In the West, everyone praises democracy.
It seems to offer the best guideline that a
populace can adopt, or according to Churchill, the least bad one compared to
Any nation that had not
yet experienced it would benefit from its effects.
It is alleged to offer the only real cure for the ills of
Capitalism or any other Ism for that matter.
It can be republican and representative-based, or proportional and based
on the direct vote universally applied.
The latter is preferable for everyone but the very rich, the former
detrimental to everyone including the rich.
No matter how many crooked cops they recruit, laws they flout, and
judges they buy to guard themselves and their hoard of riches, they eventually
wind up attending revolutionary firing parties due to all the undeserved
benefits they’ve extracted from a resentful proletariat, thanks to sold out,
There are many definitions of democracy. Most of them include a to-do list of
necessary services (in no particular order), insofar possible:
A national Constitution whose functionaries must swear
allegiance to it, including a Bill of Rights, each subject to improvement by
Separate Church and State
Elections based on the concept of one-adult, one vote
Universal, free, high-quality education
An independent and impartial press
An independent and impartial judiciary
Carefully shielded personal privacy and property rights
A Regular Army based on universal conscription and the
hatred of war as inspired by this Draft
The nation may boast all of these institutions, yet still
fail to be a democracy. You see,
democracy’s mainstay is the Rule of Law, pursued regardless of status, race and
riches; the Rule of Law as a political actuality rather than a propaganda puff
In 2014 America, for example:
High functionaries swear allegiance to the Constitution
yet violate it and personal rights routinely
Church and State are distinct, each group doing its
best to appropriate the other’s responsibilities
Elections are gerrymandered and overturned with the
shameless connivance of the Supreme Court
Quality education is no longer free but offered more
and more in exchange for family riches or debt bondage
What tatters are left of a gutted Press and lobotomized
broadcast news have plainly been dedicated to serve the rich
More and more judicial decisions are corrupted by
70,000 Beltway intelligence bureaucrats, equally sworn
to uphold the Constitution, make it their only business to spy on everyone and
everything, in direct violation of their oath.
Yet they are still unable to foretell with any accuracy foreign wars
impending within weeks, serial revolutions snowballing into chaos, not even an
accurate forecast of next five day’s weather.
A Regular Army at first based on selective service and
general recruitment without regard to class, then primarily from the lower
class and less favored races, then on mercenaries hired by the government from
the same pool of recruits and, worse yet, contracted out to serve it. This army has less and less political
contact and personal identification with its civilian population. Thus it is more and more amenable to
national garrisoning and suppression (again, forbidden by the Constitution) for
bogus security reasons.
Etc., etc. For
each benefit democracy promises, a way has been found (what a coincidence!) to
Yet America still dares call itself a “democracy.”
The one thing that a real democracy can enforce, rejected by
the American pseudo-version, is the Rule of Law. If we enforced it in all honesty, most of these contradictions --
between what we should be doing and what we have turned out to do -- would resolve
themselves almost automatically.
So what do I mean by this famous “Rule of Law”?
It’s very simple, actually.
No-one, no matter how highly placed, rich or well-connected, may commit
a public infraction without being brought before an independent court and tried
for it without bias, favor or mercy. At
the latest, this would happen immediately after the expiration of their latest
tour of duty. No fancy pants
exceptions: war, emergency or otherwise.
Do the crime, if you deem it necessary, and do the
time. How deep is your devotion to the
nation? Or is it so shallow as to render you unfit to make such significant
That means an American President cannot institutionalize
torture or commit other crimes and misdemeanors (even in wartime) without being
impeached. His subordinates, high and
low, must be subject to the same level of scrutiny and/or summary
dismissal. Presidents who fail to
indict their erring predecessor, with the exception of an official pardon
documenting his crime, should be tried for conspiracy in the original crime and
subjected to the same constraints. A
long series of such pardons, symptomatic of recurrent treason against
democracy, would trigger an official revision of the whole process.
A Federal or State Legislature cannot rubber stamp
unconstitutional decrees (examples: conspiracy to rape, by means of
involuntary, medically unnecessary vaginal probes, women who seek an abortion;
or conspiracy to violate the 14th Amendment by legislated voter
suppression) without calling to account the members who vote in their favor and
relieving them of their duties since, once convicted, they would be felons
unfit for public office.
Bank and corporate officers cannot commit a massive
white-collar crime without suffering serious prosecution and, once found
guilty, prohibitive fines and/or exemplary prison sentences. If they belong to an organization “too big
to fail” then judicial decimation up and down the line.
No military or diplomatic agent can commit a crime against
humanity without being dispatched to stand before an international, therefore
more or less independent, court.
I am not speaking of personal crimes that would be punished
automatically, or about those committed in spite of the intent and orders of
superiors. To a great extent, these
judicial disposals would not be a problem unless superiors multiplied these
lesser crimes to cover their own malfeasance.
Nor am I speaking of unique and exemplary show trials for petty
functionaries, while mighty dignitaries institutionalize the same criminal
activity across a broad range of times and places, then gravitate to their next
promotion (Mylai, Abu Grahib).
I am referring to powerful individuals, traitors to their
democratic oath, who commit, command, institutionalize and normalize serious
crime (whether for reasons good or bad, motives of personal gain or
disinterested paternalism). Powerful
people who can pressure, sweet-talk, legalspeak, bribe or blackmail their peers
into giving them a pass. In a real
democracy, all those wrongdoers would be brought before justice. The more of these traitors were brought
before the court, the truer the democracy.
This kind of prosecution of powerful miscreants is not
needed to uphold an empty principle or some bureaucratic ideal of
perfection. It should be done to avoid
the fate of the Roman, indeed of every Empire of the past.
Young empires punished their elites and proletariats with
more or less balanced ferocity. The
rewards of high rank were paid for with equivalent military sacrifice, personal
abnegation, public expenditure, cultural and infrastructure embellishment as
well as devotion to public duty.
Mature empires replace the elite’s conspicuous altruism with
a combination of conspicuous consumption, ever more daring banditry and
boastful impunity. As power and wealth
get sucked to the top, they facilitate upper class crime while making life
harder for the lower. As elite crime
grows alongside elite impunity, they wind up rotting the fish of Empire from
the head down.
Sooner or later, this form of social collapse becomes
unavoidable. If you’re suicidal enough
to want that fate to befall us, keep applauding this crooked square dance. If you’re too smart (and emotionally
invested in the children’s future) to disregard the fate this bad karma must
impose on us, rouse everyone you know to do what I recommend with all your
Labels: democrcay, treason