PECULIAR ASPECTS OF DEMOCRACY IN THE USA
By Manuel E. Yepe
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann
The United States is a “democracy” only in the sense that citizens have a theoretical right to vote for a number of nominated officials. It is a freedom that almost half of Americans consider meaningless. This is why only 56% of Americans voted for president in 2016, and for Congress two years ago less than 40% voted.
Like most “democratic” socialists in the United States, Bernie Sanders, the surprising favorite of large numbers of Americans in the 2016 election campaign, conflates bourgeois electoral freedom with real democracy, one which empowers people to put the political economy at the service of the common good.
In doing so, Sanders seeks to create a chaste foundation for siding with U.S. imperialism, says Glen Ford, executive director of the Black Agenda Report. His in-depth article was reproduced September 20 by the Marxist-Leninist website MLToday.
The U.S. is an oligarchy in which big businessmen almost always get away with it while average citizens and mass organizations have little or no influence in politics.
There is a dictatorship of the wealthy classes, says Glen Ford, recalling that the superpower is governed by oligarchs. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said in 1967, they are also the biggest promotors of violence in today’s world.
Washington’s closest allies in this global mission are the former colonial powers of Western Europe and the former colonies of white settlers of Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The foreign policy of the superpower ruled by white multi-millionaires aims to preserve the global order of white supremacy that served for more than 500 years to keep most of the world under its exterminating and enslaving rule.
According to Ford, “it’s no wonder that Bernie Sanders, and so many other politicians who consider themselves progressive in the United States, avoid articulating clear foreign policy positions. That’s how two-thirds of progressive Democratic candidates for Congress act.” An example of this is that Sanders’ supporters in the campaign team of Bronx Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez left out of their program platform mention of a “Peace Economy,” or which denounced U.S. military interventions in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia.
A true U.S. foreign policy needs a list of enemies. Sanders found them in an authoritarian axis whose members “share attributes of hostility toward democratic norms, antagonism toward a free press, intolerance toward ethnic and religious minorities, and the belief that the government should benefit its own selfish financial interests. These leaders are also deeply connected to an oligarchic network of billionaires who see the world as their economic toy.”
The U.S. government, as the toy of 12 of the world’s 15 richest people, should be at the top of Bernie Sanders’ list. But no, according to his worldview, only Trump classifies as a world-class villain, even though he is, by himself, a minor oligarch compared with others of his ilk.
But it is significant that the geopolitical center of this new oligarchic authoritarian axis of evil is not located on Wall Street or in London, but in Russia and China. They are seen as the enemies whom the warmongers of the Pentagon and the CIA pretend to fear and hate, mainly the Americans.
Sanders does not clearly oppose U.S. imperialism. On the contrary, he offers a supposedly “progressive” justification for preserving it. The new oligarchic authoritarian axis of evil seeks to give “progressives” a reason to accept, and even love, U.S. militarism and imperialism. Sanders wants the United States to improve relations with “our old democratic allies” in Western Europe because he believes that China and Russia are more dangerous malefactors and function as a single satanic unit.
Glen Ford’s essay concludes by expressing his hope that Sanders will achieve good results in the 2020 primaries, and that he will defeat all other corporate Democratic hopefuls for the nomination. But Ford thinks it will force the top authorities of the Democratic Party to sabotage Sanders’ own campaign once again.
“Sanders will never leave the Democratic Party, but perhaps a critical mass of his followers will come out of that capitalist pigsty in search of real, and truly democratic socialist solutions,” predicts Glen Ford.
September 24, 2018.