Friday, March 31, 2006

Our growing "democracy deficit"

I'm working on a blog. It's kind of "The Only--And the Last--Economics Lesson You'll Ever Need." It's just something I ran across on the web that I thought explained to me--a former student of economics--in a mere paragraph or two why, in my senior year at university, I had the sinking suspicion everything I'd learned was total bullshit. Ooh, if only I'd read that before I chose to major in the "Dismal Science" all those years ago, I could have saved myself a lot of time. But, that'll have to wait for another time.

I will blog this and soon, but I thought I'd just upload a few of Noam Chomsky's closing remarks as heard on Amy Goodman's Democracy Now! this morning. Sadly, Amy's interview of Chomsky is broken into two parts, the second to be aired sometime next week. I say sadly because, in his closing remarks aired today, Chomsky left on an encouraging note. Something about there still remaining a way to deal with the "democracy deficit" we're currently experiencing in our own country under our current leadership.

I can't wait to hear his suggestion/s. In the meantime, I include Chomsky's closing remarks on Democracy Now! today where he is speaking on America's "democracy deficit", to wit:

"Well, there are two aspects of that. One is, the democracy deficit internal to the United States, that is, the enormous and growing gap between public opinion and public policy. Second is their so-called democracy-promotion mission elsewhere in the world. The latter is just pure fraud. The only evidence that they're interested in promoting democracy is that they say so. The evidence against it is just overwhelming...I mean, the very fact that people are even willing to talk about this shows that we're kind of insisting on being North Koreans: if the Dear Leader has spoken, that establishes the truth; it doesn't matter what the facts are.

"The democracy deficit at home is another matter. How have -- I mean, they have an extremely narrow hold on political power. Their policies are strongly opposed by most of the population. How do they carry this off? Well, that's been through an intriguing mixture of deceit, lying, fabrication, public relations. There's actually a pretty good study of it by two good political scientists, Hacker and Pearson, who just run through the tactics and how it works. And they have barely managed to hold on to political power and are attempting to use it to dismantle the institutional structure that has been built up over many years with enormous popular support -- the limited benefits system; they’re trying to dismantle Social Security and are actually making progress on that; to the tax cuts, overwhelmingly for the rich, are creating -- are purposely creating a future situation, first of all, a kind of fiscal train wreck in the future, but also a situation in which it will be virtually impossible to carry out the kinds of social policies that the public overwhelmingly supports.

"And to manage to carry this off has been an impressive feat of manipulation, deceit, lying, and so on. No time to talk about it here, but actually my book gives a pretty good account. I do discuss it in the book. That's a democratic deficit at home and an extremely serious one. The problems of nuclear war, environmental disaster, those are issues of survival, the top issues and the highest priority for anyone sensible. Third issue is that the U.S. government is enhancing those threats. And a fourth issue is that the U.S. population is opposed, but is excluded from the political system. That's a democratic deficit. It's one we can deal with, too."

Stay tuned for Part II. If Chomsky reveals the answer to this, I'll be sure to pass it along.


Anonymous said...

Chomsky's another national treasure. I'm sure if we put him & Amy Goodman in a room to work on things, they would soon emerge with viable solutions. Of course, these people are invisible and therefore unutilized by mr nyu-kyu-lardbrain, to our great loss. "Democracy Deficit" ? Absolutely! (guess we exported it all to iraq, huh?) D.K.

enigma4ever said...

I love Chomsky...imagine if he and Amy Goodman had children ??.... Such profound wisdom...Democracy Now is not on my local shitty cable channel anymore...I miss it...

dada said...

Oh my god! That's my best laugh of the day, e4e!! Okay, okay, being a close personal friend of Amy's*, I promise NOT to relay this comment to her.....ah, how much you got in the jar?

(* That's a lie. Just wishful thinkin'. Rest assured, you're jar fund is safe. Geez, a guy can fantasize a little, right?)