Crisis in Democracy

Our elite are busy consolidating the gains from their 30 year embrace of neoliberalism while deploying their bought and paid for government to make certain there’s nothing we can do about it. In a perverse bit of projection they describe periods where American citizens have participated in the political arena in an attempt to bring about progressive change as a “crisis in democracy.”

This state of affairs where the rich and the corporations they own make all the important economic decisions, while citizens are relegated to voting for two candidates that offer the same limited choices is what we’ve come to describe as democracy. This is our milieu, where the power of our elite is more important than democracy itself, and any attempt to alter this rigid hierarchy is met with massive resistance.

This explains President Obama and corporate legislators rush to pass fast-track legislation to ensure passage of the TPP and other so-called trade treaties that grant corporations enormous power while taking away sovereignty from we the people. The Trans-Pacific-Partnership is the economic aspect of the Obama administration’s pivot to Asia, in an attempt to lock in the power of multi-national corporations against a rising China.

“The Obama administration is essentially prostituting the American consumer to foreign corporations to usher in a deal that would impose one-size-fits all international rules that even limit the US government’s right to regulate foreign investment and the appropriation of natural resources, solidifying a long-discussed model of finance capital-backed global governance.”

The TPP would mandate that signatory countries maintain a privatized banking system. Author Ellen Brown, explains that our financial overlords want to ensure there is no going back to a regulated financial system.

And that could help explain the desperate rush to “fast track” not only the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), but the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). TiSA would nip attempts to implement public banking and other monetary reforms in the bud.”

Brown asks some questions about the power that the banking and financial system has over our lives.

“If money is just an IOU, why are we delivering the exclusive power to create it to an unelected, unaccountable, non-transparent private banking monopoly? Why are we buying into the notion that the government is broke – that it must sell off public assets and slash public services in order to pay off its debts? The government could pay its debts in the same way private banks pay them, simply with accounting entries on its books. What will happen when a critical mass of the populace realizes that we’ve been vassals of a parasitic banking system based on a fraud – that we the people could be creating money as credit ourselves, through publicly-owned banks that returned the profits to the people?”

I’ve written before about this mistaken view of money, debt and fiat currency in a post entitled Out of Thin Air. The important point to remember is that the creation of money and credit are political rather than economic decisions. We have choices, no matter how hard our elite try to deny this reality.

Neoliberals insist that there is no alternative, and are busy employing government to ensure that all aspects of our lives are subsumed to the market.

In Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution, political theorist and University of California, Berkeley, professor Wendy Brown, argues that neoliberalism reduces all affairs to the market and thus directly undermines democracy.

“Even more than the extreme inequalities and empowerment of capital that neoliberalism brings about, it’s the casting of every sphere of existence and every phenomenon as a market — and human beings as nothing other than market actors — that undoes democracy.”

Maybe that’s the whole point of neoliberalism.

“That project is to free up the entire globe for the profit-making activities of a few gigantic corporations and their billionaire owners, with minimal interference from governments or any other social institution.”

And, what happens to those who view neoliberalism for what it is–looting?

“The neoliberal project has always had a special place for disciplining the proles. Prison, parole, draconian court systems, all are directed at keeping the proles from interfering with the ability of the rich and their corporations to make lots of money.”

The bifurcated legal system we maintain in the US is not an accident. According to our neoliberal intellectuals the legal system is working exactly as it should. Here’s Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge, Richard Posner explaining that the rich are to be disciplined by tort law, after the fact court enforcement of laws, but the poor, having nothing, need jail for discipline.

The major function of criminal law in a capitalist society is to prevent people from bypassing the system of voluntary, compensated exchange — the “market,” explicit or implicit — in situations where, because transaction costs are low, the market is a more efficient method of allocating resources than forced exchange. Market bypassing in such situations is inefficient — in the sense in which economists equate efficiency with wealth maximization — no matter how much utility it may confer on the offender. … (P. 1195, footnote omitted)

We do have a crisis in democracy just not the one our elite imagine. No, our crisis is that we effectively have de-jour democracy and de-facto plutocracy.

This crisis of democracy is where we are now. Do we the people want to control our government and use it to better our lives or are we content to sit back and be amused while our elite deploy the government to force us to participate in a savage world where we’re all reduced to marketable entities?

Update: This sucker just might pass thanks to weasel corporate Democrats.

“So: these ‘trade’ deals will not directly and overtly block any increase in the regulations of food-safety, the environment, drug-safety, worker-safety, workers’ wages, medical care, education, or any of the many other things that governments must regulate in order for the public to be protected, and served. Instead, this legislative blockage will be indirect, and covert. But it will be just as real, and just as effective, as if it were an outright legal prohibition. The individual nations will be forced to yield to the ‘higher’ rights (the real sovereignty) of the top international investors.”

 

 

 

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