Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org
What killed democracy was constant lying to the public, by politicians whose only way to win national public office has been to represent the interests of the super-rich at the same time as publicly promising to represent the interests of the public — “and may the better liar win!” — it’s a lying-contest. When democracy degenerates into that, the ‘democracy’ becomes dictatorship by the richest, the people who can fund the most lying. Such a government is called an aristocracy, no democracy at all, because the aristocracy rule there, the public don’t. It’s the type of government that the French Revolution was against and overthrew; and it’s the type of government that the American Revolution was against and overthrew; but it has been restored, in both countries.
First, here, will be discussed France:
On 7 May 2017, Emmanuel Macron was elected President of France with 66.1% of the vote, compared to Marine Le Pen’s 33.9%. That was the second round of voting; the first round had been: Macron 24.0%, Le Pen 21.3% Fillon 20.0%, Melenchon 19.6%, and others 15%; so, the only clear dominator in that 11-candidate contest was Macron, who, in the second round, turned out to have been the second choice of most of the voters for the other candidates. Thus, whereas Le Pen rose from 21.3% to 33.9% in the second round (a 59% increase in her percentage of the vote), Macron rose from 24.0% to 66.1% in the second round (a 275% increase in his percentage of the vote). In other words: Macron didn’t just barely win the Presidency, but he clearly dominated both rounds; it was never at all close. But once in office, he very quickly disappointed the French public:
On 11 August 2017, Le Figaro bannered (as autotranslated by Google Chrome) “A hundred days later, Macron confronted with the skepticism of the French”, and reported that 36% were “satisfied” and 64% were “dissatisfied” with the new President.
On 23 March 2018, Politico bannered “Macron’s approval ratings hit record low: poll” and reported that, “Only 40 percent of the French population said they have a favorable opinion of Macron, a drop of 3 percentage points from last month and 12 percentage points from December, while 57 percent said they hold a negative opinion of the president.”
On 22 April 2018, Europe 1 reported that 44% were “satisfied” with Macron, and 55% were “dissatisfied” with him; and that — even worse — while 23% were “very dissatisfied” with him, only 5% were “very satisfied” with him.
So, clearly — and this had happened very quickly — the French public didn’t think that they were getting policies that Macron had promised to them during his campaign. He was very different from what they had expected — even though he had won the Presidency in a landslide and clearly dominated both rounds. That plunge in support after being elected President required a lot of deceit during his campaign.
Second, is U.S.:
The situation in the U.S. was very different in its means, but similar in its outcome: it was a close election between two candidates, each of whom, during the 2016 campaigns, had far more of the electorate despising him or her than admiring him or her. Neither of the two candidates in the second round was viewed net-favorably by the public. The key round of elimination of the more-attractive candidates, was in the primaries; and, after that, it became merely a choice between uglies in the general election. Any decent (or even nearly decent) person had already been eliminated, by that time. Consequently, the ultimate winner never had the high net-favorable rating from the U.S. public, that Macron achieved from the French public.
America’s system of ‘democracy’ is very different than France’s: Throughout the primaries-season — America’s first round — the most-preferred of all candidates in the race was Bernie Sanders, who, in the numerous one-on-one polled hypothetical choices versus any of the opposite Party’s contending candidates, crushed each one of them except John Kasich, who, throughout the primaries, was the second-most preferred of all of the candidates (and who performed far better than Trump did in the hypothetical match-ups against Clinton). In the hypothetical match-ups, Sanders beat Kasich by 3.3%, whereas Kasich beat Clinton by 7.4% — that spread between +3.3% and -7.4% is 10.8%, and provides a pretty reliable indication of what the Democratic National Committee threw away when rigging the primaries and vote-counts for Hillary Clinton to win the Party’s nomination. All of the DNC insiders knew that Sanders would be the stronger general-election candidate. In the hypothetical polling, Sanders beat Trump by 10.4%, whereas Clinton beat Trump by 3.2%. That spread was only 7.2% in favor of Sanders over Clinton; but, in any case, it still was large. The DNC cared lots more about satisfying its mega-donors, than about winning, when they picked Clinton to be the Party’s nominee. (Ms. Clinton’s actual victory over Mr. Trump in the final election between those two nominees turned out to be by only 2.1% — close enough a spread so as to enable Trump to win in the Electoral College (which is all that counts), which counts not individual voters but a formula that represents both the states and the voters. Sanders would have beaten Trump in a landslide — far too big a margin for the Electoral College to have been able to go the opposite way, such as did happen with Clinton. This fact was also shown here and here. That’s what the DNC threw away.)
Hillary Clinton received by far the biggest support from billionaires, of all of the 2016 candidates; Sanders received by far the least; and this is why the Democratic Party, which Clinton and Barack Obama (two thoroughly billionaire-controlled politicians) effectively controlled, handed its nomination to Clinton.
On 7 June 2016, the great investigative journalist Greg Palast headlined and documented “How California is being stolen from Sanders right now”; and, four days later, a retired statistician’s review of other statisticians’ statistical analysis of data from all of the primaries and caucuses, reaffirmed their findings, that the Democratic nomination had been stolen by the Democratic National Committee; and he concluded that “the whole process has been rigged against Bernie at every level and that is devastating even though I don’t agree [politically] with him.” A more detailed study was published on 1 August 2016, titled “Democracy Lost: A Report on the Fatally Flawed 2016 Democratic Primaries”.
Basically, what had happened is that the most-preferred of all the candidates got deep-sixed by Democratic Party billionaires, who ultimately control the DNC, just as Republican billionaires control the RNC. The U.S. Government is squabbles between billionaires, and that’s all. That’s what’s left of American ‘democracy’, now.
On 12 August 2016, Julian Assange noted: “MSNBC on its most influential morning program, Morning Joe, was defending Bernie Sanders. Then Debbie Wasserman Schultz [head of the DNC] called up the president of MSNBC. Amazingly, this is not reported in the U.S. media. It is reported in the U.S. media that they called up Chuck Todd who’s the host of Meet The Press. Something much more serious is not reported — that Debbie Wasserman Schultz herself personally called up the president of MSNBC to apply pressure in relation to positive coverage about Bernie Sanders on Morning Joe.” That was typical of what went on.
Hillary Clinton’s favorable rating, by Election Day, was 40.3%, her unfavorable was 55.3%. Donald Trump’s favorable was 39.8%, unfavorable was 53.4%. Bernie Sanders, as of the end of the primaries on 29 June 2016, was 50.8% favorable, 39.6% unfavorable, and it has been getting steadily better afterward. But the suckered Democratic Party voters (the ones who were counted, at any rate) voted slightly more for Hillary than for Bernie. Even despite Sanders’s having had support from few if any billionaires, he almost won the Democratic nomination, and that’s remarkable. He might actually have received more votes during the primaries than Hillary did, but we’ll never know.
So: America is a dictatorship by the billionaires. And this means that it operates by fooling the public. France is similar, though it achieves this via a different way. And, in both countries, deceit is essential, in order to achieve its dictatorship. Fooling the public is now what it’s all about, in either case. Democracy can never be won by fooling the public; because fooling the public means removing the public’s ability to control the government. So, calling such a nation a ‘democracy’, is, itself, deceiving the public — it’s part of the dictatorship, or else support of the dictatorship.
In former times, this system was rationalized as ‘the divine right of kings’. Now it’s rationalized as ‘the divine right of capital’. But it has also become covered-over by yet another lie: ‘democracy’. This is a ‘democratic’ aristocracy; it is an ‘equal opportunity’ aristocracy. In it, each citizen possesses ‘equal rights’ as every other citizen, no matter how wealthy. It’s just a castle of lies. And its doors are actually open only to the few richest-and-well-connected.
Here, a former CIA official tries to describe how the American dictatorship works — the enforcement-part of the system, and he does (even if only by implication) also touch upon the financial sources of it. Starting at 1:07:35 in that video, he discusses his personal case: why he could no longer tolerate working for the CIA. But his description of how he, as an Agency official, saw that system to function, starts at 3:45 in the video. Key passages then start at 12:45, and at 20:15. Maybe any American who would email this article to friends who don’t understand how the system functions, will come under increased U.S. surveillance, but that CIA official’s career and family were destroyed by what the system did to him, which was lots worse than just surveillance. Remarkably, he nonetheless had the courage to persist (and thus did that video). However, when one sees how politically partisan (and so obtuse) the viewer-comments to that video are, one might be even more depressed than by the account this former CIA official presents. But, even if the situation is hopeless, everyone should at least have the opportunity to understand it. Because, if the aristocracy are the only people who understand the aristocratic system, there can’t be any hope for democracy, at all.
That former official, Kevin Shipp, is also shown here, giving a remarkably comprehensive, historically accurate, hour-long lecture about the way the U.S. is ruled. At 13:50-, he says that, “the CFR’s stated goal was, eventually, and still is, an economic global government.” Unlike the right-wing’s presumption that any global government would necessarily be bad, Shipp is pointing specifically to the fascist global government that not only the CFR (Council on Foreign Relations), but also the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg group, and the other forums for representaives of international billionaires, have been arranging. It’s not anything like what FDR’s intention had been, which would have been an international democracy. The issue here isn’t internationalism versus nationalism (such as right-wingers portray); it is international democracy versus international fascism (the latter being sometimes called “oligarchy”). Fascism (“oligarchy”) is taking over the world. Shipp’s lecture is essential viewing for students in any U.S. high school. At 32:40-, he says, “There is no definition of what the CIA can or cannot do. There is no restriction on what the CIA can or cannot do. It thumbs its nose at the Constitution with impunity. There is no democratic or congressional oversight over the CIA, at all. It is an outside, unconstitutional, federal agency, that operates with impunity.” Any American who is ignorant of facts like that, isn’t capable of making accurately informed choices when voting for federal offices. Consequently, the aristocracy want the public not to know such things.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.