The Failure of Democracy
And why is that?
How do intellectually mediocre people become and stay political leaders?
1) There are almost no other kinds of people. The majority of every electorate, every insurgency, every political base - are intellectually mediocre. The human race is, relative to its few geniuses, mostly dumb. The average IQ is 100, and people with 100 IQ's are not very smart.
Sorry, but that's self evidently true. The proof is all around you. Besides the repeatedly documented fact that almost all humans eagerly worship and go along with mediocre gods who want them to stay ignorant and miserable, the surest proof of their mediocrity is that they habitually GIVE or GIVE UP (meekly surrender) political power to mediocre people who aren't qualified to exercise power, including even the power to arrest, torture, and execute anyone they don't like and to start and wage wars for the benefit of their friends and sponsors.
2) The situation is age old and inert. Starting too far back for anyone to know how they did it (except that it was done without any effective resistance from the dumb majority), long, long, too long ago, insidious priests and con men and bold fascist bullies colluded to contrive a ruling establishment with the doors barred and guarded forever against any benign actually qualified potential leaders (with brains) who might rock their boat.
More recently, embedded media owned by insider con men have largely taken over the priests's role in this apparently inert scam and have editorially sealed the doors and demolished the stairs leading to the political stages where THEY conduct official history and pick the safely mediocre stars of almost all the democracy shows in the world.
3) Keeping political offices filled with changing mediocre "leaders" permits an illusion of a regular turnover in power that fits into the democratic myth the majority have been sold, while assuring the rich who own the system a continually rotating set of scapegoats they can easily dominate and manipulate and thus avoid the embarrassment of an inside revolt for civilization that would be difficult for their media to cover up. Please note that the regular rotation of front men, while reinforcing the democratic myth, also makes it unlikely that any front man will accumulate enough power to confront the system's owners.
4) The world's owners who choose the political front men beneath them are themselves mediocre people with low standards, who either inherited their positions in the politically elite class that has ruled the world for generations or were able to filter into it due to a supreme unscrupulousness, absolutely NO crippling self-suspicion, and a totally inoperative gag reflex.
Why democracy CAN'T WORK, even if it's ever tried:
OBVIOUSLY, the majority is TOO FAR from "always right"
Intelligent, civilized mass behavior is apparently NOT a NATURAL majority human characteristic. It's not. I'm not raving. It's not. I'm both intelligent and civilized and I know some others who are, but while most contemporary war and on-going ecological destruction and resistance to intelligent change result from the base competitive instincts of a rich, greedy, power-mad minority, who are a minority, of course, that minority stays almost always IN power, not just coincidentally but because they are IN TUNE WITH an also VAINLY wishfully greedy majority that can NOT be counted on to vote them out (in case you're one of those blurry-eyed optimists who think the solution to all problems is for everyone to vote).
I want to live in a civilized state regardless of the instincts of the majority, and the only way to even begin transforming the majority into a civilized, realistically thinking people is by the rare coincidental success of an intellectual elite who DO sometimes manage to take enough occasional, partial, temporary political control to vertically impose a little bit more and a little bit more of their civilized agenda on the majority. That's how every instance you can think of of civilized progress and suppression of barbarism EVER takes place on planet Earth. And it's the only way unintelligent, uncivilized greedy human behavior disrupting and destroying the eco-system and sustaining the dog-eat-dog capitalist system will ever be brought to an end.
As you CERTAINLY know; ), after entrenched insiders decide which candidates are to be taken seriously, the embedded media stage a very long-running, very predictable but very slick and expensive multi-media show of irrelevantly trivial and personal but effectively relentless and pervasive propaganda - a daily, hourly, up-to-the-minute smoke cloud - that goes on for months, if not years.
How democracy REALLY works for the insiders in America
As you know very well, the rigging of American elections doesn't usually happen on election day. The voters apparently vote as they wish. But most of them (and that's all it takes in a democracy) wish what they've been TRAINED to wish.
Starting long before election day (for crying out loud, DON'T PRETEND you don't know this
Pre-presidential election "reporting" (brainwashing) in America used to go on for only about a year, but, ever since the media were badly scared by their own loss of control when they tried (every minute every hour every day for only a year) and failed to convince Americans that Bill Clinton's sex life was grounds for impeachment, it's been a 2-year frame-up.
For at least a year, though, not the candidates but the much more relentless media, speaking like matching oracles from within the smoke, tell Americans every single thing they reportedly think from beginning to end, when the voters do nothing but fulfill their assigned destinies (I borrowed that last clause from my daughter). By election day, they've been literally hypnotized. A relentlessly induced paralysis of their individual and collective will stymies any urge to vote outside the box.
The American media, the mercenary bards of the rich, the slickest propaganda machine ever anywhere, write, direct, produce, and stage elections which always end with their type of people still in power, with hardly a word ever spoken about what type of people they are, because the actual, mainly business purposes of politics in America are too shallow or too shameful to reveal. Most of the world follows the American plan, often with American help (whether they want it or not).
April 29 2005 from Havana
If Not Democracy, What?
First, keep it in mind that I am observing, analyzing, and drawing conclusions about what is or is not. I'm not trying to save the world or head up a revolution. So the question I'm addressing isn't: what do we do now? It's: what's working, if anything? And: what's not working? And: what should we do if we were all rational people willing and able to do what we should do? Whether you can stand it or understand it or not, my purpose isn't to provide the UN a manual (though the UN probably should read this website); it's to clarify and practice clarifying things for myself and any equally perceptive readers.
Some things that don't work are pretty clear.
1 : Democracy does NOT work and CAN'T work in a capitalist context.
2: Therefore, democracy in America doesn't work - period - except as
an actually clumsy scam for the rich. 3: To impose
American democracy AND capitalism together as a mandated (though already proven to be dysfunctional)
pair by force with bombing airplanes is literally, objectively speaking, insane.
Does any modified form of democracy work anywhere? I don't know. A limited form of democracy works in Cuba, but that's mostly been under the guidance of Fidel Castro, a benign leader so popular the majority weren't likely to betray him, and, since Fidel's retirement, is still under benign militant leaders who are generally trusted. Cuba's gradual expansion of that democracy, giving more decision making power to the majority, may be working mainly because gradual means super-gradual. Constitutional limitations of democratic action in Cuba have proven to be a good idea, though some of those should be changed, some removed, and some added. This is actually being done, but that's a success of wise leadership NOT of democracy. Democratic workplace and neighborhood input in Cuba has often proven valuable when monitored and selected by wise leadership.
Keep it in mind that democracy IS just a means NOT an end. Though democracy has become a religion to America and its partners and in their client states and to pitifully politically correct US pseudo-progressives (not wonderfully but unfortunately since that's why it's the scam of choice for the rich), besides really not being an end, may not even be a necessary or desirable means. Fidel Castro seems to consider it at least useful, and I respect his judgement, but while democratic input in Cuba has worked, as acknowledged above, and the illusion (see Elections in Cuba) of ballot-box democracy (which is an illusion in America, too) may keep Cubans happier and therefore more cooperative for their own benefit with their wise leaders, I'm not sure this would be necessary if constant propaganda from abroad weren't a factor.
Maybe it has to be acknowledged in democracy's favor that, largely on Fidel's advice, one Latin American socialist movement after another has come into power recently through the ballot box, but that is with the momentum of a falling-domino movement that started with armed revolution and was fueled throughout the 00's by reactions to the extreme ugliness of America's ugliest regime ever. A dubious pro-democracy movement undoubtedly helped, too, but that says more for the force of a politically correct movement than for democracy. And it works both ways. The same momentum, plus the stupidity of people who become enamored of having their back-and-forth way, quickly led Chile, after only one short period under Michelle Bachelet, back to another right-wing president, and Chile is now (summer 2013) expected to recover that lost ground by returning Bachelet to office in the next election.
Furthermore, it remains to be seen whether even the pack-leading Venezuelan experiment will survive Hugo Chavez' stated and now inherited intention to freeze progress at the democratic socialist phase rather than moving all the way to a less democratic but more socially and economically perfect communist conclusion. So far, the multi-country ballot-box socialist revolution in Latin America remains a proof only of Fidel's success in Cuba. And I fear that if it's mishandled, specifically in the foolish interest of democracy, it may not only crash but take Cuba down with it.
That would be a far greater tragedy than the failure of democracy, because Cuba is in the act of achieving the only logically desirable political END - the best life on earth that can be achieved for all the participants in a civilized state - equally.
So, if not democracy, what? Frankly, unless an answer to the title question can be distilled from a study of Cuba, my working attitude is that, if it leads to or starts leading toward a civilized Civil State, maybe the means doesn't matter. Anyway, I don't have any better answer than: the right leaders and the right circumstances. But this is clear. The pro-active determination and ongoing efforts of Washington to punish and even crush Cuba for making any progress that isn't achieved in Washington"s demonstrably unworkable way is monstrous.
The Value of Adequate Time in Office
Besides accusing demonized countries of not being"free," of not having US style democracy, and of being led by dictators, it is now the norm for American media to accuse the demonized leaders of those countries (in a suitably contemptuous tone of voice) of having been in office too long. I have documents on this site about "freedom," dictatorship, and democracy, and this document is about time in office.
This is where I start arguing logically, so pay attention.
If it were indeed fatal to a state's virtue to be led by the same person for a long time, it would make no difference whether the long-time leader was a single entity, like the god-fantasy of the monotheistic US religion, or a dynasty passed from clone to clone, like the unbroken line of
Republican/Democratic CEO presidents who have dictated to America for two centuries.
But the premise is false. What makes a chief of state or a regime good or bad isn't the amount of time spent in office. It's what he or it does or doesn't achieve. If the Republican/Democratic party had always promoted and provided an equally good civilized and prosperous enough life for every American, it wouldn't matter that it's in fact a 200-year-old minority dictatorship masquerading as a democracy. We'd have nothing to complain about.
But it hasn't done that, not because all its elections have been rigged, but because, from the beginning, US government's chief function has been to facilitate insider business ventures (including endless wars) behind a smokescreen of religious, patriotic and democratic blather, while at least a third of that business domain's employed or unemployed workers (the so-called citizens) have always been poor and ignorant.
Furthermore, the quality of American life (which isn't great for everybody), besides being only partly due to political leadership, is not at all due to the every-four-year frequency of elections. It's partly an unplanned coincidence due to the positioning of American soil almost entirely in earth's temperate zone. It's partly due to the synchronization of American history with the growth of modern technology. It's partly due to capitalist conquest, exploitation, and robbery of other countries. And it's partly an illusion due (1) to city planning and police procedure that hides domestic poverty in shunned and forgettable neighborhoods and (2) to the concentration of its wealth around its home base while most of its poverty is hidden in its conquered domain outside official US borders.
Meanwhile, in remarkable contrast that stays unknown to Americans thanks to the dishonesty of their media and to their own failure to find things out for themselves, the successful promotion and achievement of an equally good civilized and prosperous enough life for almost all Cuban citizens is due, of course, to the island's unique history, to its tropical location, and to the difficulty of invading an island, but also, ironically and in spite of the bile and invective of its critics in Miami, is mostly due to the very continuity of wise and benign leadership that those critics stupidly gripe about.
This is why, by the way, US citizens are discouraged from going to Cuba to see for themselves what a steadily focused revolution can achieve, and why honest leaders of newly progressive Latin American countries trying to achieve a Cuban level of social and economic success have been seeking in their separate countries to end term limits.
The Tentative Theory of Limited Democracy
Believe me; there is such a theory, which, as soon as I find it in my jumbled pile of old notebooks OR rewrite it from scratch, I'll post here. -Glen Roberts, March 11, 2015
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