Carter is telling us what we already know. Our democracy is a sham and an oligarchy. As others as myself have pointed out the problems with US democracy are:
-In our system it is that wealthy people who can buy influence policy and elections while less wealthy and poor can only vote. They can work on a candidates campaign, but it is the wealthy who have the ability to influence the issues. Others, with out means, find they have no influence over the issues and are left only to vote yes or no on someone else's defined issues.
-The US Supreme Court, especially in the decision Citizens United V. The Federal Election Commission, has constantly ruled against any curbs on corporate spending in our election process. By kicking out any campaign financing laws and declaring that corporations are people, the courts reshuffled the playing field leaving corporate giants to spend millions against individuals who may not have any money to spend on influencing elections. In a real democracy no one would be allowed to spend money trying to influence public policy. This creates a corporate oligarchy.
-Our news media is biased and acts as the "gatekeeper." They decide what is considered news. They decide (and always cover the two parties) which parties get to take part in debates and who gets news coverage. This leaves a corporate sponsored news media to pick and chose who the public can take seriously in an election. The news media has more affect on political ideas than the people they are supposed to be informing and serving. They make it look like Marxist people don't even exist anymore.
-The two political parties, Democrats and Republicans, are sewn into the system. They get nearly all the news coverage and they are the only parties to have local, state and national primaries that serve the two parties and those parties only. They are able to keep out ideas that they consider outside the mainstream. That would preclude any kind of Marxism. The two parties are designed to prevent really big changes, even when the people want them.
-Large families, such as the Bush family (George H.W. and George W. for example) are tied to their own business interest and yet they also have a lot of political power. As with the Roosevelts and the Kennedys, such families often dominate the entire country as if they were dukes or earls.
- សតិវ អតុ
From The Huff Post:
Thom Hartmann interviewed former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, and, at the very end of his show (as if this massive question were merely an afterthought), asked him his opinion of the 2010 decision and the 2014 decision, both decisions by the five Republican judges on the U.S. Supreme Court. These two historic decisions enable unlimited secret money (including foreign money) now to pour into
political and judicial campaigns. Carter answered: U.S.
It violates the essence of what made
a great country in its political system. Now it's just an oligarchy with
unlimited political bribery being the essence of getting the nominations for
president or being elected president. And the same thing applies to governors,
Senators and congress members. So, now we've just seen a subversion of our
political system as a payoff to major contributors, who want and expect, and
sometimes get, favors for themselves after the election is over. ... At the present
time the incumbents, Democrats and Republicans, look upon this unlimited money
as a great benefit to themselves. Somebody that is already in Congress has a
great deal more to sell." U.S.
He was then cut off by the program, though that statement by Carter should have been the of the program, not its . (And the program didn't end with an invitation for him to return to discuss this crucial matter in depth -- something for which he's qualified.)
So, was this former president's provocative allegation merely his opinion? Or was it actually lots more than that? It was more than that.
Only a single empirical study has actually been done in the social sciences regarding whether the historical record shows that the United States has been, during the survey's period, which in that case was between 1981 and 2002, a democracy (a nation whose leaders represent the public-at-large), or instead an aristocracy (or 'oligarchy') -- a nation in which only the desires of the richest citizens end up being reflected in governmental actions. This study was titled and it was published by Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page in the journal , issued by the American Political Science Association in September 2014. I had summarized it earlier, on April 14, 2014, while the article was still awaiting its publication.
The clear finding is that the
is an oligarchy, no democratic country, at all. American democracy is a sham,
no matter how much it's pumped by the oligarchs who run the country (and who
control the nation's 'news' media). U.S.
I then quoted the authors' own summary: "The preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy."
The scientific study closed by saying: "In the
our findings indicate, the majority does not rule -- at least not in the causal
sense of actually determining policy outcomes." A few other tolerably
clear sentences managed to make their ways into this well-researched, but,
sadly, atrociously written, paper, such as: "The preferences of economic
elites (as measured by our proxy, the preferences of 'affluent' citizens) have
far more independent impact upon policy change than the preferences of average
citizens do." In other words, they found: The rich rule the United States U.S.
Their study investigated specifically "1,779 instances between 1981 and 2002 in which a national survey of the general public asked a favor/oppose question about a proposed policy change," and then the policy-follow-ups, of whether or not the polled public preferences had been turned into polices, or, alternatively, whether the relevant corporate-lobbied positions had instead become public policy on the given matter, irrespective of what the public had wanted concerning it.
The study period, 1981-2002, covered the wake of the landmark 1976 U.S. Supreme Court decision, , which had started the aristocratic assault on American democracy, and which seminal (and bipartisan) pro-aristocratic court decision is described as follows by :
[It] struck down on First Amendment grounds several provisions in the 1974 Amendments to the Federal Election Campaign Act. The most prominent portions of the case struck down limits on spending in campaigns, but upheld the provision limiting the size of individual contributions to campaigns. The Court also narrowed, and then upheld, the Act's disclosure provisions, and struck down (on separation of powers grounds) the make-up of the Federal Election Commission, which as written allowed Congress to directly appoint members of the Commission, an executive agency.
Basically, the decision, and subsequent (increasingly partisan Republican) Supreme Court decisions, have allowed aristocrats to buy and control politicians.
Already, the major 'news' media were owned and controlled by the aristocracy, and 'freedom of the press' was really just freedom of aristocrats to control the 'news' -- to frame public issues in the ways the owners want. The media managers who are appointed by those owners select, in turn, the editors who, in their turn, hire only reporters who produce the propaganda that's within the acceptable range for the owners, to be 'the news' as the public comes to know it.
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Of the earliest writings on Democracy we have the Greeks. Pericles was one of the earliest politicians to give pro-democracy speeches. Democracy came from words that mean "the people rule." Today that can't really be said.
From a speech by Pericles:
"Our form of government is called a democracy because..."
"... Our form of does not imitate the laws of neighboring states. On the contrary, we are rather a model to others. Our form of government is called a democracy because its administration is in the hands, not of a few, but of the whole people. In the settling of private disputes, everyone is equal before the law. Election to public office is made on the basis of ability, not on the basis of membership to a particular class. No man is kept out of public office by the obscurity of his social standing because of his poverty, as long as he wishes to be of service to the state. And not only in our public life are we free and open, but a sense of freedom regulates our day-to-day life with each other. We do not flare up in anger at our neighbor if he does what he likes. And we do not show the kind of silent disapproval that causes pain in others, even though it is not a direct accusation. In our private affairs, then, we are tolerant and avoid giving offense. But in public affairs, we take great care not to break law because of the deep respect we have for them. We give obedience to the men who hold public office from year to year. And we pay special regard to those laws that are for the protection of the oppressed and to all the unwritten laws that we know bring disgrace upon the transgressor when they are broken.
"Let me add another point. We have had the good sense to provide for our spirits more opportunities for relaxation from hard work than other people. Throughout the year, there are dramatic and athletic contests and religious festivals. In our homes we find beauty and good taste, and the delight we find every day in and this drives away our cares. And because of the greatness of our city, all kinds of imports flow in to us from all over the world. It is just as natural for us to enjoy the good products of other nations as it is to enjoy the things that we produce ourselves.
"The way we live differs in another respect from that of our enemies. Our city is open to all the world. We have never had any aliens' laws to exclude anyone from finding our or seeking anything here, nor any secrets of the city that an enemy might find out about and use to his advantage. For our security, we rely not on defensive arrangements or secrecy but on the courage that springs from our souls, when we are called into action. As for education, the enemy subjects their children from their earliest boyhood to the most laborious training in manly courage. We, with our unrestricted way of life, are just as ready to face the dangers as they are. And here is the proof. The Spartans never invade
using only their own troops, but they bring along all their allies. But when we
attack a nearby city, we usually win by ourselves even though we fight on enemy
soil against men who defend their own homes. No enemy, in fact, has even
engaged our total military power because our practice is constantly to attend
to the needs of our navy, as well as to send our troops on many land excursions.
Yet, if our enemies engage one division of our forces and defeat it, they boast
that they have beaten our entire army, and if they are defeated they say that
they lost to our whole army. So it is not painful discipline that makes us go
out to meet danger, but our easy confidence. Our natural bravery springs from
our way of life, not from the compulsion of laws. Also we do not spend our time
anticipating the sufferings that are still in the future, and when the test is
upon us, we show ourselves no less brave than those who are continually
preparing themselves for battle. Athens
deserves to be admired for these qualities and for others as well......
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