then they don’t expect very many to be interested! After all, their encouragement of “apathy and noninvolvement” have been such a big hit! ** See their recently spectacular “Change you’re sure to be disappointed by”………
The ‘Foundations’ of Social Control
by Andrew Gavin Marshall Global Research Nov. 30, 2010
In 1975, the Trilateral Commission published a Task Force Report entitled, “The Crisis of Democracy,” of which one of the principal authors was Samuel Huntington, a political scientist and close associate and friend of Zbigniew Brzezinski…………..
Huntington presented these issues, essentially, as the “crisis of democracy,” in that they increased distrust with the government and authority, that they led to social and ideological polarization, and led to a “decline in the authority, status, influence, and effectiveness of the presidency.”
Huntington concluded that many problems of governance in the United States stem from an “excess of democracy,” and that, “the effective operation of a democratic political system usually requires some measure of apathy and noninvolvement on the part of some individuals and groups.” Huntington explained that society has always had “marginal groups” which do not participate in politics, and while acknowledging that the existence of “marginality on the part of some groups is inherently undemocratic,” it has also “enabled democracy to function effectively.” Huntington identifies “the blacks” as one such group that had become politically active, posing a “danger of overloading the political system with demands.”
Huntington, in his conclusion, stated that the vulnerability of democracy, essentially the ‘crisis of democracy,’ comes “from the internal dynamics of democracy itself in a highly educated, mobilized, and participant society,” and that what is needed is “a more balanced existence” in which there are “desirable limits to the indefinite extension of political democracy.” Summed up, the Trilateral Commission Task Force Report essentially explained that the “Crisis of Democracy” is that there is too much of it, and so the ‘solution’ to the crisis, is to have less democracy and more ‘authority’……
Jonathan Cook, Foreign Correspondent
May 03. 2010 TheNational
Sheikh Ahmed Abu Ajwa has been preaching at Jabalya mosque since he was 19.
Job interviews for the position of imam at mosques in Israel are conducted not by senior clerics but by the Shin Bet, Israel’s secret police, a labour tribunal has revealed.
Sheikh Ahmed Abu Ajwa, 36, is fighting the Shin Bet’s refusal to approve his appointment as an imam in a case that has lifted the lid on Israel’s secret surveillance of the country’s Islamic leaders.
At a hearing last month, a senior government official admitted that 60 undercover inspectors were employed effectively as spies to collect information on Muslim clerics, reporting on political opinions they expressed in sermons and relaying gossip about their private lives.
Sheikh Abu Ajwa took his case to the tribunal after the Shin Bet rejected him three years ago as the imam of a mosque in Jaffa, near Tel Aviv, despite him being the sole candidate. He was told after a security clearance interview that his views were “extremist” and too critical of Israel, even though an imam is not officially defined as a security-related position.
“During one interview with the Shin Bet, they told me they had been collecting information on me since I was 15,” Sheikh Abu Ajwa said.
“I am the first imam ever to challenge the Shin Bet’s role in our appointments. It’s important to win a precedent-setting ruling from the courts to stop this kind of interference.”
Michael Sfard, a human rights lawyer representing Sheikh Abu Ajwa, said that, as far as it could be determined, no similar vetting of rabbis took place before their hiring.
“This sort of surveillance relating to a non-security position like an imam comes straight out of the era of the Stasi police in East Germany or the McCarthy period in the United States,” he said.
“ For more than a hundred years, the foreign policy of the United States government has been directed to the establishment and maintenance of global dominance. To this end, violence, overthrow, conquest and murder have been utilized as required … More and more, oppression and brutalization have become the bywords of domestic policy as well. Today, the United States as a political entity is a corporatist-authoritarian-militarist monstrosity: its major products are suffering, torture, barbarism and death on a huge scale.”
|by Chris Floyd EmpireBurlesque|
|Wednesday, 21 April 2010|
Arthur Silber is back, with piercing insights that rip the veil which even self-proclaimed dissenters still draw across the blood-soaked reality of what Silber aptly calls the “Death State” that has long “wrapped the world in flames” (to quote the preferred method of resolving diplomatic conflicts famously voiced by Abe Lincoln’s secretary of state) from its mephitic base on the Potomac.
As always with Silber, you must read the whole piece (and follow the links) to get the full force of the argument, which is nuanced, multifarious and deeply considered, but here is just the briefest excerpt to send you on your way:
There is more, much more in the original post — “An Evil Monstrosity: Thoughts on the Death State“; excerpting it actually does it an injustice. So go there now and read it.
When you’ve done that, scoot on over to Truthdig, where you will find William Pfaff writing in a similar vein about the bloody deceptions of the Death State: past, present — and future. Some excerpts:
Written by laudyms
April 22, 2010 at 10:13 am
You wouldn’t know it if you only check out the MSM, but there is a cacophany of voices crying in the wilderness of American life, desperate for their fellows to wake from their zombie state. The details, issues and complaints vary but the message is significantly similar: Wake out of your stupor and help resist the Corporate State! (that’s my version, but many are much the same)
Another growing groundswell is a near uniform rejection of science: a sad but understandable situation, since science education is nearly non-existant in the US and the scientific establishment in both academia and industry have allowed Corporate control to co-opt, corrupt and abuse them. From vaccines to climate change, many reject it all. Whatever it is, it must be a scam with profits for the Big-Boys and costs passed along to what used to be known as “the people.” This causes me some grief, but when so many untested products poison the populace and the landscape, and institutions supposed to provide oversight have been gutted and burdened with political hacks, it’s probably safer to “just say NO.”
Corporate schemers own Congress, manipulate every public debate and smother important issues in the press. They have outsourced our economy and demand billions for the right to run a casino on Wall Street.
Which brings me to the White Rose– an anti-Nazi student group in Germany during WWII. The Corporate State is the texbook definition of fascism….and that’s really where we are right now. The charge has been trivialized by many puffed-up pontificators, but that doesn’t make it untrue.
As I correspond with many who excuse current events, or give me sage advice about accepting what’s ‘possible,’ I feel much more akin to those of the White Rose, even knowing the brutal end they came to.
Alex Doherty writes about them and the parallels with those today who have seen the American Dream become a nightmare and call for us to resist:
“The White Rose group could hardly have been unaware of the cruelty of the regime they opposed and yet the group did not shy from exhorting, in fact demanding that their fellow citizens take action to against the Nazi state. They took it to be a sacred duty of all people to oppose violence and authoritarianism regardless of the personal cost:
“Is your spirit already so crushed by abuse that you forget it is your right – your moral duty – to eliminate this system?” “
Written by laudyms
December 9, 2009 at 3:34 pm
By Richard Moore firstname.lastname@example.org
Alex Jones, The Fall of the Republic
DVD purchase: http://infowars-shop.stores.yahoo.net/faofreobdere.html
suitable for viewing with a circle of friends
making additional copies is encouraged by Alex
Written by laudyms
November 6, 2009 at 10:35 am