Coastal Post Online


October, 2003

Fear of Democracy
By Frank Scott
   At the recently failed WTO meetings, the poor south told the rich north to buzz off. In diplomatic language, of course. Whether the global majority living under the reign of capital will succeed in its struggle against the ruling minority is a matter of hope for most, but terror for others.
   The appalling poverty of billions of people results from the criminally unfair system of production and distribution of the earth's wealth. That system is headquartered in the USA, where the nation's riches enable it to mask the gap between its top and bottom with cosmetics and diversions not available to most of the world. But that system is creating greater stress for global society, and all other forms of nature. That is reflected here at home, where a propaganda machine terrorizes citizens with tales of fabricated demons, instead of relaying information about real dangers. But people are learning.
   Support for our court appointed regime is finally weakening. A war against a fictional threat has become an even more murderous drain on life, liberty and the pursuit of sanity. More Americans have been killed since the attack officially ended, while those who were supposed to greet their liberators with tossed rose petals are often lobbing grenades instead. Long suffering Iraqis died by the thousands during combat, and still barely survive in the anarchy and chaos of daily life.
   In a democracy, the regime which got us into this war by selling a package of horrendous lies, would be impeached and jailed. But given the dreadful Democrats, we will be lucky to just defeat these fanatics with whatever wretched lesser evil they appoint to carry the banner of slightly more humane imperialism, with slightly less murderous butchery.
   Our economy's inhuman priorities cause millions of dollars in tax benefits to appear for our ruling class, while millions of jobs are made to disappear from our working class. This is wonderful for corporadoes who don't have to pay those salaries, but terrible for those unemployed, and for the economy that needs their purchasing power.
   Even the moronic witch doctors who run this freak show know it's impossible to sell products to people without money. The only way to move more goods and services is to extend more credit, so that people continue consuming things they often don't need, frequently don't want, and usually can't afford.
   A nation carrying trillions of dollars in public debt has citizens who carry an equal cumulative amount in personal debt. But unlike governments, citizens can't float loans or bond measures; bankruptcy is the only relief for an indebted consumer. How many bankruptcies can our economy absorb? What if a political movement is formed around the idea of not taking on any more debt? What would happen if that movement insisted on canceling, or withholding payments on the existing debt, as poor nations are doing? No wonder there is tension in the air. The poor south may be suffering far more, physically, but the rich north could be nearing a mental breakdown.
   Antidepressants can put a smile on a debtor's face, but they can't put money in an empty bank account. If such exists; in a nation dependent on low wage workers, paychecks are often cashed at interest gouging store front firms that prey upon the working poor who have no banks. As these mainly immigrant workers prop up the economy's structural basement, the idiotic Patriot Act makes it harder for them to enter the country and do the dirty work that helps keep the great American mall from running out of stock or customers. Is schizophrenia a synonym for capitalism?
   While the regime scares us with invented signs of menace, it is clear that the terror originates in our economy and its political leadership, who are presiding over a program of endless war and growing debt. They could briefly get away with lies about poisoned air in New York, or Iraqi WMDs. But the poisoned political air that threatens to smother democracy is creating a stench that cannot be deodorized by any propaganda.
   People may react in anger, panic or fear, but their reaction itself is a cause for hope. Despite confusing polls that show both understanding and ignorance-and reflect the questions asked as much as the answers given-treating Americans like ignorant children doesn't work. Conflicting messages that contradict experienced reality are only serving to destroy fake democracy, and may help bring about the real thing.
   Citizens may be herded into voting against new demons created by propaganda. As in California, where, despite being a member of a ruling class family, a platitude spouting Hollywood airhead is depicted as a  combination of Satan, Hitler and Bin laden. But more than ever, they will also choose alternatives and show growing disgust at the consciousness controlling machine that treats them as idiots. They are coming to understand more than their manipulators.
   The war on terror is a murderous lie. Its purpose is to instill panic, while filling the pockets of those who already have more, by emptying the pockets of those who have much less. Lying about terrorism's origin, meaning or likelihood of reoccurrence, is criminal manipulation of the public trust.
   When political leadership tells lies, and major media repeats them, what are people to think? How can we understand a reality so distorted by those who supposedly bring its meaning to us? And yet, significant minorities continue to see through those lies, and take action against them.
   The nation, like the world, is moved by forces still out of its control, but slowly, surely, change will come. When the impulse of the American public catches up to that of the rest of the world, the ruling minority will have good reason to fear. And make no mistake, what terrifies them is the threat of real democracy. The only question is whether we can create it in time.


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