Monday 20th of May 2019

democracy...

lawrence

Before trying to understand then condemn Lawrence for this old crap, we need to know that Lawrence did not mind if the workers fucked the aristocracy. Fucked was the word he used :

 

“We fucked a flame into being.”

― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley's Lover

 

Here, this was a bit the reverse of what Barnaby did in lust…  But this is beside the point in regard to the structure of proper government, should we need one.:

 

 

 

Whilst conceding that the Average Person does represent what all men and women may need 'physically, functionally, materially and socially', Lawrence is adamant that there is no genuine equality 'save by the arbitrary determination of some ridiculous human Ideal'.3 Further, whilst he is happy to see the basic needs of all people living together within society met (that is to say, the social provision of food, clothing, housing etc. according to common necessity as determined by the Law of the Average), he insists that everything outside or beyond material need and common necessity depends on the individual man or woman and that he or she should be left alone accordingly to freely develop their own uniqueness and determine their own status within what Nietzsche would call an 'order of rank' (Rangordnung).

 

For Lawrence, then, the modern state exists only to guarantee the basic material means of existence: nothing more. It has no vital meaning or purpose beyond this and our political leaders should be regarded as no more than functionaries. The last vestiges of 'ideal drapery' should be stripped away from the State and from politics. For Lawrence, a kind of tolerant contempt for those in government is a sign of social evolution and political maturity. Not only is it absurd to think of politics in ideal terms but, Lawrence argues, it is ultimately genocidal too; for only ideal concerns wage war 'and slaughter indiscriminately with a feeling of exalted righteousness'.4

 

https://www.pnreview.co.uk/cgi-bin/scribe?item_id=3188

 

 

https://books.google.com.au/books?


 

So would the Lawrence idea that the aristocracy is full of wisdom and that a ruler shall rule is an ideal solution to the stupid vagaries of democracy?  

 

It’s your call, but in my book, we can remove the aristocracy and the ruler who both are no wiser than gnats in a jar, from the equation of social constructs. So far the aristocracy and the rulers have shown to be really mediocre and intellectually deficient, though real good at amassing the loot — mostly stolen from you. The aristocracy is full of self-importance shit and the Kaiser is no more than a non-evolved kid (brat) with a beard, leading troops from behind into useless wars, whether their names are Bush, Obama or Trump...

 

The main problem with his book Lady Chatterley's Lover is not the hot sex, but in the demeaning of the extended relationship between a gamekeeper and his owner (employer) — which for all intent and purposes was far from being about democracy — but just about lust.

 

So democracy can improve the system, by making sure most of the “owners” (us) of democracy are actually intelligent from the base and control the "upper echelons". But of course, the present morons of the ruling class, especially those idiots with a (fictitious) god as leader of their superior existence, will do everything to destroy “public" education, in order to minimise the intelligence of the "base".

 

Hence we need a republic, even if the royal kids are “nice” and well-behaved. These nice kids represent the enemy of enlightened democracy. Lawrence was either wrong or stirring the pot on their behalf.


naked...

Never before did I get so close to Nature; never before did she come so close to me… Nature was naked, and I was also… Sweet, sane, still Nakedness in Nature! – ah if poor, sick, prurient humanity in cities might really know you once more! Is not nakedness indecent? No, not inherently. It is your thought, your sophistication, your fear, your respectability, that is indecent. There come moods when these clothes of ours are not only too irksome to wear, but are themselves indecent.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walt_Whitman


democracy needs eyes on the ball...

In major US cities in the late 19th century, dairy producers looking to cut costs would dilute milk using pond water.

The resulting greyish tinge would be corrected with a dose of plaster dust, and some yellow lead to give a golden hue.

Replacing the cream, which had been skimmed off, was nothing less than pureed calf brains.

Once the manufacturer was satisfied with the aesthetic of the product, the toxic chemical formaldehyde could be added to give the so-called "embalmed milk" a longer shelf life.

Milk was only one of a long list of commonly adulterated foods that included lead in cheese, brick dust in cinnamon, sawdust in ground coffee, and brown sugar spiked with crushed insects.

In the zenith of industrial capitalism, poor workers migrating to urban centres became golden geese for profit-hungry food manufacturers.

That was until a preacher's son, Harvey Washington Wiley, dedicated his life to taming the seemingly untameable industry.

Wiley — with his 'poison squad' and a very peculiar experiment — gained international recognition for his role in the creation of legal food standards.

The 'unregulated Wild West' of food production

As the industrial revolution was applied to food processing, manufacturers rushed to embrace the rise of industrial chemistry and were knowingly selling harmful products.

 

Read more:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-04/harvey-wiley-us-chemist-who-fough...

 

G: the food barons, the profiteers, the industrialists — these modern aristocrats of the Wild West, need to be remove from the social constructs, especially when they dictate the agenda and rules to the Kaiser(s)... Have we learn anything much from this above food tampering episode in history? Not much. A great proportion of us, deliberately now indulge too often in addictive substances... Not much difference of damage between some of the old poisons and the new drugs. We now take these separately for fun. The choice is ours, including our rejection of genetically modified foods, but it's a hard one, without specific labelling. 

 

democracy by numbers...

Ultimately, the biggest challenge for genuine social democrats is not persuading the electorate of the failures of neoliberalism and economic globalisation. That job is done. Mrs Thatcher's ideological successor was Labour's discredited Tony Blair, not the Tory Theresa May, who wants an explicitly communitarian not individualist Britain after Brexit. The biggest challenge for the left is immigration, as Michael Bröning of the left-wing Friedrich Ebert Institute in Berlin writes in a 2017 report for the Institute.

There is nothing inherently left-wing about open borders that allow the wealthiest countries to poach the brightest talent of the poorest countries, having already plundered their resources. There is nothing intrinsically progressive about luring the professional and middle classes away from their own countries, leaving them prey to corruption and demagoguery. There is nothing social democratic about starting wars that shatter a fragile stability in the Middle East, or trading weapons in Africa, with the resulting refugee crisis.

And, in the end, there is nothing illiberal about working-class communities that have struggled for generations to achieve a living wage, a national health system, a workplace with rights and tax system that asks the rich to pay their way wanting to draw a line under the globalisation that threatens the fruits of that struggle. When this dawns on today's social democrats, the democratic revival will begin.

 

Read more:

https://www.abc.net.au/religion/the-decline-of-democracy/10457308

 

Who does democracy belongs to? Left or right? This is the crux of the matter. It belongs to a diverse group, often called a country, in which various traditions, comforts and external (international, other countries, US empire, immigration) forces exert influences.

Are the ideas of the "social democrats" about immigration the only valid democratic views? Is being anti-immigration being racist? No. It's not. Democracy is about NUMBERS. You could have the brightest ideas about democracy, if you do not have the numbers, your ideas are worth squat. "Your" concepts of democracy could be topsy-turvied by immigrants with different ideas about democracy. What you thought were correct majority values, now become minority — correct or not. Could migrants learn about "your" democratic ways? Good luck to you under the circumstances of migration "en masse". Experience has shown that imported traditions do not like progress and that adaptation is rather slow, unless secularity is promoted, if not enforced. 

 

And despite the paragraphs below in Andrew West's article, Russia is not less democratic than the USA:

But Russia – which looms in the Western mind as the Svengali behind the recent anti-democratic retrenchment – had no democratic tradition to being with. Its supposedly free elections in the 1990s were manipulated by the United States. The former US national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski even boasted that post-Soviet Russia was "passing into de facto Western receivership." Perhaps one should listen to the current US complaints about Russian interference in the 2016 elections, and reflect on the 117 times that America intervened in foreign elections between 1946 and 2000, as Dov H. Levin of Carnegie Mellon University detailed in his 2016 paper, Partisan Electoral Interventions by the Great Powers ― and then, as the saying goes, "Cry me a river!"

Still, there is as much cause for vigilance as there is for irony. Could it be time to stop speaking of "liberal democracy" because it has become a loaded, even misleading phrase? In conservative countries, such as Poland and Hungary, "liberal" democracy is perceived as permissive or libertine. Poles and Hungarians believe they have a right to protect cultures that are religiously inclined, if not especially observant, and supportive of traditional families and values. It is far better to speak of "constitutional" and "pluralist" democracy ― and realise it is these values that are most at risk.

 

The latest "democratic" elections in Russia were far more democratic than the election of a Donald Trump in the USA...

... partisan gerrymandering — the practice of drawing electoral boundaries that favour one party over another — could be an ace up the Republican sleeve in next Tuesday's elections.

Stacking the deck

Elections for Australia's federal parliament are administered by the Australian Electoral Commission, a non-partisan, professional agency, charged with maintaining the electoral roll, the conduct of elections and conducting electoral redistributions, dividing states and territories into seats for Australia's House of Representatives.

In recent decades, the determination of electoral boundaries appears to be free of partisan interference and manipulation.

The situation is different in the US, where state and local governments have responsibility for the administration of elections, including electoral redistricting. The US Constitution provides that every 10 years a census shall be conducted to determine the apportionment of the House of Representatives seats (Congressional districts) across the 50 states, in proportion to the population of those states.

 

Read more:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-03/gerrymandering-us-midterm-election-republican-ace/

 

In Australia, the complex system of "preferences" got independent Kerryn Phelps across the line ahead of the government representative. At this level, political party scrutineers have to have their wits about to make sure that primary and preference votes do not go to the wrong candidate "by accident"...wink wink... ... If my memory is correct, a newspaper reported that there were about 700 votes allocated to Sharma that should have gone to Phelps... This was picked up by a "recount" of a couple of (Conservative) voting booths, where greenhorn scrutineers for Phelps might have been mesmerised by the more professional Liberal scrutineers. Unfortunately for Sharma, the postal votes did not go "exclusively" his way. Here I believe that a strong anti-liberal advocacy by former Liberal leader, John Hewson, would have had some impact on the postal votes, more than Phelps seriously steady personality.

 

Kerryn Phelps has been officially declared the winner.

where's christopher when you don't need him?...

Politics is so toxic right now, why not just opt out completely? When Stephen Fry proposed this approach to Sydney’s packed Town Hall on Saturday night, he was greeted with a wave of sympathy.

“A grand canyon has opened up in our world,” Fry said. On one side is the new right, promoting a bizarre mixture of Christianity and libertarianism; on the other, the “illiberal liberals”, obsessed with identity politics and complaining about things like cultural appropriation. These tiny factions war above, while the rest of us watch, aghast, from the chasm below.

“Is this what is meant by the fine art of disagreement?” Fry asked. “A plague on both their houses.”

The actor, writer and comedian was giving the inaugural Hitch address at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas (FODI), named for his old friend, the late Christopher Hitchens: journalist, polemicist, controversialist, and the man who gave the opening keynote, titled Religion Poisons Everything, at the very first FODI in 2009.

Fry opened with an affectionate potted history of the divisive Hitchens’ life, career, and ideas. Hitchens’ direct, combative style was forged in the fire of Trotskyism, hard journalism and foreign correspondence; Fry, by contrast, characterised his own tendency to give opinions in a more “handwringing, cardigan-y kind of way”. What would Hitchens – whose support of George W Bush’s war on terror made him a political pariah to many of his old friends – have made of Trump, infinitely more careless, arguably stupider, who casts his Republican predecessor in such a flattering light that even the liberals who once parodied him are now afflicted by misguided nostalgia for the man? And how would he have interpreted the current political status quo? Now, more than ever, Fry said, we need Hitchens’ forthright perspective.

There would have undoubtedly been those in the audience who baulked at the idea that what we really need in contemporary politics is more of Christopher Hitchens, but Fry wasn’t alone in his characterisation of the political moment. This year’s FODI was marked by an analysis of the division between a new kind of right and left locked in conflict that appears to have very little in common with what has come before, and by a general sense of foreboding about where that conflict might lead.

One might be forgiven for thinking that there’s nothing less dangerous in modern Australia than an arts festival, but it could have been otherwise. FODI split last year from its founding partner, the Sydney Opera House, and relocated to Cockatoo Island’s industrial precinct. The Opera House ran its own ideas festival, Antidote, in September, with a program that had a distinctly (implicit, if not explicit) progressive flavour. FODI, by contrast, is known for courting controversy, from Hitchens’ inaugural keynote to reports in July that the festival was trying to secure former head of Breitbart, former Trump advisor and one-time mentor to Milo Yiannopoulos, Steve Bannon, to speak. The program was eventually launched Bannon-free – perhaps to FODI’s benefit, given the (in this correspondent’s view, legitimate) criticisms of the ABC’s approach when giving the man a platform earlier this year.

Bannon aside, there’s always a certain amount of what feels like trolling in a program that is doing its best to be edgy. If one hadn’t had their fill of evangelical proto-capitalism listening to Scott “have a go to get a go” Morrison, one could, for instance, head along to hear a discussion between pundits like Nick Cater and Judith Sloan about the supposed benefits of economic inequality. Similarly, if one were not already aware of what headline magnet Germaine Greer thinks about anything, one could attend her festival panel, titled Too Dangerous, presumably to hear her speak about how she’s “too dangerous” to be allowed to speak at festivals.

 

Read more:

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2018/nov/05/stephen-fry-pronounces-t...

 

read from top.

 

G: not enough revolution and too many speakers... Actually, we need a quiet revolution: people pouring in the streets with no shouting, no placards, no tools like pitchforks and just silence as their unified protest against the stupid governments that have not understood anything about this planet. Actually, the only signs allowed should be of the kind "love the planet" "save the earth" "protect diversity" "animal rights" "stop deforestation" "stop clear-felling" 'global warming is real", etc... 3 million people marching in Australia, 15 million people in the USA. Quietly, silently, no shouting, no conversation... Plenty of time to prepare...

And the date: Wednesday, 5 June World Environment Day 2019

Or tomorrow... It's actually urgent...

the war against the monuments...

"Politics should be nothing more than applied history. Now it is nothing more than negation of history and nothing less than its distortion."

The aphorism by Russian prominent historian Vasily Klyuchevsky sounds simple only at first glance. In fact, there is a huge meaning hidden inside it. Indeed, our understanding and knowledge of history determines a lot in our thoughts and actions, as well as in our attitude to the world around us.

The war on monuments that has broken out in the world, from the Taliban movement and the ISIL* terrorist group to Poland, the Baltic States and the USA, gives a lot of food for thought. 

One is led to believe that the war on monuments comes as a well-designed and well-organised campaign, the goal of which is obvious: someone very powerful and influential wants nations to forget their past and accept the life as it is just because this powerful being, who lives at the expense of others and brainwashes them, wants that to happen. 

This backstage game has affected Russia at a great extent too. This can be clearly seen in the current discussions on the centenary of the Great October Socialist Revolution.



See more at http://www.pravdareport.com/world/americas/01-11-2018/141921-anglo_saxon...

is democracy worth it?

 

By Patrick J. Buchanan

If Donald Trump told Michael Cohen to pay hush money to Stormy Daniels about a one-night stand a decade ago, that, says Jerome Nadler, incoming chair of the House Judiciary Committee, would be an “impeachable offense.”

This tells you what social media, cable TV, and the great herd of talking heads will be consumed with for the next two years—the peccadillos and misdeeds of Trump, almost all of which occurred before he was chosen to be president of the United States.

“Everywhere President Trump looks,” writes The Washington Times‘ Rowan Scarborough, “there are Democrats targeting him from New York to Washington to Maryland…lawmakers, state attorneys general, opposition researchers, bureaucrats and activist defense lawyers.”

“They are aiming at Russia collusion, the Trump Organization, the Trump Foundation, a Trump hotel, Trump tax returns, Trump campaign finances and supposed money laundering,” Scarborough says.

The full-court press is on. Day and night we will be hearing debate on the great question: will the elites that loathe Trump succeed in bringing him down, driving him from office, and putting him in jail?

Says Adam Schiff, the incoming chair of the House Intelligence Committee: “Donald Trump may be the first president in quite some time to face the real prospect of jail time.”

And what will a watching world be thinking when it sees the once-great republic preoccupied with breaking yet another president?

Will that world think: why can’t we be more like America?

Does the world still envy us our free press, which it sees tirelessly digging up dirt on political figures and flaying them with abandon?

Among the reasons democracy is in discredit and retreat worldwide is that its exemplar and champion, the USA, is beginning to resemble France’s Third Republic in its last days before World War II.

Also, democracy no longer has the field largely to itself as to how to create a prosperous and powerful nation-state.

This century, China has shown aspiring rulers how a single-party regime can create a world power, and how democracy is not a necessary precondition for extraordinary economic progress.

Vladimir Putin, an autocratic nationalist, has shown how a ruined nation can be restored to a great power in the eyes of its people and the world, commanding a new deference and respect.

Democracy is a bus you get off when it reaches your stop, says Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan. After the attempted coup in the summer of 2017, Erdogan purged his government and military of tens of thousands of enemies and jailed more journalists than any other nation.

Yet he is welcomed in the capitals of the world.

What does American democracy now offer the world as its foremost attribute, its claim to greatness?

“Our diversity is our strength!” proclaims this generation.

We have become a unique nation composed of peoples from every continent and country, every race, ethnicity, culture, and creed on earth.

But is not diversity what Europe is openly fleeing from?

Is there any country of the Old Continent clamoring for more migrants from the Maghreb, sub-Sahara, or Middle East?

Broadly, it seems more true to say that the world is turning away from transnationalism toward tribalism, and away from diversity and back to the ethno-nationalism whence nations came.

The diversity our democracy has on offer is not selling.

Ethnic, racial, and religious minorities, such as the Uighurs and Tibetans in China, the Rohingya in Myanmar, minority black tribes in sub-Sahara Africa, and white farmers in South Africa can testify that popular majority rule often means mandated restrictions or even an end to minority rights.

In the Middle East, free elections produced a Muslim Brotherhood president in Egypt, Hamas in Palestine, and Hezbollah in Lebanon. After this, a disillusioned Bush 43 White House called off the democracy crusade.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, relates how one minority is treated in much of the Muslim world: “Christians face daily the threat of violence, murder, intimidation, prejudice and poverty,” he says.

“In the last few years, they have been slaughtered by so-called Islamic State,” Welby adds. “Hundreds of thousands have been forced from their homes. Many have been killed, enslaved and persecuted or forcibly converted. Even those who remain ask the question, ‘Why stay?'”

“Christian communities that were the foundation of the universal Church now face the threat of imminent extinction.”

And while this horror is going on, Ronald Reagan’s treaty that banned all U.S. and Soviet nuclear missiles with a range between 310 and 3,400 miles faces collapse. And President Trump’s initiative to bring about a nuclear-free North Korea appears in peril.

Yet for the next two years, we will be preoccupied with whether paying hush money to Stormy Daniels justifies removing a president and exactly when Michael Cohen stopped talking to the Russians about his boss building a Trump Tower in Moscow.

We are an unserious nation engaged in trivial pursuits in a deadly serious world.

-------

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever. To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at www.creators.com.

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Democracy is far more complex than "one person, one vote".

Can we dream of democracy where everyone is happy, equal and richly comfortable — without the scales of slavery, exploitation and abuses of control that often come with our dithering with the concept? We have to make it happen in diversity, but can we allow the dumb, the moronic and the sociopaths to take it over? Looking at Australia in general and in particular, the social disparities are not so desperate than in many other countries but we could do better and improve the lot of our poor without hammering them for being lazy, or change governments like we replace underpants.

The media and its "freedoms" often end up being part and parcel of our indigestion and democratic constipation. Rather than promote ideals of equality and fraternity, most media promote division and unhealthy competition between rich and poor, as if it was the only way to get somewhere. We see Cinderella where we should see ... Er... Yes it's hard to know what we should see, so we stick with the Cinderella delusion with hope that we could be blessed with exclusive beauty rather than share it around because would we be so special then?

So, we need to... Ah well, whatever. Enjoy life. Do your best and vote for the next lot of morons... hoping they won't destroy the place with more porkies about the price of electricity... And should the world be more seriously deadly? I don't think so.

 

Read from top.

the social promises of democracy and freedom...

 


The Mock Democracy

The citizens are disenfranchised and conditioned to be politically apathetic consumers. In recent decades, democracy has been replaced by the illusion of democracy. New forms of organization of power and psychological methods for manipulation of our consciousness protect the powerful against the risks of democratic empowerment and strengthen their position.

by Rainer Mausfeld, translated by Terje Maloy

Democracy and freedom. Two words that are charged with unheard-of social promises and that can release tremendous energies of change to achieve them. Today, hardly more than a shadow remains of the hopes originally associated with them. What happened? Never before have two words, to which such passionate hopes were attached, been emptied of their original meaning in such a socially far-reaching way. They have been falsified, abused, and turned against those whose thoughts and actions are inspired by them.

Democracy today really means an elected oligarchy of economic and political elites, in which central areas of society, especially the economy, are fundamentally removed from any democratic control and accountability; at the same time, large parts of the social organization of our own life lie outside the democratic sphere. And freedom today means above all the freedom of the economically powerful.

With this Orwellian reinterpretation, these two words now have a special place in the endless dictionary of falsified words throughout history. With the poisoning of these two words, our hopes for a more humane society and a containment of violent ways of solving things are confused, clouded, broken and almost wiped out from the collective memory. The loss of the civilizing dreams associated with these two concepts makes it hard for us today to politically articulate an attractive, decent alternative to the prevailing power relations, or even worse, think of any at all.

Democracy, which was originally associated with great hopes for political self-determination and a safeguarding of internal and external peace, is left only as a formal shell in the real structure of society. Democracy has been reduced to a staged spectacle of periodical elections, where the population can choose from a given «elite spectrum». Real democracy has been replaced by the illusion of democracy; free public debate has been replaced by opinion- and outrage-management. The guiding principle of the responsible citizen has been replaced by the neoliberal ideal of the politically apathetic consumer.

Of the hopes associated with the concepts of democracy and freedom, only the empty words of a false promise have been retained by the powerful; with these words it is possible to effectively manipulate the consciousness of the subjugated majority.

International law has also today largely developed into an instrument of undisguised power politics. The self-declared ‘Western community of values’ has openly reverted to its almost religious belief in the effectiveness of violence, the wholesomeness of bombs and destruction, drone killings and torture, support for terrorist groups, economic strangulation, and other forms of violence that serve their purposes. This is a political fetishization of violence, whose effects can be seen all over the globe.

Hardly more than a historical memory is left of the great hopes originally associated with democracy and international law, namely, the hopes that civilization could contain power and violence. The populace is all the more being forcefully convinced of the political rhetoric of democracy and international law, with which the economically or militarily strong seek to win the consent or tolerance of the populace for their actual practice of a violent realpolitik. In today’s realpolitik, the right of the strongest has again long been accepted.

Two hundred years after the Enlightenment, which we praise so much our political rhetoric, we live in a time of radical counter-enlightenment. At the same time, when it serves their power interests, the powerful like to refer to the Enlightenment in order to affirm their claimed civilizational superiority over those they consider to be their enemies.

An elitist democracy is a contradiction in terms. While there are formal democratic elements in an elitist democracy, they are structurally kept to a minimum. Despite this minimalistic democracy, from the point of view of the actual economic and political centers of power, democratic elements are not necessarily as risk-free as they would like.


So in order for the present power elite to secure their status, they are dependent on securing themselves against democratic aspirations.

 

The weak point is now the public debate space, which – especially in the periodic elections – could potentially become a risk against stability. How can this be controlled in an elitist democracy? How can the risk that democracy potentially poses be kept as low as possible? If the remaining democratic residual elements were removed, it would no longer be possible to maintain the democratic rhetoric useful for preventing revolution; for public debate and periodic elections are indispensable even for the mere illusion of democracy. So if the real centers of power want to keep these formalities, they need appropriate ways to build stability that can make democracy risk-free for them.

Over the past few decades, the powerful have made great efforts to develop new ways of securing such stability, in order to protect the democratic residual elements remaining in elitist democracy from the risks posed by democratic empowerment.

These include, in particular, novel structural forms of organizing power, as well as psychological methods for manipulating our consciousness. Of course, the roots of these developments go much further back, but these developments have accelerated rapidly and become institutionally solidified in recent decades. The social transformation process associated with these things is similar to the effects of a «revolution from above», i.e. a revolution that represents a project of the economic elites and serves to expand and consolidate their interests. The transformation process that accompanies this revolution essentially rests on two pillars.

The first pillar of this transformation process is that the organizational forms of power are designed more abstractly and with a purposeful diffusion of social responsibility, so that the unease, indignation or anger of those ruled can find no concrete, i.e. politically effective, targets. Thus a will for change in the population can no longer find expression among the actual decision-makers.

This process of transformation consists of a creeping – and for the populace as invisible as possible – creation of suitable institutional and constitutional structures. With these structures, power relations can be stabilized and the redistribution processes permanently removed from democratic access, and thereby be made largely irreversible. For this, the democratic structures historically won after hard struggles must be eliminated or eroded, so that their effectiveness is neutralized.

In addition, domestic and international law must be ‘developed’ in such a way that the centers of economic and political power can legally enforce their interests authoritatively in the legal framework thus created. In particular, a legal framework must be created to enable the transformation of economic power into political power, and to provide a legal framework for the desired or already established upwards redistributive mechanisms, so that the minimum remaining democratic possibilities cannot undo them.


The organized crime of the propertied class is not only legalized by such lawmaking, but also protected for the future and sealed against possible democratic interventions.

 

The second pillar is the development of sophisticated and highly effective techniques that can in a targeted way manipulate the consciousness of the ruled. Ideally, those who are ruled should not even know that there are centers of power behind the political surface, presented by the media, of seemingly democratically controlled power. The most important goal is to neutralize any social will to change in the population or divert their attention to politically insignificant goals.

To achieve this in the most robust and consistent way possible, manipulation techniques aim for much more than just political opinions. They aim at a purposeful shaping of all aspects that affect our political, social and cultural life as well as our individual ways of life. They aim, as it were, at the creation of a «new human being» whose social life is absorbed in the role of the politically apathetic consumer.

In this sense, they are totalitarian, so that the great democracy theorist Sheldon Wolin rightly speaks of an «inverted totalitarianism», a new form of totalitarianism, which is not perceived by the population as totalitarianism. The techniques for this have been and are being developed for about a hundred years, at great expense and with substantial involvement from the social sciences, whose importance in society is closely linked to the provision of methods of social control.

A central element of these techniques for manipulating the consciousness of the population is the creation of appropriate ideologies that are largely invisible to the population as ideologies and thus provide a barely questionable framework that gives meaning to all the individual’s social experiences.

The core of these ideologies, culminating in neo-liberal ideology in recent decades, is the ideology of an expertocratic «capitalist elite democracy», in which competent and well-committed elites should direct the fate of society in the most efficient manner possible.

Both developments serve to make power unidentifiable and therefore invisible, in order to undermine our natural mental defense mechanisms against being ruled by others. Both are characteristic of the modern forms of contemporary capitalist elite democracies.

We can only develop promising strategies of resistance to the current order based on power and violence if we sufficiently understand these new organizational forms of power. The same applies to the manipulation techniques, through which specific properties of our mind can be exploited for political purposes.

Rainer Mausfeld, born 1949, is professor emeritus in psychology at the University of Kiel (Germany), and a popular lecturer and author. Translated by Terje Maloy as Creative Commons 4.0. from Rubikon.

Read more:

 

https://off-guardian.org/2018/12/28/the-mock-democracy/

 

 

 

A prowling wolf, whose shaggy skin
(So strict the watch of dogs had been)
Hid little but his bones,
Once met a mastiff dog astray.
A prouder, fatter, sleeker Tray,
No human mortal owns.
Sir Wolf in famish'd plight,
Would fain have made a ration
Upon his fat relation;
But then he first must fight;
And well the dog seem'd able
To save from wolfish table
His carcass snug and tight.
So, then, in civil conversation
The wolf express'd his admiration
Of Tray's fine case. Said Tray, politely,
'Yourself, good sir, may be as sightly;
Quit but the woods, advised by me.
For all your fellows here, I see,
Are shabby wretches, lean and gaunt,
Belike to die of haggard want.
With such a pack, of course it follows,
One fights for every bit he swallows.
Come, then, with me, and share
On equal terms our princely fare.'
'But what with you
Has one to do?'
Inquires the wolf. 'Light work indeed,'
Replies the dog; 'you only need
To bark a little now and then,
To chase off duns and beggar men,
To fawn on friends that come or go forth,
Your master please, and so forth;
For which you have to eat
All sorts of well-cook'd meat--
Cold pullets, pigeons, savoury messes--
Besides unnumber'd fond caresses.'
The wolf, by force of appetite,
Accepts the terms outright,
Tears glistening in his eyes.
But faring on, he spies
A gall'd spot on the mastiff's neck.
'What's that?' he cries. 'O, nothing but a speck.'
'A speck?' 'Ay, ay; 'tis not enough to pain me;
Perhaps the collar's mark by which they chain me.'
'Chain! chain you! What! run you not, then,
Just where you please, and when?'
'Not always, sir; but what of that?'
'Enough for me, to spoil your fat!
It ought to be a precious price
Which could to servile chains entice;
For me, I'll shun them while I've wit.'
So ran Sir Wolf, and runneth yet.

 

Read more:

https://www.lafontaine.net/lesFables/fableEtr.php?id=713

 

Meanwhile, "private cops" in New orleans:

 

...

The mayor at the time, Mitch Landrieu, responded in the media, inspiring Torres to "put my money where my mouth is". His French Quarter Task Force was born.

It was initially paid for by Torres, but is now funded to the tune of US$1.2 million annually through a voluntary occupancy tax paid by local hotels. Torres remains a spiritual leader of sorts, seeking to "apply the same type of management as my garbage business in the fighting of crime".

'Cops are the biggest gang in America'

But in late October, the Task Force broadened its definition of crime. Torres posted a video on social media stating that he was launching a crackdown on "aggressive panhandling" — targeting homeless people and buskers in a district that sees 17 million visitors each year.

...

"Homeless people need to sleep. I go to lie on the heat grates half a block off Bourbon Street, and within five minutes the cops are waking you up, saying 'get up or you're going to jail.'"

"They keep moving you, or saying you can't go places," adds Joshua, 24. "I've seen people try to stand up for themselves and get thrown onto their backs. Cops are the biggest gang in America."

Read more:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-29/sidney-torres-new-orleans-french-...

 

 

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