Democracy cannot survive unless citizens know what their government is doing in their names. Without this knowledge a People are unable to fairly judge the actions of its leaders. This is necessary for citizens to make informed decisions when they choose who to represent them. When schools, the media and politicians are all controlled by powerful special interests, any claim that a nation is democratic is a lie.
This is the situation in which the people of the United States find themselves today. It is clear that our government is concealing its actions in order to keep secret the fact that it is serving powerful corporate interests to the exclusion of those of We the People. Since these corporations owe no allegiance to any nation or its People, the United States government is effectively in the hands of traitors and foreign agents who manipulate it to serve their own interests. Although the evidence is in the public domain, it is hidden beneath layers of secrets and lies.
The victors in today’s culture war will write the history that our children will be taught in schools. If we let them defeat the forces of democracy they will not study books like A People’s History by Howard Zinn, but be fed a Bolshevized history that reflects the fascist views of the economic elite who dictate the curriculum. George Orwell warned us in 1948 that a time would come when America would be enslaved by international corporate terrorists who would collude to keep us fighting for corporate Empire and ignorant of the truth of our plight. His argument reflected a deep understanding of the means by which fascist and communist leaders keep rebellion to their rule in check.
When the People of a nation forget the mistakes of the past it is condemned to repeat them. The deliberate distortion of US and world history by the corporate elite threatens to condemn our children to enslavement in a fascist New World Order. It is thus up to us to become the teachers who will train them to changethe world. We who have lived through the history of a nation that has strayed from the path to democracy have the moral responsibility to help them understand the difference between fascism and traditional conservatism, which seeks to preserve the best of the past rather than to assume that the course of history is not in our hands.
The complicity of the US government in the 9/11 attacks is unmistakable, yet anyone who calls for a reassessment of the facts is labeled a “conspiracy nut.” Those who promote theories of deliberate collusion between the power elite are given a platform for their ideas so as to discredit those of us who are more cautious in making conclusions as to the way in which the US government has been made subject to a few powerful individuals. The battle of the SuperPACs taking place in the Republican presidential primary illustrates that there is no organized conspiracy against democracy in the US, only fleeting alliances between those among the economic elite who are concerned only with their immediate self-interest.
It is ironic that the more the US government takes pains to conceal the fact that it has been taken over in a corporate coup, the more it tries to control the flow of information on the internet. One means by which it does so is to give itself the power to engage in surveillance of all traffic on the internet, as well as phone conversations and bank transactions. This is done in the name of fighting terrorism to conceal the fact that it is our own government that is the chief cause of the War of Terror that no longer threatens only the Peoples of governments that refuse to submit to the expansion of corporate Empire, but the freedom of the formerly complacent citizens of the US.
Some would say that the death of privacy is detrimental to democracy. I would argue that it has the potential to be a principle determinant in whether democracy can survive. Imagine if our so-called leaders were required to take an oath that they would never lie to us. If enforced, this would enable Americans to not only judge but to remove the corporate Puppets in Congress who do not give a second thought to the fact that they routinely betray those who put them in power. Having sacrificed their privacy for the sake of power, they would no longer be able to dismiss those of us who demand accountability for their actions.
If we demanded such transparency from our leaders, we should expect that our own actions would be open to the inspection of our fellow citizens. The business leaders who conceal the criminal actions they commit in the pursuit of profit could then be held accountable to We the People. The petty little injustices that we commit against each other should be known if we are to claim to be leaders in our communities. In a true democracy under the rule of law, we would have nothing to fear if our actions matched our words. Such a society could function democratically because all the facts would be known when we must make a collective decision affecting all of us.
As a therapist I have found that any problem is made worse by keeping it to yourself. Worse yet is concealing the truth from yourself. It becomes a cancer eating at your soul. Hiding your faults prevents you from achieving integrity and the essential ability to become capable of being a responsible citizen. It is thus not only a betrayal of self but of all our children and generations yet unborn.
Democracy requires that a People be good enough to rule themselves. The only alternative is to accept rule by others. Inevitably, this gives rise to an economic aristocracy that will seek to control us in order to maintain their positions of privilege. Only in an open society can a People fairly judge what its government should be allowed to do in its name.
Freedom of thought cannot be abridged, but freedom expression can be violently suppressed by a government in a nation bitterly divided against itself. This cannot happen in a truly democratic society whose people understand that what is best for the individual is always what is best for all. Only when the American people decide to cross the great divide that separates them can they hope to end the civil warand finish the revolution.