what is going on?
Henry C.K. Liu
hliu at SPAMmindspring.com
Sat Jan 6 12:25:44 MST 2001
Nestor Miguel Gorojovsky wrote:
> > B:
> > Americans no longer live in a democracy.
> This, IMHO, is a little too much. But it looks true in the sense that the
> system has been undermined from within to an extent that could not be imagined
> a couple of years ago. The "Imperial hybris" posting has been very important in
> this sense. Only hope it is accurate. But, what will American minorities do
> when extended Third World default begins to dry away the sources of the oil
> that is still keeping them ointed within the system? This question is, in my
> own opinion, one of the most important ones, and probably it may lead to one of
> the most serious outcomes of the Gush-Bore conundrum.
American has never been a democracy.
I wish also to point out that my criticism is not towards American values (with which
I disagree but respect the right of Americans to hold their own views) as much as the
fact the the US generally does not practice them while she preaches them to the rest
of the world and often acts under the cover of these values in a manner that actually
Also I wish to clarify that I only propose "justice for all" and that I
described American values as "peace and justice." I never mentioned
democracy, a confused term that has been much abused in recent American foreign
policy. Most Americans may not be aware of this: that the word democracy never
appeared in either the Declaration of Indpendence nor the Constitution. The concept
of the universal applicability of US-style democracy was put forth as a war slogan for
the two world wars - making the world safe for domcracy. The propaganda was so
suscessful that it has become imbedded in the American general consciouness.
Philosophically, the term democracy in Greek means "power to the people." That meaning
has since been labelled "radical" by the US establishment and its propaganda
machinery. Large number of people acting under that concept have been killed, bombed,
suppressed and put in jail by US authorities in the name of democracy.
Political democracy is inseparable from economic democracy and social democracy. In a
larger sense, democracy is essentially a philosophy which promotes the right and
capacity of a people to control their institutions for their own purposes. The
fallacy of democracy is that it requires complete individual freedom and places sacred
value on the individual by freeing him/her from all restraints not self imposed. Thus
democracy in its extreme form leads to anarchism and is incompatible with law, order
and security for the individual in society. Many cultures find this insistance on
individualism anti-social, that an individual is but a symbiotic sub-unit of the
community and that no individual can truly benefit at the expense of the community.
Athenian democracy works only in small city states and in a closed uni-cultural
context, without diversity in race, religion, ethnicity, cultural conditioning, etc.
Even then Plato rejected it in favor of the philospher king. Democracy historically
has fallen repeatedly before the imperial idea, both in secular and ecclesiastical
politics. Imperialism gave birth to representative government relacing the
Greek notion of direct particpation. Medieval feudalism gave rise to the notion of
social contract which became imbedded in modern democracy through the interpretation
of Locke and Rousseau. That notion rationalized British parliamentary democracy and
justified the American cessationist movement and the French Revolution. American
democracy was compromised at its birth by the tolerance of slavery, a faulty
foundation on which much of the shortcomings of the modern US political structure can
still be traced. It was in the American experiment that the idea of democracy
has been given sophiscated rationalization. The fundamental flaw allowed the US to
first support European imperialism under the guise of spreading democractic values to
the non-European world and later fill the vacumm left by its demise it with US
neo-imperialism under the same pretense. The idea that equality of opportunity can be
maintaied through political democracy alone has been challenged by true democrats, and
not just socialists who maintain that economic democracy is the only foundation upon
which a true political democracy can be erected. In practice, two-party or multi-party
political systems merely distorts and frustrates the popular will with
election politics more often than respresenting it. It has reduced politics to
partisanship rather than the original meaning of the people's business.
Yet in the name of this flawed political idea, millions around the world have been
killed, starved and condamned for political heresy by the American crusade for
Its time to let every people decide for themselves their own political
If one is interested in providing real alternatives, it is necessary to
resist the actualities, not the illusions.
Henry C.K. Liu
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