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What Freedom? What Democracy?

By Siv O'Neall

26 August, 2007
Axis Of Logic

The idea that the United States is the freest and most democratic country on the planet has forever been force-fed into the minds of Americans. In fact, there are really no other countries in the world that can even closely approach the level of freedom and democracy enjoyed by the American people. Americans are unique.

The hidden truth

Where is the democracy in a country and in a world that is being run by transnational corporations? Where even the Congress is tied down by bonds of dependency to Corporate America, Republicans and Democrats alike. Where the rulers have not even been freely and honestly elected by the people? Where the ruling clique consists exclusively of men and women representing Big Money, business executives who have no understanding of what it is like to go sick and hungry? Who have no humility, no compassion, no understanding of how all the cogs in a machinery are important in the process of making the engine run. The voices of the poor have been silenced for so long that the power people have forgotten their sound.

Where is the democracy in a country where nobody can be sure that his vote is even counted in a fair election? Where is the democracy in a country where the children of the poor have no right to a quality education? Where people are kept illiterate so as to be blindfolded and led down a path to nowhere, where there is no hope, no light, no future. Where people are kept half starving and half strangled so as to be cut off from any possibility to revolt in great force and number. Keep the masses weak, ignorant and hypnotized by patriotic propaganda about how we are the best, we are the leaders of the world. Make the people believe that they just have to apply themselves and they will be able to get out into the light and become leaders of people, make the big buck and prove that this is a free country.

What freedom?

What is freedom if there is no right for poor people to get decent healthcare, no right to get a proper education, no right to feel secure in their daily needs, no right to be treated fairly by bosses and security agents? What is freedom if people have no right to trust their own safety and feel confident in their modest dreams for a better tomorrow?

What is freedom in a world of greedy capitalism where nothing matters except the grabbing of the money of the underdog? What is freedom in a world where you have to buy at great expense your drinking water from big corporations that have no other concern but to screw you out of what you have managed to scrape together under inhuman working conditions? What is freedom when you are not even free to breathe clean air because it's gotten polluted by big industry, not free to drink clean water because chemical companies have dumped toxic waste upstream into the water that runs by your house? What is freedom when the resources in your part of the world are claimed by huge corporations in a far-away country?

What is freedom if it takes volunteering to fight an illegal and immoral war and risk your life and your health to get a chance to one day get a good education?

What is freedom when you don't even have the right to get your voice heard in matters that concern you directly? When you are in essence nothing but a slave to your bosses, to the people who run your community, to the people who take your money in taxes to spend on an illegal war and for the obscene enrichment of corporate bosses?

Big Money

The world is not run by common sense. The world is not run by thoughtful politicians. It is run by greed and ruthlessness. A total lack of compassion is the trade mark of the ruling elite. And a total lack of vision, since the only thing that matters is instant gain. Today counts, tomorrow is beyond their attention span.

All the talk about bringing democracy and freedom to Iraq is the most obscene lie, since nobody in the war-crazy clique in Washington had any thought whatsoever of doing a good deed for Iraq. Control and domination were the goals that kept the war machine going. Control of oil and domination of the people so as to subdue them to inaction. Vain and shortsighted goal since in the long run nobody can dominate a people who is set on keeping the country that is theirs for themselves. Thoughtlessly plundering and, absent any firm plans, the U.S. neoconservative junta had nothing else in their field of vision but to gain access to Iraqi oil and ultimately to control the whole region. Shameless hubris, mindless arrogance.

The world is well on the way of losing any semblance of democracy under the active undemocratic force of the big corporations that dictate the finances of the planet without the slightest consideration of what is good for the people. The invisible people who make up the base of all the activity that underlies the world of Big Business. The invisible people who are powerless in this world of greed and urge to dominate and control. Political power is for those who pay; the lobbies buy influence and all the rest is hypocrisy and lies.

The future of the U.S. empire

The American empire, however, may well one day soon find itself in an impasse, since they are not as mighty and overpowering as they seem to think. Their simplistic way of setting out to conquer the world will certainly, in one way or another, be thwarted by other great powers who want their share of the booty. The Russian-Chinese cooperative, brought together by their common wariness of the U.S. empire, and even docile India will not sit by and watch the U.S. take over the whole Middle East and Central Asia region. The neocon junta in Washington thought it would be child's play to take over the running of the world, they had visions of invincibility and of everlasting Republican rule, but at this very moment they are in a tight spot and the future will tell how stable or unstable the U.S. empire actually is. The ever increasing need for energy, and thus for a piece of the pie, in the emerging great nations makes it highly unlikely that the United States will be allowed to dominate the world scene and the oil supply unilaterally for ages to come.

The question left open is whether one day we will be able to take back our democracy and our freedoms and build some form of an equitable world where wide-spread hunger is not the cancer on our society that it is today.

© Copyright 2007 by

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


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