Democracy is caught in a vise between increasingly authoritarian governments beholden to the corporatocracy, and baton-wielding populist parties beholden to no one.
The foreign television channels broadcasting in the U.S. report on a daily basis from Greece, where the dire economic situation has driven the suicide rate up sharply, and where a nationalist party, mockingly called the Golden Dawn, takes African and Asian immigrants as scapegoats, as if turning them out of their hospital beds could make up for the economic austerity imposed by the European Union.
After being targeted by Voice of America during the Cold War, Russia’s RT delights in drawing attention to everything that isn’t right in the United States, zeroing in on stories the mainstream media ‘misses’. RT may have reported on President Obama’s latest executive order before the American press did, following a calculated Friday afternoon signing. The order gives the President full control over all communications in emergencies, and spells out the steps to be taken under tight deadlines in order for the plan to become operational. You can see the story here: rt.com/usa/news/obama-president-order-communications-770/ and a follow-up here: rt.com/usa/news/white-house-systems-order-142/.
And then there is TomDispatch’s latest guest writer, David Vine www.tomdispatch.com/post/175568/tomgram%3A_david_vine%2C_u.s._empire_of_bases_grows/?utm_source=TomDispatch detailing the new strategy behind our more than one thousand foreign bases: fewer gigantic ones, many small ones known euphemistically as ‘lily pads’. Often located in out-of-the-way places, they enable special ops forces and such to turn up anywhere on short notice.
Not to mention the New York Times’ July 15th story revealing that our cell phones let the government know where we are at any given moment – and even, supposedly, where we will shortly be. Or the covert airport scanners disguised as pillars that can tell what you ate for breakfast as you walk by.
To take democracy for a reality in a world where the ‘choice’ is between being tracked and spied upon by those in power or beaten up by those imitating power is a mistake that I fear we will come to regret – when it is too late.