...And I'll tell it and speak it and think it and breathe it... -- Bob Dylan

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Illusion of Democracy

I wish I remember which Soviet dissident once said that the difference between people in the old Soviet Union and people in America is that the Soviets knew they were being lied to. The pathetic display of bravado and self-importance displayed in this week's election reminded me of this truism. Not only did we have to put up with the usual empty rhetoric and meaningless slogans, we were subject (just as we were by the Obamaniacs two years ago) to countless propositions that this or that politician is going to change the way things get done in Washington. The saddest part about it all was listening to all the naïve dupes interviewed on places like NPR – so called everyday normal voters – who expressed some degree of enthusiasm that their vote, and the mandate of which they felt a part, would actually make a difference. People in America – at least the politically naïve, who account for the majority – actually believe that changing who is “in charge” in Washington is actually going to change the system! It seems completely lost on them that the system gives them these so-called choices every now and then precisely to distract them away from doing anything that actually might change the system. It is their votes, in a very simple sense, that keep up the very status quo they hope to change.