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Guest Post: Why Modern Democracy Is For Idiots

Tyler Durden's picture


From Simon Black of The Sovereign Man

Why Modern Democracy Is For Idiots

Did you know that the word ‘idiot’ is actually derived from the origins of democracy in ancient Greece? Thousands of years ago, a Greek citizen who demonstrated disinterest in politics was labeled ‘idiotes’; it literally meant ‘private person,’ which curiously enough was a term of derision at the time.

Fast forward to the pitiful excuse we have for a democratic process in the world today, and the opposite is now true: you have to be a complete idiot to invest yourself in these politics.

Saturday’s straw poll in Ames, Iowa is a perfect example. A few thousand people voted for their preferred republican presidential candidate, and mainstream media outlets have been talking about it nonstop. There are a lot of things wrong with this system–

First, why should anyone care what a few thousand people in a single town think? Do the whims of 17,000 people really have any bearing on a country of 310 million? In modern democracy, they do.

Michelle Bachmann won the poll. Granted, she won by bribing her voters with a free Randy Travis concert, but such things don’t matter in modern democracy. In the eyes of the media, she is now the front-runner having garnered a whopping 28.6% of the 17,000 people who voted.

The same logic, however, does not apply to the guy who came in second… if you can even find his name anywhere in print. You see, there’s this lowly fellow from Texas by the name of Ron Paul who scored 4,671 votes, just 152 shy of Bachmann.

Yet while the media is heralding Bachmann’s victory as a major success for her campaign, there has hardly been an utterance of Ron Paul’s strong finish on Bachmann’s heels.

The third place finisher, former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty, was so dismayed by his results that he withdrew from the race after securing only 13.7% of the votes.

It’s incredible that the fickle whims of tiny Iowa mob could be regarded as so influential that the first place finisher would be anointed, and the third place finisher withdraw in disgrace… and yet the exact same results are to be completely ignored when applied to the second place finisher.

Again, such is the nature of modern democracy… and I feel bad for people who live in the United States that have to put up with another 15-months of this crap.

On one side, President Obama is already flying around the country for his reelection campaign, reading teleprompted remarks that are devoid of any credible plan. Meanwhile, US taxpayers are footing the bill for much of his multimillion-dollar travel and entourage costs.

On the other side, the media is colluding to select front-runners and marginalizing the only guy who actually has a clue of how drastic the US economic situation is.

This system is a complete farce. The ancient Greeks would call you an idiot if you wouldn’t participate in their democracy and focused on your own affairs. Today, you have to be an idiot to set aside your own preparations and put any faith in this system.

democracy Why modern democracy is for idiots

As long as this system is in place, the ‘leaders’ that emerge from it will be cut from the same cloth. They are concerned solely about their own status and have little interest in the voting populace beyond providing whatever minimum benefits are necessary to buy your vote.

In their efforts to consolidate more power and take greater control, they’re hitting the accelerator as they drive the country off the cliff. Putting any stock in this system is dangerous to your family and your livelihood.

I know we’ve all been brainwashed that the government exists to help us, but the truth is that you ultimately have only yourself to rely on. This is not something to fear, but to embrace, and thinking people ought to take steps immediately to increase their self-reliance in this Age of Turmoil.


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Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:35 | 1569475 Syrin
Syrin's picture

This is why many of us are now called "preppers".   Anyone here have any faith in the gov't?


The only thing the gov't has done a good job on is its War on Prosperity.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:52 | 1569541 weinerdog43
weinerdog43's picture

I'd change the word 'gov't' with the word 'authority'.  So, no, I don't have any faith in corporations, the media, organized religion, police, the armed forces, national organizations, etc...

What ever happened to the Right to be Left Alone?

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:21 | 1569701 dlmaniac
dlmaniac's picture

Any system allowing a group of people that don't work to vote how much money to tax away from those who do is instantly idiocy.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:36 | 1569765 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

which government are we talking about here?


Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:06 | 1570191 Hacked Economy
Hacked Economy's picture

Color me a prepper.  Here in SoCal, it's just common sense, since a goodly-sized earthquake would isolate many areas from help, running water, food, etc.  The 1994 Northridge quake toppled sections of freeways and cut off some cities from the mains, and running water wasn't restored for almost a week.  Imagine a complete societal collapse...even if that collapse only lasted three months before *some* form of order (or martial law) was restored.

I believe the MSM is unwittingly setting up Ron Paul to have a stronger position as the 2012 campaigns move forward.  Everyone loves an underdog, and he's been propheting (is that the right word to use here?) the truth about the economy for many years.  Now we're all waking up and realizing that the 'old guy was right.

The pendulum of public discontent can swing wildly from election to election.  We had Bush in 2000 (glad I voted for him then), then Bush again in 2004 (not so glad I voted for him the second time around), then Obamessiah in 2008 (I did NOT vote for that clown), and now the majority of people dislike him - even liberal Democrats in high office.  Obama's days are numbered, and Paul's might be coming.  Time will tell how this pans out.

Fri, 08/19/2011 - 10:35 | 1572047 fallout11
fallout11's picture

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them in the first place." - Albert Einstein 

"Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting a different result each time." - Albert Einstein.

In short, expecting the US political system to produce anything other than more problems and failures is the hallmark of insanity. Meaningful chance will not come from within the systems that already failed.

Dmitry Orlov lists "loss of faith or trust in the political system/government" as his third stage of collapse. We're almost there folks.  People are withdrawing their participation, and with it their implied consent.  Lew Rockwell, as well as the guys over at Whiskey and Gunpowder, have had several good articles on the subject.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:39 | 1569497 Scarlo
Scarlo's picture

Completely disagree about "now it's different". Think many of our problems could be addressed if people weren't so disenchanted, distant and complacent about the current system. There are countless folks out there in the US middle class who are pissed, frustrated and annoyed - and yet none of them wants to pick up a book on history, or even do a bit of net research - instead they are content with eating the spewing vomit from their local TV sets as truth and "news".

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:51 | 1569538 Turkey
Turkey's picture

+1 I completely agree.  Why, I bet people today are similar to people in 500 BC.  Possibly even genetically linked.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:02 | 1569597 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

People are angry... This is clear from overhearing conversations in markets, bars etc...

It is also clear that are not capable of articulating the real problem or the possible solutions. They parrot the various talking heads without the ability to evaluate things from all sides. I overheard a conversation yesterday between 55-somethings about Social Security, it was immediately clear that had no idea what they were talking about.

The "solutions" require a paradigm shift that is not part of the MSM agenda, hence the people are ignorant of the debate that goes on daily in many places.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:04 | 1569873 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture

The key ignittion spark that is required to get the populous "up in arms" and at the right targets would be austerity.  The European Union riots are a direct result of austerity, but the people only got off their asses after they were told that austerity was hitting this, that, or the other.

Here is the Idiot States of Amerika austerirty has been going on and on since 1913, but the form of our austerity is in the form of inflation. If there was only someway to get Boobus Americantus to realize that INFLATION IS AUSTERITY and the the FEDERAL RESERVE CREATES INFLATION, only then can a Ron Paul get elected or can the Printing Press Hydra's head finally be removed. 

Until then the population will be enamoured with what FOX, CNN, MSNBS, or NPR has to say, unless "INSERT STUPID FUCKING REALITY SHOW/SPORT/GAME SHOW HERE" happens to be on.

Fri, 08/19/2011 - 09:39 | 1576820 Mentalic
Mentalic's picture


Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:11 | 1569888 OliverTwist
OliverTwist's picture

You know it's been years that I'm reading books (all kind of it not only history). It's been years that I'm doing net research. And it's been years that I even do not own any Television.

But I'm still frustrated because I do not find people who want to ACT! Intelligent people who are willing to do something against this system called democracy.

I also have a lot of ideas to discuss and am open for critics but still ... I didn't find anybody to share my passion for being actively human.

I have to admit that with the time there is more and more desperation in me. Maybe it is my foult and I'm not able to connect to the right people? ... I don't know.

Every single day I think it is wasted time and there is so much to do ... but how. It is not easy.

So I believe that there are some of us who are not distant, disenchanted or complacent but simply don't know how to do it ALONE!

If you are just another internet postwriter don't even answere me. If you are really ready to act and are really serious with your words which you have written above ... well then I'm here. You have just found someone who is not eating the spewing vomit from the local TV.

Best regards


Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:59 | 1570163 andybev01
andybev01's picture

" I didn't find anybody to share my passion for being actively human."

You can usually find that at last call.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:56 | 1570462 Scarlo
Scarlo's picture

Oliver, your words are of a good direction. I think we need to work independently and focus on getting our communities more organized - that's how this needs to start. For example I'm pushing my friends and family to start taking more notice of folks like Ron Paul, and to just generally become more aware of what is happening in their own backyards. I also want to become involved in local organizations (perhaps the Masonic brotherhood will reawaken now that the nation's foundations are being tested?). Finally I have been framing my thoughts for a political blog which will discuss perhaps 6-10 points which everyone should be able to agree need to change (items like term limits, campaign contributions, transparency, standard setting, etc).  If frustrated folks like us were to organize online, perhaps by creating an online message board where various "actions" were discussed - this is to invite certain problems. Better to not put yourself into a box, but rather to network with other locals who are also free thinking and action oriented. I think there are good folks out there, and that the Awakening has begun. It just remains to be seen how long until the tide can turn or the pendulum will swing. It needs to be done in a way that is not extreme, but from enlightened perspective.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 18:04 | 1570697 OliverTwist
OliverTwist's picture

I'm working indipendently. Talking to everybody who is willing to listen. Most of the people aggree with me but .... and here comes "What can we dooo?". The classical.

And then sometimes ... but really only in rare occasions I tell them what we could try to do:

Step one: make as much money as we can with derivatives on silver and gold (or other commodities/energy .... anybody has a better idea I'm open to it). Then invest the money with low risk and use the interest we can get on it as steady cash flow for our projects. So we are financially almost indipendent. We will never touch the capital, we use only the capital gains (and even not all of this because we want to grow also the capital)

Step two: after we became "strong", we will buy land (good geographical position ... also here we can discuss, ask experts ecc.) On this land we will grow our own food and we will produce our own energy! A part of it we will sell as the world will pay more and more for food and energy in the future ... this will be another hedge against inflation. In this way we can become almost completely indipendent and autarc.

Step three: (can be done contemporarly with step two but it requires more effort) now we can start to educate the others who are interested in the truth behind the democratic show business (of course we will never stop to educate and improve OURSELVES in the first place). We can start our own TV station, news papers, schools ... whatever we want. I would love to create an international network with the best brains on the planet for economics, social science, medicine ... and so on. and build a think tank to have a very profound knowledge before we act on a project.

In the meantime we will hire the best lawyers on earth and sue the shit out of all the corrupt banks, politicians, corporates and so on.

That's the short version. Any intelligent comments are welcome (NO, "Dream on!" is NOT an intelligent comment)



Wed, 08/17/2011 - 18:54 | 1570837 sambro
sambro's picture

I've just read your plan... it's not a political plan, it's an utopia. Growing own food and producing own energy... with gold? I've seen people grow their own food and built their own houses - actually, very well organized.. but... Here is how they produced their own energy - oxen, donkeys and horses.

The country you are planning to build would soon be a part of China... but you wouldn't a part of it...

See my reply to your previous comment, maybe we can reach an agreement.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 18:40 | 1570795 sambro
sambro's picture

Oliver, you aren't alone. I see more and more people who realize that something has to be changed. The problem is that we live in a world of corrupt media, politics and education. The people are confused.

Nobody can do it alone, but working with others isn't easy. It requires lot's of communication and a clear agenda to be widely accepted. Democracy is the worst political system after all others - in order to for it to work, people have to be politically active, to know how to compromise and self-organize. Giving up on democracy amounts to a total surrender, waiting for others to do it is the same. Being apolitical is abhorrent, indeed.

Don't rush to act. Communication, agreement and organization come first. Use the internet for all three - it's a great tool but we haven't yet learned yet how to use it. Protests without a clear agenda can only make matters worse - provocations are just so easy to do...

So, here are my conclusions:

1) balanced trade legislation - it was tried before, back in 2006 but got no support from Congress.

2) campaign finance: limit political contributions to $100 per person, there is more, but that's a start.

3) Glass-Steagall and Fed Transparency - the beginning of bringing sanity to the financial sector.

What do you thing about the above agenda?

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 19:28 | 1570905 OliverTwist
OliverTwist's picture

Ok Sambro,

I see we have to communicate more. You didn't understand my plan. Here is my e-mail:

Send me a message if you want and then we can exchange our ideas. I think we can find a compromise. I need also more info on your agenda in order to understand what do you want to do and how?

Thank you for sharing your opinion!

Now I go to sleep.


Wed, 08/17/2011 - 21:23 | 1571110 Hamsterfist
Hamsterfist's picture

Europeans riot and they are called criminals.  Americans sit around and they are called lazy.  I say, bring over some Europeans!

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:40 | 1569500 entendance
entendance's picture

Is the SEC Covering Up Wall Street Crimes?
A whistleblower claims that over the past two decades, the agency has destroyed records of thousands of investigations, whitewashing the files of some of the nation's worst financial criminals.


Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:42 | 1569507 Cdad
Cdad's picture

It’s incredible that the fickle whims of tiny Iowa mob could be regarded as so influential that the first place finisher would be anointed, and the third place finisher withdraw in disgrace… and yet the exact same results are to be completely ignored when applied to the second place finisher.

Iowa and its straw poll have nothing to do with it.  Rather, it is the whims of the MSM, an elitist and fascist group of morons, that you are feeling.  

The MSM ALWAYS wants to pick the primary candidate for Average Joe.

And on that note, more stories about shopping over at the BlowHorn [CNBC].  It's Christmas in August...didn't you hear?  Get your materialism on baby, and forget about the Republic.  I hear Abercrombie is discounting assless jeans, baby!

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:59 | 1569580 Vergeltung
Vergeltung's picture

for 11 yewar olds! (probably)

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:01 | 1570167 andybev01
andybev01's picture

+ 10 to 20, less for good behavior.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:03 | 1569605 SeverinSlade
SeverinSlade's picture

It seems that Christmas is pushed off on us earlier and earlier.  I haven't even seen Thanksgiving crap but they're already pushing Christmas?

Methinks it's in response to that terrible consumer sentiment reading.  They know that they have to get people shopping early if there's any hope to have a decent Q4.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:42 | 1570408 andybev01
andybev01's picture

That irks me as well.

I celebrate a non-denominational Christmas, and really get into Halloween, however the glossing over if not right out ignorance of Thanksgiving kind of pisses me off.

...and I'm a left-wing northern Californian.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:45 | 1570421 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Halloween candy is now on sale.... saw it yesterday.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 19:52 | 1570943 Mad Cow
Mad Cow's picture


Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:46 | 1569518 AngryVoter
AngryVoter's picture

I find it equally humorous that the media claims Ron unelectable to justify his coverage.  I'm guessing that if he was covered and more people understood his point of view that would all change.  The control the message and a busy populous that has long since given up on politics has little more to vote on than what they remember from 20 second clips.  We should probably disenfranchise more voters.  Before voting you should be required to pass a test answering many questions on each candidate.  If you can answer enough questions showing you are informed you get to vote.  Think how much more influence our votes would have when 90%+ of 'voters' are caste aside for the American Idol voting idiots they are.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:03 | 1569868 gmj
gmj's picture

But that would require that voters can read.  I think you are missing the key item that US voters use for decision making:  the candidate's photograph. 

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 17:01 | 1570488 Creepy Lurker
Creepy Lurker's picture

But..  AngryVoter, why do you hate poor little innocent black babies?!?

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:47 | 1569520 B9K9
B9K9's picture

Societies are like the individual people who themselves comprise the overall body politic: they are born, they develop, they mature, they age and then they die.

Religion was invented to appeal to those who wanted to believe that one could re-trace their lives; to be "reborn". So too politics, which serve the same purpose for nation-states by providing the promise that it can re-experience earlier periods in the cycle.

But like religion, politics is also a lie. Nothing ever re-traces - nothing. All follow the same cycle. If you understand that essential truth, then it becomes extremely easy to both sleep at night, and consistently bank returns betting on human nature.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:17 | 1569925 gmj
gmj's picture

Religion was invented to explain things that people didn't understand.  It eventually became a tool for control of the masses.  Now it is a tool for accumulation of wealth. 

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:51 | 1569537 indio007
indio007's picture

What I think the MSM wants is the proverbial horserace. They make more money via ratings when the race is preceived as close. If a candidate were leading by 50% no one would  tune in to the kabuki theater.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:53 | 1569551 unununium
unununium's picture

I call it giving up without a fight.  The founding fathers sacrificed too much to throw it away that easily.

Get a Ron Paul bumper sticker and do something constructive.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:16 | 1569552 TumblingDice
TumblingDice's picture

Putting any stock in this system is dangerous to your family and your livelihood.

A people's government represents them whether they like it or not. This is a fact, was a fact back in tribal times, Roman times, dynastic times, the dark times, the medieval times and anytimes that I have failed to mention, and it will be a fact until we decide to do something about it. Turning your back on it is not going to do you any favors. The government represents you, whether it be in an enlightened fashion, a miscomforting fashion, a corrupt fashion or a whatever fashion there has or will exist. You have your stock in the system. Get over it. Unless you want to lead an armed rebellion against it (the old fashioned way) you should try to improve it with your vote and your voice.

Methinks the author of this article has read Atlas Shrugged. Do you actually think that was a good book? Also, would you discourage American citizens to vote?

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:21 | 1569703 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

I would neither encourage nor discourage anyone to vote or to not vote.  But your belief that your vote has some sort of meaning is merely part of your indoctrination.  Embrace the cognitive dissonance I know you feel when you write with such a can-do attitude. 

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:28 | 1569727 weinerdog43
weinerdog43's picture

I used to think this.  "If you don't vote, don't bitch."  was the best summation.  However, one needs to have an honest choice for this to matter.  We don't have an honest choice.  The Reps and Dems have become 2 sides of the same coin.  They both represent the corporations and the elite.  

You say we have stock in the system.  Well, the system is no longer functioning.  It is a parasite, providing little of value.  The vile Patriot Act had bipartisan support.  We're fighting 3 (or more) wars.  You need to face it that we are no longer a representative democracy, but rather an empire.  A vast and bloated empire devoted to serving the interests of the rich and powerful while nominally throwing an occasional meaningless bone to the people.  

And while I'll grant you that Ayn Rand was certifiable douchenozzle, most of us have good will and good humor.  We'll ultimately be OK.  In Egypt, in Greece, in Britain, they are making their voice heard.  They are not doing it with votes because their political overlords are not respecting the wishes of the populace.  Just like here.  It's just that the American people have not yet reached their breaking point.  So I will indeed discourage Americans to vote.  Voting confers legitimacy.     

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:49 | 1569812 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

Actually, I like your position more than mine.  We're on the same page over the lack of meaning to the vote, but I agree that there is meaning in not voting (not conferring legitimacy).  Unfortunately, the non-vote is aggregated along with the rest of the non-votes and sold as apathy instead of protest.  So perhaps the act of not voting is as meaningless as the act of voting. 

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:58 | 1569850 weinerdog43
weinerdog43's picture

You're right.  I'm still struggling with this.  I've voted in every stupid election including primaries and municipal elections since 1976.  But it's not apathy.  But how do we communicate that without sounding like a whiner? 

I'm starting to think marches on Washington would be a collossal waste of time.  What would strike fear though would be a march through lower Manhattan so the greedy banksters and paymasters could actually SEE the impending rage.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 17:19 | 1570571 Creepy Lurker
Creepy Lurker's picture

"I'm starting to think marches on Washington would be a collossal waste of time."

It's been done, and they were. But I like your alternate idea. A quarter million people blocking traffic on Wall St. and screaming, "Jump! You fuckers!" Would not only send the right message, it would be entertaining as hell.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 21:28 | 1571122 Hamsterfist
Hamsterfist's picture


Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:05 | 1570187 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

What do you do if there is no candidate you can vote for with a clean conscience?

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:10 | 1570218 stirners_ghost
stirners_ghost's picture

A people's government represents them whether they like it or not. 

Horse shit.

"A people" doesn't exist. It's a figment of your imagination--an abstraction with one practical use: to convince you that you asked for and deserve the turd sandwich you are continually force-fed. A mind trick to coax willing sacrifice from gullible idiots, while turning these same simpletons (by establishing a "moral" high ground as a basis for "legitimacy") against those who would rather just be left alone.

Listen, son. I'll tell you who represents me, or not. Anyone who claims to, without my consent, is a charlatan. They may have "official sanction" to do it, but that changes nothing. They don't speak for me.

Endorse them yourself, if you want. Your loyalty to the regime is appreciated by your fief lords. I want no part of it and accept no status in your religious cult. If you force your collective will on me, recognize that for what it is and drop these ridiculous airs of "representation".

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:54 | 1569556 DonutBoy
DonutBoy's picture

You don't like democracy eh?  Not to worry, we're giving up ours in America.


Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:56 | 1569569 Vergeltung
Vergeltung's picture

not one of Mr. Black's better pieces.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:50 | 1569815 V in PA
V in PA's picture


Wed, 08/17/2011 - 13:59 | 1569581 nantucket
nantucket's picture

i thought the american experiment was built on pillars strong enough to resist erosion and toppling for 500 years, but after seeing what the last 40 years of fabian marxist policy hath wrought here in this Republic, I don't think it will last another 50 years unless the inexorable march towards statism is halted and reversed within the next 5-10 years.  I don't have a high degree of confidence it happens, but one can hope, right?  at least hope was good enough to fool 52% of voters in the last election.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:06 | 1569633 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Believe what you want, but what you wrote is so full of shit that my browser here is displaying brown....

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:32 | 1569743 nantucket
nantucket's picture

wow, you're awesome

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:36 | 1569763 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Thanks... clearly you are familiar with some of my other work here...

The principle driver of American domestic policy over the past 30 years has been Reaganism and the new conservatism, how you can reconcile that with Fabian Marxism is beyond me...

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:57 | 1569845 nantucket
nantucket's picture

the fact you think this started just 30 years ago tells me everything i need to know.  the march towards statism and away from the constitution started about 90 years ago with the removal of state representation in the congress.  yes, senators were originally appointed by the states not popular vote of the state citizens.  Then the Fed, then FDRs push to nationalize almost everything and enact the Ponzi to end all Ponzi's, and then LBJ's great society...or as many call it 'Ponzi lite". know you're history before you verbal diarrhea all over the forum and turn it brown.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:10 | 1569896 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Based on the proportional representation that existed at the time of Andrew Jackson, what size would Congress be now?

Out of curiosity, have ever studied American history, aside from the powerpoint presentations at Glen Beck's website?

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:35 | 1570006 nantucket
nantucket's picture

too funny.  i've never watched him or gone to his website.  i'll stick with my well read and dog-eared copy of the federalist papers, madison's note from the constitution convention, locke, hume, montesquieu, etc. etc.   and to know the depravity of the enemy I read marx, alinsky, obama.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:08 | 1570206 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

My aren't we erudite,,,,

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:38 | 1570033 nantucket
nantucket's picture

based on the wing beats perminute of the northeast tufted hummingbird, what might the temperature be in Sao Paulo Brazil during Carnival on tuesday nights when the relative humidity is over 80%?


Don't know do you?


Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:09 | 1570212 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

It takes about 2 minutes to figure out, go ahead, lets see if you can.

Thu, 08/18/2011 - 08:57 | 1572164 fallout11
fallout11's picture

So, in short, the wrong path was taken before anyone on this board was even born (or even before their parents were), and the route has continued for a century or so. Kinda late in the game to expect a 180 degree reversal of course then, eh?  I'd like to go back to the 19th century, but that is about as likely to happen as swine aviation.  

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:34 | 1569755 nantucket
nantucket's picture

and probably a fabian marxist.  i love the way you rubes self-identify.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:40 | 1569778 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Chew on this....

Capitalism destroys itself because at some point there are a group of people that for which enough is never enough, they will pursue actions that may enrich themselves only at the expense of the greater society. Capitalism eventually enters its financialization phase; it becomes more lucrative to become part of the rentier class where speculation and collection of non-productive rents becomes the norm. Now this class will enventually assume political control and will enact policies that are benign at best, self-destructive at worst. Now what do think has happened to this country?

BTW, knowing what Marx wrote is not akin to being a Marxist...

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:04 | 1569864 V in PA
V in PA's picture

Now this class will enventually assume political control

So Government is the problem. Because that class you are speaking of entered politics in the early 20th century high on Marx and believing they were better/smater than joe-six-pack and should therefore control him. They destroyed Capiltalism.In the US we call them Republicans and Democrats, but they are all the same.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:07 | 1569880 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

I suggest that you review your history, there are at least 2 very similiar finacializations in capitaist economies that occured a long time before Dems and Repubs....Let me know what you find, ok?

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:27 | 1569963 V in PA
V in PA's picture

I think you might have missed where I implied that ALL politicians are the same. Therefore government is the problem not private citizens.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:06 | 1570192 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Fair enough.... do you honestly think that a modern technologically advanced society can exist without government? Think about your answer carefully.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 21:33 | 1571131 Hamsterfist
Hamsterfist's picture

All the anarchists (libertarians) do.

Thu, 08/18/2011 - 08:36 | 1571480 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Yes, by definition, I am aware of that.

And I say, it can't be done. And unlike our lib-anarchist friends, I have 6000 years of history on my side, whereas they have a touchy feely idealism about the true nature of people.

Thu, 08/18/2011 - 16:35 | 1574555 V in PA
V in PA's picture

Why is the only choice Tyranny (Big Government) or Anarchy (No Government). What about a small-as-possible government.

Thu, 08/18/2011 - 21:03 | 1574655 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Well, that is way the argument is framed here. Look at the historical rise of the corporation and the change in size of government... Something that most of our friends of the free market here always overlook. Part of the government is well intentioned and demanded by citizens. Only  the most asinine here will say the EPA is not necessary, they are likely too young to recall what the pollution was like in the '60s.. That component acts to counteract corporate power, the other part is in bed with the corporations. The result is that you get very ineffective goverment that exists at cross purposes.

Change one word in the 14th admendment and we would be starting the right path....or if corporations are to keep their  de facto citizenship, i.e. all the rights inherent in the constitution, then they must be subject to the laws that govern treason as well. Since we know the latter will never happen, you have to push for the former... 


Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:03 | 1569870 nantucket
nantucket's picture

capitalism doesn't destroy itself, politicians that try to manage and manipulate capitalism actually destroy it.  politicians that turn away from constitutional principles, free market principles start to complain about the unfairness of markets and they use that complaint as a reason to eff with free markets.  With politcal tinkering the markets actually get distorted, and the politicians use that inevitable result to say "i told you so, you see, free markets don't work, so we need to regulate them even more" and the cycle continues until the economy and markets don't even resemble free markets or capitalism.  That's where we are now.  name me a free market.  you can't because there aren't any.  every waking moment, every transaction, every toilet flush, every bite you take, every thing you buy is regulated out of the wazoo by a-hole politicians.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:08 | 1569885 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You don't read very well do you? Who bought the politicians? How did they buy the politicians....

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:19 | 1569931 nantucket
nantucket's picture

man, you are dug into stupid like an alabama tick.  politicians subvert the constitution because they want to enrich themselves in a system that is rigged because they can't win and enrich themselves in a free market where success/riches are determined by skill and the millions of consumers that freely choose based on what they want and need.

people ask why a politician would want a socialist/soviet style political system where the masses are in poverty (and the politically connected are very well off)'s because those politicians belive they will be the "in crowd" that will win in the rigged system.


busines didn't pass the 17th amendment, busines didn't pass FDRs socialist utopia/ponzi schemes, businesmen didn't pass LBJ's Ponzi Lite.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:37 | 1570026 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

There is an interesting world for you to explore, if you are at all open minded.  The world is not constructed the way your narrative reads.  It isn't politicians on one side battling business on the other.  So many good things to read and to watch, you should start.  You should immerse yourself in the history of propaganda in America.  There's a good documentary on the web named Psywar.  You don't have to believe it all... in fact, be skeptical.  Choose any of the topics discussed and do your own research. 

If current (or more recent) events are more to your liking, I've always thought that the Enron movie is remarkable.  When I watch it I find myself thinking, "If I merely read this in a book, would I believe it?  People can't possibly be this profoundly dishonest and amoral, can they?  The author must have an agenda".  But you are watching the real players say the things that people like me and you could never imagine saying. 

Regulatory bodies are dominated by the large corporations who they are supposed to regulate.  Regulation isn't written by politicians, regulation is written by lobbyist employed by huge corporations.  The purpose?  To keep the playing field tilted towards them.  The problem isn't politicians or business, rather the merger of the two.  I would call it fascism far before I would call it socialism or marxism, but labels are for lazy people and they don't really matter.


Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:48 | 1570109 nantucket
nantucket's picture

Who ever said business people want fair rules?  they don't!  they WANT to use govt to regulate their compeition away.  it's the role of govt to create and maintain a fair playing field.  if they don't do's the politicians fault. 


i'll tell you lazy.  watching and then referencing some abscure documentary on the web (because if it's on the web it's GOTTA be true) and supplanting that for 30 years of reading politics, philosophy, the founding father's writings, the accompanying notes of the founders, etc.etc.,...that is lazy


Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:21 | 1570276 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

I'm trying to help you.  I'm pointing you in a new direction where you may learn something that could upset your apple cart.  If you would rather, you could start reading some Chomsky.  Any of his books will do the trick.  And again, don't buy any of it.  Start doing your own research.  Read up on Edward Bernays, he's an interesting character.  It's not the politicians fault... they are merely acting in their own self interest.  Where did Phil Gramm go after his years of public service?  Google the Obama administration and look at their ties to Goldman.  The system isn't what you fancy it to be.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:01 | 1570166 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Wow, do you really believe what you wrote?

Why don't you look at the net worth of Congress and the Senate before they entered...

To figure out how things happened, why don't you start at here:

and see what this landmark ruling has morphed in...

Once upon a time, I entertained Rothbard, then I started really reading about history and the human condition. I soon grew out of it when it was revealed to me that it does not address the actions of the sociopaths that are present in humanity.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:16 | 1570249 nantucket
nantucket's picture

you're a linker aren't you?  citing wiki anything is a demerit.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:24 | 1570297 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Usually when I cite Wiki, it is as a convienient link to the primary documents...

Do you even know what the case was about?

Thu, 08/18/2011 - 09:00 | 1572185 fallout11
fallout11's picture

Clearly not, and clearly he doesn't care. Remember when kids would stick their fingers in their ears and say loudly "lalalalalala I can't hear you?".  Yep, he's doing that, stuck in the mental state of the average 7 year old.  You're wasting your breath Flakmeister.

Thu, 08/18/2011 - 09:12 | 1572270 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

That is a good way to put it.... I had a little time to kill yesterday, no big loss

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:33 | 1569975 V in PA
V in PA's picture

The politician who can be bought is the problem. NOT the guy offering the bribe.

EDIT: In other words, if you catch your wife cheating, who would you blame? Your wife who has promised to be faitful (politician and his oath) or some guy you never met. OR maybe you should blame yourself for not paying attention to your wife.

Thu, 08/18/2011 - 02:36 | 1571703 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

That is weak.

A guy you never met. That is the induction of a useless and unfounded hypothesis. You might have met the guy, he can be one acquaintance etc Weak

Secondly, the guy might be aware of the women being a married woman.

Not surprising, the US is used to bribing a lot of non US citizens rulers. Placing a share of the burden in the corruption process would indict US citizens. Self indiction. No cant do.

Thu, 08/18/2011 - 08:11 | 1572004 V in PA
V in PA's picture

The question still stands... Who do you blame?
1)Your wife, who promised to be faithful (the politicians who took an oath)
2)The guy who made no such promise to you (big corp / banks)
3)Yourself for not paying enough attention to your wife (get the government you deserve)

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:09 | 1569890 nantucket
nantucket's picture

you're right, knowing what he wrote doesn't make you a marxist, but beleiving it's a better way does, beleiving in class warfare does, beleiving free enterprise system is evil does, and on and on and on.


in the entire history of mankind, no other sytem has raised so high the living standard of so many people.


by the way marx coined the term capitalism...its'a dead giveaway you beleive his tripe.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:15 | 1569917 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You really can't read can you? Where did I say that Marxism was superior? I only commented on the basis of his critique. Actually Marx did not coin the term capitalism, e.g. see

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:28 | 1569974 nantucket
nantucket's picture

"you really can't read".   That is so witty and scathing, it sums up your entire argument and is the clicnhing "ah ha" moment that proves the superiority of your entire thesis.  brilliant. 


Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:03 | 1570174 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Face it you just got pwned.... deal with it.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:09 | 1570216 nantucket
nantucket's picture

riiiiiiight.  you got it kiddo.  if that's what makes you feel special, you can go about beleiving that fantasy.  for those of us that are more than vageule tethered to reality....we know the truth, and the ownage in ON YOUR NECK. 

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:17 | 1570255 andybev01
andybev01's picture

I don't agree or disagree with either of you but this is the funniest phrase that I have read today;

"man, you are dug into stupid like an alabama tick. "


Thu, 08/18/2011 - 09:01 | 1572193 fallout11
fallout11's picture

Such is just a rehash of a phrase from "Predator" (1988), uttered by Jesse Ventura's character.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:19 | 1569933 bread n circuses
bread n circuses's picture

The above scenario is correct when capitalists combine their efforts with monetary manipulation and dictates by force (otherwise known as "laws") via cooperation with The State and their gun wielding thugs.  This is what we have today in USA.

Without those tools, the financiers are subject to the same laws of supply and demand and risk and reward as the producing class.  And they DO play an important roll in the entrepreneurial and speculative (risk taking) sectors that raise everyone's standard of living.  They would never achieve total control over prices because there will always be another competitor providing a better rate.  They would not achieve total political control if there was no political structure to govern by--each person would be free to choose his own leader, or none at all.


Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:01 | 1570168 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

Fantastic post.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:08 | 1570208 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

I have a problem with this rentier bullshit. It happens I own some rental houses and collect rent on them. If you think it is easy money, try it.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:11 | 1570222 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

You clearly do not understand what the rentier class really means....

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:44 | 1570416 andybev01
andybev01's picture

It means someone who lives on a fixed income from investments, bonds...real estate.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 17:27 | 1570596 Flakmeister
Flakmeister's picture

Remember the old line "There are two types of pot dealers, those that need a forklift and those that don't"

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:02 | 1569599 Junius Americanus
Junius Americanus's picture

This paper has got a superb analysis of the history of separation of powers, as well as the problem of contemporary Constitutional allocations of power after the Seventeenth Amendment gave the Senate over to popular elections. It makes a case for repealing the Seventeenth Amendment in order to restore the structural integrity of the Constitution.

I recommend anyone interested in the proper role of popular sovereignty in the United States give it a read.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:12 | 1569664 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

yeah..but...they filmed "Field of Dreams" in got that going for them.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:42 | 1569786 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

I guess dreams is all that's left for the modern day serf(ie. 99% of us)

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:09 | 1569894 Dr. Richard Head
Dr. Richard Head's picture
"That's why they call it the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe it."
George Carlin

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:17 | 1569670 RemiG2010
RemiG2010's picture

There is some truth in the DEMOCRACY ... opsss.... pardon me ... IDIOCRACY the movie. I still have no children. Not even one! The future belongs to Clevon and folks like him!

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:52 | 1569808 RemiG2010
RemiG2010's picture


But, better Democracy with all its weaknesses than totalitarian system! Besides, USA is a Republic not a Democracy.


Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:13 | 1569671 nah
nah's picture

al queda already has a lock on 'global terror' used as a pseudonym for their use of influence


whats the globalists gunna wordsmith

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:13 | 1569672 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

So as Rick Perry is anointed one of the Republican front runners by our thought leaders, it is generally well known by most of these republicans who are being told who they should support that he ran Al Gore's 1988 Texas campaign when Gore was running for president, no? Even if I believed that politics were real... that they weren't just theater and primarily a distraction... so let's say that I'm the average American... Should I buy that Perry is anything other than an empty opportunist? He's a psychopath.

Have you heard him discuss his decission to run for president? "Awww shucks, 6 months ago this wasn't even on my radar... I hadn't given a moments thought to the idea of running for president...". WTF. I don't know why I even watch. It's beyond maddening to know that people actually buy this sh-t, that the media covers it, that we pretend that it's real. It's an illusion.

As for Perry's tough anti-fed talk... such total BS. Perry is controlled opposition. The eventual republican nominee will be no more of a threat to the status quo than the current president, the one before, etc. etc. etc. Rick Perry is a shell... a narcissistic vessel, maddeningly dull, and perfect for his role. How is it that people can't see through this?

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:32 | 1569742 LFMayor
LFMayor's picture


The game is rigged folks.  This is hard to accept, especially for those of you out there touting Ron Paul as a political physic.  If he were a credible threat he would have already have been destroyed.  They are all part of the game, and the game is rigged.

You want to change it?  Find ways to pull it down.  Find ways to stack more weight onto it.  Sand in the gears, cigarette butts in the oil channels. 

Then we can rebuild it correctly.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 17:42 | 1570640 Creepy Lurker
Creepy Lurker's picture


You are correct, sir.

Thu, 08/18/2011 - 09:04 | 1572217 fallout11
fallout11's picture

US politics = professional wrestling.  Those that think otherwise are fooling themselves. 

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:24 | 1569711 tamboo
Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:29 | 1569733 CTG_Sweden
CTG_Sweden's picture

It is actually easier to make democracy work in practise in the same way as in theory if we are talking about small constituencies.

The problem in big constituencies is that the big media set the agenda and to a very large extent choose which candidates or parties the voters should choose from. Also keep in mind that the big media can launch new candidates in order to reduce the number of votes for some candidates. My impression is that big media in your country prefer Michelle Bachmann to Ron Paul and Rick Perry to Mitt Romney.

However, I think that people in North America and Europe should be grateful that they still have the right to vote. The guy who launched the idea of a European Union, count Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi, thought that democracy was bad and should be replaced by a ruling elite. But as long people who support Coudenhove-Kalergis ideas win the elections I don´t think Europeans have to worry about losing their right to vote. The problem is what happens if people vote for other parties which don´t approve of Coudenhove-Kalergi´s ideas.  

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:45 | 1569772 falak pema
falak pema's picture

Jean Monnet...heard of him? He is purported to be the man, the visionary who established the concept of the United States of Europe during the WW2 period as exile in FDR's USA. His vision became reality under the Union of Steel and Carbon industries that occurred in Europe in 1950 and later led to the Common Market. Jean Monnet headed up the first european venture. It was his baby. SO C-K was not a hands on European...Monnet yes!

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:31 | 1569981 CTG_Sweden
CTG_Sweden's picture

I understand that some people don´t want to exaggerate the influence of Coudenhove-Kalergi and his Pan European movement. On the other hand you can not deny that the Pan European movement in the 1920s and 30s was supported quite officially by people like:

- Edvard Benes, Czechoslovakia, minister of foreign affairs

- Edouard Herriot, France, prime minister

- Paul Loebe, Germany, speaker of the German parliament

- Andreas Michalakopulos, Greece, prime minister and minister of foreign affairs

- C. R. Pusta, Latvia, minister of foreign affairs

- Karl Renner, Austria, prime minister

- T. H. Stauning, Denmark, prime minister

- Gustav Stresemann, Germany, minister of foreign affairs.

The Pan European movement continued to exist after WWII. There is no doubt that Coudenhove-Kalergi and his buddies put the idea of some kind of European Union on the agenda.

The reason why I think that some people today want to downplay Coudenhove-Kalergi´s influence is probably that he was so openly anti-democratic in his booklet Praktischer Idealismus. In the 1920s it was not the same problem if you in Europe said you didn´t like democracy. Later on, it became a problem to openly support someone who openly wanted to replace democracy and free speech with elite rule.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:37 | 1569766 Greater Fool
Greater Fool's picture

I think nobody in the press really wants to touch Paul with a ten-foot pole until they have a proper read on what's going to happen with him. Better, as they say, to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.

I also think the author of this post really doesn't get the joke with Bachmann. She's getting airtime because she's a loon, and therefore good television; everyone, in the press and in the game, knows that she is not a serious candidate. Even a candidate with real policy and political and image chops would have a hell of a time getting elected coming out of the House of Representatives. (As has been pointed out in several news articles this week, a sitting member of the House of Representatives has never been elected President.)

But the Republicans have no reason to complain, because her making a gaffe every fifteen minutes takes a lot of pressure off the serious guys as they get their campaigns together. Her role is to provide some cover and then, when the time is right, either go away or, even better, blow herself up in a fashion that sheds favorable light on the nominee-apparent. (I think Perry could well wind up the guy if his extensive use of taxpayer money to fund nice trips for himself and his family doesn't get too much traction as a story.)

So then there's Paul. First, see the historical precedent on House members above. And frankly, his policy stances fit him best for the role filled by Dennis Kucinich on the Democratic side: A guy with some very off-the-beaten-path beliefs who for whatever reason likes to run for President and trot them out in a primary debate or two before subsiding into the background.

Coming second in the Iowa straw poll isn't really enough, absent the fantastic comedic value of somebody like Bachmann, to actually justify covering him. I think frankly it will go better for him if he can stay in the race for a little while without ever looking like he has a real chance to get the nomination, because he has enough problematic positions to sink any fifteen Republican Presidential candidates.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:44 | 1569794 Azannoth
Azannoth's picture

They avoid Paul because they don't have any dirt on him, they would love to trash talk him only if they could, so the silent treatment is all that is left in their arsenal

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:54 | 1569833 kridkrid
kridkrid's picture

There are small pieces of dirt on him.  Guilt by association stuff.  They'll bring it out if they ever feel they need to.  I think they are hoping to just run him out by "the silent treatment" as you put it.  They certainly have other arrows in their quiver.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:04 | 1570178 Greater Fool
Greater Fool's picture

I'm afraid, with all due respect, that you don't need any more "dirt" than his professed policy stances to sink him in the race for the Republican nomination. His principled states-rights approach means that he would not support Federal legislation to ban gay marriage, abortion, or to prevent the de facto legalization of recreational drugs. The debate questions practically write themselves. He hasn't really been tested on these in a national forum because there's nothing to gain by attacking a candidate who can't win; anyone who does creates a negative impression by coming across as a bully.

I have to admire his adherence to an ideal (even if I basically disagree with the ideal itself); I think that's what a lot of people admire about him. It's pretty clear that he would have"adjust" some of those positions in order to be palatable as a national candidate, and if he does that I suspect a lot of his ardent supporters will fall away. Catch-22.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:45 | 1569798 machineh
machineh's picture

Now that it's run by banksters, the modern term is 'DEMONCRACY' -- rule by demons, such as the Chairsatan.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 14:57 | 1569846 gwar5
gwar5's picture


People believe in our democracy so much they have been lulled into thinking they were free to go about living their productive lives and not pay attention to what was going on. They were led to believe the checks and balances were working, and that politics was perpetually being played safely between the 40 yard lines among the left and right.  

They're still being lied to, and are being told by the MSM everything is OK and things will muddle through and to jjust enjoy their time off while being unemployed. 

The Federal Reserve system of bankers has been the shadow government driving all policy, foreign and domestic and they want to keep it to themselves. Their debts have become our debts and the accepted narrative in Washington is now about how the taxpayers are going to pay off all the banker's and the creditor's bad debts --- without questioning who's debt it really is in the first place, and glossing over the sovereign and taxpayer's rights and their authority to just re-negotiate the terms unilaterally with the banks and creditors. 

Don't blame the people for being stupid. Years of transgenerational propaganda have groomed the electorate for this moment.  The MSM conglomerates are owned and controlled by TPTB, so naturally people are not informed as they should be. 

Even most educated and informed individuals, still think the Federal Reserve Banking system is a government entity, like the department of transportation, and not a collection of 12 regional private banks that are, by far, the greatest national security threat to this country.




Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:05 | 1569874 Feef
Feef's picture

Michelle Bachmann won the poll. Granted, she won by bribing her voters with a free Randy Travis concert, but such things don’t matter in modern democracy.

Um, don't they all win by bribing voters?

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:28 | 1569968 windcatcher
windcatcher's picture

It takes an idiot to rant against our past Representative Democratic Republic (government of, for and by the People). We do not live in a democracy; we live in a fascist multinational corporate Oligarchy. Our “Democracy” and government that the author refers to has been overthrown courtesy of the US Supreme Court.


The author knows nothing of governance or forms of governance. He does not even mention the corporate Oligarchy who pulls the strings in America, yet damns his false Democracy; his only hope and salvation from fascist tyranny-- if he had enough balls and intelligence to fight for American Justice and Democracy.  


What form of government does the author want? He is a fool who does not know about forms of government!

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:14 | 1570241 JohnFrodo
JohnFrodo's picture

Proportional Representation is best

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:36 | 1570004 Winston Smith 2009
Winston Smith 2009's picture

Fred said it best three years ago:

Where the People Don't Rule

by Fred Reed

Common delusions notwithstanding, the United States, I submit, is not a democracy — by which is meant a system in which the will of the people prevails. Rather it is a curious mechanism artfully designed to circumvent the will of the people while appearing to be democratic. Several mechanisms accomplish this.

First, we have two identical parties which, when elected, do very much the same things. Thus the election determines not policy but only the division of spoils. Nothing really changes. The Democrats will never seriously reduce military spending, nor the Republicans, entitlements.

Second, the two parties determine on which questions we are allowed to vote. They simply refuse to engage the questions that matter most to many people. If you are against affirmative action, for whom do you vote? If you regard the schools as abominations? If you want to end the president's hobbyist wars?

Third, there is the effect of large jurisdictions. Suppose that you lived in a very small (and independent) school district and didn't like the curriculum. You could buttonhole the head of the school board, whom you would probably know, and say, “Look, Jack, I really think….” He would listen.

But suppose that you live in a suburban jurisdiction of 300,000. You as an individual mean nothing. To affect policy, you would have to form an organization, canvass for votes, solicit contributions, and place ads in newspapers. This is a fulltime job, prohibitively burdensome.

The larger the jurisdiction, the harder it is to exert influence. Much policy today is set at the state level. Now you need a statewide campaign to change the curriculum. Practically speaking, it isn't practical.

Fourth are impenetrable bureaucracies. A lot of policy is set by making regulations at some department or other, often federal. How do you call the Department of Education to protest a rule which is in fact a policy? The Department has thousands of telephones, few of them listed, all of which will brush you off. There is nothing the public can do to influence these goiterous, armored, unaccountable centers of power.

Yes, you can write your senator, and get a letter written by computer, “I thank you for your valuable insights, and assure you that I am doing all….”

Fifth is the invisible bureaucracy (which is also impenetrable). A few federal departments get at least a bit of attention from the press, chiefly State and Defense (sic). Most of the government gets no attention at all — HUD, for example. Nobody knows who the Secretary of HUD is, or what the department is doing. Similarly, the textbook publishers have some committee whose name I don't remember (See? It works) that decides what words can be used in texts, how women and Indians must be portrayed, what can be said about them, and so on. Such a group amounts to an unelected ministry of propaganda and, almost certainly, you have never heard of it.

Sixth, there is the illusion of journalism. The newspapers and networks encourage us to think of them as a vast web of hard-hitting, no-holds-barred, chips-where-they-may inquisitors of government: You can run, but you can't hide. In fact federal malefactors don't have to run or hide. The press isn't really looking.

Most of press coverage is only apparent. Television isn't journalism, but a service that translates into video stories found in the Washington Post and New York Times (really). Few newspapers have bureaus in Washington; the rest follow the lead of a small number of major outlets. These don't really cover things either.

When I was reporting on the military, there were (if memory serves) many hundreds of reporters accredited to the Pentagon, or at least writing about the armed services. It sounds impressive: All those gimlet eyes.

What invariably happened though was that some story would break — a toilet seat alleged to cost too much, or the failure of this or that. All the reporters would chase the toilet seat, fearful that their competitors might get some detail they didn't. Thus you had one story covered six hundred times. In any event the stories were often dishonest and almost always ignorant because reporters, apparently bound by some natural law, are obligate technical illiterates. This includes the reporters for the Post and the Times.

Seventh, and a bit more subtle, is the lack of centers of demographic power in competition with the official government. The Catholic Church, for example, once influentially represented a large part of the population. It has been brought to heel. We are left with government by lobby — the weapons industry, big pharma, AIPAC, the teachers unions — whose representatives pay Congress to do things against the public interest.

Eighth, we are ruled not by a government but by a class. Here the media are crucial. Unless you spend time outside of America, you may not realize to what extent the press is controlled. The press is largely free, yes, but it is also largely owned by a small number of corporations which, in turn, are run by people from the same pool from which are drawn high-level pols and their advisers. They are rich people who know each other and have the same interests. It is very nearly correct to say that these people are the government of the United States, and that the federal apparatus merely a useful theatrical manifestation.

Finally, though it may not be deliberate, the schools produce a pitiably ignorant population that can't vote wisely. Just as trial lawyers don't want intelligent jurors, as they are harder to manipulate, so political parties don't want educated voters. The existence of a puzzled mass gawping at Oprah reduces elections to popularity contests modulated by the state of the economy. One party may win, yes, or the other. But a TV-besotted electorate doesn't meddle in matters important to its rulers. It has never heard of them.

To disguise all of this, elections provide the excitement and intellectual content of a football game, without the importance. They allow a sense of Participation. In bars across the land, in high-school gyms become forums, people become heated about what they imagine to be decisions of great import: This candidate or that? It keeps them from feeling left out while denying them power.

It is fraud. In a sense, the candidates do not even exist. A presidential candidate consists of two speechwriters, a makeup man, a gestures coach, ad agency, two pollsters and an interpreter of focus groups. Depending on his numbers, the handlers may suggest a more fixed stare to crank up his decisiveness quotient for male or Republican voters, or dial in a bit of compassion for a Democratic or female audience. The newspapers will report this calculated transformation. Yet it works. You can fool enough of the people enough of the time.

When people sense this and decline to vote, we cluck like disturbed hens and speak of apathy. Nope. Just common sense.

March 11, 2008

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 17:03 | 1570498 windcatcher
windcatcher's picture

In reply to Winston smith 2009 concerning Fred Reed’s post. I agree with many of Reed’s points on Democracy although his opinion was written in March of 2008; before the Supreme Court ruling. It would be interesting to hear his contemporary opinion in 2011.

I agree, Do Not Vote! No confidence! Fascist Oligarchy!

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:35 | 1570005 barroter
barroter's picture

Jay Leno's "Jay Walking" segment was an eye opener to me when it first ran.  You have seemingly normal Americans out there who couldn't find Texas nor Florida on a map. 

What is the average reading level now? Is it below 8th grade yet or worse?

It's very easy to manipulate an ignorant population.  In fact, that's what your oligarchy wants.  Trying to corral the educated or wise is a pain in the ass; the stupid are far easier. So, just get enough of your dullards to outnumber the smarties and guess what!

I can remember as a grade school kid how easy it was to screw with dimwits.  Nothing's changed I guess.


Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:47 | 1570102 ken
ken's picture

They don't care about you. They do what they want. They real ghetto. Seriously ghetto with that ideology.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:47 | 1570103 ken
ken's picture

They don't care about you. They do what they want. They real ghetto. Seriously ghetto with that ideology.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 15:47 | 1570106 ken
ken's picture

Except for Ron. Ron Paul 2012!

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:02 | 1570171 gmj
gmj's picture

Democracy with universal suffrage is ruinous.  Half of those who vote have neither education nor intelligence.  Their brains are only large enough to hold a few buzzwords and slogans.  They are easily controlled.  

The ignorant masses have never had real power; not in ancient Greece, not in Communist Russia, not in the US.  They are pawns. 

Pure democracy only works when it doesn't matter what decision is made.  When nations are rich and there are no threats, democracy is great.  In more stressful times, democracy will lead to the unravelling of the state.  This is what we face now.

So what if some ZHer or some other smart person tries to lead?  The message will be pessimistic, won't it?  It will involve sacrifice, won't it?  So the sheep will not follow.  Pure democracy contains the seeds of its own destruction.

In the US, we have an even greater problem.  There is no commonality of belief or interest, no social cohesion.  We are divided into constituencies whose interests are irreconcilable.  For example, there are people who pay taxes, and people who rely on the gov't for their living.  Sadly, the taxpaying group is getting smaller every day.

It is the citizens who are responsible for the health of a democracy.  In the absence of intelligent, involved citizens, politicians and bankers will do what comes naturally:  steal wealth and accumulate power.  The US political process and the character of its people guarantees that our leaders will be useless, dangerous, grasping puppets.  Our politicians are not fit to lead, because our people are not fit to choose their leaders.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:04 | 1570177 michael.suede
michael.suede's picture

Another article that highlights the ridiculousness of our political system:

At What Population Size Does Taxation Become Legitimate?


Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:13 | 1570236 JohnFrodo
JohnFrodo's picture

Proportional representation is the system in most of Europe, and most of Europe lives better than most the world including the USA and Canada. Its the answer.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:50 | 1570439 Slipmeanother
Slipmeanother's picture

The option would be for the entire voting population NOT to vote. If after a vote the result was no votes for anyone it would completely de-legitimise the system, maybe then we could expect change. Campaign for either dont vote or spoil your vote so it cannot be counted

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 17:15 | 1570553 windcatcher
windcatcher's picture

In reply to shipmeother:

I agree, Do Not Vote! No confidence! Fascist Oligarchy!

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 16:58 | 1570478 LongOfTooth
LongOfTooth's picture

Let's face it.  We're screwed and we have nobody to blame but ourselves.


Wed, 08/17/2011 - 17:11 | 1570537 Tuco Benedicto ...
Tuco Benedicto Pacifico Juan Maria Ramirez's picture

Hey gang!  We are NOT a democracy.  We are a "republic" where the interests of the minority are supposed to be protected.  Our founders hated "democracy".  They called it "the tryanny of the majority".      Tuco

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 18:12 | 1570720 Cult of Criminality
Cult of Criminality's picture

Democracy ,now thats funny !

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 20:25 | 1570998 Mad Cow
Mad Cow's picture

Stampedes are dangerous! Steer clear! Mooooooooooooooooooooooo

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 21:04 | 1571063 meatball
meatball's picture

No political system is perfect. If you are poor, you usually get screwed no matter what country you are in. You just hope you don't get screwed too hard.

Wed, 08/17/2011 - 23:01 | 1571390 Element
Element's picture

Again, such is the nature of modern democracy… and I feel bad for people who live in the United States that have to put up with another 15-months of this crap.


If only it were just an Amerkian issue for 15 months, unfortunatelty this miserable pap is all over oz TV as well in most 'news' bulletins.

Neurotic is the word for it.

Thu, 08/18/2011 - 01:38 | 1571638 dxj
dxj's picture

Translation: Democracy sucks, people are stupid ... but I have no suggestions for anything better.

News for you: People aren't as stupid as you think and they are wising up quickly:

Thu, 08/18/2011 - 03:09 | 1571730 AnAnonymous
AnAnonymous's picture

It is different.

Unfortunately, data give draw another picture. It shows that people who have been deeply involved in the making of the US world order do not want to finger pointed. They fight to avoid that.

They can not admit facts. And adjust to them. Because admitting facts would point fingers at them.

Hence, you end with some non sense like non voters are responsible for the current situation (in a system based on vote) etc

Because the US history in enfranchising its  population is what it is and in these days, half of the global electorate do not vote.

And here again, you find another characteristic of US citizenism: impossibility to accept responsibility.

It is always about retaining the positive consequences of an action and rejecting the negative consequences on others.

Voters has built the US, US citizens can admit that but when it comes to accept that they have also called the negative consequences; suddenly, it can not be done.

Non voters are the responsible agents; all the idiots who  actually do not vote etc.

In the end, the US system has always been elitistic.

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