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The Slow Death Of Democracy And
The Rise Of The Corporate Hydra

By Siv O'Neall

01 September, 2008

What has happened to the common sense of Americans? Has it completely gone down the drain with the propaganda of U.S. superiority?

Don't they see the millions and millions of people who have died and are still dying across the world, due to U.S. empire illusions and the firmly established greed and power of the Big Corporations? Don't they see that the lone superpower as a taken-for-granted is a fiction?

Yes, the United States was once a powerful nation, and a nation that people in the world looked up to, but it lost all its good points on the aggressive stand all over the world. Its go-it-alone, we're-the-leaders-of-the-world mentality is the way this 'superpower' has been living it up at least since World War II. The more it has been crushing and killing, the more it has lost its credibility in the world. The more its corporations intruded on the sovereignty of other states, the faster did this country lose its favorable standing in the world.

And Americans themselves, how do they see the world at this point? From a distance it seems as if they are beginning to open their eyes. One big BUT however. The everyday American is not capable of giving up on his deeply indoctrinated faith that the United States is the greatest country in the world. They 'know' that they are basically moral, highly civilized, good people who want to confer their way of life to the whole world since the rest of the world is so uncivilized, so poor, living in such precarious conditions.

There is no doubt in their minds that the United States is the foremost democracy in the world. Since they don't know anything about the rest of the world, it's easy to propagandize them into believing just about anything you want to make them believe. And besides, don't the every-two-year elections prove that they are the ones who select the leaders and so they have a voice in what's being done in their names? A majority of U.S. citizens are most certainly taken in by the belief that they participate in the running of the country.

It's doubtful if there are many Americans who see the National conventions that have just started as the fool's gold that they are. The most expensive circus that ever was and that the people pay dearly for. Just another Disney World to fool the people into believing that something important is going on and that they matter. "We don't have a moment to lose or a vote to spare," [Hillary] Clinton said. "Nothing less than the fate of our nation and the future of our children hangs in the balance." [1]

What is hanging in the balance is hard to see since both presidential candidates are saying pretty much the same things, except that their styles are different. Ok, Obama/Hillary now say Healthcare for all, but that is to be seen once the corporations get into the game. The arms manufacturers telling the new administration what they 'need', the HMO's, the pharmaceutical industry, all the corporate giants telling them of their sine qua non. Nothing so far has indicated in the least that either Hillary or Obama is against privatization or the free market. Disaster capitalism, as Naomi Klein says, is the name of the system and democracy is the victim. Regulation is a non-concept. How can corporations develop and maximize profit if they are being regulated? Starve the people but don't you ever think of strangling the corporations that are making the world go round. Profit is king and the people be damned.

So how do Americans see their country's criminal aggressions and the callous greed? First of all, greed is a good thing in the American credo. God rewards the hard workers and the ones left behind have no reason to complain. Socialism is a dirty word and welfare is only good when it's for the benefit of the Big Corporations.

Instead of seeing that the United States invades or buys every country that does not agree with their methods of running business, the gullible U.S. citizen is firmly convinced that the U.S. comes to the aid of every country when it is in trouble. They support the evil dictator and things calm down. Nobody ever lets them know that what the U.S. is doing is in the interest of its own global hegemony and that the indigenous people are beaten down and suffering even worse after the United States gets in on the side of the dictator. For every social uprising in Central America, from the CIA-orchestrated coup in 1954 in Guatemala on through the Reagan years, the United States has intervened with an iron fist, bombing and killing, usually through mercenary death squads, until the leftist struggle for justice is totally crushed and the U.S.-supported dictatorship can go on doing the bidding of the Empire.

Inside the United States, the increasing inequality and vanishing civil rights are forcefully backed up by the Big Corporations who see that state of things as the only way of meeting their goal of ever increasing dividends to the shareholders and multi-million bonuses to the CEOs. Furthermore, this is the way of life that is considered by them as the normal way of running the economy. Ethics do not exist. Those who were born to grab from the others will do so no matter what they were taught in Sunday school about doing good to their neighbor.

So why don't the U.S. governments try to rein in the greedy corporations? Because the corporations are the ones who run the show, who tell the so-called rulers what to do – in all countries more or less, not just in the United States. The lawmakers and the heads of governments are all puppets dancing on strings, unless the so-called rulers actually have a foot in each camp. They pretend to run the country but they are actually looking after the corporations they are tied to and their own interests. In this last administration, this has been the case more than ever before.

It is certainly not in the interest of the ruling elite to give in to demands of fair treatment from the poor sections of society or even from the middle class. Starving the beast is a prerequisite for controlling the populace, for setting the rules of the game. A population that is ignorant, apathetic from tiredness and overwork, dumbed down from infotainment and antiseptic television shows – that is exactly what suits the greedy money makers. No insurgency, since there's no energy left for such a thing as a fight for better conditions. No knowledge about the rest of the world, and so Americans can go on believing that they are the best, no matter what the rest of the world might feel about that unquestioned rule of faith. So the world doesn't love us any more. It's because of the war in Iraq. It's that simple.

Creeping totalitarianism, the people losing one civil right after the other, and their voices not being heard or paid attention to. This is what has become of 'America the beautiful'. And all the while through non-stop propaganda the citizens are made to believe that they live in a democracy.

In this police state there is no need to make Jews scrub the sidewalks. There is no need for ostentatiously depriving a section of the population of their freedoms and making them the scapegoats. Poverty will serve the purpose of creating a marginal group that can be exploited. No need for arm bands with the star of David. The poor people and in particular the immigrants have their backs sufficiently bent to serve the ever-existing need of a class to look down on. In spite of the age-old history of racism in America, this is not a war on race, it's a class war, and it's getting more and more extreme. The so-called free trade system, which is far from free, is only benefiting Big Money.

Desperate poverty has been increasing all over the world ever since the organizations that set the rules for the economies of third world countries promised to solve the crisis of hunger and poverty in the world. In fact, what they were gearing up to do was finish off the plunder of the poor countries that depended on their high-interest loans. You might well ask yourselves if this neocolonialism is not even more disastrous for the third-world countries than the former kind that was very gradually ended after World War II, at least in a legal sense.

9/11 was a windfall for the neocons since, whoever orchestrated it, it paved the way for the totalitarianism that we are now witnessing. It made the invention of the 'war on terror' possible. A war president can allow himself to commit aggression in the name of the people that would meet with violent protests in a peaceful era. Fear is the ever efficient means of keeping a population under control.

Little did they see that the ambitions of the neocons went much farther than the invasion and occupation of Iraq and the control of its oil resources. The aim was much higher. To begin with they wanted control of the whole Greater Middle East. Then what was going to follow was clearly control of the planet and possibly outer space. However, it now seems obvious that their ambitions will be cut short, since other big powers are rearing their heads in different parts of the world.

Also the 'war on terror' has been proven to be a worn-out cliché, a nonsense word, mainly because all this so-called war is doing is increasing the resistance to the United States and its aggressive march across the world's continents. Even the U.S. citizens are aware of this counter-effect.

So what the neocon regime is now aiming at is a renewal of the cold war. Russia is going to be the enemy No.1 once again. They make the people believe that things are calming down in the Middle East. Iraq is moving towards a democracy, is what they try to make people believe. What is happening in Afghanistan and Pakistan is hushed up. They have the media on their side, which has of course been essential in winning the support of the people that they have had so far.

The question is now: Will le capitalisme sauvage (as the French say) win the life or death game or will the people finally gather strength and a voice and manage to throw them out? To the corporations it's a game, to the people it's a matter of sheer survival.

All the ballyhoo about the American dream is just that and as for Bill Clinton's words about restor[ing] America's standing in the world [2], that's for megalomaniacs and dreamers. We will be lucky if the planet survives, and it will take the rising up of the people, a forceful attack on the prevailing corporate system by the people all over the world to make that happen. The world is under attack from U.S. corporatism, ecology, economy, inequality, injustice, and it's not just American citizens who have to speak out and act out. It's the people of the world.


[1] Steven Rosenfeld: Hillary Electrifies: "Nothing Less Than the Fate of Our Nation ... Hangs in the Balance"

[2] Bill Clinton at the Democratic National Convention on August 27, 2008 - exact quote: "Clearly, the job of the next President is to rebuild the American Dream and restore America's standing in the world."

Siv O'Neall is an Axis of Logic columnist, based in France. She can be reached at

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