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DEMOCRACY TERMINUS?

Soon the people will vote in the U.S.  There are dire predictions for the Democrats.  It might be hoped that Republican victories might actually get rid of the stalemate now in Washington in which the GOP has sabotaged everything to enhance their chances for election success.  On the other hand, it may just be another step down the road toward the end of democracy in the U.S., already in jeopardy.

We are currently witnessing an upheavel in France.  The plethora of strikes and stoppages is presented as a protest against the right-wing government''s attempt to raise the retirement age from age 60 to 62.  That is only a small part of the protest.  The right-wing government now in power made promises that are not totally different than what the right-wing is promising in the U.S.  The people voted for no new taxes and more services.  What they got were fewer services and an adjustment in their way of life that has them now realizing what a mistake they made in electing this current administration.  However it is likely that the strikes and protests will lose steam and France will eventually succomb to the right-wing plan that was never hinted at but is now come to fruition.  France is about to change for the worst.  It should be noted that 70% of the French people support the strikes.  No matter.

The majority in a democracy often elect the wrong people.  The common people are easily deceived by gimmick promises, deceitful charges, and scare tactics.  In one form or another, there is a Joseph McCarthy plan somewhere behind most hidden, right-wing schemes.  Since Ronald Reagan the U.S. has been in a financial shake-down by big corporations.  Labor has suffered.  Immense budget deficits have occured in every administration since Reagan, except for President Clinton, who left a surplus that was quickly eaten up by George W. Bush.

When the right-wing economic plans of the past 30+ years went seriously awry and some huge corporations were on the brink of collapse, suddenly the government was a savior and taxes supplied by the common man were used to bail out these corporations.  Did the average Jane or Joe benefit from such largesse?  No, they have suffered.  The burden of carrying the mistakes of big corporations has been placed on the disappearing middle class in the U.S.  And while we avoided a major depression in America, we are embarking on the same failed economic decisions that caused this mess.  And the coming election will only make matters worse.

We are making the mistake of assuming that the Tea Party movement is one of uneducated, jingoistic people who are sick of "socialism."  Wrong!  First, we are not anywhere on the road to socialism, we are on the road  to a corporate oligarchy.  Democracy is fading.  Since President Reagan, the right-wing in the U.S. has been focusing on establishing this corporate oligarchy and using economic principles that were formulated, among other places, by a group of Austrian economists [whose ideas were refused and debunked in Austria itself].

So why do the tea partiers and other right-wing groups want to promote these Austrian economic ideas? Why support a school of thought that is against public schooling, against public roads and infrastructure unless it helps corporations, and against government services of any kind except military?

An excellent article "The Ideologies Behind the Ideologues" by Joe Conason appeared in the October 14, 2010 issue of the Shepherd Express unveiling the right-wing deviousness.  It answers the above questions thusly:

"Why should European ideologies of the far right suddenly become fashionable among citizens so blithely accuse the White House of importing 'socialist' policies from abroad?"

"If the 'Austrian' ideology prevailed in tearing down government, extirpating regulation and destroying public institutions, what would be left standing?  Not much except giant corporations, mammoth banks and hedge funds, whose proprietors would then be able to completely dominate an increasingly impoverished, uneducated and undefended people.  Not every aspect of the old American system could or should have been preserved--but it is much preferable to the corporate oligarchy that can be glimpsed behind the tea party."

The "giant corporations" and "mammoth banks and hedge funds" have their hands around the neck of the average American.  The middle class has already suffered much since Reagan.  Children today do not have the hope that so many of us older folks had: to be better off than the previous generation.  We are sinking, and so is democracy.  The noose is tightening.  America as we knew it is disappearing, and along with it is the middle class.  And we have drunk the Kool-Aid of greed and war corporations and are going to commit suicide thinking we are doing the right thing for America.

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