10.5 Can Democracy be Easily Ended? (Yes - 10 easy steps)

by peter © last updated dec. 2017
I wrote this article in honour and memory of the The White Rose Campaign for Human Rights .

10.5.1 Summary

“Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labour encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organised political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.”
~ Albert Einstein [1857] writing in 1949, prescient about the west and calling for the rise of socialism and death of capitalism before it was too late for humanity
In Walter Bagehot’s well known 1863 work “The English Constitution” [1434], he explains that the government of the day was assumed by the people to be run through the upper and lower Houses (in U.S. terms the Senate and the Congress), the monarch, and the Prime Minister. This he explains is false. Rather he showed that there were in fact two governments - the outer one the people knew, and another small group which actually set policy and law. The outer group changed with different governments and parties, the inner one did not. Hence when the British people voted, and the public face of government promised to “usher in a new era”, very little ever changed.
“The issue put before these electors was, which of two rich people will you choose? And each of those rich people was put forward by great parties whose notions were the notions of the rich - whose plans were their plans. The electors only selected one or two wealthy men to carry out the schemes of one or two wealthy associations.”
~ W. Bagehot [1435]
In this article I introduce the most obvious methods used by the real rulers - the oligarchs - to ensure that this system is never a real democracy, and that real democracy can never arise. These methors are as follows, each of which is discussed in more detail throughout this article:
  1. Remove all meaningful choice - two dominant parties each of which implement virtually identical policies
  2. Manipulate the rabble - control media, the electoral process, the education system, neuroengineering, etc.
  3. Normalise corruption and the rule of money - trickle up economic systems, buy elections, etc.
  4. Remove democratic rights and freedoms - fake elections, no due processes, etc.
  5. Control information - self-censorship, remove freedom of access to information, control education, etc.
  6. Remove the right of dissent - universal surveillance, viciously punish whistleblowers, carding, etc.
  7. Remove meaningful accountability - unequal application of laws, bank bailouts, etc.
  8. Normalise corporate power - trade agreements which eviscerate national laws
  9. Normalise unethical and amoral action - war criminals in government, clinical perniciousness in power
  10. Place a lying, illiterate, rapist, traitorous, war mongering, mentally ill buffoon such as a Nero or a Caligula, in the front office, in order to deflect from the horrors perpetrated by the real rulers and oligarchs behind the curtain.

10.5.2 Introduction

“America First”
~ Donald Trump .
“Deutschland Uber Alles.”
~ Adolf Hitler
The data plotted below [1703] was taken from the Variety of Democracies project based at the University of Gothenburg. The study was done by more than fifty social scientists on six continents, covering 350 indicators and 30 democracy indices in 173 countries. It has been done every year since 1900, tracking and comparing democracies around the world vis-a-vis these many indices. The project has been widely acknowledged as perhaps the best indicator of the rise (or fall) of democracies in modern times. It has even been awarded the prestigious American Lijphart/Przeworski/Verba Data Set Award [1704], as well as several others.
It is a good indicator of were a nation ranks relative to others in terms of democracy.
As you can see below, the United States ranks dead last (i.e. is not a true democracy) compared to the other 28 leading democracies. It is in fact (although I did not include this graph, below) about the same as Myanmar, Roumania, Kosovo and the Dominican Republic - all of which have had decades of vote fixing, voter intimidation, gerrymandering, robocalling, bribery of politicians, media manipulation, propaganda, and the like. Exactly like the United States.
The claim to be democratic has since the time of Pericles in ancient Greece, been a convenient propaganda meme. For it helps convince the oppressed that they have a say in how they are oppressed. Consider for example the United States, which has always been run for and by a handful of wealthy aristocrats.
This small article is a look at how this comes to pass.
I try to show first that democracies have never lasted, and indeed true democratic rule is virtually nonexistent throughout history. Including our own time. Instead what is called “democratic rule” is sadly just a more subtle form of dictatorship (as I argue is the case in the United States). The few democracies which exist in the world today, are all threatened by corporatism and a form of fascism known as “soft fascism”, which I discuss later.
Secondly I discuss the ways and means by which democracies are undermined and why.
I then conclude with a short exploration of the type of mind which seeks to control others for their own gain.
(an image: pls click to see it)
Graphic: Of 28 western democracies studied up until, 2012 the U.S. ranked dead last and steadily falling - i.e. it lacks any meaningful claim to being a truly democratic society). U.S. president Trump for example, was elected by less than 27% of the eligible electorate [1720] - i.e. more than 70% of the voting public did not want him in power. Despite the many alleged illegal processes used to rig the vote - please see the Guardian’s expose of the Trump Crime Syndicate’s alleged use of vote rigging techniques. As I said, the U.S. lacks any claim to being a truly democratic society. As I show below, calling a nation a democracy, does not make it one.

10.5.3 Ten Ways to Undermine Democracy

“If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.”
~ Mark Twain [1]
“Those who manipulate the unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds moulded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested largely by men we have never heard of. In almost every act of our lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business or in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires that control the public mind.”
~ Edward Bernays [1603], nephew of Sigmund Freud, father of U.S. propaganda system, advisor to Hitler and Goebbels on how to manipulate Germans to support the rise of the Nazi Reich
The word “democracy” comes from the Greek: deimos, meaning the people, and kratos, power. So democracy means “the people have the power to rule”. However no thoughtful person would say that the people in any current nation actually rule. Or even have power over much of anything which is important to their lives. This article explores how this came to be, and why true democracy is essentially dead in most western countries.
For in most western countries the reality is that a socially engineered system of oligarchy/plutocracy exists, in the guise of democratic rule.
This system ensures that the theft of wealth and power from the citizenry toward a handful of largely unknown plutocrats continues unabated. Regardless of what party or person is the public face of government.
Such a system may be many things, but a democracy is not one of them.

10.5.4 STEP ONE: Remove all meaningful choice

"All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression."
~ Thomas Jefferson [1594], U.S. Founding Father, inaugural presidential address
In 2015 a meeting of the G7 nations was held. The seven career politicians from these nations and their advisers, met in luxurious surroundings. Outside were roughly 18,000 police [1472], thousands of military, overhead air patrols, armed drone aircraft [1473], and other methods of force. This show of force, and the millions in associated costs [1471], ensured that the people who elected the seven politicians were kept very far away. The discussions were held in secret. The outcomes were secret (other than perhaps, for platitudinous PR announcements lacking any discernible relation to reality [293]  [293] Such as the vague nonbinding agreement to diminish green house gas production by 2100 - when none of those at the G7 would still be alive to be held accountable for inaction.). The reason for the meeting was secret. The decisions made were secret. And yet at the close of the meetings, the politicians involved dubbed the entire process “an exercise in democracy” [1474].
However he semblance between their actions and democratic rule was imaginary only. A political system wherein rulers make decisions and the people have no effective voice, is not a democracy but rather its antithesis.
In this short article and others under the general heading of Social Engineering, I endeavour to point out some of the methods used to erode democratic rule in North America (and elsewhere). In particular I suggest that a confluence of decidedly unethical persons have misused various technologies particularly those of surveillance, to eviscerate constitutional and civil protections. In doing so civil society has been engineered into a rampant militarism. Militarism which has been formed through trade agreements which are antithetical to democratic rule. The growth of mass election fraud, attacks upon dissidents and whistleblowers, a co-opted media, extreme nepotism and cronyism, pervasive propaganda and various other means of suppression have meant that the concept of true representation of the peoples’ wishes has become largely absent.
“Our democracy is but a name. We vote. What does that mean? It means that we choose between two bodies of real, though not avowed, autocrats. We choose between Tweedledum and Tweedledee... “
~ Helen Keller [700]
“The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.”
~ Karl Marx [1443]
“In reality, we are today in the midst of a theology of pure power - power born of structure, not of dynasty or arms,”
~ historian John Ralston Saul [963]
While it has been argued that U.S. policy (and to a lesser extent that of Britain) has always been designed to ensure that no true democratic systems [294]  [294] Democracy is a system of government wherein law and practice tends toward fairness and equitable treatment. It is not however, a statement of equality of ability, intelligence, knowledge, or moral conduct. arises anywhere in the world (see citations below and in the other articles under Socian Engineering and Obscenity), I do not agree with this assessment. Rather this article suggests that historically democratic rights and values have never lasted more than a few hundred years. And moreover that the current situation is simply a wider application of democratic destruction enabled by technologies abused to the point of creating the most powerful means of what sociologists term soft-subjugation in history.
Throughout this discussion there are three helpful ways to think about democracy in general, using the analogy of happy corrupt wolves and somnambulist sheep.
(an image: pls click to see it)
Wolves who are known to be allegedly corrupt, to have allegeldy supported war crimes even to the extent of being alleged war criminals themselves, to be extremophiles, and in fact to represent the very worst of humanity in their thoughts and deeds (eg. Are U.S. Run Torture Sites Crimes Against Humanity? ):
  1. Hidden Purpose: Suppose there is a herd of sheep. One day some wolves come to town. The wolves ask to join the flock. The sheep being democratic at heart, put the question to a vote. No one objects, and so the wolves are quickly voted in. Within a week, every sheep is dead. Oh yes, I forgot one small point - the wolves were disguised as sheep when they asked to be voted in as members of the flock.
  2. Equality: Democracy may also be thought of as two wolves and a sheep. It is true that every sheep has an equal vote with every wolf. But because decisions are made by the majority, the sheep are unlikely to live very long. The point of course, is that unlike many other forms of government (a republic for example), democracy almost guarantees that the rights, wishes, and need of the minority are always at risk by those who have (usu sally through nefarious means) gained power and influence. And who control the military.
  3. Choice and Elections: Suppose there are two wolves running for president of a herd of sheep. The sheep have a choice - wolf A or wolf B. Both wolves have their own slogans: Wolf A tells the sheep they “are either with him or against him”. Wolf B tells the sheep a vote for him “is change they can believe in”. Of course it really does not matter which wolf is voted into power does it? Only wolves have the opportunity to run for office.
What is the result of wolves socially engineering an entire society away from democratic rule? This - according to Evans [1476] and Seeley [1477], the the United States has the highest income inequality of all industrialised nations. In this regard it is on a par with the worst dictatorships on the planet [ibid]. The United States also has the highest rate of child poverty [1479] and highest rate of preventable childhood diseases [ibid] of all industrialised nations, the highest rate of incarceration on the planet (their jails are mainly filled with those who are very poor) [1480], the worst access to medical care of all industrialised nations [1481], the highest rates of functional illiteracy of industrialised nations [1482], and a number of similar “firsts”.
“Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralised workings of the prevailing economic system.”
~ Pope Francis [1484]
As this article show, it is not merely in the United States to which catastrophic social inequality has occured, but also in most countries which have fallen however unwillingly, under its noxious sway.
For example, the inequalities mentioned by Evans, Seeley and other researchers, are closely followed by Canada and Britain, in that order [1478]. Yet despite the activities of wolves, sheep still believe they live in a democracy - without even understanding what that term means. So perhaps we should begin the next subsection with a brief definition and history of democratic rule. And show that it has never lasted for more than a blip in historical time.
Douglas Adams summed this analogy of wolves and sheep up rather well, only in his example the wolves are lizards. The people however, are still sheep:
“Ford Prefect was explaining to Arthur Dent about why the robot said "take me to your lizards".
"It comes from a very ancient democracy, you see..."
"You mean, it comes from a world of lizards?"
"No," said Ford, who by this time was a little more rational and coherent than he had been, having finally had the coffee forced down him, “nothing so simple. Nothing anything like so straightforward. On its world, the people are people. The leaders are lizards. The people hate the lizards and the lizards rule the people."
"Odd," said Arthur, "I thought you said it was a democracy."
"I did," said Ford. "It is."
"So," said Arthur, hoping he wasn’t sounding ridiculously obtuse, "why don’t the people get rid of the lizards?"
"It honestly doesn’t occur to them," said Ford. "They’ve all got the vote, so they all pretty much assume that the government they’ve voted in more or less approximates to the government they want."
"You mean they actually vote for the lizards?"
"Oh yes," said Ford with a shrug, "of course."
"But," said Arthur, going for the big one again, "why?"
"Because if they didn’t vote for a lizard," said Ford, "the wrong lizard might get in. Got any gin?"
"What?"
"I said," said Ford, with an increasing air of urgency creeping into his voice, "have you got any gin?"
"I’ll look. Tell me about the lizards."
Ford shrugged again.
"Some people say that the lizards are the best thing that ever happened to them," he said. "Theyre completely wrong of course, completely and utterly wrong, but someone’s got to say it."
~ Douglas Adams [358]

10.5.4.1 Historical Perspective - removing choice

“The more we do to you, the less you seem to believe we are doing it.”
~ Dr. Joseph Mengele, Nazi war criminal and torturer
"If the people knew what we had done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us."
~ George H.W. Bush, U.S. president, to journalist Sarah McClendon of the White House Press Corps, 1992 [85]
The basic concept of democracy is that all people have the right to cooperatively decide the direction of society. Practically speaking, this has never worked.
In the real world, this concept of democracy has never lasted more than a few decades at most. Whether in the form of the shouting matches of the 5thC BCE Athenian ekklesia (assembly), the co-ops of the 1960’s, or the western electoral process, it has always rapidly transmogrified into a limited-term monarchy or oligarchy. Much of western philosophical thought concerning democracy has encouraged this, justifying the exclusion of the plebeians (i.e. the ’common man’ - women do not matter) from having any real say in their lives. Strauss Is Leo Strauss Better than You? Your government thinks he is. [518], Hegel and Kant Jus Ad Bellum: Kant, Hegel, and other war spelaeologist [519], What is Doxa and Invisible Acculturation? [520], Plato, Jefferson, Franklin ... the list of philosophers who believed oligarchy was the best form of government, is a long one.
Throughout most of western history the idea of democracy has been virtually unknown. The best known however was of course, Athens.
10.5.4.1.1 Athenian Democracy
The Greeks there had a short fling with the concept of democracy, from 450 through 404 BCE [295]  [295] To me it makes more sense to say that Athenian democracy ended with the Peloponnesian War in 404 BCE due to the militarisation of the nation, rather than the more usual 322 BCE date given by most historians.. Although this length of time is really misleading. Athenian democracy never included everyone. The demos - a politically empowered citizenry - meant everyone except slaves, foreigners, women, and the poor (those not having property) [2]. But although theoretically any member of the demos had the right to speak, in practise professional orators/politicians, the Rhetores, presented most of the arguments and policies [3]. The policies were enacted by the boule, a group of 500 chosen by lot from the demos amongst the various tribes of Athens. The highly vaulted ’Athenian democracy’ was therefore, IMHO was simply composed of sheep sitting in the ekklesia shepherded by the Rhetores who excelled at propaganda (i.e. by making the false seem true if it served to enrich them in some way) [296]  [296] Completely unlike democracies in our own time, of course.. The ’people’s court’, the ekklesia, and so on were all very short lived. They were rapidly supplanted by the Council of the Areopagus, the Archons, and the Generals, and by the time of the war, dictators [4].
The word ’democracy’ stems however from the Athenian demos, and from the term kratia. Kratia means ’power’. And so demokratia meant political supremacy of the mass of citizens (except the piffling examples of slaves, foreigners, the poor, and of course, women. A careful analysis shows that slaves, foreigners, the poor, and women - all disenfranchised - made up just under 95% of the Athenian population. That is to say, the majority of the population was disenfranchised under Athenian democracy. One in every three people were slaves [1116], women were veiled [1117] (an ancient form of Burka) and with the exception of the exceptional (Sappo for example, or Aristophanes’ imaginary Lysistrata) were as much slaves to male power as they are in modern Saudi Arabia.
In other words Althenian “democracy” was the tool through which most of the population was kept in obedience to the privileged few. As we shall see, this ancient example for all practical purposes mirrors the reality (if not the theory or the PR) of our own time, it is little wonder that Athens is held up as a great example of democracy at its best. Good times (an image: pls click to see it) .
Citizens were paid for attendance at votes and for work on juries, and required neither property nor high birth to hold office. Democracy in the Athenian mind was something all citizens gave themselves. It should be noted that democracy was not bestowed upon Athenians by a charter, a constitution, a founding father, or some leader. Rather it was something the citizens seized and maintained and participated in for and by themselves, of their own accord. There were no regular elections or parties (at first). There were no rulers (at first), but simply officials whom they placed in office and removed from office at their own whim [5,6,7].
And unlike most other systems of government before or since, Athenian democracy placed a high importance upon individual freedom to speak ones mind and to have freedom of choice (except for the disenfranchised majority, already mentioned).
10.5.4.1.2 Militarisation always kills democracy
“A country whose population has been trained to accept the government’s word and to shun those who question it is a country without liberty in its future”
~ P.C. Roberts [225]
But soon the growing city state became intertwined with the transformation of Athens into an imperial power. As the empire grew, Athenians became more and more bloodthirsty. More and more of their economy went into the army. Torture of captured prisoners, something which heretofore had been argued as being antithetical to democracy, become state policy [6,8]. Years between wars dwindled until the country was always at war with someone. Athenians were harsh conquerors, slaughtering entire populations in mass genocide [9]. They invaded to seize resources [10,5,9], regardless of the consequences to those citizens whose countries they invaded. They were also evangelicals [11] - religion was used as an excuse for slaughter time and time again (the Athenians of course having the ’true’ religion, everyone else having false beliefs). The Athenians broke international treaties [12], ignored international laws [6,11], and became the first of many western evil empires. All the while extolling their ’freedoms and democratic ways’.
Inevitably as you might expect, those with a bent toward psychopathology became first leaders, then despots, then tyrants (see Thucididies and Siculus regarding this [11,13,14]). Why? Because wars inevitably empower and raise the status of those who command the army. Wars cause people to defer power to to the wishes of army leaders, who in turn are loath to give up these powers should peace inconveniently appear on the horizon. (Please also see my article on psychopathology in power: Psychopaths in Power .)
And so Athens’ brief fling with democracy came to an end. It could not survive the Realpolitik of its imperial aspirations. For rationality and cool deliberation can never survive the urge to conquer others or to seize their resources under some pretext or other.
Nor can democracy survive the elitism of decision making brought upon by an ever growing militarisation [297]  [297] How many generals does it take to change a light bulb? One million and one: One to change the bulb and 1,000,000 to rebuild civilisation to the point where they need light bulbs again. . A military is hierarchical.
For example the primary purpose of boot camp is to ensure cadets obey without question. Or thought. City-state democracy was the antithesis of this, being a flattened rather than hierarchical structure. Reasoned (sometimes) debate, and careful (sometimes) deliberation of other viewpoints were its ideals. Historically when both hierarchical and flat political structures are attempted simultaneously, one of the two structures inevitably fails. Guess which one (an image: pls click to see it) .
10.5.4.1.3 A quick Roman example
“History is indeed little more than the register of the crimes, follies and misfortunes of mankind."
~Edward Gibbon [1094], Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Okay, before talking about what is going on in our own time, a quick word about the fall of the Roman Republic and its replacement with a dictatorship. This fall was not noticed by the majority of the citizenry until it was far too late. And as with the case of Athens, needless militarisation and economic greed were the triggers for corruption of the state toward dictatorship.
The beginning of the fall of the Roman Republic should not be dated IMHO as is usually done, to the rise of the peoples’ hero J. Caesar. But rather to the last Carthaginian war c. 146 BCE.
Here’s how it happened: Carthage was a city-state like Rome. In many ways it was Rome’s superior. Better quality of life for the average citizen, bigger trading groups, easy access to the whole of Africa, more liberal and open religious practices, and its citizens free of the arduous burden of speaking Latin. Roman leaders however, did not like competition. After several decades of back and forth skirmishes, the Roman Senate began in earnest to seek the destruction of Carthage.
Senator Cato the Elder, a Censor (a high position in the government) began to conclude all of his speeches with the phrase “Carthage must be destroyed”. Others too drummed up anger against Carthage amongst the citizenry. Soon Rome demanded that Carthage turn over all of its stockpiled weapons and siege machines - its weapons of mass destruction - to Rome. It demanded that everyone in Carthage leave the city and go elsewhere. Ridiculous conditions and demands, of course. Scipio Africanus the Younger, a Roman general who had had some success in the past in killing Carthaginians, was selected as the man to wipe out Carthage. But first he had to rise to the high position of Consul. To make this happen, the Senate broke some laws (eg. the cursus honorum) which Scipio to bypass rules designed to prevent corruption of the leadership process.
After a series of deceptions and lies on the part of the Roman Senate (eg. “Carthage threatens the safety and security of the Republic”, “Carthaginians are a threat to national security”, and similar prevarication), Scipio became consul. And Roman soldiers attacked Carthage in earnest. Genocide was committed upon the entire Carthaginian peoples, who were utterly destroyed. The Romans used biological warfare (salting the land) so that nothing could again grow where Charthage had stood. Scipo was reward for his butchery with the Roman Censorship (a position of prestige and power), in 142 BCE.
“It [the destruction of Charthage] is glorious, but I have a dread foreboding that some time the same doom will be pronounced upon my own country.” – Scipio Africanus the Younger, according to Polybius [234], the first western war correspondent.
At any rate, using the excuse of a needless war, by lying to the people, by bypassing laws meant to protect the Republic, the government of the day had planted the seeds necessary to eventually transit Rome from a republic to a dictatorship. Soon Gaius Marius, followed by Julius Caesar would complete the transition. But bypassing laws, government leaders lying to the people, Senators out to feather their own nests, needless war, the rise of militarism... these precedents of course, could never happen in the democracies of our own far more enlightened time.
Roman leaders considered war to be a very useful tool for maintaining their power. They discovered as had Pericles in Greece before them, that the more ready and willing a country is to declare war (wars for olive oil, wars on drugs, wars on disease, wars on blasphemers, etc.), the better. For such declarations served to place the country on a "wartime" footing whereby normal civil rights and protections could be and were, suspended. This allowed the citizenry to be regarded as “enemy sympathisers” and incarcerated (or worse) should they dissent from whatever schemes those in the Roman Senate enacted. (We are far more enlightened today, of course.)
10.5.4.1.4 Few and far between
But for the next 2000 years democracy in any form was absent from the west. Oh a form of it flared briefly with the 8thC CE Scandinavia, all-thing [15], in 11thC CE northern Italy’s communal arengo [16], and in some West African [17], Mauri [18,17], and Hopi societies [19]. But all were short lived experiments, soon replaced by oligarchical rule. For most of the 2000 years rule by force of arms was the norm.
That is, until the Putney debates during the 1640’s in England [20,21,22]. There, for the first time in the west since the Greeks’ brief flirtation with democracy, the poor and lower classes argued and debated with those with economic, military, and political power. The former wanted a written constitution. The later, headed by Cromwell did not. But for the first time in 2000 years or so, the issue was being debated by all classes of society in relative civility.
With the advent of global cooling Is Humanity Doomed by Climate Change? [521], subsequent crop failures [23], concomitant increase of plague [24] and other disease... the lower classes became desperate, and reform gradually began. Sometimes this meant a quick revolution - a.k.a. separating heads from bodies for a king or two as in France [25].
But this was rare. For the most part change from the despotic rule of kings and nobles was driven from within the burgeoning power of new merchant classes [ibid]. People strove further afield to seek resources they could no longer provide under climate change. This meant an upsurge in transportation construction, monitoring of goods, and all of the other trade-related activities that grows merchants [26]. This new class saw the privileges of the upper classes and wanted some of that. They also did not like paying high taxes and getting little in return. The resultant was the gradual rise of new systems of laws and constitutions which favoured this newly monied mercantile class. Political parties became concerned with different visions of how the merchant and upper classes should best be protected and prosper. Consideration for the poor and lower classes was incidental, and only provided to keep the rabble in line.
“the common man, though e’er sae puir, is king o’ men, for a’ that."
~ Robbie Burns [27]
10.5.4.1.5 The United States
“The public record contains substantial evidence that President Trump attempted to impede the investigations of Michael Flynn and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, including by firing FBI Director James Comey. ... our review of the facts and the law leads us to the view that the president likely obstructed justice. Should that conclusion be borne out, we believe he will be held to account under one or another of the vehicles we have outlined, for no one is above the law in our system. Accountability will have significant consequences for the functioning of our democracy. We offer this paper as a framework to evaluate the facts and the investigation as they develop, and to help prepare for the turbulence that may well lie ahead.”
~ Barry H. Berke is co -chair of the litigation department at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP (Kramer Levin) and a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He has represented public officials, professionals and other clients in matters involving all aspects of white-collar crime, including obstruction of justice. Noah Bookbinder is the Executive Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). Previously, Noah has served as Chief Counsel for Criminal Justice for the United States Senate J judiciary Committee and as a corruption prosecutor in the United States Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section. Ambassador (ret.) Norman L. Eisen, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, was the chief White House ethics lawyer from 2009 to 2011 and before that, defended obstruction and other criminal cases for almost two decades in a D.C. law firm specialising in white-collar matters. He is the chair and co-founder of CREW, in a 108 carefully researched 2017 report by the Brookings Institute on just a few of the many alleged illegal activities of U.S. president Donald Trump [1813]
Since its inception U.S. rulers have worked hard to ensure that democracy - real democracy - could never arise either within the United States or later on, anywhere in the world. This of course is diametrically opposed to the propaganda and revisionist history of U.S. historical texts, but has been very well documented by numerous historians in other nations. Consider for example the origin of the U.S. Constitution:
The U.S. Constitution and system of government was carefully designed so that political and military power remained always in the hands of a few aristocrats. During the U.S.’s Constitutional Convention debates for example, James Madison - a primary motive force behind the U.S. Constitution - argued that:
“In England, at this day, if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure. An agrarian law would soon take place ... [therefore we must] secure the rights of property against the danger from an equality and universality of suffrage, vesting complete power over property in hands without a share in it.” [1694]
The U.S. Senate was designed to ensure that this would be so - i.e. that real power was never in the hands of the majority:
"Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. The senate, therefore, ought to be this body; and to answer these purposes, they ought to have permanency and stability....the longer they continue in office, the better will these views be answered." [ibid]
“The Senate ought to represent the opulent Minority - If this is not done the System cannot be durable”
~ James Madison [1695]
Right from its inception, the U.S. system of government has been designed to ensure the majority wishes are never allowed to overtake those of the aristocratic minority. The Trilateral Commission (an arm of the U.S. government) for example had this to say about the rise of democratic demands during the Carter administration:
“The essence of the democratic surge of the 1960s was a general challenge to existing systems of authority, public and private....some of the problems of governance in the United States today stem from an excess of democracy." [1696]
The U.S. aristocracy learned much from this “excess of democracy” - hence the rise of universal surveillance, police militarisation, laws to suppress dissent, and the many other aspects of purposeful democratic devolution both in the United States and elsewhere where its hegemony touches (always enforced by its military) ... all of which I discuss in the rest of this article. Please also see my discussion of the rise of soft fascism and neoliberalism following complete acceptance of work by Hayak, Strauss, Lippmann, Rand and others in the executive branch of all modern “democratic” governments. (Please q.v. Soft Fascism, Neoliberalism, Hard Fascism, and Hayek), Is Leo Strauss Better than You? Your government thinks he is. ).
“A false ideal of democracy can lead only to disillusionment and to meddlesome tyranny. If democracy cannot direct affairs, then a philosophy which expects it to direct them will encourage the people to attempt the impossible; they will fail, but that will interfere outrageously with the productive liberties of the individual. The public must be put in its place, so that it may exercise its own powers, but no less and perhaps even more, so that each of us may live free of the trampling and the roar of a bewildered herd."
~ W. Lippmann [1697], from his 1925 work “The Phantom Public”.

10.5.4.2 Representative Democracy

"You the people must decide whether you prefer to be ruled by an elected government or by people you’ve never heard of, people you’ve never voted for, people who remain quietly behind the scenes, generation after generation."
~ from the drama ’A Very British Coup’, based on a book by former British Labour MP C. Mullin [298]
10.5.4.2.1 Containing the rabble
To ensure that the rabble were contained, they were allowed to pick representatives who could speak in parliament. ’Representative democracy’ was born. Which is neither democracy, nor representative. Certainly the Athenians would have not called it democracy, for it replaced a one-to-one voice with many-to-one representational voice. That is to say, by a hierarchical system slightly flatter but none-the-less difficult to clearly differentiate from the original king-based rule.
But even this representational democracy in time came to be further watered down by a so-called First Past the Post (FPP) electoral system.
Finland, Austria, Spain, and others use true proportional representation for their elections [28]. The German Federal Diet is elected by a FPP system combined with a party-list proportional representation [29]. But in North America, Britain, and the United States proportional representation has been replaced exclusively by a FPP system. The government divides the country into electoral districts (ridings). The rules of this division are nebulous and change often but have never allowed for proportional representation. Additionally, Canada has an even more restrictive FPP than the United States. It is one of only two democracies in the world which gives absolute power to those who do not receive a majority of the votes [1246].
In fact, of the thirty-four developed countries which were democratic at time of writing, almost all used proportional representation in one form or another. Only Canada and the UK had FPP systems. The U.S. system is similar to FPP, with some minor caveats. And only Canada allocated full power even for those who received less than 30% of the vote, even when there was apparent election fraud [Op.cit.].
Under FPP each political party selects one candidate to run in each riding. This selection process varies from party to party, but essentially consists of a party leader or executive group selecting a candidate and inviting her to run election. Those not approved by the executive are not allowed to run. And those who do not follow party voting patterns regardless of the feelings of their constituents, are not allowed in this system, to stay in the party (i.e. their salaries, status, benefit packages, etc. are all cut). Hence the executive of established political parties effectively determine who will run for office, who will stay in office, and what the voting patters of these individuals will be. This acts as a very effective filter upon who will be allowed to hold power and who will not, and moreover on the relative meaninglessness of constituent desires.
In theory each adult citizen may vote - with exceptions for felons, military, women, non-land holders, and others according to various rules in various ’democracies’. Each citizen may choose only one candidate – ballots with more than one name selected are not counted. The candidate with the most votes per riding is elected. For the vast majority of candidates, this means they are elected with considerably well under fifty percent of voting citizens in a riding. In the industrialised nations, the number usually hovers around the 20% mark. The party with the most number of ridings in which their candidates wins relative to the other parties, forms the new government Again, this is generally far less than fifty percent of the ridings.
Note that this system does not necessarily elect the party with the most number of votes - in fact this rarely happens.
If the United States had not had a system similar to the FPP, the egregeous Donald Trump would never have become president, and none of his Cabinet members would have been elected. In more civilised democratic nations, such as Holland or Denmark, coalition and compromise is the norm due in large part to their variants of proportional representation. Unlike FPP and FPP-like systems, there is essentially no chance that the powers of a king would be accorded to the like of Donald Trump.
In 23 countries voting is compulsory. Punishment for not voting varies, but is largely negligible. In Australia for example, if a person fails to vote the fine is $20 AU. This of course does generate higher voter turnout. But not necessarily higher voter interest. However compulsory voting does have some very positive aspects:
  • All parties tend to appeal more to the middle, hence there is usually none of the extremes of right and left seen in the United States.
  • There is on the whole less electoral fraud. The tactics in the United States and Canada of voter intimidation, robocall fraud (vide infra), ballot stuffing, etc. cannot be used. Electoral fraud is less likely were voting is compulsory.
  • Voters tend to be better aware of politics in general (although this point has been disputed in the literature).
Although there are exceptions, it has seldom been the case that countries with compulsory voting switch to voluntary voting.
10.5.4.2.2 First past the post electoral systems vs. true democracy
“[Elections are a] dangerous and unnecessary exercise”
~ Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper [30], the only Prime Minister in Canadian history to suspend Parliament (repeatedly) when it refused to rubber stamp his decrees
So how the FPP system, also known as a single-member plurality system, actually works, and how does it prevent representation of the majority’s wishes (i.e. true democracy) should an unscrupulous corporate shill seize power? Let us look at the example of Canada.
The Conservative party of Canada failed to achieve anything close to majority of votes in several elections [31]. Yet under the bias of the FPP system, the Republican Party ruled Canada. For example in several elections the party garnered roughly 37.6 per cent of the votes cast. But only 59% of eligible voters voted. Hence close to 2/3 of voters actually voted against the Canadian Republican Party. Further, if we include those 41% who did not vote, a full 78% of eligible voters did not vote [31,32,33] for them! (Please also see the sect. 5.10 The Fix is In, below, for examples of how elections are also dominated by cheating, rule breaking, and outright illegal activities in some “democracies”.)
In 14 of the ridings, Mr. Harper’s party obtained a margin of victory of less than 800 votes - usually far less [954]. Years later the regime was found guilty of violating election law [1292] and forced to pay fines. Through a series of allegedly unethical and perhaps illegal means the regime stymied further investigation into their allegedly fraudulent election practice (please see [1293] for an interesting and well cited summary). What was clear however, was that had the Harper regime not allegedly employed the techniques outlined later in this article or the allegedly illegal “robo-calls” (the later for which they were found guilty of vote tampering [Op. cit. 1292], they would not have won the election - their margin was that small. That is to say, election by a tiny number of those eligible to vote, yet gaining the country’s highest office. Something very difficult or impossible to achieve in equitable systems, which the FPP most emphaticlaly is not.  [298]  [298] Yet allegedly at every event, in every speech, members of the Conservative Party of Canada, Prime Minister Harper, and all of his Cabinet Ministers over and over stated some variant of “We were elected by the majority of Canadians”. It is difficult to know if they believed this obvious untruth, or were simply conducting propaganda exercises. Perhaps both? Either way in faux democracies, the majority of the electorate very seldom vote for the winning party. And conversely, the winning party very seldom represents the wishes of the majority of the electorate.
“Why are Members of Parliament not allowed to call each other liars in the House of Commons? The question answers itself: an MP is not allowed to call another MP a liar because he would thereby be telling the truth, thus contravening parliamentary etiquette.. “
~ L. Otter, the Guardian [1332]
A government with for whom most citizens did not vote, which clearly lost the popular vote, would not have a mandate in a real democracy.
Yet they won the election. For in a FPP system, a candidate does not need to obtain a majority (50%) of votes to win. She need only secure more than the candidates in her riding. And so even with 78% of the electorate not choosing the Republican Party of Canada during the three federal elections, under Canada’s FPP system, they still won power. In fact, during a third federal election, roughly 77% of the electorate did not vote for the Canadian Republican Party. Yet thanks to the FPP system that party was non-the-less awarded a considerable majority of seats.
Another example. In the Canadian province of Ontario a disastrous government had all but bankrupted the province [1304], been found guilty of a number of highly questionable practices [1305], was like the Harper regime, allegedly corrupt [1306], etc. The government became so unpopular that when an election finally rolled around they received a mere 20% of the eligible votes [1308].
But under the FPP system this meant that despite their appalling record and not receiving the vote of 80% of the eligible voters, they seized a majority of seats in parliament [ibid]. And so for at least four years, could rule as they wished, set whatever legislation they wished, and just as the egregious Harper government had done, rule as virtual dictators. Again, under the FPP this despite 80% of the eligible electorate not having voted for them [299]  [299] Incidentally, in a referendum to throughout the obviously undemocratic FPP system, the 20% who bothered to vote voted to keep the FPP. When questioned in exit polls, virtually all voters had no idea whatsoever about the FPP or its far more democratic alternatives [1307]. (In a similar manner, the election which brought Donald Trump the U.S. presidency garned him less than 29% of the vote [1692].) What sort of “democracy” is it when those who get a small minority of the vote end up with the majority of power? The answer sadly, is rather obvious.
In other words the votes-to-seats-in-government ratio does not under a FPP system, favour rule by those receiving the majority of votes. To call such a system “democratic” is quite a stretch of cognitive dissonance.
If instead the system had been one of proportional representation, which is system used by most truly democratic countries in the world, the number of seats a party obtains is approximately proportional to its share of the vote. In other words, the Republican Party of Canada would not have won power. A FPP system such as that which exists in Canada and the United States virtually guarantees that government will not consist of those who accurately represent the preferences of the electorate. But rather of those who represent only a tiny fraction of the people and their aspirations.
This is exacerbated by:
  • The means of selecting and dividing electoral ridings. For electoral ridings under this system are not set up by population, but rather by a system of rules and regulations which are not compatible with proportional representation. This has been shown (notably by Dragu et al who studied three decades of data in many current democracies) to obviate voter equality. That is to say, the findings strongly indicate that in current democracies these rules and regulations give more weight to certain electoral areas than others. The result is that at election time not all votes, or voters, are counted equally.
  • The political appointment system available in all current FPP systems. This is a system whereby a sitting head of state can select personal friends, loyal media people, or anyone else to sit in an upper chamber such as a Senate, in positions of power in the bureaucracy, as ’advisers’ on the taxpayer’s payroll, and so on. These unelected and frequently completely unqualified people can and do veto legislation, hide critical information, and generally ensure democratic (i.e. equal access and control) can never apply. This was exactly the situation which occurred when the Republican Party of Canada seized power - the Senate was stacked with supporters of the leader of that party.
  • The system of selecting party candidates. I will not go into the details here but truly open nomination systems for candidates are rare. Instead there are many restrictions on who may nominate a candidate, who may run as a candidate, whether or party officials can ignore nominations, and so on. Open nominatins are rarely allowed. In Canada for example, the pary which has run the country for most of its history, has never held open nominiations. In most “democratic” countries the party leader and the people around him (almost always male) select who may or who may not run for office, or who may even be nominated.
  • And lastly there is the court system. In many ’democratic’ systems such as FPP electoral systems, judges are often appointed, not elected. This is most critical in regards to the Supreme Court of a country. In the sadly common situation I have just outlined regarding a government ruling when a full 78% of the electorate did not vote for them, the head of the winning party can choose his personal friends and supporters to be Supreme Court Justices [32,34]. (It is a little more complex than this, but this is the outcome, none the less.) Since in most FPP democracies the Supreme Court’s rulings often have as much to do with what becomes law as what issues from parliament, this appointment system ensures bias, not equality. And since the public has no say in who is appointed, it ensures that democracy does not obtain in the court system.
The end result is that a party elected by a small minority of the citizenry can come to power, stack the courts and upper chambers of government with political hacks and supporters, and essentially act little different from a dictatorship for the next 4-6 years (depending upon country) until the next election. That period of time is sufficient to radically change all of the important laws and treaties of a country. One need look no further than the transformation of the United States under Bush or Trump ugly regimes to see the extent of change possible under the virtual dictatorship possible as outlined above.
Sometimes, rarely, an honest politician comes to power who promises to change this broken antidemocratic system. One such was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Canada, who during his election campaign promised at least 1,300 times in various speeches [1733] to reform Canada’s broken election system and eliminated the first past the post antidemocratic system in place. Unfortunately Mr. Trudeau was just another mealy mouthed liar, who within a year of coming to power stated that Canadians were uninterested in changing the system (another lie - survey after survey showed this to be a priority amongst the majority of citizens [1734, 1735]). And so Mr. Trudeau reneged on his promise virtually guaranteeing that the current antidemocratic system (which favoured the two party system ensuring no other party would likely ever gain power) would be in place forever.
Finally, under the Westminster system [ibid] such as exists in Canada, Britain, and several other countries which have a FPP electoral system, voters do not elect a head of state or a government. What they elect is a House of representatives or parliament. It is this House that selects, by majority vote, which party will govern and who the head of state (Prime Minster, president, Giant Warty Thunderer) will be. Only if a given party receives the majority of seats in this House does a particular party choose. Hence anyone could become head of state after an election. And any party, should the House so decide, could form the governing party. Clearly this was designed to prevent the need for costly and time consuming elections should a minority government (i.e. one without a majority of seats in the House), loose the confidence of the House - instead they House simply chooses another person/party to govern. This also ensures that important legislation does not fall by the wayside during needless elections and electioneering.
Unfortunately in those few remaining countries which use the FPP electoral system, the electorate seldom understands that true democratic selection and right to equality of representation has been purposefully left out of the system. Nor do they understand that politicians routinely misrepresent and even lie about the rules. For example they may inaccurately claim that coalition governments are ’unconstitutional’. Or that because they received political power under this system, that they have the right to do whatever they wish since they have been ’elected by the majority’. Nothing could be further from the truth.
“Everything is the opposite of what you believe.”
~ John Lennon [35]
10.5.4.2.3 Meaninglessness as an art form
“Never underestimate the stupidity of people In large groups.”
~ Anonymous
(an image: pls click to see it) Those who campaign do so on the basis of meaninglessness. For example politicians frame campaigns around very narrow choices, without the shades of grey of real life -
“You are either with us or against us” as one diagnosed as mentally ill [36,37,38,39] leader once exclaimed.
Such sloganeering however, is usually even less substantial. The manipulative phrase
"Change we can believe in"
~ Barak Obama [40], using yet another meaningless but highly manipulative meme
Note that the “Change we can believe in” and similar memes there is an emphasises positive terminology without expanding upon the subtext of what change is being discussed. That is to say, it is a meme which substitutes any and everything of substance for an emotional, but empty, response.
"The receptive power of the masses is very slight; their understanding is very restricted. On the other hand, they quickly forget. Such being the case, all effective propaganda must be confined to a few bare necessities... a few stereotyped formulae"
~ Adolf Hitler [41]
Details of any sort are of course, inimical to mindless obedience. But slogans - ah, those work so very well. Particularly should the citizenry have been long acculturated to unthinking response, such that a few keywords and phrases are sufficient if spoken well, to lead them around by the nose.
Such meaningless phrases as “change we can believe in” or “yes we can” gloss over the fact that no details are provided. All that the voter hears is repetitious claptrap devoid of meaning. “Yes we can” means nothing at all, but is carefully conceived by propagandists to generate positive feelings for the candidate. Billions of dollars are spent hammering these slogans into the heads of voters. [42].
Since in most so-called ’democracies’ the voter has essentially zero knowledge of history Your Educational System is designed to foster illiteracy [522], fiscal control, what the military actually does, economics, propaganda, science, or even the most rudimentary facts about the world [42,43,44,45,46], all that remains is ... nothing. The average voter is left to choose between brands and the effectiveness of one advertising campaign over another, between meaningless sloganeering and how well the leader pretends they matter.
There is no choice of policies, because no policies, other than in the vagaries of the illusionist, are given.
How is it that what should be obvious and transparent lies are accept as meaningful statements? The answer is simple - democracy, government for and by the people, requires that the people understand what is occurring in their own and other societies. It requires that everyone have some understanding of history, law, economics, and science. For without these, it is too easy for the unscrupulous to rise to power.
Yet as I show in my discussion of illiteracy and anti-intellectualism Are You an Anti-intellectual? [523], one third of the entire adult population is functionally illiterate - unable to read well enough to fill in job application. 33% of high school 42 % of college graduates never again read a book; 80% of all U.S. families never purchase or read a book [ibid]. Numbers for Canada are almost identical [ibid]. Numbers for Britain are only slightly better [283]; for Denmark and Norway, much better [284]; etc.
Please see the article on the history of education and the very purposeful design which ensures an illiterate majority, as discussed both Pedagogy is Social Engineering and here Your Educational System is designed to foster illiteracy .
Füredi discusses research [285] indicating that knowing (or intuiting) this, politicians pitch their speeches at a 6thgrade level or below (i.e. at the level of an illiterate child or a single digit Flesh-Kincaid reading level). With an uneducated (or rather purposefully “dumbed down” Your Educational System is designed to foster illiteracy [525], illiterate Your Educational System is designed to foster illiteracy [526], and knowledge deprived Pedagogy is Social Engineering [527]) citizenry sloganeering works better than factual, reasoned argument. But what is lost of course, is truth. And ability for real decision making.
Further, while many people know something is wrong in a given society, most do not know why they are so ineffective in correcting it. No matter how hard they try. The reason however is a simple one - the propaganda in their society may be so good that their very thoughts and ways of thinking about things have been ’adjusted’ to render most of what they do, ineffective.
And so whist it is difficult to delineate relative prominence of reason over conditioned response, the overwhelming majority of voters defer the former in favour of the latter. The asymmetry between sound policy and sloganeering is so dominant, that many give up and do not vote at all.
“The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men”
~ Plato
10.5.4.2.4 Beholden to the leader
“Throughout history political leaders have shown themselves to be hyper-ambitious, self-centred, amoral opportunists who hold the firm belief that they alone are worthy of wielding power.”
~ from “Mental Illness in Politics” [699]
The end result is invariably a government elected by a small minority of the citizenry.
Voters in a riding who did not select a wining candidate are left essentially voiceless for the next four or five years (it varies) until the next election. In essence as alluded to above, the FPP system guarantees that power will be concentrated and maintained in the hands of a party executive, the office of the party leader (the president, Prime Minister, Evangelical Fascist, Large Hairy Thunderer, etc.), and a group of unelected appointed officials. That is to say, who are appointed by the party leader, then paid good salaries at taxpayer expense.
These appointees [47,48] whether to the Supreme Court, High Court, Senate, or bureaucracy are beholden to the party leader and her executive, since it is the leader and her executive alone who approve appointments or tenure (with some few and usually minor exceptions of course).
All of this ensures that a handful of people can govern independently of the desires of the vast majority of the electorate, with the dual proviso that information on their machinations be Media Controls Most Narratives) [528].
Little wonder that those in power only speak in vague meaningless generalities or the push-button phraseology of patriotism and other Tavistok playbook fabrication. Or that they act as attack dogs should a whistleblower release information on their shenanigans.
10.5.4.2.5 Meta-stable two-party monarchies
“Thou hast seen a farmer’s dog bark at a beggar? And the creature run from the cur? There thou mightst behold the great image of authority: a dog obeyed in office.”
~ William Shakespeare, King Lear
As one might expect, such a system will move toward a meta-stable state which is two-party dominant. With little to differentiate the two main parties other than verbiage. Hence there is little room for a non-established political party to emerge.
Leader ’debates’ are held between the two or three dominant parties. Should another party organise and attempt to win votes, (the Greens for example), they are never allowed into these debates.
In the United States for example, the Commission on president al Debates (CPD) excludes all but the leading two parties from presidential debates [675]. And so in 2016 when a presidential election campaign in that nation was between M. Clinton and D. Trump - both of whom the majority of voters polled, detested [1688] - Dr. J. Stein of the Green Party was forcably [1687] turned away from the Clinton-Trump debates.
The CPD is a private corporation, not an independent unbiased body. The CPD requires that a candidate have support from “at least 15%” [676] of the electorate as indicated by five CPD selected national public polls. This guarantees that no third party or independent candidate will be allowed. Why? Because campaigns cost huge amounts of money, media access requires huge amounts of money, and without these, other candidates are virtually invisible.
This of course makes it impossible to meet the CPD requirements.
And so alternate viewpoints, such as removing the power of corporate CEOs from politics, stopping the rape, torture, and killing by invasion of oil-rich nations, encouraging education in historical fact, funding human rights, stopping the destruction of the environment, addressing climate change before humanity is ended, destroying all nuclear and biological weapons, and so on... these are never heard in presidential debates because the CPD rules guarantee they will not be. The voices of Jill Stein (head of the U.S. Green Party), Rocky Anderson (head of the Justice Party), Virgil Goode (Constitution Party(, and others are never heard. Since it cost nothing to invite these people into a debate, the reasons for the silencing of their viewpoints are all too obvious.
Those who do debate however, determine everything - what questions are allowed, who may participate (only the two main parties), camera angles, censorship delay (how long a time delay exists, and who man the cut-off buttons, before anything goes to air), length of debate, venue, and so on down a long micro-managed list [673]. The “debates” in that country are not open - they are the height of exclusionary (i.e. antidemocratic) politics. Nor do allow for the airing of alternative ideas. Media outlets, which are on the whole Media Controls Most Narratives) [529] the people who fund the leading parties, give them equal (or any) time for interviews. (Media in most western countries are owned by a handful of very conservative leaning men, who largely control content Firehose Effect: the social epidemic of incessant lies)Firehose Effect: the social epidemic of incessant lies)[530].) This of course limits their chance of election.
“The presidential debates are a fraud perpetrated upon the American public”
~ League of Women Voters (quoted by CBC [674]), the U.S. group which withdrew from moderating presidential debates after the two dominate parties refused to allow free and open questions of the two candidates
The idea that two parties represent the people’s wishes is a form of logical fallacy. Sometimes called Morton’s Fork or the fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses. Voters are presented with a choice between non-mutually exclusive but equally unpleasant options, with no acknowledgement of the fact that other more viable options exist. A war-monger’s phrase “If you are not with us, you are against us” is a more general example of the fallacy of exhaustive hypothesis. As is the logically fallacious faux dianoetic “if you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear” Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.) [531]. In modern democracies only a very small fraction of the citizenry actually vote, in large part because their interests are not represented by either party. Use of Morton’s Fork - of saying that two parties represent all choices - is a means of appearing to hold democratic principles, whilst actually negating them.
“I think Assange should be assassinated, actually. (laughs)”
~ Thomas Flanagan [807] advisor to and personal friend of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Mr. Assange allegedly helped place leaked documents concerning alleged military indiscretions - i.e. war crimes - onto the internet.
An example: If an Irish-like voting system (the STV) had been in place in Canada during that county’s federal elections, the Green Party would have held a large number of seats in parliament. But under that country’s single-member FPP non-proportional voting system, the Green Party despite having obtained quite a large percentage of votes [49], received no seats at all. Instead the party which received less than 17% of the vote by eligible citizens formed the government. And once elected by such as system, there is no workable mechanism for removal of the winner, who for N years (N varies with country) essentially does whatever she and her executive wish with few restraints.
Other forms representation include single transferable vote, mixed-member proportional, ranked ballot, etc. But again, FPP guarentees that the candidate with the most number of votes will seldom be elected. Canada and the U.S. are two of the only countries therefore which have a FPP system - 91% of developed countries have abandoned FPP for a democratic voting system [1153]. FPP is simply not a truely democratic system.
Additionally with the exception of leaks by whistleblowers, there is little or no accountability of consequence for elected members. That is to say, those who leak details of illegal, corrupt, and amoral activities by those in power are pursecuted and imprisoned. But those proven antithetical to civilised behaviour are seldom held to account. (Please see additional details regarding this here The World Wide U.S. War of Terror and here Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.), paying particular attention to the fact that several government heads have been found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity, but have not been held to account in any way.)
And so during the years between elections the general public, unlike large corporate interests, have effectively no say at all in decision making, the enactment of laws detrimental to public interest, and so on. The system during this time is a democracy in name but in effect is an oligarchy, despite the considerable propaganda Evidence Based History vs. Revisionism), Is Fear induction Social Engineering? , Can Your Core Beliefs be Easily Altered? , Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls ) [532] to the contrary. In most countries which have this form of government, power is essentially concentrated in the hands of the executive branch of government which can for the most part, use a number of extrajudicial and extra-congressional or parliamentary powers to enact lasting legislation (eg. Orders in Council, Signing Letters, etc.) without recourse to the peoples’ representatives [50,51,52,53,54,55,56].
In general democracies in the modern sense prevent the average citizen from the means for active participation on issues and decisions which effect them. There are exceptions to this of course, and these are frequently touted in media to show the “fairness” of the system. But in fact these exceptions are sadly, quite rare. (That this is true of the average person in the legislature as well, as discussed later.)
Such systems deny freedom of speech to those elected by the people to represent the people. As many researchers have demonstrated, including the eminent political scientists professors P. Russell and N. Franks [955], powerful two party systems which are built around a system wherein party leaders and a small group around them have absolute control of every move and utterance their elected members make, is a threat to democracy.
To which I would only add that in a system where not only the average citizen lacks the means for free active participation but so too do their elected members, democracy does not exist. The fact that people can vote, is not an indication that they live in a democratic society. The Russian democracy under Putin is a prime example. Another is the regime of U.S. president Obama.
This later will be the final example in this subsection, and may help show that the U.S. system like so many ostensibly democratic systems, in reality ensures that there is no choice - the system is essentially a one-party state masquerading as a two-party state. (Please see [1148] for an interesting comparison between the actions rather than promises of the two leading U.S. parties. Their actions have become virtually identical.) The Democratic U.S. president B. Obama for example, allegedly extended virtually all of the Republican president Bush’s most egregious policies, particularly those concerned with negating the country’s Constitutional protections and the oversight abilities of the courts. (Please see [1149] for details, as well as Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.), The World Wide U.S. War of Terror , Psychopaths in Power .)
10.5.4.2.6 Once elected ...
“Our democracy is but a name. We vote. What does that mean? It means that we choose between two bodies of real, though not avowed, autocrats. We choose between Tweedledum and Tweedledee... “
~ Helen Keller [700]
When a person is elected to office, or subsequently appointed to Cabinet, she is obligated to vote on the verifiable will of the people who put her in office. Not upon the dictates of party officials, lobbyists, or personal friends.
For example, should repeated polling indicate that at least 80% of the citizenry wishes not to go to war (as in the case of Britain under Prime Minister Blair vis a vis the invasion of Iraq), the elected official is obligated to vote against any and all efforts to go to war. Or should repeated polling indicate that at least 80% of the citizenry wishes to have access to herbs and vitamins (as in the case of Canada where the government moved to heavily restrict such access), the elected official is obligated to vote against any and all efforts by drug companies to go suppress such access.
Any other behaviour on the part of elected officials denigrates the idea of representation, the very notion of democracy. Instead it rationalises dictatorship, ignoring the official’s obligation to citizens.
Yet in every major “democratic” country, officials once elected largely ignore the clear and consistent wishes of the very people who elected them. There are countless examples of this throughout history, of course. A recent well known example however is that of Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair allegedly lying (as allegedly proven by the Downing Street Memos) in an attempt to garner support of the very unpopular invasion of Iraq is illustrative. Running an election every four or five years in which the two main parties are essentially identical, and having no say whatsoever in what is done between elections, indicates a system democratic in name only.
Now consider the concept of “whip”. In most ostensible democracies, once elected members of a party are expected to adhere to the policies of, and vote for the bills laid down, by party insiders who may themselves not have been elected. The process of ensuring that elected members do not follow their own consciences or the wishes of their constituents is known as “whipping”. A party whip is an enforcer who can discipline a member who do not conform in many ways - by withholding well paying perks, forbidding the member to attend committees, keeping the member out of cabinet, as well as socially ostracising the member from others in the party. The reality is that elected members, unless they are personal friends of the inner circle of a party, are utterly unable to represent the wishes of their constituents unless such wishes happen to coincide with what the inner circle wishes. They are the ones creating laws and deciding what policies will be followed. The elected members of the party are only there to 1) convince the public that their wishes are heard and 2) vote as the party whip demands. The following quotation is very typical:
“I had a one on one with the Premier and basically told him you need private members [elected representatives of the people] just when it comes time to vote because we are never included in anything. You don’t include us in the policy decision making process, you don’t include us in the drafting of the legislation, you don’t ask for our input. So I said the only reason you need private members is for voting and he agreed with that".
~ D. McKay [1087], an elected Canadian MLA
Such a system is democratic in name only but is in reality, little better than its antithesis.
"For in a Republic, who is ’the country?’ Is it the Government which is for the moment in the saddle? Why, the Government is merely a servant - merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn’t. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them."
~ Mark Twain (S. L. Clemens) [1167]

10.5.5 STEP TWO: Manipulate the rabble

“Trump ’s campaign has enormous appeal to the commercial mass media. He brought huge ratings during the debates. He taunted the networks. He said, ‘I’m boycotting this debate. It’s going to cost you profit.’ Has this ever happened before in American history? It shows you the decay, the commercialisation of public elections....Trump speaks in a very plain language, at the third-grade level, according to some linguists. He speaks like a father figure. He says, ‘I’ll get you jobs. Ill bring back industry. I’ll bring back manufacturing. I’ll protect you from immigrants.’ The media never challenges him. He is not asked, ‘How are we going do all of this? What is step one? Step two? Is the White House going to ignore the Congress and the courts?’ He astonishes his audience. He amazes them with his bullying, his lying, his insults, like ‘Little Marco,’ the wall Mexico is going to pay for, no more entry in the country by Muslims - a quarter of the human race - until we figure it out. The media never catches up with him. He is always on the offensive. He is always news. The commercial media wants the circus. It gives them high ratings and high profit.”
~ Ralph Nader, U.S. consumer advocate, interviewed by Chris Hedges [1615]
“The more we do to you, the less you seem to believe we are doing it.”
~ Dr. Joseph Mengele, Nazi war criminal
In his excellent book [1297] on the rise of the egregious Harper regime in Canada, T. Flanagan (Mr. Harper’s chief of staff, campaign manager, and chief stratagist) shows how easily the rabble - i.e. the electorate - can be manipulated. Although he concentrates on Canada, the same techniques have been used by the last five U.S. presidents, the last three UK prime ministers, and of course others who seek to ensure they attain power. (Under Mr. Harper Canada sank from being a relatively stable democracy to the rather low ranking in the graph at the beginning of this article.)
The principle is an easy one to understand. Implementation however, requires all party candidates never express their own views, stick firmly to a few talking points, and absolutely and completely abandon their individuaity in order to provide a seemless message delivery system.
  1. Use technology to identify sympathetic voters.
  2. Contact them, build empathy, develop fund raising
  3. Control the message through domination of media. For example, constant non-stop attack ads against opponents, insertion of shills into media (eg. Fox News in the U.S.), etc.
  4. Divide and conquer. Exacerbate and overemphasise differences between “them” and “us”. Pit people against each other - eg. anti-abortion groups against pro-abortion groups, one part of the country against another, etc. The resulting extreme polarisation leaves the well organised and loyal group identified in point one above, sufficient (especially under FPP) to place one in power.
Notice here that there is no mention of doing good, of helping people, of being honourable and ethical. No. Sadly, the dominate strategies are about gaining power and keeping it. Power? Power means manipulating the rabble - the citizenry - so that you and your friends benefit. At any cost Psychopaths in Power .

10.5.5.1 A little math

10.5.5.1.1 Choosing a single winner
It can be shown mathematically via the Gibbard–Satterthwaite theorem, that it is very difficult for a single winner to be selected from the preferences of registered voters even if each individual ranks all candidates in order of preference [57]. This includes systems where the rankings are binary only. Where there are at least three candidates the theorem states that (1) for every voting rule it must hold that the rule is dictatorial, (2) there is always a candidate who cannot win under any rule or circumstance, or (3) that the selection rule is subject to tactical voting where an individual voter would or (4) would not vote her preference according to how she perceives other voters to be voting.
Hence the gist of the Gibbard-Satterthwaite theorem is that all western democratic systems which meet theorem conditions are subject to manipulation. Taylor has taken this initial finding and expanded it in an very interesting application of mathematics to social movement. His work nicely indicates the difficulty of having real democracy in industrialised nations. Add to this the relatively vast sums available to those in power or those put forward as stooges of power Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls ) [533], versus those who wish democracy rather than kakistocracy What is a Kakistocracy? [534], and the likelihood of non faux-democratic rule is picayune.
Similarly, although in its early stages the very interesting work of Yang-Yu Liu et al regarding applications of control theory and dense homogeneous networks may be of relevance here [58]. The mathematics is interesting, but may be summed up (albeit with caveats) as indicating that large complex networks from neural networks to human socio-political networks, can be controlled by manipulating only a handful of driver nodes.
That is to say, algorithms can be applied to isolate and subsequently control the key elements of any such network. The implications for military application are clear. But although the application to political manipulation has only begun, the early findings hold promise for very undemocratic mass manipulation via a few choice nodes.
In all of this it is important to look at the activities of those in power in faux-democracies, rather than the Orwellian phraseology or outright lies Firehose Effect: the social epidemic of incessant lies) [536] to which they so often resort.
10.5.5.1.2 Choosing a strategy
This applies also toward selecting a strategy which will win an election even when the candidate’s bad deeds may come to light.
Suppose there are two persons running for president of the United States, called Sam and Joe. They are as always in the U.S., heavily supported (bribed) by corporate, classist, military, and monied interests, so as with the discussion of wolves and sheep, it really matters very little which wolf is elected, just so long as no sheep are elected.
Sam and Joe, again - as with virtually all modern U.S. presidential candidate -s have committed if not out and out criminal activity, then at least unethical and corrupt activities [300]  [300] If you disagree with my contention here, might I gently suggest you read 1) Dr. H. Zinn’s well known and well documented ’People’s History of the American Empire, and 2) independently written and research biographies of modern U.S. presidents (preferably those written by scholars outside the United States).. In this example, Sam was a former arms dealer, who broke several laws selling arms to Saudi Arabia, Iran (during the U.S. embargo!), and the Taliban. Joe was involved in an illegal ponzi scheme involving real estate. (These are actual examples - I leave it to you gentle reader, to guess the real names of Sam and Joe.)
Now, the two actions are viewed differently in law and practice. Sam’s activity is without question illegal, but difficult to prove. Joe’s actions on the other hand while illegal under strict interpretation of law, could be difficult to prove in court and could be argued (by an unscrupulous person) to have had some sort of rational behind them such as (I trusted my broker but was not directly involved myself). There is of course, always a chance that even if Sam and Joe manage to keep their past hushed up, some bright investigative journalist from The Guardian Newsgroup in Britain, will uncover their shenanigans.
Here is a simple table of the main options, with some made up but plausible probabilities beside them. The table is for Sam:
Probabilities for Sam Sam Talks about Joe Sam says nothing
Joe Talks about Sam
pjail= 0.8
pelected= 0.0
pjail= 0.4
pelected= 0.4
Joe says nothing
pjail= 0.3
pelected= 0.6
pjail= 0.1
pelected= 0.5
Expected payoff for Sam Av pjail= 0.55, Av pelected= 0.3 Av pjail= 0.25, Av pelected= 0.45
Table 10.1 Assigning probabilities for Sam
For Sam the expected payoff (the average benefit for a given strategy) is highest if he says nothing regardless of what Joe says. Hence even if Sam’s arms trading past comes to light, he may still be elected president. What Joe does, simply does not matter. Similarly, what The Guardian News group publishes about Sam’s past crimes, makes no real difference in this example.
If we iterate the example (i.e. plug in different numbers and assume that Joe and Sam remember what has gone before (eg. whether one or both of them remained silent), the actual numbers coalesce into strategy which is highly likely to work.
We can of course, do this will all sorts of different problems (other than merely a candidate’s illegal past actions) to select a group of strategies which will work across many different contingencies. The way to do this is by applying some of the tools of N-person game theory, Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem, the condorcet paradox (social voting), the provable non-pivital meaning of almost all voting, and a host of other well known tools, analytical techniques, techniques for gaming the vote by manipulating vote splitting, and so on.
Although I am grossly simplifying here for the sake of brevity the takeaway point is a simple one: Using a number of mathematical and social engineering tools, a party’s platform can be constructed not along ideological lines or along lines of what will benefit the people as a whole, but rather on what strategies are most likely to garner a (frequently corrupt) candidate and her corporate backers, the presidency.
The reason so many corrupt, unethical, and even depraved politicians are in office in the west is due in large part to this simple fact.
10.5.5.1.3 Algorithms, Big Data, Social Engineering
All first and second world nations are controlled by big data - algorithms which analyse and profile humans and human activities. They use trend analysis, deep learning, and a number of statistical tools and methods which increasingly are automated in the form of self-directing, self-learning systems.
The purpose of big data is to segment people into controllable and predicable groups. The algorithms used to sort big data - whether they be designed as IQ tests, bank loan calculation, or choice of political district in which to run - are inevitably designed and used to exploit people. For by their very nature, they discriminate and distort the truth. All under the guise of being neutral mathematical and computational tools. In too simplistic but none the less sadly accurate terms, these methodologies always result in sorting people into winners and losers. The losers are invariably poor, poorly educated, visibly ethnic, the disabled, and the like.
Algorithms separate winners and losers at Uber. Uber allegedly uses computer driven pattern recognition and negotiation systems to analyse data on pay packages. The idea was to identify how low a pay package could go before the offer would be rejected [1788]. The result? A reinforcement by “neutral mathematical and computational tools” of the gender gap in pay [ibid, 1789]. There is also Uber’s Greyball, system [1790]. Grayball is alleged to be an algorithm designed to avoid detection when Uber was operating illegally. It allegedly used big data mining to predict which riders might be undercover government officials. For example Greyball allegedly recognised riders using an app tied to a credit card linked to a police union [ibid].
Big data is also marketed as a means of finding “terrorists” (a code word for whistleblowers and dissenters and investigative journalists). These systems sold by private corporations to dicators and human rights violating regimes such as Saudi Arabia [1791, 1792, 1793] and allegedly used to find whistleblowers who were arrested and allegedly killed by government operatives [biid]. These private for-profit corporations headquartered in the west, also allegedly sell big data tracking and predictive systems to Iran, South Sudan, Nigeria, and other similar regimes to help predict (by automatically watching data use patterns, cell calls, ICTV footage, etc.) who in the regime might be becoming a threat to the regime. Additionally they sell to regimes to help shape public opinion.
Shape public opinion? Consider Fang Binxing’s [1794] nationwide censorship system [120] in China, and the fact that virtually no Chinese outside of academia or those directly involved have any real understanding of its pervasiveness or subtlety. It does not so much censor information, as alter it in subtle ways or ban it through downgrading scores on search engines, etc.
What? You think your favourite search engine is a neutral platform returning results without bias? Good for you, you need read no further. However if you wish to find out if the Holocaust happened, today if your type “Did the Holocaust happen?” into a Google search, the results are: No. Because Google returns the top site to answer this question as being stormfront.org which is allegedly a neo-Nazi site running an article “Top 10 reasons why the Holocaust didn’t happen”. Google returns as the third most meaningful answer the article “The Holocaust Hoax; IT NEVER HAPPENED”. Followed closely as the fifth most important site an article “50 reasons why the Holocaust didn’t happen.” Number seven in Google’s rank is a video “Did the Holocaust really happen?”, which answers No. The ninth result from Google is the article entitled“Holocaust Against Jews is a Total Lie – Proof.” And so on. (Thanks to C. Cadwalladr excellent research on this issue in the Observer here in Britain. She is to be commended for her work - go read her May 11, 2016 article in the Observer, please.) Update: Google has now “corrected” this oversight, but it is alleged to be quite easy to find similar examples which continue to express identical skew in all search engines, wikipedia, and other common online commonly used sources.
But my favourite example of mass social engineering is Sesame Credit, which I discussed it and other systems here: Censorship and Bibliocaust , from which I have abstracted the following shorter version:
Ant Financial Services which operates in China as Alibaba Group (online shopping) affiliate, has a credit scoring system called Sesame Credit [1795]. The system is jointly operated by Alibaba and Tencent - which also run China’s largest social networks such as Weibo, which has over 200 million users [1798]. All social networks in China are regulated by the Chinese government - where ’regulated’ means all data they contain is available to the government.
Sesame Credit uses data from online shopping of 300 million registered shoppers and 37 million vendors and payment data from China’s largest online payment system. Credit card usage, online utility bill payment, buying history, vendor ratings, etc. are combined into a single score of ’trustworthiness’ of shoppers. Activity, use, and content of social network messages are combined into this score as well. The end result is a single metric which rates every user (essentially everyone who can afford a cellphone or computer in China) of the system. Now, this rating is important. The Chinese government has put forth statements encouraging people to improve their scores, calling their patriotic duty to do so [1796]. Vendors have begun refusing sales to those with low scores [1797]. How does one get a low score? By failing to pay for goods on time, by have friends with low scores, or by posting opinions online of which the Chinese government does not approve.
“Among the things that will hurt a citizen’s score are posting political opinions without prior permission, or posting information that the regime does not like, such as about the Tiananmen Square massacre that the government carried out to hold on to power, or the Shanghai stock market collapse. It will hurt your score not only if you do these things, but if any of your friends do them”
~ Jay Stanley [1799], Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project
The particularly interesting aspect of this is that scores are linked to a person’s national identity card, which all citizens must carry at all times. The Chinese government has announced that use by everyone in China of the system will be mandatory by 2020. Translation - the compulsory national identity card will record the score as a rating not merely of a citizen’s financial worth but more importantly, a measure of their political compliance.
Disobedience - posting, saying, or researching things the government does not like - will hurt not only an individual’s score, but also the score of all of the person’s friends and family. Linking scores for everyone’s contacts - which can be seen publicly by anyone - guarantee social pressure to raise scores. Which is impossible if one dissents from the regime’s version of truth. Added to the already frightening mass incarceration of those who disagree publicly with the regime, this new surveillance technology adjoins financial, social, educational, and political pressure to ensure subtle but highly coercive means of suppressing dissent of any kind.
As with any totalitarian regime, there are carrots mixed with the stick. Citizens with higher scores receive rewards - easier access to travel permits, faster movement through airport security checks, etc.
While regimes such as North Korea or Saudi Arabia use arrests, beatings, imprisonment, assassination, starvation, poison, and other tools to keep the rabble in line and silence dissent, such tools are crude. The Chinese government uses these tools of totalitarianism as well, but the need is lessening. Instead the tools of authoritarianism work better - massive propaganda, complete control of the education system, and carrot/stick abstraction of Sesame scores work far more thoroughly to shape and socially engineer people away from the very idea of dissent. Already social media in China have seen hundreds of thousands of people (mainly young) boasting about their high scores, and competing to raise them even higher. Something which cannot happen if they post even one word against the Chinese government [1800, 1801].
This is the ultimate Orwellian dystopic bibliocaust - in which self censorship becomes normative even to the point of doxa What is Doxa and Invisible Acculturation? .
In case you live in oligarchies such as the United States, you may enjoy research how large online retail outlets share information on you, and how they sell it to political organisations, and how that information is them used to build profiles of your likes, dislikes, then use all of this to shape your voting patterns. A good place to start is to do some research into who uses the services of companies such as AggregateIQ (AIQ), Cambridge Analytica, Renaissance Technologies, Palantir, and similar corporations. And just who backs them. Both British Guardian and the Observer investigative journalists’ work in this area is also a good place to start. Then go on to the many other sources available. Additionally you may wish to research the Trump Crime Syndicate’s alleged use of data mining corporations in the alleged social engineering which allegedly helped place him in the White House [1802, 1803, 1804, 1805, 1806]. Mr. Trump’s alleged main advisor Steve Bannon was former vice-president of Cambridge Analytica [1804]. Peter Thiel, a billionaire co-founder of PayPal and major investor in Facebook, owns Palantir - a data-mining firm contracting to GCHQ, the NSA, and many others. Mr. Thiel was allegedly one of Mr. Trump’s major supporters and investors in his run for the U.S. presidency [1801, 1802]. You may wish to look too at what alleged role these sorts of corporations played in allegedly helping socially engineer the Brexit vote here in Britain, and British prime minister May’s alleged use of such corporations.
“The first election where digital made a difference was in 2008. And now it’s where pretty much all the spending is. It has been a shift that has happened in less than 10 years. What we’re seeing is exactly the same sort of disruption that we’ve seen in news and music and other industries. That is exactly what is happening in politics. The problem is that if you disrupt politics, you are also disrupting the democratic process and you are creating a very dangerous or volatile situation.”
~ Dr. M. Moore [1803], director of the centre for the study of communication, media and power at King’s College London
Use of data mining and its associated algorithmic tools have enabled the development and use (by those who have the billions necessary to spend in the area) on micro-targeting and neuromarketing. The former allows for targeting of individualised political or social engineering messages to millions of individuals, the latter for the use of developments in the neuroscience and psychology for shaping behaviour through targeted messaging.
“The capacity for this science to be used to manipulate emotions is very well established. This is military funded technology that has been harnessed by a global plutocracy and is being used to sway elections in ways that people cant even see, don’t even realise is happening to them. ... It’s about exploiting existing phenomenon like nationalism and then using it to manipulate people at the margins. To have so much data in the hands of a bunch of international plutocrats to do with it what they will is absolutely chilling. We are in an information war and billionaires are buying up these companies, which are then employed to go to work in the heart of government. That’s a very worrying situation.”
~ Dr. T. Shaw, New York University, expert on the U.S. military’s funding and use of psychological research for torture (which I have discussed here: Are U.S. Run Torture Sites Crimes Against Humanity? and cited those who have alleged that U.S. government activities in this are have been alleged to be virtually identical, albeit more up to date with improved techniques, to activities of and torture techniques used by, the Nazis). The techniques are now being applied to mass influence (i.e. social engineering) which it has been alleged, have been highly successful (again, please q.v. C. Cadwalladr writing in the Observer [Op. cit.] in Britain for an excellent introduction to this area of alleged current activities by oligarchs in the United States, Russia, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Trinidad, and other venues in social engineering and subverting of democratic rights and freedoms)
The result is social engineering to subtly enforce compliance to a particular viewpoint without the individuals so targeted (you), ever being aware that they are being watched and manipulated. For the sceptic, please note that this is not science fiction. It is being done right now, today. There is ample academic literature on the subject, which I would urge you to consult for yourself. The techniques are effective. Remember that to sway a vote, only a small minority of the populous needs to be engineered in a particular direction. Technology is not neutral.
“There are three strands to this story. How the foundations of an authoritarian surveillance state are being laid in the US. How British democracy was subverted through a covert, far reaching plan of coordination enabled by a US billionaire. And how we are in the midst of a massive land grab for power by billionaires via our data. Data which is being silently amassed, harvested and stored. Whoever owns this data owns the future.”
~ C. Cadwalladr [1801], investigative journalist, The Guardian. Cadwalladrs work is at time of writing the subject of “legal complaints on behalf of Cambridge Analytica LLC and SCL Elections Limited” [ibid]

10.5.5.2 Deeds, not words

“He was the nascent modern Heroic leader. Mussolini combined the interests of corporatism with public relations and sport, while replacing public debate and citizen participation with false populism and the illusion of direct democracy.”
~ scholar J. R. Saul [1166] concerning the fascists Benito Mussolini and Silvio Berlusconi. (Please also see Firehose Effect: the social epidemic of incessant lies)).
An example of how deeds show the truth of those in power, rather than their words:
In one hamburger-loving ostensible democracy, several states have issued laws have effectively outlawed collective bargaining. Using virtually identical wording, each of these states have:
  • banned unions,
  • granted broad martial law powers to police,
  • curtailed freedom of information laws,
  • given unelected officials the right to remove elected officials from various positions,
  • and removed the right of appeal.
Notice particularly that these edicts enable unelected officials to remove elected officials from their posts at will. Only in such bastions of democracy as Gaddafi’s Libya, Nigeria, Mubaric’s Egypt, Sudan, Chad, and Saudi Arabia are there similar laws in place.
Hence whilst the authors of these laws loudly proclaim their adherence to democratic ideals, their deeds certainly imply otherwise.
In a completely unrelated aside, it is interesting to note that when Hitler set about creating his dictatorship in Germany, one of his first acts was create laws which helped destroy unions, gave police broad powers, curtailed access to information, limited the right of citizens to assemble, removed collective bargaining, and gave unelected officials the right to remove elected officials from their posts [60,61].
Where the actions of officials in ostensible democracies clearly indicate more than their words not merely whether they believe in a real democracy, but whether a real democracy actually exists.
Saul’s words quoted in [1166] concerting Benito Mussolini and modern Italian fascism could equally well apply to several current leaders of ostensible democracies. The examples are too many and too obvious to go into here. Suffice it to say that the ancient truism that fascism often comes wrapped in a flag, waving a cross, and hiding a gun... may have some validity in some parts of the world which are ostensible democracies. Such as those which spend as much as 20 times more on their military than on social programs.

10.5.5.3 Dynasties

In their report Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups , and Average Citizens [1225] Drs. Gilens and Page used straightforward multivariate analysis over a large number of policy issues and decisions. They concluded that the United States is fundamentally an oligarchy, not a democracy. Their research shows domination of virtually all major policy decisions by an elite group and/or a biased pluralism, rather than by majority rule. I would argue that in North America, this elite group has become a dynasty.
There are three types of dynastic progression commonly found in countries which bill themselves as democracies:
  1. natal,
  2. personal partisan, and
  3. identical policy:

10.5.5.4 Natal

There is another common form of manipulation too in devolving democracies - dynasties. Sometimes a dynasty is as simply as ensuring that a corporate executive with very, very close ties to the executive branch of government has his son installed as leader, who in turn ensures through various means that his son is installed as president, even when it is obvious to one and all that the person in question may be intellectually challenged.
“[The U.S. president] is lucky ... He is unusually incurious, abnormally unintelligent, amazingly inarticulate, fantastically uncultured, extraordinarily uneducated, and apparently quite proud of all these things.
~ Christopher Hitchens [405], regarding U.S. president G.W. Bush
In the United States the son of a U.S. Senator is 8,500 times more likely to become a Senator himself than is the average citizen [1487]. Of the past 45 Presidents in that country, just above 1/4 were related to previous Presidents [1488]. Yet the propaganda meme insists that there is no aristocracy in that country.

10.5.5.5 Personal Partisan

In additon to this obvious natal dynastic progression, dynasties in ostensible democracies are also made up of personal friends of the ruler. A good example of this is the Russian democracy under Czar Vlad Putin.
The Russian Constitution stipulates that a president must resign after fulfilling a two-consecutive-term limitation. But it has nothing to say about the president installing his personal friend in that office, running the country covertly behind said friend, then again standing for re-election at a later time.
When other potential candidates are assassinated or heavily encouraged to resign, this amounts to a dictatorship with the face of democracy.

10.5.5.6Identical Policy

The third type of dynasty in democracies is that of identical policy, whereby two candidates enacting essentially identical policies are the only choices presented to the electorate. The United States is the best example of this, for obvious reasons.
As you can easily see without need for further elaboration, most current ostensible democracies are dynastic democracies. Most alternate between the three types.

10.5.5.7 Neuroengineering the Illusion of Choice

“The mass media serve as a system for communicating messages and symbols to the general populace. It is their function to amuse, entertain, and inform, and to inculcate individuals with the values, beliefs, and codes of behavior that will integrate them into the institutional structures of the larger society. In a world of concentrated wealth and major conflicts of class interest, to fulfill this role requires systematic propaganda. ... The elite domination of the media and marginalization of dissidents that results from the operation of these filters occurs so naturally that media news people, frequently operating with complete integrity and goodwill, are able to convince themselves that they choose and interpret the news "objectively" and on the basis of professional news values. Within the limits of the filter constraints they often are objective; the constraints are so powerful, and are built into the system in such a fundamental way, that alternative bases of news choices are hardly imaginable. In assessing the newsworthiness of the U.S. government’s urgent claims of a shipment of MIGs to Nicaragua on November 5, I984, the media do not stop to ponder the bias that is inherent in the priority assigned to government-supplied raw material, or the possibility that the government might be manipulating the news, imposing its own agenda, and deliberately diverting attention from other material. It requires a macro, alongside a micro- (story-by-story), view of media operations, to see the pattern of manipulation and systematic bias.”
~ E. Herman (professor emeritus of finance at the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania) & N. Chomsky (professor of linguistics, MIT) [1657]
I will not go into the details here, but an outstanding example of what Herman and Chomsky spoke of in the 1988 quotation above, was the treatment by the media of Dr. J. Stein in 2016. Dr. Stein was the Green Party’s nominee for U.S. president in the November 2016 election. Her treatment confirmed what Herman and Chomsky had hypothesised some three decades earlier - the issues raised by Dr. Stein, issues that actually effected the public such as climate change, government corruption in the executive branch, illegal wars, torture, genocide, bribery of politicians, etc. ... were simply dismissed or not even discussed in media. Only acceptable issues and responses - vague, inconsequential - were allowed in the media. Every thing Dr. Stein raised was ignored, lambasted, mocked without allowing the Greens to discuss their points whilst the two wolves (nominees from the ruling classes of U.S. society) were granted free access to media. All of which went to support if not prove Herman and Chomsky’s quotation. Please consider reading “Manufacturing Consent” by these two professors, which goes into considerable detail about how easily the illusion of choice is manufactured by media and those who rule.
Well, to continue on from the previous subsection:
The core beliefs deeply held by people can be, and are being, altered by the unscrupulous with considerable ease. The fields of neuromarketing and core belief engineering Can Your Core Beliefs be Easily Altered? [537] show that knowing which parts of the brain are effected by certain ontological outlooks may allow one to more easily change said outlooks.
In my articles on core belief engineering Can Your Core Beliefs be Easily Altered? [538] and particularly methods of generating unconscious obedience Creating the Fourth Reich? [539], I discuss the relative ease with which a person’s most deeply held beliefs can be altered by agencies outside the individual. Some of this is pertinent to the current discussion on manipulation of democracy, so a brief exert from these articles may be worthwhile:
There are a number of interesting studies which show that the brain appears to be set up to make snap decisions about the worth of a person [133,134,135] without any real information about the person. This makes sense from an evolutionary standpoint. For example: Should I allow that stranger carrying that scary looking spear into my cave, or kill him now before he sees me hiding behind this tree? But what is of particular interest in the current context is that such snap judgements seem to out way all other considerations such as reason and deliberation.
It turns out that it is very easy to predict the outcome of societal decision such as a vote, by using the data from snap judgements alone. Simply show a group of randomly selected young children brief images of election candidates. Then ask them which person they would choose to captain their boat. Invariably the children choose, with approximately 70% accuracy, the same candidates that later go on win elections [136,137]. This works with adults as well. For example, people where briefly shown a selection of people from a country they had never visited, and about whom they knew nothing. They where then asked to rate which of the faces seemed the most competent. They did not know that the faces they were being shown were of election candidates. Again, with roughly 70% accuracy, their choices matched those who were actually elected [138]. This has also been done, with about the same level of prediction, when people where shown pictures of candidates for 1 second only [139].
The conclusions drawn from this and other similar research has been that people are hardwired to make snap judgements. And that such judgements are consistent and moreover appear to receive more weight than election advertising, rational consideration, party platforms, and so on. Neuromarketers, neuroengineers, and propagandists are already hard at work on refining this research so as ensure their candidates appeal to the neural areas involved in these snap judgements.
In other words, in terms of manipulating choice the physical appearance of a candidate is very, very important. Gordon Brown (British Prime Minister) had allegedly received considerable cosmetic plastic surgery [140]. Candidates selected for their looks simply do well. Coaching them to move so as to appeal to the neural areas supposed to be involved in acceptance [301]  [301] But see my article here on the dangers of neuroimaging Is Neuroimaging Pseudo Science?) faux-science. is now commonplace.
In other words, in modern democracies Policy takes a far distant second place [141] to irrelevant bias. The implications for manipulating said bias through manipulating candidate appearance are far-reaching. These findings are currently beginning to be used to undermine rational decision making on the part of the electorate.
It is common amongst the majority of a country’s citizens to make two assumptions:
  1. their country does not use propaganda, or at least minimally so and
  2. they are clever enough to both recognise propaganda and to be unaffected by it.
Both assumptions very nicely indicate the success of propaganda. For the vast majority, there is no choice whatsoever. The propaganda system in China, Russia, and above all the United States and its colonies such as Britain, is so staggeringly successful that even questioning the prevailing doxal inculcation, does not occur to the majority of citizens. Who toil under the delusion that voting for which wolf will rule them, means that they live in a democracy.
“Government is the great fiction, through which everybody in it endeavours to live at the expense of everybody else.”
~ Frederic Bastiat, French economist

10.5.5.8 Rule by the unelected

“... in the realm of practical politics, the president’s authority under the Constitution did not differ in important measure from that of the King.”
~ John Yoo [145], U.S. government constitutional advisor
There has been as you know, massive election fraud in many ostensibly democratic countries:
  • In the United States voting machines have allegedly been tampered with repeatedly to manipulate the vote in favour a a particular party or person [383, 384, 385, 386]; it has been alleged that president G.W. Bush can to power by use of massive fraud which kept opposition voters away from polling stations [514] and through use of voting machine fraud [515].
  • In India entire villages have allegedly been bribed to swing the vote a particular way [387, 388];
  • In Russia people in districts known to be favourable to a particular party have allegedly been turned away from voting areas [389]; ballot boxes were alleged to have been rigged [516] in favour of a former KGB head and his assent to the Presidency.
  • In Italy many districts known to be unfavourable to the then Prime Minister were allegedly faced with brute squads turning many away from voting [393, 394].
  • In the United States laws have been enacted to disenfranchise the poor, who are generally more likely to vote against right wing candidates. The means of doing this is simple - prevent anyone from voting who does not carry a voter identity card. If you are unfamiliar with why this is a means of disenfranchisement for the poor, please see [550, 551] for an introduction to the issue. Suffice here to say that it is a very effective means of disenfranchisement.
And so on in many ostensible democracies. There are a plethora of other examples is Australia, Britain, Canada, the U.S., etc.Yet such tactics which sometimes see people enter political office without having won election, and then manipulate the laws or eliminate legal constraints so as to be able to better commit future election fraud with impunity.
Yet even such antidemocratic activities pale before the alleged manipulations which occur behind the public face of politicians, in the boardrooms of their masters - those with money.

10.5.6 STEP THREE: Normalise corruption and the rule of money

“We’ve moved from a democracy, which is supposed to be based on one person, one vote, to something much more akin to one dollar, one vote. When you have that kind of democracy, it’s not going to address the real needs of the 99 per cent."
~ J. Stieglitz [1240], awarded the Nobel Prize for his work in economic theory
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Ms. Blackburn, pictured above, was a U.S. politician (congress woman). In that capacity she authored a resolution (now law) to allow internet providers to record and sell customers’ private search histories to anyone, without notification or permission [1740] from their customers. Ms. Blackburn was paid well over half a million dollars in campaign “donations” from the self-same industry which wanted to profit from the private personal data of their customers. Ms. Blackburn received particularly generous “donations” from AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon [1738] - the largest ISPs outside of China. Her qualifications for understanding the intricate technologies involved in her removal of the fundamental right of privacy? Why, Ms. Blackburn held a B.S. in home economics [1739].
Customer data is protected under human rights laws in all western nations [1936], even Italy, except the United States. For with the accession of U.S. president Trump, of whose party Ms. Blackburn was a member, Ms. Blackburn’s resolution passed easily into law supported by most members of the Trump regime.
Ms. Blackburn was an ardent foe of medicare, stating in an interview that medicare legislation included "death panels" for the elderly [1741] despite offering no supporting evidence whatsoever. Other contributions from Ms. Blackburn consisted of her opposition to abortion [1938], her support of U.S. president Turmp’s ban on Muslim immigration, her conviction that the planet is cooling not warming [1743], that there was no evidence to support research into medical use of embryonic stem cells [1744], allegedly bullied and intimidated scientists [1745] even to the point of sending federal law enforcement to the homes of those involved in stem cell research [ibid], and much more. Ms. Blackburn was called one of the "Most Corrupt Members of Congress" by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, even with so many other U.S. politicians contending for the title.
Such a fine person, was perhaps well suilted to be targetted for what appeared to be and were alleged to be [1742] bribes (albeit legal ones) by multi-billion dollar corporations. Consider one obvious consequence:ssss Suppose you were a woman in an abuse relationship. At night when the abuser was drunk and asleep, you furtively searched the internet for safe houses. Thanks to Ms. Blackburn this information could now be sold. Think about the implications for a moment. Sigh.
The normalisation of corruption in that nation was so pervasive however, that the average citizen barely noticed as the last rung in their fundamental human right to privacy [Op. cit.] was removed.

10.5.6.1 The public face of power

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Shown in the photo is Mayor R. Ford of Toronto - the 3rd largest city in North America. This mayor controlled a budget of $10,000,000,000, had allegedly lied about his alleged heavy drug use, his allegedly alcoholism, his alleged junckets at taxpayer expense, his alleged financial mismanagement, his alleged ties to organised crime, etc. [1255] but under the system in Canada [1257], could not be removed from office. Mr. Ford announced [1252] that he wished later to run for Prime Minister of Canada. He was allegedly a “fishing buddy” of both the then Prime Minister Harper and the then Finance Minister [1253], the latter of whom had offen allegedly [1254] spoken in praise of Mr. Ford. Mr. Ford claimed to have been elected by the largest majority in history - just as Prime Minister Harper had claimed for his own party [Op. Cit.]. (Both claims ludicrously incorrect.) Mr. Ford also claimed to have saved the taxpayer over a billion dollars [1258] (no proof of this was ever offered) and to have been the most fiscally responsible head of government in decades [1259], just as Mr. Harper had claimed to be fiscally responsible [1260] and benefited the taxpayer with huge cost savings [ibid, 1261] (similarly incorrect - see here Evidence Based History vs. Revisionism) for example).
The public - i.e. propagandised - face of power is usually radically different from the all to frequent, smarmy reality underneith.
Those who show the public face of power - the party leaders, Cabinet Ministers, and so on, are almost universally drawn from the a pool of the already elite and wealthy [62,63,64, 60,53,52,11]. Joseph Stieglitz, a Nobel Laureate in Economics, summed the reality of the situation up rather well, when speaking of the United States and similar western countries:
"Virtually all U.S. senators, and most of the representatives in the House, are members of the top 1 percent when they arrive, are kept in office by money from the top 1 percent, and know that if they serve the top 1 percent well they will be rewarded by the top 1 percent when they leave office. By and large, the key executive-branch policymakers on trade and economic policy also come from the top 1 percent."
~ Joseph Stieglitz [65]
Stieglitz was specifically speaking of the demise of democracy in the United States. Under But his comments can easily apply to most other democracies, from Britain to India. That is to say, in many democracies those in power, were either born to it or assisted to it by those born to it in a quid pro quo arrangement. There are dynasties of power in democracies, some families have been at the pinnacle of power for centuries [427]. Ruling classes are far removed from the lives of the majority, for not only do they hold almost all of society’s wealth Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls ), What is Money?) [540] (indeed, almost all of the planet’s wealth) but they also hold almost all governmental and military power The Hubris of Empire: Is the United States the world’s greatest threat to peace? [541] (wielded for their own gain), and have done so for a long time, as examined below.
There are of course exceptions. Yet in most cases which have been formally studied (with the notable exception of Václav Havel [66], president of Czechoslovakia), those not born to power quickly forget their roots upon attaining it, and act identically to their confrères who were born to wealth and power. While the United States is an extreme example (>1% of the population holds more than 96% of the wealth [67] - see also my article on trickle-up economics Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls ) [542]), the pattern in most historical as well as current democracies is the same.
Furthermore, in all current democracies power and wealth lies in the hands of artificial structures. These structures are corporate entities. They have the rights of citizens [302]  [302] In 1886, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that corporations were persons under the law, with all of the constitutional rights that designation implies [1331]. Additional Supreme Court rulings through the years augmented the ability of corporations to “donate” money to politicians who enacted favourable laws [1332, 1333, 1334, 1335]. “I’ll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag” [1336]. but the power, wealth, and influence of oligarchs. Moreover, these entities are controlled by a tiny handful of men (and a few women) who run the corporations largely for their own personal gain, both fiscal and political. It is from these corporations and their CEOs that most Cabinet Ministers and heads of state are drawn [ibid].
In essence what usually occurs with the devolution of democracies is that mercantile or corporate blocks form. In time they develop what is known as regulatory capture. This meant that groups with vast holdings have interests in producing particular policy outcomes, and because of their size and power, come to dominate what were once democratic (i.e. representative of equality) regulatory agencies. By contrast, the general public has such limited individual stakes that their voices come to be unheard over those heading corporate (formerly mercantile) groups.
And so laws, regulations, foreign policies, and so on come to be written for and by corporations and their directors. The role of major corporations in the destruction of Haiti [68,69] is a very good example of this. Leaked documents [71] show quite clearly that a handful of large corporations where allegedly involved in orchestrating the brutal suppression of democracy in that country, creation of laws favourable to themselves, and similar activities in order to garner large profits for themselves [70]. Similar ugly examples are legion, as are the counter narratives (propaganda) generated to disguise their activities.
"We have to get the narrative right."
~ U.S. Secretary of State discussing instituting additional propaganda [71]
Finally I would like to mention of two Supreme Court rulings in the United States. These ruling (the Citizens United case [475]) allowed for the creation of a new type of political action committee (a PAC). This new type of PAC - known as a “superPAC” has been allowed by the Court to raise and spend any amount of money from any source for the purpose of supporting or opposing political candidates. A superPAC is allowed to directly attack a political candidate with any amount of negative advertising - to even spend billions in doing so. The only very minor restriction is that a superPAC may not coordinate directly with candidates or political parties, a restriction so vague as to be meaningless.
“What was left of electoral politics in the United States gasped and sputtered to its extinction with the 2010 Supreme Court ruling known as Citizens United. At that point the game was over. Legalised bribery now defines the political process... They decide who gets elected by anonymously pouring hundreds of millions into campaigns. They hang with their SuperPACs like vultures over the heads of every federal and state legislator. Any politician who dares to challenge corporate demands and unregulated corporate capitalism knows they will be thrust from political life as well as their highly paid corporate jobs once they leave office. Politicians, including Barack Obama, are corporate employees. And they know it.”
~ Chris Hedges [598]
Interestingly, just under 200 individuals provided more than 80% of money raised by superPAC [476]. Using current U.S. Census statistics for the number of eligible voters, this means that 0.0000000085% of U.S. voters proved more than 80% of money raised by these special political action committees, or superPACS. You can decide for yourself for whom a politician is more likely to write laws - you, or one of these 200 people.
Democracy cannot survive where so few control so much of what enters a politician’s personal purse.

10.5.6.2 Economic rule

The multi-billion dollar Walmart corporation has allegedly taken out hundreds of thousands life insurance policies on their employees. But should an employee die, the benefits do not go to the person’s family, but rather to Walmart [643]. This is know colloquially as “dead peasants insurance” or what the insurance industry terms STOLI (stranger originated life insurance). These are policies whereby insurance policies are taken out on your life by someone else, for their benefit. If you die, they get more money than if you live. This has become common practice amongst large corporations. And amongst some very wealthy private individuals who take out what are know as “Death Bonds” - a type of dead peasant insurance which is traded on the bond market [644]. In other words, life insurance which began as an attempt by families to mitigate the economic impact of death on children and dependants, has now become, for the very wealthy, a very profitable form of betting against poor people’s lives.
There are also so-called "viaticals" [643, 645]. These are insurance policies taken out by people who were dying of AIDS. These policies are traded on the investment market. The investor (not the insurance company) then pays a lump sum to the AIDS patient for their care. However when the patient dies, the insurance policy pays the investor, not the patient’s family. In these policies, the sooner the patient dies, the more money the investor makes (since the remains of the lump sum payment returns to him). Investors therefore bet on how long an AIDS patient will live. It is a very lucrative form of investment [ibid].
What does this have to do with democracy? Everything. Because these two examples are illustrative of a point made by Dr. M. Sandel and other political scientists around the world - namely that markets and market values have come to dominate all aspects of life in democratic societies. Even to the point of betting on how long a person will live, hoping it is a short life, so the investor can make more money.
But the economic use of "utility maximisation" does not by any means explain human behaviour. Emphasising “the economy” and “market forces” as politicians perpetually do in all democratic countries is to discount virtually everything that matters in a democratic society - art, human decency, advanced education, play, child rearing, etc. Instead as recent history has so very clearly demonstrated, particularly regarding the rise of Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls ), politically enabling laws which rest upon and emphasise “market forces” leads to unfairness and the degradation of values throughout society.
Yet utility maximisation continues to dominate. It is taught to children. An example: Most people are functionally illiterate Your Educational System is designed to foster illiteracy in industrialised nations. Since “utility maximisation” and “market forces” have come to dominate these societies, it should come of little surprise therefore to find more and more schools paying students to read [646, 647, 648]. In one school for example [648], every chapter of a book which a child reads earns her two dollars USD. The easy to predict result of course, is that students come to regard reading as most people regard their jobs, something they do for money. Not to learn and grow as humans. Early studies currently being done on the pay-to-read model show that students who are paid to read never read without being paid to do so [649]. Yet the schools are able to say that they have increased literacy rates by applying market forces and utility maximisation.
Finally, a word about the power of rating services such as Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s, etc. Unelected, secretive, for-profit credit-rating corporations rate government economic status. Ratings help markets sore or if downgrades, create havoc in markets. They have become so powerful - and according to many, so corrupt [768, 769] - that the democratic rule of government is compromised by their pronouncements.
A democracy which rests almost exclusively upon economic value and market forces to set policy, is one which devalues human life, learning, and growth.

10.5.6.3 Buying elections

"I want my grandchildren to grow up and look up and see a blue sky and have dreams that their grandchildren are going to do great things. And I don’t see that today in Canada. I see a government just completely out of control. Canada is trading integrity for money. That’s what’s happening under the [government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper], which is a very poor imitation of the George Bush administration in the United States and is lagging behind on the world stage. It’s an embarrassment to any Canadians. Money is number one. Integrity isn’t even on the map."
~ Neil Young [1091], discussing the regime of Stephen Harper and its effect upton Canada
Earlier I mentioned the role of cerain corporations - or rather, those running said corporations - in creating laws favourable to themselves. This power extends of course, to manipulating the vote by the several means outlined below. But at this point I wish only to mention how easily a party favourable to power, but unfavourable to the electorate, can be inserted into power.
But wait a moment, perhaps an example of buying elections which is never openly discussed may be worthwhile first. There is very little mention of the disabled in media. Oh, there is a little of course, just for the sake of appearances. But nothing substantive, just as there is seldom anything substantive. Especially since the deisabled are usually so burdened by poverty, pain, lack of help .... that they usually do not make much fus. But there are quite a few diabled persons who vote. So why not entice them to vote for your party with announcements of money for the disabled?
In Canada Prime Minister Steven Harper announced a $45 million dollar “Enabling Accessibly Fund” [1103]. Its ostensible goal was to help people with disabilities. Very exciting - some of my disabled friends were very pleased, hoping the fund could help them pay for necessary care and medications. But there was a catch. Almost all of the money was spent in ridings held by the governing part of Mr. Harper. At time of writing a mere 6% of the fund had been spent in ridings held by opposition parties. In addition the only two projects to receive major funding under the program were both in ridings held by Harper’s party. 87 other projects requested by the disabled or their representatives were turned down - they were allegedly all in ridings not held by Harper’s party. But most disabled people were unaware of this because the press and government repeated the mantra of how Mr. Harpers party helped the disabled.

10.5.6.4 Disengage the public, discourage voting

Candidates for the U.S. Senate spend on average in excess of $9,000,000 per election [504]. Most of the money is spend on increasingly negative advertising, castigating the other candidate and lauding oneself [ibid]. Very little - essentially none - of this advertising deals with policy [505].
The vast sums which each candidate spends (vide infra to see where the money comes from in the first place), are not in advertising directed at the typical voter. As I argued above, due to the manner in which the electoral systems in North America, Britain, and similar ostensible “democracies” have been designed, the average voter has very little effect in most elections. Rather the money is spent to play the odds, which due to the lack of proportional and equitable representation, means two things:
  1. Playing to a candidate’s ideological base in order to ensure their turn out on election day.
  2. Turning the average voter, who in all democratic societies tends to vote for moderation, into a non-voter.
The key strategy now used in Canada, Britain, France, and its home, the United States is to spend massive amount of dollars upon negative advertising. The effect [506, 507], is to dissuade moderates (the majority) from voting, and persuade ideologically hardline voters (a small minority) to vote. And it works [ibid]. Only a small minority of citizens in North America now vote as cited previously. And most of these are ideologically tied to a particular viewpoint [508] rather than a moderate middle way.
When running for office costs millions of dollars, negative adds devoid of policy predominate, and the only way to win, is to discourage everyone except ideological fanatics from voting... democracy cannot continue to exist.

10.5.6.5 Corporate rule

“A functioning democracy is a society where the overwhelming majority of the population decides that it is not interested in the awesome task of self-governmance, preferring instead that the job fall to a minuscule number of very greedy and ruthlessly antidemocratic businessmen.”
~ Dwayne Booth [1219]
There are four areas which control the world’s economy and hence the direction of society:
  1. Military related industries (weapons, surveillance, etc.),
  2. Drug related industries (legal and illegal),
  3. Energy related industries (hydrocarbon and nuclear),
  4. Agribusiness (genetically engineered crops, factory farms, etc.)
The power and control held by the handful of large corporations controlling these sectors is immense.
Note that corporations are not elected. Nor are those who run them Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls ) [543]. Because of their power, wealth, and inherent self-serving modus operandi, there is great difficulty of having any form of democracy in a world of multinational corporations. For these hold more fiscal resource than most governments. In many countries corporations have the rights of citizens, but the say and power of tyrants. This was nicely highlighted by a Club of Rome report,which amongst other things stated the following:
“Sacrilegious though this may sound, democracy is no longer well suited for the tasks ahead. The complexity and the technical nature of many of today’s problems do not always allow elected representatives to make competent decisions at the right time.” [72]
The report went on to point out that the oil wars have marked a turning point in what they term the First Global Revolution. For every barrel is conflicted with blood, corruption or environmental degradation. Oil wars as the report states, are on a par with the Industrial Revolution in how they will alter humanity.
The thrust of the report’s prediction was that trade blocks, not nation states, will dominate humanity. The MAI (Multilateral Agreement on Investment [303]  [303] Jackson and Sanger’s collection of studies [73] of the alleged disaster which the MAI has generated for democracy around the world is a definitive work in this area. Reddick and Shiniad’s [74] look at what it has done toward placing control of telecomminications in the hands of a few powerful men is a good introduction to what has happened to the gradual alleged de-democratisation of the internet.), NAFTA, CAFTA, and other similar agreements around the world (especially the horrific TPP) are perhaps good examples here. As is the fact that for the most part in the west, political leaders have increasingly come from large corporations, or arrive in position with a long history of corporate support at the expense of the citizenry.
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That they enable treaties which are demonstrably harmful to the majority of citizens yet favour corporate power and wealth, is therefore of little surprise. Nor is the fact that such treaties result from secret negotiations [75] from which the public is always excluded. But in which large corporations and their lobbyists are welcomed with open arms.
Consider: $55,000,000 per hour The Real Monetary Cost of War [544] (fifty-five million dollars an hour) is spent upon the military [75] by a country where 1 in 6 of its children live in poverty [77] - the highest rate of child poverty of any industrialised nation in the world [78]. Such on obscenity is difficult to comprehend - how many mothers, had they a real say in the apportioning of funds as a true democracy would enable, would allow this use of public monies?
A final example: In the U.S. the Supreme Court recently ruled that corporations can require that their customers agree to not form a class action against them [671]. And further that corporations can require customers to mediate all claims in forced binding arbitration [672]. This served to allegedly establish a parallel court system which was utterly controlled by and for large corporations. Since this was a Supreme Court ruling, customers had no other recourse. Many large corporations immediately began bundling boilerplate text to this effect in their contracts. Contracts which were long, in “legalese”, and seldom if ever read by consumers. Corporation were given thereby the right to allegedly collude against the consumer, and to effectively set up a court system of their own binding upon the consumer, independent of the legal system. The implications of this for democracy were profound, particularly since U.S. laws began to be incorporated into binding trade agreements around the world, as discussed in section 7, below.

10.5.7 STEP FOUR: Remove Democratic rights and freedoms

"Remember: the origin of corporatism in the second half of the nineteenth century lay in two things - the rejection of citizen-based democracy and the desire to react in a stable way to the Industrial Revolution. These original motives would evolve into the desire for a stable managerial, hierarchical society."
~ J. Saul, [163]
Deontology is an approach to society which views actions as right or wrong based upon rules. Deontology is a duty and rule based view of action - obey the rules when they are wrong or harmful. Teleology on the other hand, is a result oriented view of action - it focuses upon whether the results of the actions are right or wrong, good or bad, for society - the end justifies the means. Democratic rights can be viewed as primarily deontologically based or teleologically based. When democracies begin, they are invariably teleologically based. However as democracies devolve into police states and subsequently into dictatorship and fascism, teleology becomes the philosophy of the rulers and absolutism in deontology becomes the rule for the masses.
For example, police in the 1960s were quite tolerant of a few ounces of marijuana use in the United States. This was a teleological view point because the obvious lack of social harm small amounts of marijuana caused was seen as insignificant beside real crime. Currently however, a few molecules on ones shoes or fingertips [347] is sufficient for long term jail time [346] - the end result is ignored in favour of the rules, a deontological way of running society. That is to say, enforcement has changed from teleology (since the deleterious effects of occasional use upon society are essentially zero) to deontology (where the rules, not the effects, matter).
I have discussed the virulent attacks on access to information Censorship and Bibliocaust [545] throughout the past 2000 years. Some of the most virulent attacks on the dissemination of knowledge originate from ostensible democracies. Again, democratic rights for the majority transit from teleologically to deonologically based as society devolves from democracy toward dictatorship. Wherein those at the top adopt a teleological view while imposing deontology upon the vast majority. This can be clearly seen in the following six simple examples below:

10.5.7.1 Due Process

“There ought to be limits to freedom”
~ George Bush II [273]
Consider the case of the U.S. citizen, J. Padilla [1049]. Mr. Padilla was arrested on suspicion of being a terrorist (see here The World Wide U.S. War of Terror for the meaning of that term). He was arrested by the U.S. government on US soil. He was placed into a military jail. There he sat for 3 1/2 years. During which time he was continually tortured, given psychotropic drugs, and locked in solitary confinement. All without a single charge being laid, without trail. He was held completely incommunicado, without access to a lawyer, without being able to contact his family or friends, or seek medical or legal help. (James Comey, the government representative who defended that lawless imprisonment of a U.S. citizen was later appointed head of the U.S. federal police (the FBI) by U.S. president Obama [1050].) When Mr. Padilla’s case was finally brought to trial through the work of civil rights groups, experts concluded that he was mentally fit for trial due to the abuses he had undergone during torture. However the Bureau of Prisons psychiatrist disagreed [1051]. Mr. Padilla was sentenced to a long term in prison. Regardless of the merits of this case or the validity of Mr. Padilla’s alleged crime, his case marked the first time that the public became aware that a U.S. citizen could be be detained without charge or due process, then tortured by his own government. Interestingly, imprisonment without trial, torture, indefinate detention, where the hallmarks of the Solviet Union. But of course, that could never happen here.
At any rate, Mr. Padilla’s ordeal also marked official judicial support for the U.S. Military Commissions Act. This Act provided the legislation for incarceration without judicial or public oversight [86]. Moreover in the case of Turkmen v. Ashcroft [87] U.S. courts found that the government was free to detain for any length of time without access to legal or other aid. In his decision the Judge stated that using race or religion was reasonable cause to select a person for incarceration. Various executive orders from NDSS 84 through order 11490 [88] augment these powers and place them in the hands of the head of state. Other countries, especially those which are colonial subjects of the United States, have followed suit.
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For example Canada’s Security Certificates appear to have been modelled on the U.S. NDSS powers. Canada’s version allow government to indefinitely detain anyone without charges or trial, or the requirement to disclose evidence or justification why this is being done [89]. Although the Canada Supreme Court ruled this unconstitutional, government ignored the ruling by creating new legislation (Bill C-3) which reintroduced security certificates with a few changes, allowing secret detention and trial again [90]. Needless to say, other democratic countries have similar legislation - legislation which removes equality before the law and the right to be tried by one’s peers, a cornerstone of democracy. (See also my article on the growth of prisons as an attack on the poor North American internment camps) [546] - there is a large body of scientific research showing that tough-on-crime legislation increases fiscal and social inequality.)
“I reject the Bush Administration’s claim that the president has plenary authority under the Constitution to detain U.S. citizens without charges as unlawful enemy combatants.”
~ U.S. president before his election. After his election, he expanded the very policy he criticised [631] bringing in laws very clearly antithetical to democracy (see for example, here: Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.)), all under the slogan “Change you can believe in”.
For example, consider the National Security Letters (NSL) in the United States. NSLs in that country are used by agents of the government against individuals and groups to order the hand-over of any information such agents choose, with neither judicial oversight nor probable cause. Noncompliance carries considerable risk. For example, when a citizen sued the government for issuing an NSL against him, he was in turn counter-sued by the government which argued
“’failure to comply with a lawfully issued National Security Letter interferes with the United States vindication of its sovereign interests in law enforcement, counterintelligence, and protecting national security” [621].
Of course such a claim is ludicrous - NSLs are in clear and obvious violation of the U.S. constitution (amendments 4 and 1, 5 and 14 [622]) and the Due Process Clause [ibid]. Something which those issuing the NSLs know full well. That they ignore their own laws and continue to use NSLs, is an indication of the state of democratic rule in that country. And so when as mighty a corporation as Google Inc. challenged FBI demands for its data in court [1015], the litigation took place away from the public eye (the court was sealed). The FBI had demanded user information in 192,499 cases, of which 97% included a gag order [1016] - i.e. Google could not tell anyone including their lawyers, that an NSL demand had been made. The judge, from her sealed courtroom, granted the FBI requests [1015, 1017]. (Please also see Censorship and Bibliocaust for additional citations.)
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That is to say, secretive unelected officials secret made extralegal demands forbidding any discussion of said demands, and made demands for which a warrant would not have been granted [1015]. But it get worse: the court agreed to allow said officials to not only do so, but said that the their demands must be obeyed. And worse: This was all done in secret, by unelected functionaries, and the public was kept in the dark. Democracy? Perhaps not. Incidentally the U.S. Constitution, particularly amendments 4 and 5, clearly forbade all of these shenanigans. Hence we have the very sad result that those in authority can and do substantially disregard the justice system acting with impunity against anyone they wish. History repeats for as you may be aware, this is exactly how the notorious STASI operated in East Germany.
"Richard Nixon, if he were alive today, might take bittersweet satisfaction to know that he was not the last smart president to prolong unjustifiably a senseless, unwinnable war, at great cost in human life... He would probably also feel vindicated (and envious) that ALL the crimes he committed against me
~ which forced his resignation facing impeachment
~ are now legal."
~ Daniel Ellsburg, U.S. whistleblower whose work ultimately resulted in the U.S. president resigning for illegal activities [91]
Finally, I would urge you to read my article on prisons North American internment camps). In it I show that equality before the law has become essentially nonexistent in Canada and the U.S. over the past fifty years, and that that equality has been rapidly deteriorating in the 21stcentury. Without equality before the law, and in the rights of judges to be independent of political interference, there can be no true democracy.

10.5.7.2 Fake elections

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Photo: Alexander Lukashenko, “democratically elected” dictator of Belarus, one of the world’s more oppressive regimes, along with supporting military - recognisable by their big hats, pretty jewellery, and gaily coloured ribbons. And very large guns pointed at the citizens to help them decide whom to democratically vote into office.
".. multiple reports of disenfranchisement of black voters in Florida and Ohio on the day of the election ... [and] ... electronic voting machines in Volusia County, Florida, that counted backwards. So amidst all of these reports of phoney, bogus stuff going on, how could you concede the election on the day? How could you concede the 2004 election on the day? In this book, it says there were five million votes that were suppressed. Didn’t you want to be president?!"
~ Florida Student directly before being repeatedly tasered by security personnel and police while asking this question of U.S. president-elect J. Kerry[478]
In Section 2 above, I mentioned that the very nature of the electoral system in many ostensibly democratic countries ensures that true representative democracy is guaranteed to fail. Instead a system true representation is frequently replaced by a system guarantees that the wishes of the majority will be ignored. Added to just discussed role of corporate and individual extreme wealth, laws antithetical to the populous as a whole are similarly guaranteed.
But sometimes this is not enough. Sometimes the candidate is so odious, that nothing short of fixing an election will ensure his success.
There are many means by which this can be accomplished. Here are a handful which are currently the most popular in a number of ostensibly democratic countries:
  1. Rig voting machines. There are examples of this allegedly being done by remotely accessing so-called backdoor in the machines to change the vote tallies. An example: During a test of the security of e-voting systems in Washington, D.C., after a few hours hackers were able to alter vote counts and even the name of the candidate [484]. They created a new candidate (Bender, a drunken robot from the series “Futurama”) then altered the vote counts to successfully elect him. Please see [478] for a detailed summary of how these machines have been rigged to help place unelected candidates at the head of democratic governments.
  2. Another method is through lying about the opposition, then having sufficient funds to ensure that the media is so blanketed with the the lie, that it is virtually impossible for the opposition candidate to counter. See [479] which gives a very well documented example of this.
  3. Or entice voters and campaign contributors with false advertising. A typical example: The U.S. Republican part allegedly created a host of website mimicking websites for their rival party [1216]. To such an extent that voters and campaign contributors ended up supporting the very party they thought they were fighting against [1217]. This example is particularly interesting for the mindset it demonstrates - that is to say, not merely unethical, but no respect for democracy or for the voters.
  4. Or to deny any third party candidate the opportunity to speak in national debates. (See [480] which discusses the exclusion of the head of the Canadian Green Party from such debates, and [481] which discusses similar difficulties involved for third party candidates in the UK and the U.S. How this is also enforced in the Russian democracy makes for a particularly interesting read - see [483].).
  5. Or have people working for party A phoning people in tight-race ridings, pretending to be calling on behalf of party B. They then insult, lie about party B’s platform or candidate, give people incorrect voting information, and so on [481]. In democracies where this unethical and illegal tactic has been used, it has been shown [482] that Party A would never have achieved government (or even a majority of seats), had they not resulted to this election fixing. A concrete example: Misleading and/or harassing phone calls to voters in non-Conservative ridings were made during a Canadian election. These calls allegedly affected the outcome in many ridings [489], allegedly illegally [490, 491] handing the Mr. Harper the Prime Ministership, and the government. Elections Canada failed to investigate the alleged massive voter fraud until a newspaper (the Ottawa Citizen) obtained documents through the Freedom of Information Act indicating what had allegedly occurred [492]. At time of writing the Elections Officer had just under 200 ridings under investigation [493] for alleged fraud by and in favour of Mr. Harper’s party.
  6. Circumvent rules on election spending. Let me give an example of how this can easily be done without technically (not ethically, of course) breaking the rules. The government of Stephen Harper in Canada allegedly spent over $215,000 of tax money every single day [950, 951] during a two year period [951] on advertising to promote the government’s various policies, such as job plans, environment plans, etc. This was five times the average salary in Canada. (Data for subsequent years unavailable at time of writing.) The advertising praised his government in various ways, withou providing factual information to support the various claims made. Polling indicates clearly that such advertising invariably leads to the majority of its targets feeling positively toward the government regardless of the facts of the case [973, 974].
  7. Lie: As documented by many sources (notably [1724, 1725], U.S. president Donald Trump appeared to be a pathological liar. For example during his run for the presidency he was measured [1727] lying at least five times per minute during some of his speeches - saying one thing in one speech, and the exact opposite in another, twisting facts (eg. the ludicrous claim that global climate change was nothing more than a Chinese conspiracy [1726]), refusing reality (eg. the outrageous claim by Mr. Trump [1730] that the media lied about the low number of persons attending his inauguration when there was video evidence to show it was indeed Mr. Trump who was misrepresenting the facts), and so on. While some noted psychiatrists saw this as part of a meglomainaical narcisistic personality disorger [1728, 1729], I would arue that Mr. Trump s alleged mental state was not of primary import here. Instead Mr. Trump - like North Korean dicator Kim Jong-il and other similarly minded persons - created other world alternate realities in which truth was irrelevant as a means to attend and hold power. Of course without truth - required for informed choice - democracy cannot exist.
  8. Change laws. The Harper regime once elected in the FPP system by a small fraction of the citizenry, allegedly proceeded to change the electoral system even more in their favour, dismissed the oversight office which had investigated their allegedly illegal tampering with the voting system, and did away with the types of campaign “contribution” controls which had previously constrained undo manipulation of candidates by corporations [1213, 1214, 1215]. This sadly, was illustrative of the type of manipulations of the system to which FPP are subject by the allegedly unscrupulous.
  9. In Canada 67 members of the Conservative Party under Prime Minister Steven Harper, which won the election by a very narrow margin were later allegedly found to have committed election fraud in order to do so. Mr. Harper would it has been alleged, not have come prime minister had alleged fraud not been committed. Please see here for details: Soft Fascism by example).
"... [the alleged election frauds] raise serious issues about the integrity of the democratic process in Canada and identify practices that, if proven, point to a campaign of activities that would seek to deny eligible voters their right to vote and/or manipulate or interfere with that right being exercised freely."
~ Federal Prothonotary M. Milczynski [1229] investigating alleged Harper government election fraud.
  • “If this were a dictatorship it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator.”
    ~ G.W. Bush, U.S. president [1271] (Mr. Bush was allegedly allowed by the Harper regime to enter Canada multiple times even though under Canadian law this was allegedly illegal (please see here The World Wide U.S. War of Terror for citations and details.)
Point 8 above as well the other notes here Soft Fascism by example) concerning the alleged undermining of democracy by Canada’s Harper regime, serve as a microcosm of a trend happening across the world in devolving democratic societies such as Canada, Britain, Australia, the United States, etc. This trend is an attack by government upon nonpartisan yet relevant expertise which goes against government policy. The attacks range from alleged killing of scientists [1292] to simple character assassination such as Mr. Clement’s and the Harper regime in general statements [Op. cit.]. The techniques most commonly used are these:
  1. Character assassination [Op. cit.]
  2. Misuse, abuse of data. Making up data The World Wide U.S. War of Terror , Under-counting the dead - how governments lie about those they kill
  3. Threats against scientists (grant termination is common), and other means of suppressing free speech Why Do Politicians Destroy Science? ,
  4. Attacking science [ibid]
  5. Propaganda (eg. lies about political opponents flooding the media) Media Controls Most Narratives), Is Fear induction Social Engineering?
  6. Egregious surveillance Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.)
  7. and the other techniques outlined below
There are of course, many others. All depend on keeping the public ignorant of factual information. The purpose is sadly historically common - to ensure the wealth and power inequities inimical to democracy, continue.
Consider for example the fraudulent nomination of Hillary Clinton as presidential candidate for U.S. democratic party. The entire process was allegedly fixed, with the actual winner - Senator Bernie Sanders - being eliminated by means of faking/manipulating results. Allegedly by the machinations of Wasserman Schultz, head of the DNC (ie. the party) and her coworkers. Ms. Schultz just happened to be an alleged long time personal friend of Hillary Clinton - the only person (and her team of course) who would have benefited from Ms. Schultz’s alleged actions.
Additionally Ms. Clinton was herself so mired in decades of scandal [1619], alleged corruption [1620, 1621], and potential war crimes (for her role in bombing Libya even against the advice of the U.S. military [1618]) that it is unlikely she would have received the nomination where it not for these and other [1622, 1623, 1624] alleged behind the scene manipulations of the alleged decidedly undemocratic process through which she seized the nomination.
One small example of her decades of alleged malfeasance, following a leak of her party (DNC) emails:
“The crime exposed by the DNC emails is money laundering. In those, they discuss how to move money from very wealthy donors making big deposits through a DNC fund for ’down ticket’ candidates (like state and local races). Huge donors with money, adhering to campaign finance laws, make deposits into the Clinton campaign (HFA). But they want more money to go to her so they direct the majority of it into something called the Hillary Victory Fund which is operated by the DNC. From there it’s split again between state level party operations and the DNC, also to avoid limits. However, it’s not at the state party accounts long, in fact, it’s often there so briefly that the state level treasurers managing don’t even have time to see it hit the account before it’s gone and it’s ’donated’ back to the DNC, essentially having been ’washed’ through the sate accounts. The DNC then used the money to support the Clinton campaign. ... the DNC laundered money to circumvent campaign finance law and support Hillary.”
~ comment by 4223193, Slashdot [1626]
Following the leak the DNC (allegedly taken over and operated by Ms. Clinton and her very powerful plutocratic backers [1627]) immediately tried to deflect from what they had allegedly done by claiming “the Russians” hacked into their servers and leaked the emails [1628]. Well, it is always useful propaganda to play to the general public’s utter ignorance of how the net actually works. Sigh.
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Photo: Ms. Clintion - the U.S. Secretary of State - was allegedly lying, as subsequently released documents and testimony indicated she was fully informed that everything was not at all permitted (please see North American internment camps). If she had followed the simple directions below however (or simple common sense) all of her email would have been secure
At any rate the alleged corruption of Ms. Clinton’s good friend the DNC chairperson and others in the top echelons of the party itself was perhaps worse than this. For in the leaked emails available in full [1639] at Wikileaks it is very clear that the DNC staged protests and planted false news items in order to manipulate public and party opinion. The emails also contain what appear to be allegedly highly racist comments against various groups. The emails show too that DNC alleged even went so far as to have secret fundraiser with the major news outlet the Washington Post which even the DNC’s own lawyers warned was perhaps illegal. The DNC allegedly also gave money raised directly to Ms. Clinton in an alleged clear violation of FEC (federal election rules) [1640]. And much more directed against any opposition (i.e. Senator Bernie Sanders) both without and within Ms. Clinton’s party so as to manipulate the vote which saw her become the party’s leader [ibid].
Under U.S. law (18 USC 1924) Ms. Clinton must be charged. Her claim that she did not know that she was breaking the law is ludicrous - anyone with less powerful friends would have been charged under the ’ignorance of the law is not excuse’ body of case law. Furthermore someone who spent decades in Washington claiming no knowledge of this law or the criminal code is either incompetent (and therefore does not merit federal office let alone the presidency) or lying. Under 18 USC 1001, Fraud and False Statements, and 18 USC 1623 False Declarations, Ms. Clinton and members of her staff also allegedly should have been charged - but were not - with making false declarations before a grand jury and/or court. Something which in the United States carried up to five years in jail. That none of this happened shows rather nicely how the law allegedly applied differently to the rich and powerful than to the average U.S. citizen. Democratic equality? Perhaps not.
The there was Ms. Wasserman Scultz’s so-called "resignation" and later that of others at the top of the DNC. Which only occurred after they had achieved their alleged goal of ensuring there was no internal Challenger to Ms. Clinton. Unsurprisingly when the emails were leaked and she and her cronies were disgraced, Ms. Clinton not only praised her (presumably because Ms. Clinton would not have become party leader without these shenanigans) and publicly promised Ms. Scultz a reward and ongoing role should Ms. Clinton become U.S. president. Part of this reward for work well done, was alleged [1641] to be given high paying positions in the Clinton Foundation and Fortune 500 companies funding Ms. Clinton.
Bottom line - Ms. Clinton certainly appeared to have allegedly encourage election fraud.
Believing the U.S. election process to be democratic compared to oh, let us say Denmark ... is indeed an amazing leap of cognitive dissonance.
Finally, it should be noted that democratic elections are frequently ignored or overturned by ostensible democracies. There are so many examples it is difficult to know where to start. Perhaps if you are interested, you can read about the alleged overthrow [758, 760, 761] of the much beloved [762] president of Haiti Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti after Mr. Aristide had been democratically (attested to by independent international observers [759]) elected by the vast majority [760, 762] of Haitians. But Mr. Aristide did not wish to allow multinational corporations to continue the alleged rapine of his country and his people, so he allegedly had to go.
“Many folks who took to the streets yesterday indicated that even if shot down or killed by the U.N. or police, they will not allow the “internationals” to escape accountability for the theft of over $7 billion in charity dollars meant for homeless earthquake victims. Three years after the earthquake, Haitians will not be distracted by the “Aristide-is-corrupt-and-without-support” card to prolong their corruption and tyranny.”
~ Ezili Danto [758], Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network (HLLN)
If you are interested, there is a very long list of countries similar treated. Consider Iran for example:
In the 1950s the democratically elected Iranian government under Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh decided it was in the country’s best interest to nationalise Iran’s oil reserves. This was in response to decades of alleged exploitation by Britain’s Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, later renamed British Petroleum (BP). The parliament and citizens at large supported Mr. Mosaddegh’s decision wholeheartedly. But Britain objected. Later declassified documents [1099] show that Britain’s Churchill and the U.S.’s Eisenhower governments plotted to overthrow the democracy in Iran, replacing it with a dictator friendly to British and U.S. interests. This they did, through a combination of military, propaganda, bribery, street thugs, embargoes, use of organised crime, fake riots, false flag events, and other means [1100, 1101, 1102] typical of the common practice of overthrowing democratically elected governance. The first Shah of Iran was placed on the now dictatorship, and stayed for the next 26 years, liberally making use of the the U.S. trained SAVAK secret police to keep dissenters in line, and opening Iran to British and U.S. oil interests.
Well, there are sadly, many similar stories of the overthrow of democratic rule in favour of dictatorship friendly to foreign corporations, but unfriendly to the citizens of the country. Some good resources concerning the overthrow of democracies can be had by perusing references in N. Chomsky’s writings (particularly [763, 764]), R. Zinn’s carefully documented research (such as [765]), M. Parenti’s work, and many, many others.
The historical literature is filled with examples as well. Note that a democracy which overthrows other peaceful democracies, is a democracy in name only - not in fact.

10.5.8 STEP FIVE: Control information, introduced mass censorship

"Though the outcome of my efforts has been demonstrably positive, my government continues to treat dissent as defection, and seeks to criminalise political speech with felony charges that provide no defence. However, speaking the truth is not a crime."
~ E. Snowden [952], chased around the world, called a traitor, for the crime of allegedly leaking documents concerning alleged U.S. government allegedly illegal and unethical activities (see Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.) for much more on this issue. Mr. Snowden incidentally, received 12 nominations [1218] for the Nobel Prize, several from members of the Nobel Committee, for his contributions in demonstrating the alleged crimes of a devolving democracy.)
Almost every government in history has encouraged mass censorship. I give examples of this over the past two thousand years in my article on Bibliocaust Censorship and Bibliocaust .
What has changed in recent times however, is that there is a prevailing belief amongst the general population in ostensible democracies, that they are not subject to the same denials of access to information. Particularly since the communication technologies such as the internet are so prevalent.
Sadly this is a very naive view, and one which actively denies the long history of censorship of ideas and information in all societies.

10.5.8.1 Access to information

Free and open access to information is essential for true democracy, for obvious reasons. It may be hypothesised therefore that the degree of open access to government, military, corporate, and legal information by the public is a measure of the depth of democracy in a given country. Similarly the growth of laws and/or institutions to curtail such access is a measure of the deterioration of democracy. Keeping this in mind, you may wish to read my article on bibliocaust mentioned above Censorship and Bibliocaust [545], where I discuss how the wilful destruction of knowledge has been accelerating in our own time despite the appearance of the opposite. Most democracies - U.S., Canada, Britain, France, Italy, Japan, India (where Communications & Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal ordered Facebook, Google, YouTube and Yahoo to censor content), Russia, Turkey, Australia, Germany, the United States, New Zealand, etc. have implemented blacklists concerning published works, both digital or analogue. In all cases, the blacklists are almost entirely without appeal or available for public examination. It is rather difficult to detect difference between this mass censorship in democracies and non-democracies.
There exists a sin de industrial (a deliberate calculation committed in full knowledge) of destruction and denial of access to vast quantities of information currently underway in almost all democracies. The implications for the continuance of democracy under such massive bibliocaust are obvious. And very sad.
To continue: A word about the ever increasing use of “State Secrets” as justification in banning taxpayers from access to information which they fund:
In the later 1940’s three civilian scientists were killed in the crash of a B-29 bomber [92]. They had been involved in missile research. Their families sued (in the case U.S. v. Reynolds) the government, wishing for release of the crash report, seeking to discover how (and why) their relatives had died. The government refused, citing “State Secrets”. They argued that vital “secret electronics” information in the crash report would compromise “national security” if they were released. The Supreme Court of that country upheld this reasoning. From that time onward, the government could deny any request for information by simply invoking the “State Secrets” rational... It was later discovered, 52 years later in fact [93], when the crash report was finally declassified, that the report contained nothing whatsoever about “secret electronics” or national security issues.
What it did contain was alleged proof that the government had allegedly been negligent regarding maintenance of the B-29 which crashed. The government had used the “State Secrets” defence to perpetrate not merely a lie, but to avoid responsibility to the families.
Another example, this time a current one: Canadian mining companies had been accused of horrific environmental, social, and human rights abuses [1095]. Under Prime Minister Steven Harper’s government repeated requests for access to information on the government relation to these firms, and to information on permits granted them was denyed, obfuscated, and delayed [1096, 1097, 1098].
"Although we expect much of the information we requested will be redacted based on some phony pretence, we believe that our complaint with the [Access to Information] Commissioner is fundamentally necessary to protect our democratic right to obtain information and to hold our government accountable. This is also part of our effort to expose the Harper government’s secrecy and how it supports corporations as opposed to working people in Canada and abroad."
~ K. Neumann [1098], USW National Director
Since access to information is an absolute essential to all functioning democracies, such blatant denials as touched upon in these examples, is anathema not merely to democracy, but to accountability on the part of those in office.
The graphic below is abstracted from NASA data and 21 different climate studies. It shows the mean daily average temperature in 2100. Notice that much of the planet will be, unless dramatic improvement quickly occurs, uninhabitable. Species die off world wide will of course follow, as food and fresh water supplies succumb, and insect born disease multiplies.
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10.5.8.2 Whistleblowers

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
~ Joseph Goebbels [1088], Nazi Minister of Propaganda
Another aspect of the right to information being removed from “democratic” societies around the world may be seen in the virulent attacks on whistleblowers. There are quite literally hundreds of examples to choose from in most ostensible “democracies”, such as:
  • The British government’s alleged assassination of whistleblower and weapons inspector Dr. David Kelly by Dextroprypoxythene, Succinylcholine injections [1628], on 17 July 2003. Dr. Kelly was also an expert on biological warfare. During the time when prime minister Tony Blair’s government was heavily fabricating lies [1629, 1630, 1631] (later proven by the Downing Street Memos [1632]) in order to convince the unwilling British public to join the illegal U.S. invasion of Iraq in violation of UN Security Council resolution, 1441. An invasion solely for the purpose of stealing oil reserves and assuaging U.S. president Bush’s alleged war lust [1633, 1634]. Dr. Kelly was a voice against all this showing Mr. Blair’s statements to be alleged fabrications [Op. cit.]. While Mr. Blair was later accused of war crimes [1635, 1636, 1637, 1638] even receiving a damning report on his alleged illegal alleged machinations via the British government’s own 2016 Chilcot Report [1639], at time of writing Mr. Blair is still a free man living in luxury. And Dr. Kelly’s family still mourns his murder.
  • the Austrian Government’s alleged persecution of whistleblower Jane Burgermeister;
  • the U.S. government’s alleged torture of whistleblower Chelsea Manning (the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture found that Bradley Manning’s treatment by the U.S. was “cruel and inhuman” [1107]);
  • the Russian government’s alleged assassination of whistleblower Alexander Litvinenko with polonium [1151];
  • the Canadian government’s alleged viscous attack on whistleblower Sean Bruyeai;
  • the Swiss government’s alleged human rights abuses against whistleblower Chris Tucker;
  • the alleged assassination of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat with polonium-210 by the head of a nearby democratic state and nuclear power [1152];
  • and so on - the list is very, very long.
All of this is rather tragic. For the most part the virulence of attacks upon whistleblowers, even when the courts ultimately clear them of any wrongdoing, sends a message to others - do not speak out or you too could have your life destroyed. A society where government can act thus with impunity, flouting laws and constitutional protections, may be many things. But a democracy is not one of them.
(Please also see my article here Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.), Sect. 7, for additional details and citations.)
“I suggest that the 2013 Peace Prize awarded to the American citizen Edward Snowden.
Edward Snowden has - in a heroic effort at great personal cost - revealed the existence and extent of the surveillance, the U.S. government devotes electronic communications worldwide. By putting light on this monitoring program - conducted in contravention of national laws and international agreements - Edward Snowden has helped “to make the world a little bit better and safer. Through his personal efforts, he has also shown that individuals can stand up for fundamental rights and freedoms. This example is important because since the Nuremberg trials in 1945 has been clear that the slogan "I was just following orders" is never claimed as an excuse for acts contrary to human rights and freedoms. Despite this, it is very rare that individual citizens having the insight of their personal responsibility and courage Edward Snowden shown in his revelation of the American surveillance program. For this reason, he is a highly affordable candidate. The decision to award the 2013 prize to Edward Snowden would - in addition to being well justified in itself - also help to save the Nobel Peace Prize from the disrepute that incurred by the hasty and ill-conceived decision to award U.S. president Barack Obama 2009 award. It would show its willingness to stand up in defence of civil liberties and human rights, even when such a defence be viewed with disfavour by the world’s dominant military power.
Sincerely,
Stefan Svallfors
Professor, Umeå University, Sweden”
Dr. Svallfors was one of the few that are allowed to make recommendations to the committee. Since his recommendation Mr. Snowden has received twelve additional nominations, including some from Nobel committee members [1212]. While those who have been found allegedly guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity as cited here The World Wide U.S. War of Terror continued to call for his head and incarcerate other whistleblowers for life.
The virulent persecution and prosecution and even assassination of whistleblowers who reveal illegal and immoral activities of government whilst those committing said activities ignore the law with impunity, is a sad testament to the state of civilisation on this planet. And to the deterioration of moral, ethical, and democratic principles in several countries.
Incidentally, there is an oft heard claim that whistleblowers harm “national security” (whatever that means - usually a code phrase for anything which threatens the rule of a nation’s aristocratic class) and help “terrorists” (a very nebulous term - please see The World Wide U.S. War of Terror ). Consider for example the following statement by former NSA chief Michael Hayden and Mat Olsen from the U.S. National counter terrorism Centre:
"The changed communications practices and patterns of terrorist groups following the Snowden revelations have impacted our ability to track and monitor these groups"
~ Michael Hayden [1412]
"Following the disclosure of the stolen NSA documents, terrorists are changing how they communicate to avoid surveillance.”
~ Mat Olsen [1413]
Such statements make for good propaganda perhaps, but are made without any supporting factual evidence whatsoever. Nor is there any independent research to support this sort of claim.
There are however some independent studies showing that such claims are questionable. Consider for example the meme that releasing information concerning encryption “helps the terrorists”. In a research report entitled “Measuring the Impact of the Snowden Leaks o n the Use of Encryption by Online Jihadists” [1414], no evidence was found that leaks of NSA materials had any effect on helping those whom the U.S. labelled “terrorists”.
“The underlying public encryption methods employed by online jihadists do not appear to have significantly changed since the emergence of Edward Snowden. Major technological recent advancements have focused primarily on expanding the use of encryption to instant messenger and mobile communications mediums. ... Well prior to Edward Snowden, online jihadists were already aware that law enforcement and intelligence agencies were attempting to monitor them. As a result, the Snowden revelations likely merely confirmed the suspicions of many of these actors, the more advanced of which were already making use of – and developing – secure communications software.” [ibid]
If you read through The Tshwane Principles [1426] which carefully look into the merits of govenment keeping secrets from the public, it soon becomes clear that the common usage of “national security” has nothing whatsoever to do with securing anyone other than political, corporate, and military leaders from the wrath of the public should what these people are actually doing become widely known.
"If the people knew what we had done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us."
~ George H.W. Bush, U.S. president, to journalist Sarah McClendon of the White House Press Corps, 1992 [85]
As I have pointed out herein and elsewhere The World Wide U.S. War of Terror , those groups whom the U.S. power elite dislike sometimes may be internationally recognised scholars and human rights activists (eg. Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn), sometimes they may be U.S. supported heads of state who have fallen out of favour (eg. Saddam Hussein, M. Reza Pahlavi), or sometimes they may be actual terrorists (eg. ISIS). All of these know full well that three-letter government departments have been routinely spying on everything and everyone they could for many decades - long before Snowden or similar leaks occurred. But it should be noted that in the case of the latter two groups, they are as capable of hiring the expertise to avoid three letter spies as are the three letter spies themselves. Particularly when such expertise is readily for sale by non-U.S. tied nations which are as good as, or better than, the cream of U.S. based mathematicians and cryptographers. Hence private tightly encrypted distributed networks are not difficult to build or maintain - corporations and military do this all the time. That “terrorists” funded by wealthy nations such as Saudi Arabia might also do so, is to be expected. The propaganda that release of whistleblower documents help this happen is simply implausible (please see the citations here The World Wide U.S. War of Terror which include research showing clear that some of the claims made that whistleblowers harm “national security” - whatever that is - are simply false and not supported by hard evidence.)
Please also see the section on Sending a Message, below, particularly the example of Australia whose right wing government passed appallingly antidemocratic anti-free speech anti-civil rights legislation to thwart whistleblowers, journalists, and individuals from releasing information about the doings of their government. Sadly other countries soon followed suit.
Democracy depends upon honest from government officials. Statements such as those of Hayden and his ilk do little to inspire confidence that they issue from representatives of a healthy democracy. Furthermore, the list of traitors amongst highly placed government officials who have not been charged is long, illustrating the gross hypocrisy and inequity to be found in failing democracies such as the United States. I will give a single final example to illustrate this:
Consider the case of David Petraeus:
This fine and noble former head of the CIA and one time alleged head of the CIA torture program [1456] allegedly gave highly classified documents to his mistress Paula Broadwell [1457, 1458, 1459, 1460]. The documents with which Mr. Petraeus was allegedly so cavalier were “classified information regarding the identities of covert officers, war strategy, intelligence capabilities and mechanisms, diplomatic discussions, [and] quotes and deliberative discussions from high-level National Security Council meetings” [1461], etc. classified as “above Top Secret” - i.e. far more sensitive than anything the above three persons allegedly leaked. Mr. Petraeus stored them too, in an unlocked desk because presumably it was too much bother to lock things up. Then this fine fellow allegedly lied [ibid] about the these incidents to both FBI and CIA officials.
These are all crimes, punishable under the Espionage Act, with mandatory long jail sentences [ibid]. Needless to say Mr. Petraeus received no punishment at all. He merely continued on, as a member of the aristocratic class, with his very lucrative consulting jobs. Jobs given him by other aristocrates, largely allegedly at the expense of the public purse [1463, 1464] and/or corporate shareholders [ibid]. His lucrative private equity career [1461] also continued unabatted. He remained too a trusted (!) advisor to U.S. president Obama [1466, 1467].
Meanwhile Manning will languishes in jail for the next 35 years [1467], Mr. Snowden must remain in hiding [1468], and Mr. Assange lives in fear of assassination [1464]. And so on down a long list of other [1468] whistleblowers. They of course, had the misfortune not to be members of the U.S. aristocratic class.
I would urge you to read through The Tshwane Principles [1428] which carefully look into the merits of government keeping secrets from the public, it soon becomes clear that the common usage of “national security” has nothing whatsoever to do with securing anyone other than political, corporate, and military leaders from the wrath of the public should what these people are actually doing become widely known.
Important too, are the Global Principles on National Security and the Right to Information [1429]. The 68-page document is readily available, and puts to rest the inane propaganda touted by those who would spy on everyone all the time. The need for the type of horrific structure the U.S. led Five-Eyes Panopticon and have put into place is shown therein to be far, far more than anything factually need to protect the citizens of a country from outside threat.
The term “national security” is a means of shutting off debate, dissent, whistleblowers, journalistic investigation, and more - it is little more than a propagnada meme designed to disguise the machinations of those whose contempt for Democratic rule is exceeded only by their contemt for free speech.
“One of the challenges of being a whistleblower is living with the knowledge that people continue to sit, just as you did, at those desks, in that unit, throughout the agency [NSA spy agency]; who see what you saw and comply in silence, without resistance or complaint. They learn to live not just with untruths but with unnecessary untruths, dangerous untruths, corrosive untruths. It is a double tragedy: what begins as a survival strategy ends with the compromise of the human being it sought to preserve and the diminishing of the democracy meant to justify the sacrifice. ... By preying on the modern necessity to stay connected, governments can reduce our dignity to something like that of tagged animals, the primary difference being that we paid for the tags and they are in our pockets."
~ Edward Snowden [1595], recipient of the German Julia and Winston Award, the Ridenhour Truth-Telling Prize from The Nation Institute and The Fertel Foundation, the Joint Honorary Award with Alan Rusbridger from the Swedish Right Livelihood Award Foundation, the IQ Award from Mensa Germany, the Carl von Ossietzky Medal from the International League for Human Rights, the Sam Adams Award, the Stuttgart Peace Prize, and others. Mr. Snowden is currently being pursued by the United States government under Mr. Obama’s presidency for duplicity regarding illegal spying on hundreds of millions of citizens of many nations, including U.S. citizens

5.3.2.1 Ensuring self-censorship - the end of free speech

“The government’s priorities are upside down. The US government has refused to investigate credible allegations of torture and other crimes under international law despite overwhelming evidence. … It’s hard not to draw the conclusion that Manning’s trial was about sending a message: the US government will come after you, no holds barred, if you’re thinking of revealing evidence of its unlawful behaviour.”
~ W. Brown [1109], Senior Director of International Law and Policy, Amnesty International
Take for example the virtually unknown case of Thomas Drake. Mr. Drake was an NSA executive who was concerned that the NSA was wilfully ignoring protections enshrined in the U.S. constitution, as well as wasting huge sums of taxpayer money. Initially he raised his concerns internally at the NSA, but was ignored [1174]. So he began expressing some of his worries with journalists. In response, rather than discussing or taking his concerns seriously as would have occurred in a real democracy, the U.S. government indicted Mr. Drake on multiple national security charges, including espionage [1175]. This latter is important, for it would have placed Mr. Drake in prison for the rest of his life [ibid]. Despite character assassination attempts [1174] and other attempts to intimidate him [1176], Mr. Drake refused to back down. On the eve of his trial, the U.S. government’s case collapsed (since Mr. Drake had done nothing illegal [1174, 1175]), and the the case against him was dropped.
The judge in the case, Judge Richard Bennett, condemned the U.S. government for dragging Mr. Drake through “four years of hell” [1177]. The oxymoronically named Justice Department had allegedly done everything possible short of character assassination to allegedly destroy Thomas Drake’s life. Mr. Drake’s life and career allegedly had been severely impacted.
Or take the similarly largely unknown example of Gwenyth Todd. Ms. Todd had been a Middle East expert for the U.S. National Security Council, and had worked in the office of then Defence Secretary Dick Cheney. In 2007, as a senior political adviser to the U.S. Navy, she allegedly discovered that several high-ranking U.S. admirals were allegedly planning to provoke war with Iran. Allegedly the admirals’ plan was to sail three huge aircraft carriers into the Strait of Hormuz unannounced, to Iran’s boarders. All allegedly without notifying the U.S. State Department or U.S. allies in the Middle East. Ms. Todd felt it was her duty to inform her superiors in Washington. The details are available here [635,636]. Allegedly as a result of Ms. Todd’s courage, patriotism, and morality in this matter, she lost her not only her position and job, but was placed under investigation by the FBI and other intrusive agencies [637] . Her life and career allegedly ruined.
It is very sad that some of those who have released information regarding government lies, corruption, war crimes, and trampling of human rights in several ostensibly democratic countries, have been threatened with assassination and death [317,318, 319,320,321]. Some have been kept under electronic house arrest without ever being charged with any crime [322]. Others have merely been killed [323,324,325]. There have been attempts to manufacture false information and feed it to whistleblower organisations so as to discredit them [322,326,327]. Financial institutions (banks, online money exchange, credit card companies, etc.) have been joining government in creating illegal fiscal embargoes, so that money necessary to publish or distribute information from whistleblowers is unavailable [328, 329, 330].
Consider for yourself what this means for the survival of democracy, when merely pointing out government alleged corruption or illegal activities can lead to the full weight of the state being directed against an individual or his familiy. The chilling effect on others who might act similarly , is as obvious.

5.3.2.2 Sending a message

It is important to note in all of this that when corporations or government can arbitrarily bankrupt law-abiding individuals or organisations with whom they or the disagree, then free speech no longer exists, regardless of the claims of democratic rule made by these same powers.
Employees are secretly monitored by such tools SureView which monitors behaviour to predict who might be a potential whistleblower [331]). The doublespeak message from governments is that whistleblowers who reveals government crimes and wrongdoing are somehow magically more guilty of high crimes and misdemeanours than those who actually commit said crimes.
And so the propaganda would have one believe that those who reveals that torture of innocents [331,320,333,334,335] including children [336] to be commonplace in some countries, are somehow more culpable than the actual perpetrators of these horrific crimes. And example: One of the whistleblowers who revealed this information - J. Assange - was awarded the Australian Peace Prize. At the same time he was arrested in Britain for revealling the alleged British role in torture [337].
Unfortunately Australia’s subsequent far right government did not respect the findings which led to the awarding of this prize. Or it was alleged, democratic and civil rights: The Australian National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014 [1418] stated that journalists, whistleblowers, bloggers, or individual citizens who "recklessly" (what constitutes ’reckles’ is not defined) disclose "information ... [that] relates to a special intelligence operations" (again, the details are not defined) can be imprisoned for up to 10 years. Why, because:
"The internet poses one of the greatest threats to our existence,"
~ Australian Senator Glen Lazarus [1368], speaking in favour of the Bill. The senator apparently had never heard of cancer, Ebola, alcoholism, climate change or other similar items which actual were threats.
It is important to note that the government under this Bill could declare anything it wished, including visits of government leaders to brothels, to be a “special intelligence operation” [1419, 1420, 1421] thereby giving itself and criminal and civil immunity while simultaneously subjecting anyone daring to disclose that government ministers frequented brothels to a decade of languishing in prison. Furthermore, under the Bill anyone who identified an ASIO spy agent was also subjected to a decade in prison [ibid]. The bill gave the government and its spy agencies virtually unlimited access to the private information of everyone without public oversight.
"What we’ve seen [tonight] is I think a scary, disproportionate and unnecessary expansion of coercive surveillance powers that will not make anybody any safer but that affect freedoms that have been quite hard fought for and hard won over a period of decades,"
~ Australian Senator. S. Ludlam [1422] speaking against the Bill
In other words, in the name of fighting “terrorsts” The World Wide U.S. War of Terror , the government removed fundamental legal and civil protections for the press, civil rights groups, and individual citizens.
In the past, publishers of Galileo’s books were charged with high crimes because they disseminated truth (i.e. the earth was but one of several planets). “Shoot the messenger” is and has always been, a dominant mantra of repressive societies. It has been said time and time again by historians, that only tyrannies silence whistleblowers.
In Sect. 8.4.1 below, I discuss the case of Dr. Daniel Ellsberg without whose courageous example an alleged war criminal and traitor would never have been driven from office. Since Dr. Ellsberg’s time however, the tactic adopted by the U.S. and other governments such as Britain (the government’s alleged attack on whistleblower Dr. Kelly [1060]) or Canada (the government’s virulent alleged attacks on Tar Sands whistleblowers), etc. has been this:
Demonise any and all whistleblowers, call them traitors, or even torture them (vide infra) in order to distract attention to the wrongdoings the whistleblowers expose. It has now sadly become normative to work to destroy the credibility of the messanger, deny the facts he presents, prevaricate and fabricate, and when all else fails, jail and torture the whistleblower in question. Yet if the governments in question had nothing to hide, then they would have nothing whatever to fear from free and open access to their activities.
One need look no further than the personality attacks on Private Manning (vide infra) and his eventual torture, or the outrageous personality attacks against E. Snowden (who allegedly leaked the fact of construction of an illegal Panopticon (NSA spying) by the U.S. government [1060] to find current evidence of this.
Or consider the case of Julia Davis. Ms. Davis was a U.S. anti-terrorism/immigration expert and Customs and Border Protection Officer, who allegedly exposed problems with the process of admission into the U.S.
Following her detailed report to the FBI on this issue, Ms. Davis was branded a “Domestic Terrorist” [1162], and fifty-four retaliatory investigations were allegedly conducted against her [1163] as well warrantless aerial surveillance, email monitoring, wiretaps, warrantless searches and seizures, allegedly invading her home and allegedly breaking down the doors and brutally assaulting her parents [ibid], etc. - all in an effort (as will Ellsberg and others) to allegedly discredit her report and herself. All allegedly orchestrated by the U.S. Department of Fatherland Homeland Security [ibid]. Eventually after many years of persecution, Ms. Davis was completely exonerated by the courts [1164, 1165].
Other whistleblowers had not been as lucky (vide infra and Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.), The World Wide U.S. War of Terror ). However the point is clear - use the power of the state to launch unreasonable, possibly illegal, and certainly unethical attacks on whistleblowers so as to ensure that others are discouraged from similarly bringing government questionable activities before the public. Please see my article on the White Rose The White Rose Campaign for Human Rights for a background to this topic.
As I said previously, a government which acts in this fashion may be many things, but a democracy is not one of them.

5.3.2.3 Undoing 800 years of civil protections since the Magna Carta was signed

At the age of 22 U.S. army private Chelsea Manning, discovering documents which allegedly proved war crimes and human rights violations on the part of the military, allegedly leaked this proof to others.
He was arrested. He then was allegedly brutalised [1034] and tortured [1033] for roughly three years. First the U.S. military threw him into a cage in the sweltering heat of Camp Arifjan, in Kuwait [1026]. He came close to dying. But supporters hired lawyers for him before he died baking in the sun. So the U.S. government ordered him transferred to a brig at a U.S .Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia were according to a UN formal finding [1027], he was subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment at the hands of his captors. All without trial. The spokesman for the then U.S. Secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, resigned in protest over Ms. Manning’s treatment. But nothing changed. Ms. Clinton, Mr. Obama, and the rest of the egregious group of alleged torture enablers ... did nothing.
U.S. president Obama announced that Ms. Manning was guilty of grave crimes [1035], but offered not one iota of proof that this was the case, nor waited for a trial or any public hearing. Of course Mr. Obama himself has been charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity (please q.v. The Hubris of Empire: Is the United States the world’s greatest threat to peace? ), but for some reason did not mention this well documented fact.
Two years later after much legal effort supporters finally saw brought to trial. But not a civil trial, but rather a secret military trial - U.S. military judge D. Lind determined that much of the trial was to be be closed to the public and that the testimony of 24 of the 150 witnesses for the prosecution would be restricted to closed sessions of the court [1036]. Manning was alleged to have leaked allegedly indisputable proof of civilian killings and alleged war crimes by the U.S. and NATO. Such as the destruction of a village and its 140 civilian residents at Kunduz [1024, 1025, 1026]. And of allegedly using (and murdering) civilians for target practice from an Apache attack helicopter Baghdad [1037, 1038]. As well as a host of other alleged atrocities [1025].
“Army Pfc. [Chelsea] Manning is being held in solitary confinement in Quantico brig in Virginia. Each night, [s]he is forced to strip naked and sleep in a gown made of coarse material. [S]he has been made to stand naked in the morning as other inmates walked by and looked. As journalist Lance Tapley documents in his chapter on torture in the supermax prisons in ’The United States and Torture’, solitary confinement can lead to hallucinations and suicide; it is considered to be torture. Manning’s forced nudity amounts to humiliating and degrading treatment, in violation of U.S. and international law.”
~ M. Cohen, professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and past president of the U.S. National Lawyers Guild [364]. Ms. Manning shortly thereafter attempted suicide.
Ms. Manning’s “crime” is said by her supporters [1039] to be an act conscience - she simply could not stand by while alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly continued unabated. The same “crime” for which Hitler ordered members of the White Rose Campaign assassinated The White Rose Campaign for Human Rights .
Please note that in a closed trial the democratic right of holding elected officials accountable was not possible - such lack of course, is “counter to the survival of democracy”, a line I have taken from a White Rose leaflet speaking against the activities of the Nazis.
“Secret trials are commonplace in dictatorships, but have no place in this country. The Obama administration conducts unconstitutional dragnet surveillance of journalists to uncover protected sources, and targets whistle blowers with unprecedented use of the espionage act. Access to court documents and proceedings in the court martial of [Chelsea] Manning is vital to the publics right to know to what lengths their government will go to keep secret their conduct of wars and occupations abroad.”
~ A. Goodman [1030], mulit-award winning journalist and spokesperson for Democracy Now
“We Nobel Peace Prize laureates condemn the persecution [Chelsea] Manning has suffered, including imprisonment in conditions declared “cruel, inhuman and degrading” by the United Nations.... In the conflict in Iraq alone, more than 110,000 people have died since 2003, millions have been displaced and nearly 4,500 American soldiers have been killed. If ... Manning released the documents, as the prosecution contends, we should express to him our gratitude for his efforts toward accountability in government, informed democracy and peace.”
~ declaration signed by Nobel Peace Prize winners, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mairead Maguire and Adolfo Perez and several others [1029]
“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people, who have a right and a desire to know.”
~John Adams [1040, one of the founding fathers of the United States
Mr. Manning was alleged to have been used as an example to others who might blow the whistle on alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity. Among the videos he allegedly leaked [Op. cit.] is an appalling depiction of bloodlust on the part of U.S. troops shooting unarmed civilians. Ms. Manning has said he saw in these documents and videos a total absence of “value for human life” [1031]. Yet he, and not the perpetrators, were facing death or life imprisonment (please also see here: The World Wide U.S. War of Terror for further examples).
Closed trials, torture, and prosecution of whistleblowers is not the mark of a society which values democracy or even perhaps, moral and ethical behaviour, but rather of one devolving into something else entirely.
Eight hundred years ago the Magna Carta stated it was immoral and illegal for those in power to imprison or punish whomever they wished without proof of wrongdoing and public release of said proof. This has been the fundamental guiding principle behind the development of civil society since that time. Until now.
Please also see the discussion of whistleblowers here: Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.) and The White Rose Campaign for Human Rights .

5.3.2.4 Freedom of information

“Spy mania was not merely the narrow minded predilection of Stalin alone. It was very useful for everyone who possessed any privileges. It became the natural justification for increasing widespread secrecy, the withholding of information, closed doors and security passes, fenced off dachas and secret, restricted special shops. People has no way of penetrating the armour plate of state spy mania and learning how the bureaucracy made its cosy arrangements, loafed, blundered, ate, and took its amusements”
~ A. Solzhenitsyn [1360], writing in the “Gulag Archipelago”
Most whistleblowers seek to let others know about corruption, whether in government or in the private sector. Some seek to inform their peers about potentially grave risks to health. In this later case, whistleblowers in Japan who highlighted the alleged corruption amongst officials in selecting construction location and practices for nuclear power sites were jailed [406], even though the plants in question ultimately lost containment due to both of these factors. Dr. S. Chopra’s devastating alleged proof [407] of alleged corruption at Health Canada lost him his job [408]. Some farmers’ warnings about proliferations of GM crops allegedly brought the full weight of the GM industry down upon them, even allegedly seeing some jailed for speaking out [409]. In some countries the state so completely appears to represent powerful corporations that those who protest are branded as “terrorists”.
There are few more clear examples of this than information stemming from FOI requests in the U.S. indicating that the FBI attempted to have “food activists” prosecuted as terrorists [410]. And so taking a photograph of the horrific conditions under which chickens, cattle, and pigs are raised for meat would be considered an act of terrorism, particularly if said photograph were to be associated with “economic loss” for the industries involved. Further, the so-called Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) sought to suppress information regarding the industries involved, and to eliminated from public knowledge the lists of chemicals injected into animals and thereby making their way into humans [ibid]. Many state governments were involved in this. For example, The U.S. state of Florida’s “Ag Gag” law as it was termed, sought to make taking a photograph of the conditions under which meat animals were raised, an act of terrorism [411].

5.3.2.5 Labelling open public access to information as terrorism

Where whistleblowing is considered by government to be “terrorism”, free speech cannot survive, and democracy itself is in severe jeopardy.
“What this astonishing incendiary reaction by the British Foreign Office to Assange’s grant of asylum by Ecuador makes abundantly clear is that Assange and his Wikileaks [whistleblower] organisation are truly feared by Britain and the US. His organisation’s ability to expose the war crimes, the war criminals, and the international treachery of these two countries and their allies around the world is one of the biggest threats they face, and they are proving it by their desperate efforts to neutralise or eliminate him.”
~ Dave Lindorff [632], author of The Case for Impeachment about the U.S. Bush/Chaney Presidency and recipient of major international awards for journalism
(Please also see here Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.), for additional details concerning whistleblowers.)
Finally, as most people are aware, few - very few - politicians and CEOs are in positions of power due to their intelligence, ethical behaviour, or adherence to democratic principles. Hence the effort of many of these fine folk to include journalists in their general attack upon whistle blowers. I will give a single example of this by way of illustration.
P. McKay was Canada’s Defence Minister in Canada. Have weathered several scandals. For example he allegedly ordered an air force helicopter to ferry him back and forth to a fishing camp, at public expense [1032]. When that was discovered, he allegedly ordered Air Force officers to scouring records to find evidence of similar abuses by opposition parties in parliament 1037] - again at taxpayer expense. Hence he was perhaps, a little sensitive about more information about his activities being leaked. And so when a national journalist published publicly available, unclassified, legal information about a RIMPAC naval exercise in which he repeatedly gave the publicly available U.S. sources for his information [1033], the secretive National Investigative Service (NIS) was brought in (by some unnamed person) to "investigate journalists who wrote or broadcast embarrassing information about MacKay and the Canadian Forces leadership” [1033, 1034].
Taxpayer money and time was spent having the NIS scrutinise emails, phone records, etc. looking for the nonexistent leak of publicly available information. During this time it came out that a total of five separate investigations of journalists had occurred in a very short time period, all under similar circumstances. There is a detailed breakdown here [1034] and here [1015] of this. Suffice it to say that Mr. McKay appears, in the words of one commentator [1036] to have conducted “a flagrant breach of the critical line that separates the military and the civilian world in any legitimate democracy”.
This was sadly, not untypical of misuse of the NIS and tax dollars: Former Chief of Staff, General Walter Natynczyk, had allegedly ordered the NIS to investigate journalists when they discovered that he had allegedly spent $1.4 million tax dollars to use government aircraft to fly him to watch hockey games and to a Caribbean vacation spot.
“When you call in the cops because a journalist has written something embarrassing to Peter MacKay or the military leadership, then I would see that as intimidation. “It has nothing to do with national security; it’s all about sending a warning to those inside the military that they are to keep quiet. ... “
~ Michel Drapeau [1038], legal expert on Canadian military law and Canada’s Access to Information Act
To use a military’s investigative service against those who embarrass politicians or senior military commanders is an anathema worthy of dictators, not those who are elected to uphold democracy. The military and military secret police are not an arm of a particular political party or politician. Their only purpose is to serve the people not politicians. The use of secret police (eg. the NIS and the RCMP) to “investigate” journalists who discover alleged wrong doings or who simply report freely available information, is the antithesis of democratic rule.
For police and military must remain apolitical. Otherwise they themselves threaten democracy The World Wide U.S. War of Terror . If democracy is to be maintained, they must serve the country, not the whims or paranoia of self-aggrandized politicians.
“The NIS has become a personal police force for the ranking military officers and there are no checks and balances.” [ibid]
Update: As discussed and cited in my article here The World Wide U.S. War of Terror , Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.), whistleblowers have been tortured, hounded, stripped of their rights by declaring them “enemy combatants”, and even seen calls for their assassination form senior government officials. All in countries that proudly tout their “democratic rule” and “freedoms”.
According to worldwide organisation Reporters sans Frontier, the United States under the Obama regime has sunk to the lowest point in its history regarding freedom of information, freedom of the press, and attacks on whistleblowers [1221]. A nation which increasingly limits such freedoms, may be many things. But a democracy is not one of them.

10.5.8.3 Unequal access to information

Finally, whilst every modern democracy has been clamping down on information release [304]  [304] That is to say, severely restricting information on government, corporations, and their leaders which might be accessible to the public. Laws making information on the public accessible to the leaders however, have been made virtually devoid of restriction., targeting whistleblowers, toughening access to information laws to make it difficult to impossible to access government data, and so on... they have been giving themselves more and more “rights” to access information from the public.
For example, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has been given sweeping powers to “monitor online extremism” - without saying what will be monitored, how the data will be used, or even what “extremism” means... all without any public accountability or judicial oversight [172]. Similar powers have been given police in England [173], Germany [ibid], Canada [174], Mexico [175], Italy [176], Spain [ibid], Japan 177], and so on again without any accountability.
That is to say, governments have allocated for themselves the power to gain information, to spy, on virtually any citizen [212] while at the same time restricting the rights of citizens to gain information about most government activities.

10.5.8.4 Unequal access to information dissemination

Another aspect of this is that governments, or rather government leaders, have also free access to media. This gives them the ability to widely disseminate any information (true or false) they wish.
This is not the case for those not at the top of the power heap. Let me give an almost trivial example of this.
PSAC (Public Service Alliance of Canada) is composed mainly of government workers, clerks, secretaries, parliamentary librarians, etc.). It had been allegedly treated very poorly by the then Prime Minister - Stephen Harper. So the PSAC hired a small plane to pull a banner through the skies of the nation’s capital, with the words “Stephen Harper Hates Us”. Fairly innocuous, one would think. But the federal police - the RCMP - grounded the plane. The reason given was that it flew too close to restricted air space [652].
This was, allegedly, a blatant lie. Because when reporters checked with Navigation Canada and air traffic control, it was found that the plane had been nowhere near restricted space [652, 653, 654]. The conclusion of many was the PSAC had been muzzled/censored by the upper echelons of the federal police for political reasons and no other. Or that the Harper regime was using the federal police for political reasons.
(an image: pls click to see it)
The wanted poster reproduced at right (modified to fit) was allegedly distributed by PSAC and other groups disturbed by these alleged violations of their civil rights.
Such allegedly obvious politically motivated restriction on free speech by police is censorship, and has no place in an ostensibly democratic society.

10.5.8.5 The cost of restricting access to information

"We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal unless a classified government algorithm determines otherwise" [1203]
Representative democracy requires that every citizen have complete information on the activities of government, and vote accordingly. But instead of this, voting patterns are subject to the same social forces that underlie advertising. Billions of dollars are spent on products which are essentially of no benefit to the purchaser, because advertising works. And works very well. The same marketing firms which push zero-nutrition cereals and soda drinks into the hands of children are those which handle propaganda campaigns for those wealthy enough to purchase their services. Voting decisions therefore, like purchasing decisions are made based upon advertising and propaganda, not information.
One may postulate therefore that representative democracy is representative of the will of the most easily manipulated. Which in a largely functionally illiterate society Your Educational System is designed to foster illiteracy [547], is the majority.
Without free and open access to information on government, its unelected and elected bureaucrats, and most of all its data, well informed political debate and dialectic are impossible. Democracy requires that information on government activities be free and openly available and that the citizenry, not the leaders, decide how this as well as their own personal information, will be used.
Anything less is not democracy.

10.5.8.6 Business records

When unknown government bureaucrats have the legal right to interpret and reinterpret laws, democracy cannot long exist. Yet many democratic countries have passed laws allowing this to occur. An example: In the United States the Patriot Act’s ’business-records’ provision [79] allows various government agencies to access business records, medical records, banking records, on anyone they choose without warrant or notification. This provision also allows them to force any organisation to turn over any “tangible thing” (i.e. any information) which the agency wishes.
In other words, so-called fishing expeditions are allowed - unknown and unaccountable bureaucrats can force anyone or any organisation to turn over any information without warrant and without public or judicial oversight. A particular draconian provision of this Act prevents the person or organisation from whom information is demanded from telling anyone about the demand. Britain [80], Germany [81], and other democracies [83,84] have similar laws.
The EU Convention on Cybercrime and recent laws in Canada, Australia, Japan, and other western countries give unnamed bureaucrats the power to access to personal data on individuals, such as medical records, with virtually no safeguards. In fact these laws take active steps to reduce oversight and transparency. For example, Canadian legislation provides the means to issue perpetual gag orders on the seizure powers which the legislation authorises. This serves to do two things:
  1. insulate perpetrators of abuses of power from accountability protections, and
  2. prevent oversight by the courts or even elected representatives. In a democracy, sensitive personal data warrants stronger protection, not a free pass for fishing expeditions by anonymous bureaucrats.
In fact the egregioius regime under Prime Minister Harper sought to impose a lifetime blanket nondisclosure agreement upon employees of members of Parliament and members of the bureaucracy. Such an order would utterly stifle the kind of whistleblowing which had led to revelations of allegedly illegal activities in Mr. Harpers office [1176, 1177, 1178]. Note the vagueness of the order which amounted to a blanket threat of even talking to a journalist:
"Employees may not disclose any information about their employer which is politically sensitive" [1179]
Article 8 of the restriction further required that such gag orders survived past any termination of employment (i.e. for life), establishing automatic and severe penalties for any breach [1179, 1180]. It should be noted from examples given here The World Wide U.S. War of Terror , and here Censorship and Bibliocaust that some politicians are good, decent, honest people - but some are not. Hence for a democracy to survive, staff must be protected, not threatened. Gag orders extending for a person’s lifetime, preventing them from ever disclosing illegal or amoral activities of which they were aware, is censorship and the antithesis of democratic rule.
When basic rights are curtailed, when gag orders are issued so that the courts and public cannot review government actions, the very existence of democracy is threatened.
Additionally the manner in which these laws are interpreted, is usually classified. The implications for free speech, privacy, and similar human rights is obvious, as are the very real threats to democracy they represent. For equality of all individuals is of course problematic under such legislation.
"If the people knew what we had done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us."
~ George H.W. Bush, U.S. president, to journalist Sarah McClendon of the White House Press Corps, 1992 [85]

10.5.8.7 Control Education - keep the rabble ignorance and compliant

“Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’”
~ Isaac Asimov
The elephant in the room in modern democracies is ignorance.
The electorate are for the most part utterly unaware of the way that politics actually works, of how their choices are so easily manipulated. As a whole nations which are ostensible democracies - particularly in North America, Britain, and Australia - have no respect or use for or knowledge, of academic research, of findings on media manipulation, hidden curricula, FPP systems, corporate and wealth buying and selling of politicians, and the like. Instead they are proud to be ignorant, to follow their “gut feelings”, to be “real patriots”. I am not speaking about formal education here, but rather about wilful ignorance.
The same of course, may be said of those who sit in political office.
Someone I met on a trip to an ostensible democracy was telling me about her hard work campaigning for the current head of state. I asked what qualified him in her eyes for the job. “I just like how he sounds”, she said, “He cares about people.” So every night after she got home from work at a minimum wage job out she would go, pasting up campaign signs, calling voters and reading from a campaign script to try to get others to favour her candidate, etc. She was excited about the change he would bring to her country. “He’s a good man” she told me.
Yet this “good man” was a multimillionaire, from a family of multimillionaires. He had never (not once) held a nonpolitical job. And as a politician, he had eviscerated legal protections for individuals, decimated aid to the poor, ordered children to be tortured, put his country into an economic depression, launched illegal wars, been tried in abscentia for war crimes, changed laws to favour his corporate backers, and much more. None of which this young enthusiastic campaigner knew anything about, or bothered to find out.
Indeed my new acquaintance did not accept any of these facts. Even when presented with irrefutable documentation. For to her and millions like here, facts did not matter, truth did not matter. “He looks like he is a good man” she said. And that was all she need to know. All that was important to her was the surface appearance. The acting lessons her candidate had taken to make him seem sincere, the cosmetic surgery he had had to make him look less aggressive, his faked military service record, his record of womanising and extreme misogyny, his record of helping destroy social protections for the poor, ... none of this mattered. Because her “gut feelings” were all she cared about.
Democracy without an informed, interested, rational, and thoughtful citizenry is ripe for plunder by the unscrupulous.
"The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter."
~ Winston Churchill [658], British Prime Minister and alleged war criminal Evidence Based History vs. Revisionism)
For a much more detailed analysis please see:
  1. Pedagogy is Social Engineering
  2. Your Educational System is designed to foster illiteracy

10.5.9 STEP SIX: Remove the right of dissent

"Apparently if you care about civil liberties in this country you obviously side with child pornographers, murderers... you’re the worst form of scum if you believe the Charter [the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is] an important instrument for the rule of law in this country. I’m horrified by this kind of rhetoric. It demeans us all."
~ E. May, leader of one of Canada’s opposition parties [288] discussing a series of alleged attacks upon civil rights groups [1369], humanitarian groups [1370], charities [1371], law societies [1372], the Supreme Court [1373], whistleblowers [1374], objective science [1375], environmental groups [1376], the poor [1377], Medicare [1378], privacy rights [1379], freedom of access to government information [1380], freedom of movement [1381], native rights [1382], and other social justice and progressive policies by members of the ultra right wing regime of prime minister S. Harper
Attacks upon civil liberties exponentially increase as democracies fail. These attacks can range from simply abuses, such as the very well documents racist acts by U.S. police of stopping people who have the temerity to “drive while being black” [1489], to horrific abuses of power during peaceful and entirely legal protest marches such as well documented use of agent provocateurs by police to cause riots and subsequent mass suppression.
A good example of this erosion of civil liberties continues to occur during G20 summits. Here vast sums or tax money are spent to entertain a handful of wealthy men for two or three days. And to create some of the largest displays of paramilitary force outside of war time. It has been said by a number of groups from Amnesty International to Human Rights Watch that the police, military, and spy agencies during these times represent the greatest peacetime violation of civil liberties in modern times [94,95,96,97]. The now commonplace use of “kettling” (forcibly preventing anyone from leaving any area police choose ), mass arrests without charge, detention without charge (part of the catch and release program), abuse of police power, random beatings of innocent people, and the like are all very well documented in the academic literature [95,96,98], the press, the courts, and by citizen video [99].
“Harper [Prime Minister of Canada] funded the largest mass arrests in Canadian history during the June 2010 Toronto G20 Summit. At a cost of over one billion dollars, and the introduction of completely fake draconian arrest law, Harper presided over one of the the greatest violations and abuse of civil liberties in Canadian history.”
~ Timothy C. Trepanier [725], speaking about the Prime Minister’s Office allegedly allowing police to invoke nonexistent laws against protesters. At time of writing the matter is still before the courts.
Thousands of people at a time were jailed in filthy conditions, without food or water, and with out charge for days during this time. Some were beaten. There are well document cases of people having been denied needed medication for heart and other health problems during the G20 arrests. Then released... eventually... without charge. Or apology. In post-detention interviews (available in the sociological academic literature) many have stated they will never again exercise their democratic right of peaceful demonstration or protest [305]  [305] I emphasise peaceful protest here. Not soccer riots, race riots, and the like, but family groups marching legally and peacefully to protest the activities of a few powerful men. .
“This is a constitution-free zone”
~ Police supervisor to peaceful marchers asking why they were being illegally arrested [100]. Subsequent investigations found police guilty of breaking the law, unprovoked violence, illegal detention, etc. [ibid,96,98]
Illegally [1345] too, the police filmed strip searches of prisoners [1344] - almost all of whom were later released with no charge.
In fact the law breaking on the part of police - later allegedly authorised directly from the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office). The PMO is an a completely unaccountable creation which absorbs $10,000,000 per annum, with no public audit. It unconstitutionally however, has immense power - something which is a democracy is highly questionable.
(an image: pls click to see it)
At any rate, this action by the police was so egregious that a Superior Court Justice investigating a case during the G20 was moved to say in open court:
“The contempt demonstrated by this behaviour [on the part of police] has the eerie overtones of the worst sort of abuse orchestrated by fascist states ... [it is a] very serious affront to both the applicant and to the community at large.”
~ Superior Court Justice H. Sachs [727] commenting on police conduct in Canada during the G20 summit
This attitude that in a democracy dissent is not to be tolerated extended not merely from the PMO and police, but from the very “intelligence” services whose mandate was to protect the very democratic principles violated by police. For example, in a CSIS (Canadian intelligence services) report entitled Intelligence Assessment, Domestic Threat Environment in Canada: Left-Wing/Right-Wing Extremism [728] speaks volumes about the antipathy of CSIS toward the type of peaceful dissent normally welcomed as representative of a healthy democracy - but not in Canada. Very sad.
These actions on the part of police - again, very well documented - have occurred not in some third word dictatorships, but in ostensible democracies such as Germany, Canada, the United States, Britain, France, Spain, and so on. In Britain kettling and similar police actions against peaceful protesters has been declared illegal by the High Court [101]. Its use has been challenged at the European court of human rights [102]. In the United States the Patriot Act and Military Commissions Act have made suspension of constitutional rights (i.e. civil liberties) lawful [100,103, 86], so no appeal in that country’s courts is possible.
More civilized nations such as Germany have through three separate court decisions,\ declared similar police actions against peaceful protest illegal, and denial of certain rights such as the right to use a toilet as human rights violations. Similar court findings have occurred in other countries [104].
Yet in all of the countries mentioned as well as other ostensible democracies where government have ordered similar strikes against peaceful civilians exercising their civil liberties, the practice of kettling - mass indiscriminate arrest, arbitrary restrictions on movement, jail without charge, denial of food and water - and the like continue. All without police or government officials being held accountable for their clear and well documented illegal suspension of democratic rights.
“Police have a culture that rejects accountability”
~ Justice Elliot Allen [144] as he sentenced two police officers to partial house arrest for a year, for beating a disabled pensioner, fracturing his ribs, dislocating his shoulder, breaking his fingers, etc. The two officers were not jailed. They continued to work as police officers, drawing full salaries from taxpayers.
Justice Allen was being mild. Those who work closely with police, particularly at a high level of command, know this well. Police so frequently reject accountability because there is seldom any realistic punishment for infractions.
A democracy in which civil liberties can be and are being suspended en masse, where people are made afraid to exercise their rights, and no one in government, police, or military is held accountable, is a dying democracy.
”’We don’t need a warrant, we’re ICE’ and, gesturing to his genitals,’“the warrant is coming out of my balls.’"
~ U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) alleged agents during an alleged illegal (an well documented) raid on an apartment building [315]
A child was amongst those allegedly detained and interrogated without charge and without legal representation, in the above incident [ibid].
The U.S. constitution strictly prohibits warrantless intrusions into private homes whether of citizens or non-citizens. Similarly in the absence of a judicial warrant, no entry may be made [287]. In yet another blow to these constitutional protections however, the U.S. Supreme Court (appointed by highly placed politicians, not elected by the people) ruled [1242] that police no longer needed a warrant. Instead, police (including various other arms of government such as the DHS) could enter a private home and search it any any way they wished, without a warrant provided that one occupant consents, such a two year old child, even if any or all other residents or adults object.
Such activities and rulings in several ostensibly democratic countries have been alleged to be increasingly common [288, 289], undermining similar civil rights protections in those countries.
“The treatment of dissidents is the true measure of how free a society is”
~ G. Greenwald [697]

10.5.9.1 Police accountability during the G20

When there is lack of accountability amongst low level agents of the state sworn to protect the public from harm, democracy is threatened.
“... the public will not forgive or forget that the police officers, those entrusted with keeping the peace, refused to either stop or subsequently report those in their midst who went beyond what was defensible during the G20. The police has no right to expect the public’s trust if it’s not willing to put the public interest ahead of their own sense of loyalty toward their fellow officers.”
~ M. Gurney [1386]
In Canada a police officer during this activities just discussed was videoed during a G20 meeting allegedly arresting a young woman for the heinous crime of blowing soap bubbles (not at anyone, just into the air) [155]. This fine officer served and protected the public by not merely allegedly screaming at and then arresting this person, but later allegedly sued [156] some websites for allegedly hosting the video of his alleged dedication to protecting the public from soap bubbles.
The officer was not fired.
The incident drew considerable attention at the time, while the alleged activities of police as agent provocateurs [157, 158, 159] where largely unreported [395]. As was a later federal judge’s ruling that there was massive illegal activity by police (including alleged use of agent provocateurs) in preventing people from peaceful dissent [187], and in the manner in which they allegedly performed mass arrests of completely innocent people [ibid].
(an image: pls click to see it)
In the photograph at right G20 police can be seen allegedly spraying seated, cooperating, unresistant, and legally protesting citizens directly in the eyes and face. No police officer, no commanding police officer, lost their jobs [188] over their allegedly illegal activities [189] during the G20 meeting. It was later discovered through leaked documents [188, 189, 235, 236] that:
  1. A secret slush funds in excess of $50 million had been allegedly diverted from taxpayer monies along with
  2. allegedly illegal secret orders from high in government to police to quell any and all dissent,
  3. to allegedly enlist agent provocateurs,
  4. and to allegedly essentially ignore the law to stop dissenters from being heard by the general public.
(an image: pls click to see it)
Despite allegedly illegal (not to mention unethical) activity on the part of police, there was essentially no one held accountable for their actions against the citizens they were sworn to protect. For a discussion of the ethical and legal implications of this, its tacit approval from by the highest level of government, and the implications for democracy please see discussions [188, 189, 187, 395] and particularly [887].
(an image: pls click to see it)
Photo: The person in sunglasses allegedly threatened to arrest the peaceful protester for blowing bubbles (see the youtube video [1432]), then went so far as to sue YouTube commentors who ridiculed his actions. Thanks to overtime during the G20, this terrific public servant (known on social media as “Officer Bubbles”) allegedly took home a six figure salary for serving and protecting the public [1383] by in part, accosting a young woman peacefully blowing soap bubbles in a public place, frightening her as she later said, so much that she became afraid of the police. Mission accomplished.

10.5.9.2 Breaking the law

I worked with police for many years, have friends who are police officers, have had colleagues who as professors studied the activities of police, and personally admire and respect the very great contribution the average police officer makes to society.
However those higher in the ranks who set and determine policy, are a different matter. Too many of these are fundamentally not police officers, but rather politicians and climbers dressed in police garb. And so while I have met and worked closely on a number of projects with some high ranking officers who are highly ethical, open minded, moral individuals, many would argue that this is not the rule. To see why, a little history may be useful:
Historian Sam Mitrani (Associate Professor of History at the College of DuPage) has said [1450] quite clearly:
“The police were not created to protect and serve the population. They were not created to stop crime, at least not as most people understand it. And they were certainly not created to promote justice. They were created to protect the new form of wage labour capitalism that emerged in the mid to late nineteenth century from the threat posed by that system’s offspring, the working class”
~ Dr. S. Mitrani [1450]
Police in the United States (and with some caveats, in Canada as well) were a product of the need of the wealthy and powerful to regulate migrant workers as cities grew in the ninetieth century. Major strikes and marches for fair pay and equality frightened the rich, who brought in tens of thousands of armed thugs, gave them badges, and told them to 1) enforce the class boundaries and 2) deal with the striking workers any way they could. The result was several massacres by police of workers. In Canada for example during the Winnipeg Strike, hundreds of people were killed in cold blood by the police. In Chicago police killed or maimed men, women, and even children as the tried to organise unions [1451]. In the United States police and the military worked together to suppress worker movements [1452].
The “thin blue line” was designed to protect only a small minority of society (the wealthy and powerful) from everyone else. For these efforts police were rewarded with extraordinary powers. They were granted their own system of governance free of democratic oversight and control, the right to hire and fire whomever they wished (again independent of oversight by the public), set their own rules of behaviour, of promotion, the right of arrest and detention, and much more.
The misuse and abuse of these powers in the United States and Canada was obvious. The powers were used in the former to maintain slavery and later to keep the blacks at the back of the bus [1453]; in the latter to keep the Chinese rail workers (almost slaves) in line [1454]. There are of course, myriad other examples [ibid, 1455].
Note in all of this that the police in North America and Britain have never been elected. Like the military which they largely emulate, they are not a part of the democratic process therefore. The argument that non-police officials and the courts (both usually unelected) oversee their role in society is true, but without elections of individual officers, the question of true democratic control is questionable. Or as one high ranking police officer once told me:
“We can do anything we want as long as there is no video - who do you think the courts will believe? Some [horrible racist remark] drunk or someone in uniform?”
Now back to the actions of police during the G20. I would ask you as you consider the points below, this simple question - were the police working for the public, or on behalf of and for the power elite running the G20?
  • The G8 and G20 (held in close conjunction) cost Canadian taxpayers just under $1,000,000,000 for a three day affair 1389]. There was no known result [1390] from the summits (other than meaningless feelgood phrasing) of benefit to any member of the public who paid for them.
  • Police were granted war time powers - essentially suspending many civil liberties [1391, 1392, 1393] and through the Public Works Protection Act (PWPA) [1392] were to all intents and purposes, free to abuse authority and power at will.
  • Police allegedly attacked, beat, and arrested journalists [1391, 1394] without provocation or just cause.
  • Police physically assaulted peaceful, compliant, and legal demonstrators [1395, 1344]. Including the obscene assault by police on John Pruyn, an amputee who was ordered to walk after the police removed his prosthetic leg and perpetrated other physical outrages upon him as detailed in the Breach of the Peace Hearings [1396] and photographs later released [1397]. Others were kicked, beaten with batons, to the point of requiring long convalescence and hospital care for the simply crime of simply being in the area legally [1345, 1398].
  • Police removed their name tags (illegal) so they could not be held to account. When video footage later identified at least 100 officers who had done this (although it was though to be much more widespread), said officers were docked one day’s pay with not other punishment [1399].
  • The Independent Civilian Review Into Matters Relating to the G20 Summit [1400] found deplorable conditions in police detention facilities during the G20 to be inhumane, failing to meet even minimal international standards [ibid]. Arrested were held without food and water, in squalid conditions, without access to toilets, without access to legal council, without being notified of the reason for their detention, without medical care, with their hands zip-tied, and subjected to unnecessary and invasive strip searches by members of the opposite sex [ibid]. Much of police activities were allegedly illegal under the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners [1403].
  • Police engaged in the largest mass-arrest in Canadian peacetime history. Almost all of the arrested were eventually released without charge indicating they were illegally detained in the first place. Almost all were arrested while engaging in peaceful, lawful, protest although many were simply arrested for simply lawfully being in the area [1401, 1402].
  • Police were alleged to have instigated looting and vandalism themselves through use of agent provocateurs [157, 158, 159].
To date no police officer has been charged, seriously disciplined, or jailed for alleged illegal activities at that time. No police officer or police force has apologised for allegedly illegal arrests, beating, detention, or activities. No public official has apologised. No member of the Harper regime or the PMO (prime minister’s office), the provincial government, or the mayor’s office has apologised or been held to account for alleged complicity [1407]. No public enquiry has been held, despite demands for same from many advocacy groups [1408].
Let me quote again from the court of Justice H. Sachs:
“The contempt demonstrated by this behaviour [on the part of police] has the eerie overtones of the worst sort of abuse orchestrated by fascist states ... [it is a] very serious affront to both the applicant and to the community at large.”
~ Superior Court Justice H. Sachs [727] commenting on police conduct in Canada during the G20 summit
Ultimately actions on the part of police and politicians of this nature, with no realistic accountability, highlights not only the Realpolitik of power.
But rather the democratic devolution currently, and rapidly, underway.

10.5.9.3 Freedom to travel

“Uncontrolled search and seizure is one of the first and most effective weapons in the arsenal of every arbitrary government. Among deprivations of rights, none is so effective in cowing a population, crushing the spirit of the individual and putting terror in every heart.”
~ Justice Robert Jackson [274], chief U.S. prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials
Hitler’s Sturmabteilung or “SA” was the paramilitary organisation of poorly trained, largely uneducated, ruffians and bullies who unquestioningly obeyed Hitler’s orders [146].
They goose stepped around Germany preventing people from normal travel, stopping everyone to demand “papers please!”. They created secret lists of who could and who could not travel freely. There was no appeal. They deployed unannounced at mass transit sites (bus stations, airports, train stations, passenger boats along the Rhine) questioning everyone [147] (except those in power, of course). Their questioning involved going through purses and wallets, patting people down even to the extent of feeling the genital area of small children and the elderly “in case there is a bomb” [ibid], in general using ever increasing intimidation tactics takeovers of public transportation hubs turning the once proud German people into submissive and passive conformists.
The Nazis justified their actions by saying that they were keeping people safe from “terrorists” and insurgents who had bombed the Reichstag [148]. (The Reichstag was of course destroyed by Hitler’s insiders, and made to look like outside forces had entered the country and committed this terrorist act [ibid]. Many educated Germans at the time knew or suspected this, but were called unpatriotic or worse if they expressed this publicly [149]. [306]  [306] The PATRIOT Act allowing the U.S. president to take extraordinary powers passed in Congress by a margin of 357-66. Hitler’s Enabling Law with very similar clauses was passed by a similar margin: 444-94. Hitler’s law was supposed to sunset in four years. It did not but was continuously renewed. The PATRIOT Act was supposed to sunset in four years. It did not, but was continuously renewed.. Of course these and other virtually identical procedures including parallel wordings in the two laws, are mere coincidence. France (Bill 2669 [1469]), Canada (Bill C-51 [1470]), and other nations under U.S. dominance followed with similar laws.).
They bypassed not merely the justice system, but normal human ethical and moral conduct. Their tactics were very successful as Germany passed from an open and free society to a dictatorship which believed in torture, racial profiling [307]  [307] In the United States, racial profiling by federal police has been shown to be common. The so-called “Mapping the FBI” project has shown allegedly unconstitutional investigation of citizens and groups based solely upon their beliefs, skin colour, country of origin, etc. [[290, 291, 292, 293]. The same may be said for other ostensibly democratic countries, notably Britain [294]. This is targeting entire groups of innocent citizens based solely upon stereotypes which arise from ignorance. It is bad policing, wasteful policing, and utter scientific nonsense. The increasingly common practice is incompatible with democracy or with democratic principles. Profiling on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, and religion is simply stated, bigotry., extreme patriotism, keeping tabs on (spying) on all citizens, genocide and saturation bombing to seize the resources of other countries, funnelling tax money into the hands of bankers and heads of German corporations, and in general enrichment of those in power at the cost of everyone else.
At any rate, the paramilitary SA was eventually merged into military system. Some SA units were later found to have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity [150, 199]. Various heads of the SA were found to have lied, repeatedly, to the German people about what they were doing and why [313]. There was certainly never any proof that their actions helped anyone or prevented any threat [ibid, 314]. At any rate, it may have been a short step from their initial role as bullies and sexual molesters to inflicting arbitrary and meaningless suffering upon the travelling public as they merged with the military.
Fortunately those days are long gone. Something which could only happen in Nazi Germany, and certainly not possible in the far more enlightened democratic societies of modern times. It certainly cannot happen here. In the U.S., the paramilitary TSA routinely has been (under its VIPR branch):
  • stopping people at bus stations [207], train stations [198], airports,
  • using unproven potentially unsafe [208, 209] radiation scanners to probe people at random [210],
  • portable body scanners used by police which can scan anyone at up to 80 feet away [437],
  • sexually molesting travellers [211] even young children [277] at airports, subway stations [412], bus stations, train stations, ferry’s between islands, and even taxis [312] (Please see my article “nothing to hide”, Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.) section 9.5, item 7 for further examples of just how allegedly appaling this has become).
  • stopping people on highways at random to check for potential terrorists [416],
  • performing virtual rape on the elderly [278] and infirm [200],
  • detaining people without cause [201],
  • photographing people surreptitiously [ibid],
  • denying detainees basic human rights such as drinking water [202],
  • urging everyone to report anyone who looks “suspicious” [275],
  • performing large scale racial profiling [279, 280, 281],
  • randomly stopping cars [276] and trucks for full inspections [276],
  • and so much more - please see here Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.)
That these actions of the TSA and related groups are largely indistinguishable in scope from those performed by Hitler’s SA is of course, mere coincidence. For obviously it is only in non-democratic nascent dictatorships such as Nazi Germany that the basic right of freedom of movement, individual freedom from search and seizure, and the basic human right of privacy and security of one’s person, could be in peril. That could never happen in any of our modern, sophisticated democracies:
U.S. TITLE 6, CHAPTER 4, SUBCHAPTER II 1112. AUTHORISATION OF VISIBLE INTERMODAL PREVENTION AND RESPONSE (VIPR) TEAMS [413, 414]
In general The Secretary, acting through the Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration, may develop Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (referred to in this section as VIPR) teams to augment the security of any mode of transportation at any location within the United States. In forming a VIPR team, the Secretary (1) may use any asset of the Department, including Federal air marshals, surface transportation security inspectors, canine detection teams, and advanced screening technology; (2) may determine when a VIPR team shall be deployed, as well as the duration of the deployment; (3) shall, prior to and during the deployment, consult with local security and law enforcement officials in the jurisdiction where the VIPR team is or will be deployed, to develop and agree upon the appropriate operational protocols and provide relevant information about the mission of the VIPR team, as appropriate; and (4) shall, prior to and during the deployment, consult with all transportation entities directly affected by the deployment of a VIPR team, as appropriate, including rail-road carriers, air carriers, airport owners, over-the-road bus operators and terminal owners and operators, motor carriers, public transportation agencies, owners or operators of highways, port operators and facility owners, vessel owners and operators and pipeline operators. [426]
At time of writing the only democracy with similar laws and rules allowing warrentless random search and seizure Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.) of its own citizens and their property without public or judicial oversight, as well as indefinite detention without trial [359,361,368] (the NDAA laws [424]) on the mere accusation by an unelected officer of the state [425], was Russia [415].
  • UN Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each State. (2) Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country. [417]
  • Article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: (1) Everyone lawfully within the territory of a State shall, within that territory, have the right to liberty of movement and freedom to choose his residence. [418]
  • The European Convention on Human Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (article 19) [419], and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [420], as well as Resolution 217 A (III) of the United Nations [421] protects and guarantees that the right of privacy is a basic human right. This right is protected under international law [422].
  • Privacy according to the amendment to the UN UDHR, is a fundamental human right [423].
Update: Since I wrote this subsection, the U.S. TSA has requested a 50% budget increase in order to expand the activities listed above [314]. To date that country’s government has never refused any request for diversion of taxpayer monies to fund this group. The DHS (Department of Homeland Security) under which the TSA operates is the third largest U.S. Cabinet department [572], after the military (Defence and Veterans Affairs), with a budget of just under $100,000,000,000 taxpayer dollars [573].
Update 2: A petition against TSA procedures was removed from the White House website, just as it was about to achieve the 25,000 signatures necessary to trigger a response from the government [630]. As history has shown, sadly those who are sworn to support democratic rights, seldom do so.
Update 3: The U.S. Homeland Security (DHS) has allegedly issued a purchase order for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition [915]. Some of this for hollow-point rounds [ibid]. As you may know, hollow-point rounds are forbidden under international law [916]. Calculating on the bases of the number of rounds used during the entire U.S. invasion of Iraq, 1.6 billion rounds works out to 20 years worth of ammunition [917]. The U.S. DHS however, is mandated exclusively within the United States itself - hence many have been asking [918] if the 1.6 billion rounds are destined to be applied against U.S. citizens - a question to which the DHS has to date not responded. Note that this is in addition to regular purchase - the DHS for example, spends roughly $1.8 million of taxpayer money per year for “replacement parts” for its weapons [919]. The contracts for these “replacement parts” were no-bid contracts - i.e. untendered, simply given to corporations the DHS liked [919]. The wonderful agency of the government has also purchaced 2,717 ’Mine Resistant Protected’ vehicles for use in U.S. cities [922]. Additionally, the DHS has been purchasing many and deploying some, armoured personnel carriers equipped for weapons on U.S. streets [920]. DHS also has been purchasing $50,000,000 worth of stylish new uniforms for their workers [921]. All during severe budget cutbacks to social services, Medicare, and the like [923, 924]. I remind you that the U.S. DHS is a domestic agency. The requirement of a domestic agency for more ammunition than would be used in a hot war in Iraq over a twenty year period, not to mention “mine protected vehicles”, and a host of weaponry not listed herein, is difficult to imagine unless the agency was planning for food and water riots, or civil war...?
You may be interested in research for yourself government responses to food riots in the U.S., Canada, India, and Britain during the Great Depression. And perhaps as well, how both the STASI and Germany’s brownshirts (with their stylish new uniforms), began. The parallels are of course, purely coincidental.
Update 4:
Sadly these actions have been allegedly spread to U.S. client states. Consider Britain for example. J. Radack, a lawyer for Mr. Snowden was stopped while legally travelling through Britain’s Heathrow airport. There she was interrogated by a boarder Force Agent (lovely name) who allegedly shouted with a “hostile” and “threatening demeanour”, asking questions which appeared to show that the agent had had access to personal information and perhaps violated lawyer-client privilege - a touchstone of democracy [1225]. Harassment it seemed, because the lawyer was exercising the democratic right of defending someone wanted by another country. During this alleged harassment, Redack discovered she had been secretly added to the U.S. secret “inhibited persons list”.
“‘Inhibited status’ ... means the status of a passenger or non travelling individual to whom TSA has instructed a covered aircraft operator or a covered airport operator not to issue a boarding pass or to provide access to the sterile area.”
~ from the TSA document secureflight-final-rule.pdf [1227]
Interestingly the issue of client-lawyer privilege appeared to be ignored by Australia, whose Signals Directorate allegedly admitted to violating this privileged information [1228] allegedly on behalf of the U.S. NSA:
““NSAs surveillance rules give short shrift to the privacy of communications between lawyers and their clients. It’s another example of the NSA’s troubling ‘mission creep’ beyond national security. Attorney-client communications are sacred in our legal tradition and should not be wiretapped except in extraordinary circumstances.”
~ A. Abdo [1225], lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union
Freedom to travel, freedom from harassement in performing legal duties, freedom to preserve lawyer-client confidentiality, freedom from being added to secret lists which may restrict one’s rights.... are hallmarks of democracy and democratic rule. When they are under attack, so too is democracy.
(an image: pls click to see it)
Photo: Protecting freedom by suppressing peaceful protest and dissent.

10.5.9.4 Equality before the law

"We... settled out of court. The way the system appeared to work to me was... Lady Justice had the scales, and you piled cash on the scales. And the one that piled the most cash on the scales and hired the most experts and the ones most willing to tell the biggest lies... that was the winner. ... that seems to be how our justice system functions now. It’s terrible. It’s terrible. How can a farmer defend himself against a multinational corporation like Monsanto?" –Troy Roush, Vice president of a farmers group [286]
It has never been the case that the law is applied equitably to rich and poor, weak and powerful. The reasons are complex, but have much to do with the genetic predisposition toward social hierarchical grouping which all higher apes possess [151]. Humans, despite claims of the scientifically ignorant Why Do Politicians Destroy Science? , Religious Fanaticism is a means of controlling the rabble to the contrary, organise their culture and society in exact replication of their primate kin. And as with their kin, those at the top do whatever they wish with little or no accountability. Rules apply to the lower echelons only.
There are numerous examples of the rich and powerful being dealt with far more leniency than the poor or politically unconnected. In my article on the prison system North American internment camps) I give the example of Paul Allen and Roy Brown, which I feel perfectly encapsulates the massive inequality which exists before the law in so many ostensibly democratic countries.
(an image: pls click to see it)
Or consider the case of James Clapper, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, allegedly lied to the U.S. Senate. When asked "Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?", he responded “No, sir” [1089]. As numerous documents showed [Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.), Sect. 7] this was false, something which Mr. Clapper would allegedly have known. And as further show by other documents, lying and misdirection, including to their ostensible masters in government, was the norm for so many of these organisations [ibid]. Intentionally deceiving the U.S. Senate or Congress is illegal with mandatory prison terms. Others found guilty of so doing [1090] have received five years in prison per offence [ibid], although they of course were simply low level functionaries. Additionally as Miller at the Washington Post documented, a number of government officials had allegedly lied for decades about Congressional oversight (there was none) and about the extent and nature of activities by the oxymoronically named U.S. intelligence community [1091]. Not only were none of these persons in jail, they were not even charged. Even though Those three federal judges found their actions to have violated both U.S. law and the U.S. constitution [1112, 1113].
Democracy does not exist where the powerful are not held accountable.
Further, as one of the few U.S. Senators who appeared to care about democracy stated:
"[oversight] cannot be done responsibly if senators aren’t getting straight answers to direct questions”
~ U.S. Senator Wyden [1092]
That is to say, were the peoples’ representatives are freely bypassed and lied to without accountability, there can be no oversight by the people. And without that, there is only a sad sham of democratic rule. Where laws are not applied universally, the rule of law is no longer in effect.
Rather than belabour the point, I would like to point out that the challenges the majority of people encounter in merely trying to survive are utterly alien to political and corporate elites. Few of them have any accurate concept of how what they do so often adversely effects the majority. For example: If the wife of the president of U.S. had to submit to anal probes and virtual rape whilst going through an airport checkpoint, how l long would the law allowing such things stand?
At the top of society, senior politicians, unelected bureaucrats, and barons write rules. Rules which they will never ever have to live under and which will never apply to them. They will likely never understand the almost insurmountable difficulties involved in fighting back against the crushing weight of all the forces arrayed against those lower in the hierarchy than they themselves. Or likely care.
Equality before the law is a given in democracies. But when the laws are written by the wealthy and powerful for the wealthy and powerful, equality and with it democracy, stand little chance of survival. Let me give a single, virtually unknown, but rather telling example:
In Canada the Criminal Code and the Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act both state that torture, regardless of where it occurs or who the perpetrators are, is an indictable criminal offence [243, 244]. Canadian Federal Court Justice O’Reilly has confirmed Canada’s obligation to immediately arrest and prosecute and offenders accused of these crimes the moment they arrive on Canadian soil [245]. Such obligation also requires the Canadian government to investigate any and all allegations of torture. Under the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT), Article 7 as well as rulings by the CAT Committee, delay in so doing is itself a violation of CAT [246]. That is to say, should a Canadian leader fail to order the arrest and trial of accused, or fail to investigate any allegation concerning said person, they themselves are in violation of law and must be themselves charged.
This duty and legal requirement (under both the O’Reilly decision and the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act [247]) has at time of writing been ignored by the Canadian government politicians who have allowed admitted [248] war criminals and human rights abusers [ibid] to come and go as they please. This despite the fact that international charges having been lain against these persons [249], torture victims had initiated prosecution in Canadian courts [290], and the Canadian Centre for International Justice had filed for prosecution [291]. To date none of these actions have been successful, allegedly implicating several heads of state and cabinet members around the world for failing to uphold the human rights demanded by these and other treaties (see here The World Wide U.S. War of Terror ).
"Mere hours after a justice of the peace received the criminal information and the court set a hearing date for January [against a former U.S. president, charged with war crimes and torture], we received notice by phone that the Attorney General ... had already intervened in the case and stayed the proceedings ... effectively ending the case.”
~ M. Eisenbrandt, legal director of the Canadian Centre for International Justice [295]
"The government of Canada [under Primer Minister Stephen Harper] obviously did everything it could to protect [a former U.S. president] from facing criminal accountability for torture, which is a stark example of politics trumping law. “
~ K. Gallagher, senior staff attorney at the Centre for Constitutional Rights [296]
In other words, this small example illustrates that law is not applied when those in power do no wish to do so, or against the powerful and well connected. This is more than simple inequity before the law. For it is ignoring the law both national and international, by those sworn to uphold it. Inequality of application of law is clearly antithetical to democracy.
Update: Canada’s Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews soon after approved the used of information obtained under torture [579], in apparent direct violation of international laws to which Canada is a signatory [580]. Mr. Toews in an apparent attempt to justify this wrote a short note to a Canadian newspaper saying that information obtained under torture would only be used in “an operational context” [582]. As if that somehow made using such in a “operational context” justifies violating international law, several UN conventions, and Canadian law.
Interestingly Prime Minister Harper at the same time criticised the Chinese government for their use of torture of prisoners [581]. Mr. Harper then signed a Foreign Investment Protection Agreement (FIPA) with China allowing Canadian corporations to sue the Chinese government if the Chinese government made any attempt to improve existing human rights, labour, or environmental standards [583]. Again: Inequality in application of law is antithetical to democracy.
Finally, in my articles on world economic systems Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls ), What is Money?), and Economic value is junk science) I indicate that almost all wealth in most democracies is concentrated in the hands of a few publicly invisible individuals. For example, the wealthiest 10% of U.S. citizens hold 85% of that country’s wealth [257]. The political campaigns and war chests of most politicians and lawmakers in that country are funded by these people directly [258] or the corporations they control [259, 260] or their lobbyists [261].
Let’s look at this another way: 8 people, most of whom live in the United States, own more than more than one-half of the world’s population combined [1202, 1302, 1721]. The report Working for the Few [ibid] gives an interesting insight into how these 8 people spend their wealth [308]  [308] When the report first came out, the number of people was 62 [259]. As of 2017, this number has shrunk to a mere 8 people. I have been able to find not one way in which any of these persons has meaningfully contributed to the betterment of their fellow humans in any meaningful way - quite the opposite in fact. To see this, it is important to look beyond the charitable foundations (and associated propaganda arms) some have set up, and actually follow the money to see if the “charity” actually benefits others in any real way when contrasted to the fiscal and political benefits such so-called giving accrues. For an entertaining look at this process, you may wish to review activities by the Koch brothers [1722].. It is spent primarily on gaining more money and power, and upon perpetuating inequality [1303, 1304]. They use it to influence (buy) foreign policies, government members, etc. [ibid]. Almost nothing of the $110 trillion USD they control goes toward helping their fellow beings (please see here to understand why: Psychopaths in Power ). Whilst the mythos is that democratic or individual rights matter, the reality is that if you carefully investigate and follow the money What is Money?), it is very clear that these people have allegedly been consolidating their power for some time now. It is they, hidden in their Esquiline villas, who excerpt real power.
To imagine that these politicians and the laws they create would favour the wishes of the remaining 90% of the population is... naive. Historically no democracy has ever survived when there was such staggering wealth inequality [262].
Please also see my article on prisons particularly North American internment camps), Section 11, Checkbook Justice. There I give several telling examples on how several western countries particularly the U.S. have essentially developed a two tiered justice system. One for the powerful, the other for everyone else.
“.... has become a society in which political and financial elites systematically evade accountability for their bad acts, no matter how destructive. Those who torture, illegally eavesdrop, commit systemic financial fraud, even launder money for designated terrorists and drug dealers are all protected from criminal liability, while those who are powerless - or especially ... those who challenge power - are mercilessly punished for trivial transgressions.”
~ G. Greenwald [725]
These and other instanced too numerous to mention here (but see [442, 443, 444] and especially here: North American internment camps)) demonstrated to even the most naive U.S. citizen that their government had effectively created two legal systems in the U.S. - one for the wealthy and powerful, and another for everyone else. Instead the powerful and well connected could rest outside of and above the rule of law, even when caught red-handed for allegedly committing criminal offences. Offences for which ordinary citizens would be jailed for life.
Consider: In the U.S. presidential election of 2016, the choice was between an alleged lying criminal warmongering torturer (Hillary Clinton) and an alleged racist serial liar misogynist warmonger (Donald Tump). Both are pictured below. and there is no other meaningful choice offered to the public, one may well question whether democracy choice is mere delusion.
Please read Dr. Paul Craig Roberts overview of Ms. Clinton [ibid] (Dr. Roberts was the U.S. Treasury Department’s Meritorious Service Award award winner, and recipient of the French government’s highest honour, the Legion of Honour.) Please also see here: North American internment camps) regarding the alleged utter dishonesty and corruption of Ms. Clinton and those around her. Then decide for yourself whether she (and other high U.S. government officials with similar histories) represent the 1% of U.S. oligarchs and plutocrats, or the 99% (everyone else).
That most people in the U.S. would vote for such persons or fail to end the system which ensured that honest uncorrupt person had no chance whatsoever of governing, may indeed support H. L. Mencken’s assertion [1598] that the vast majority of Americans are morons. Mencken (a 19thC journalist and critic) believed that democracy could not survive such people. His prescience was remarkable. For democracy in the United States or its colonies from such as Britain, Canada, etc.... does not exist. And has not existed for a long time. Instead there are a small number of plutocrats who, regardless of what party is in power, rule uninterrupted and unchallenged.
Democratic rule or oligarchic plutocracy? The very fact that such persons as the two pictured below were the only two choices for U.S. president in 2016, answers that question rather nicely.
(an image: pls click to see it)
“The U.S. has become a society in which political and financial elites systematically evade accountability for their bad acts, no matter how destructive. Those who torture, illegally eavesdrop, commit systemic financial fraud, even launder money for designated terrorists and drug dealers are all protected from criminal liability, while those who are powerless - or especially ... those who challenge power - are mercilessly punished for trivial transgressions.”
~ G. Greenwald [1682]

10.5.9.5 The right of dissent and the erosion of democracy

“Some of the young people I know who were arrested are actually vegans who don’t even believe in killing animals, let alone human beings. When you get the police searching homes of environmental activists trying to save snails on the West Coast, you know that things have got really silly.”
~ M. McCarten [194]
Earlier I spoke of the erosion of civil liberties in ostensible democracies. I used the example of the attacks on peaceful protest exemplified by several G20 summits and the egregious use of ’ketteling’ by police and military, government and police agent provocateurs, illegal arrest, and the like. As I said then, the courts have found government actions in clear violation of many laws and civil liberties [94,95,96,97], yet no one has yet been held accountable.
In reading this section, it may be useful to keep in mind that governments frequently use anti terror laws to suppress legitimate and peaceful dissent. Three quick examples of how this is done:
  1. For example, anti-terror laws in Turkey (which is a democracy) have been used for mass arrests of marchers protesting Turkey’s Armenian Massacre [234] and even of writers criticising the government [ibid] (one a Nobel Prize winner).
  2. Or take an individual example: Naciye Tokova a Kurdish mother of two held up a sign during a peaceful march for her people in Turkey which said: "Either a free leadership and free identity, or resistance and revenge until the end”. Mrs. Tokova was illiterate - she could not read the sign, or what it said. But under Turkey’s anti-terrorism laws she was convicted as a “terrorist” and sentenced to seven years in prison. Suppression of dissent is a sadly common use of anti-terror legislation.
  3. Or switch venues to the land down under. In Australia the wise Legislative Council of Victoria passed the Summary Offence Act 2013 [1249]. This law (which insistently appears to be in violation of the U.N. Charter of Rights and Freedoms [Op. cit.], outlaws the right to protest. It grants police police power disperse any group (without specifying size of group), at will. Those who refuse to comply can be issued with restrictive exclusion orders, fines, or jail time of as much as two years. Democracy in action.
“la désobéissance civile, c’est un beau mot pour dire vandalisme”
~ Minister of Justice of Quebec [574], Canada, when asked about students objecting to increased tuition rates (translation: “Civil disobeidence is just another term for vandalism” or perhaps more loosely “How dare they exercise their democratic rights!”)
“Veullez avoir l’amabilité de nous informer du nombre d’agents en civil que vous prévoyez ifiltrer lors de lévènement afin de nous aider a prévoir le nombre de canapés et autre hors d’oeuvres a ȇtre commandés.”
~ A. Normade, president of the Gatineau Chamber of Commerce [575] ((Translation: “Please be kind enough to let us know the number of plain-clothes officers who will infiltrate our event so we can order the appropriate catering.”)
M. Normande wrote the above to the Police Service upon the government’s passage of BIll 78. This Bill required all citizens to notify and ask permission of police if more than 10 people planned a get together such as a wedding or a business lunch in Quebec, Canada. It is worth noting the the federal government under Prime Minister Harper made no objection to the enactment of Bill 78 which in the opinion of constitutional [576, 577] and civil rights scholars [578] was both unconstitutional and illegal.
Prime Minister Harper had previously however, cancelled the Court Challanges program [1169] which aided citizens whose rights had been violated from suing the federal government.
"Why should taxpayers have to pay for more than 10 reports promoting [a viewpoint opposite to his own] ... It [the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy] should agree with the government."
~ John Baird, Foreign Minister for Canada stating with surprising clarity an intolerance of dissent from his government’s policies [633]. His government shortly thereafter cut funding for the National Round Table
“When a government silences the voices it does not want to hear, or when we silence ourselves out of fear, it is not an attack on individual organizations, it is an attack on democracy.”
~ Keith Reynolds [634], National Research Representative for the Canadian Union of Public Employees
10.5.9.5.1 Example: Erosion of Individual rights
(an image: pls click to see it) This example extends the discussion of the erosion of civil liberties , by pointing out that not only has the right of mass peaceful dissent been under heavy attack in democratic countries (as the G20 meetings mentioned above), but so has the right of such dissent by individuals. Jeff Widener’s iconic photograph in Tienanmen Square at right, nicely sums up the situation - a lone individual standing for what is right against the massive force of the state.
There are a plethora of examples to choose from, but here I should like to mention an almost completely unknown instance by way of example: that of the academic and scholar, Northrop Fry. Dr. Frye was one of the foremost scholars of his time, known throughout the world as a leading literary theorist. His “Anatomy of Criticism” stands as one of the preeminent works in the field of the 20th century. Dr. Frye was awarded Canada’s highest honour, the Order of Canada in 1972 for his outstanding contributions toward creating a conceptual framework for and a science of, literary analysis.
Dr. Frye was a humane man and like the vast majority of people [164] at that time, was strongly opposed to the U.S. invasion of Vietnam and its wholesale slaughter of civilian populations. This alleged genocide was carried out through the U.S. spraying of Agent Orange [153] and napalm [152]) onto vast numbers of innocent civilians throughout that country. Millions of Vietnamese civilians were killed by the U.S. during their invasion [153, 154] - something which Dr. Frye found abhorrent and inhumane. Dr. Frye was also interested in opening trade with China, at that time seen as a threat to U.S. economic dominance. He also strongly opposed the rampant slavery and apartheid in South Africa, the government of which was in large part propped up by Britain and the U.S. at the time, something which Dr. Frye pointed out in his lectures.
And so because of his outstanding work advocating for human rights Dr. Frye rather than the then government leaders where were allegedly complicit in these acts, he was marked as a “security threat”. As the recently released 142 page RCMP Security Services dossier on Dr. Frye shows, the RCMP flagged Frye’s participation in free speech, and had him spied upon. They also spied upon his wife. And his colleagues and friends. Because as a noted scholar, Dr. Frye’s words were listened to more intently than those of the average dissenter. The RCMP was afraid that Dr. Frye’s views that burning people alive with napalm in Vietnam was a bad thing, might catch on. And therefore somehow lessen the willingness of the public to go along with the Canadian government’s complicity in these horrors.
Fast foreword many decades to the reign of Prime Minister Stephen Harper in Canada: Mr. Harper’s government was found by the Privacy Commissioner for Canada to have allegedly spied on and allegedly invaded the privacy of a professor solely for political reasons [1053]. (Please also see here Harmonisation Is a Tool of War), and here Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.) for additional context). The professor, Dr. C. Blackstock, was an avocate for the rights of aboriginal children in poverty. And so apparently, allegedly worthy of having privacy rights violated:
"I was shocked when I realised that in a democracy such as Canada our federal government thinks it is right to violate the privacy of citizens who have a view that is different from theirs," says Prof. Blackstock. "By simply working towards a more fair and just Canada for all children, it seems that the federal government targeted me as a person of concern. We have to ask ourselves ‘who else is being targeted and for what purpose?’
~ Dr. C. Blackstock [1054]
d"Given the Conservative Governments record on privacy and ignoring Canadians’ Charter rights, it is not surprising that Prof. Blackstock has been under systematic surveillance by the Tories in Ottawa for simply connecting communities and advocating for First Nations children,"
~ N. Mehta [1055], General Counsel, UFCW, Canada
Of course many of those who dissent from the narrative of those in power have been threatened by police (who are supposed to be working for citizens) as was Dr. Frye. For the last several decades the Canadian federal police (RCMP) and the federal spy agency (CSIS) have conducted covert investigations of those within academia[309]  [309] As an aside here it may be noteworthy that the vast majority of intelligence officers performing these activities lacked advanced degrees or had even graduated high school [216]. Their ability therefore to properly assess or even weigh academic discourse or interests, was decidedly moot.. Students (including the future leader of Canada’s second ruling party [161]), faculty, staff at universities, and many other academics have been covertly spied upon. Including as was the case with Dr. Frye, some world famous scholars and recipients of Canada’s highest honours - Pierre Berton, Peter Gzowski, Lotta Hitschmanova, Rene Lavesque, and many others of equal merit [160]. Because they dared to disagree with the dominant political narrative (nee propaganda), of the day.
When the Canadian Association of University Teachers asked the government to curtail this ludicrous spying activity Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.), the spy agency began to investigate the organization itself [ibid]. It appeared that criticism of the spy agency was in and of itself grounds for allegedly illegal spying and surveillance. This is by definition the rise of a surveillance state or more formally, a Panopticon.
Such activity is anathema to democracy. (Please also see my article on bibliocaust Censorship and Bibliocaust to see how written work can be and is being suppressed in a number of areas.)
“Quis custodiat ipsos custodes” (Who guards the guards)
~ Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis, from his Satire VI, lines 347–8, written over 2000 years ago

10.5.9.6 The surveillance industry makes democracy impossible

"The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it, moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard... You had to live
~ did live, from habit that became instinct
~ in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinised.”
~ George Orwell, 1984
Please note: I have gone into more detail on this topic in my article on the Panopticon Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.). The section below however, presents a brief overview of this topic...
Large secret watch lists are the hallmark of oppressive societies. There are so many others: German customs officers have been injecting so-called “call home” software into laptops of travellers at the boarder, which logs passwords, bank account information, everything in fact the user does on her personal laptop, then sends said information automatically to the government [273]. Specially equipped laser ’guns’ are routinely used by police to listen to the vibration of windows from speakers voices from several miles away, with the knowledge or permission of the courts [274, 275]. The U.S. Total Information Awareness, re-branded and renamed is being used to mine web searches, Twitter messages, Facebook, IM posts, blogs, and the geolocation trails (where they go, for how low, when, etc.) of cell phone users and their contacts [276, 277, 278] [310]  [310] Consider India’s Department of Telecommunications. It uses real-time tracking to locate any cell phone user in the country to with a few metres [467]. India’s government knows where every cell phone is by owner name and real-time location, 24 hours a day. Of course, virtually every other country in the industrialised world [468] does the same, invariably farming the task out to non-government, for-profit corporations.. Private, personal medical data is being similarly mined after being sent to in other countries where the origin country’s laws do not apply [279]. And so on.
Historically the creation of surveillance technologies has been the “canary in a coal mine” signal of devolving democracy.
"Populations who are fooled by their governments to give up liberty in order to obtain security, they deserve neither liberty nor security."
~ Benjamin Franklin [405]
10.5.9.6.1 A little history
“Hitler’s dictatorship employed to perfection the instruments of technology to dominate its own people ... by such instruments ... eighty million persons could be made subject to the will of one individual ... to maintain a close watch over all citizens and to keep criminal operations shrouded in a high degree of secrecy.”
~ Albert Speer [1154], Nazi Minister of Armaments
The Doomsday Book was completed in 1086 CE. The king of England at the time, William I, wanted to ensure that everyone in the country [311]  [311] Scotland was ignored. This was because as in our own time, the odour of ripe haggis kept everyone away (an image: pls click to see it) was paying taxes and recognised that he owned every bit of land. So he had teams of deputised legati go to every corner of the country to find out what a person owned, how much they owned, and how much it was worth. Of course the officers were (unlike the fine police of our own time) subject to bribery, stupidity, and greed. Hence sometimes they would ask a neighbour what a person owned. If that neighbour wanted to get even and declare that the person in question was very rich, well, that was good enough for the officers. They entered the information into the Doomsday Book. Whatever was in the book, right or wrong, determined what a person had to pay in taxes or be jailed (or worse). There was no appeal. And since the Book was written in Latin - a language the average person did not know - the information in the Book may as well have been completely secret. Especially since very, very few people could read. So much like no-fly lists in our own time, the Doomsday Book determined a person’s life and freedom had no appeal and was unavailable to the persons most effected by its dictates. The officers who repeatedly recompiled the information in the Book were part of the King’s universal spy network. A system whose primary purpose was to rape the land of its wealth and deliver it to the King and his cronies.
(an image: pls click to see it)
Photo: The U.S. President - one of several allegedly functionally illiterate persons to hold that office.
The technologies of surveillance improved with time. The cumbersome hand written Doomsday Book transmogrified to vast keyed and code files. For example: When East German government finally rotted from within, the public finally became aware that the Stazi (secret police) had compiled secret watchlists on almost every citizen. Not just a few dissenters or as they called them “terrorists”, but everyone. People who were of absolutely no threat to the state found their medical records, family relationships, friends, work history, and so much more had been logged and recorded. Their human right to privacy had been breached for no reason other than that the state had the power to do so. The idea put forth by the Stazi command and government was that universal surveillance was essential to the safety of the state. Of course what really happened was that universal surveillance meant the end of dissent.
Notice in both cases - in 9thC England and in 20th C East Germany, the public had no appeal and almost no knowledge of the extent to which they were watched. Because such information was kept secret. Even though everyone knew they were surveilled, they did not know how much or even if they were on secret watch lists or not. No appeal was possible, even though the information in both cases was frequently wrong, and frequently destroyed the lives of innocent people.
10.5.9.6.2 Mission Creep
"Whenever justice is uncertain and police spying and terror are at work, human beings fall into isolation, which, of course, is the aim and purpose of the dictator state, since it is based on the greatest possible accumulation of depotentiated social units."
~ Carl Jung, The Undiscovered Self [459]
Mission creep always occurs when information is kept secret, and when the public is barred from watching the watchers (see for example, [198, 193, 147] and Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.) Sect. 5.1.31).
It also occurs when domestic para-military forces such as police are given military grade weapons and tools to use against civilians: There are more than 50,000 police and para-military raids in the United States per annum [352]. More than 90% of U.S. cities of 50,000 or more, as well as many small towns, have at least one police SWAT force [ibid] armed to the teeth with military grade weapons. Throughout that sad country, more than 130 police para-military raids are conducted per day, every day [340, 341]. The number is climbing [ibid]. U.S. police regularly perform raids upon those suspected of having drugs on the premises. They wear Kevlar helmets, body armour, black uniforms, boots, and night vision goggles - all from the military. The carry military-grade automatic weapons such as M-16s in these raids. They use military armoured personnel carriers. (an image: pls click to see it) They rappel, just as military in armed combat, from helicopters. Armed miniaturized military drone robots fly overhead relaying tactical information or spying into peoples’ windows [312]  [312] In some countries (such as Poland [351] people have been building their own flying drones to spy on police and military illegalities - technology can work for, or against, democracy, for or against human dignity and freedom.. Military laser listening devices spy on everyone in the building (conversations from over 10 Km away can be ease dropped by laser detection and filtering of the small vibrations speech produces in windows). Military flash-bang grenades and sonic grenades are used, both capable of utterly disorienting people with super bright light and extreme noise. Lasers which cause temporary blindness and disorientation are in the hands of police forces of many democratic countries including Britain [396].
The U.S.’s Posse Comitatus Act kept military hardware out of the hands of police for a while. But that has, as in most similarly devolving democratic countries, been abandoned. The result, under the excuse of “protecting” the public from drugs - the United States is the world’s largest consumer of prescription drugs [343], many as more potent [ibid] but far more readily available than most illicit drugs [344]. Any officer who wishes to bypass Posse Comitatus need merely raise the drug spectre (truly of falsely) to be immune to prosecution for “mistakes”. And so family pets have been shot [341], children have been shot and killed [342], innocent people have been maimed for life [ibid] or killed [341, 342, 340].
Pepper spray, a military invention, is now used as a matter of course against those who question police tactics [352, 340], against peaceful and completely innocent students walking on campus (eg. the infamous videotaped pepper spraying at the U.S.’ UC Davis campus [354]) of peaceful non-violent seated and fully cooperating students; against those obeying their demands or legally operating near them viz. the case in which a Judge was arrested for merely watching police pepper spray peacefully and legally demonstrating marchers [354]; against an eight year old physically small child who was clearly innocent of anything [355]; against reports holding up certified and credentialed press credentials then arresting them with choke holds [357]; against those attempting to legally photograph police activities; and so on for many, many other examples.
A word about pepper spray. It is called “pepper” spray by those in power and media in an Orwellian attempt to use innocent sounding names to mask a dangerous military weapon. This is not the spray you can buy at the store to keep dogs or bears at bay. It is nothing like those relatively innocuous agents. Rather it is a military weapon which in a wonderful example of police militarisation, has become widely used against civilians. Police grade “pepper” spray is legally classified as a chemical weapon under international law, thus banned from use in warfare [396], and certainly against civilians. It can cause death [397, 398]. Even the U.S. army states that its use can cause fatalities [399]. It can cause up to half and hour of painful blindness [401], breathing difficulties [402], and excruciating sensations of burning for up to two hours [403]. These can be much worse when children or the ill are sprayed [404]. Amnesty International classifies its use as “tantamount to torture” [400]. It is of particular dangers to the many members of the public who suffer respiratory distress (those with asthma for example), allergies, or heart disease. The reality is that this is a dangerous chemical weapon and a severe risk to human health and safety. Its almost routine use against peacefully and legally marching protesters is an unconscionable violation of democratic rights and freedoms.
At any rate, there are a number of studies which indicate that the widespread distribution of military non-lethal weaponry from “pepper” spray to laser blinding devices amongst police in most western countries has greatly increased the use of these weapons against the general public rather than (as was the case before these weapons were available), against only obvious criminals [356, 352].
(an image: pls click to see it) (an image: pls click to see it) (an image: pls click to see it)
Photo: Militarisation of U.S. police.
All of this militarisation of police has dramatically undermined the culture of police work as beneficial to the public. It has in many ways made the average citizen increasingly suspicious of police, as numerous polls and surveys have shown [341, 340, 193, 345]. Having personally worked as an expert advisor to police for several years, it is my opinion as well as those of my officer friends on various forces including federal police forces, that these escalating enforcement tactics place the surrounding public under a correspondingly enhanced probability of violence. Whilst police are to be congratulated for their on the whole excellent work in helping others, militarisation of a domestic peace keeping force and the associated mind-set which accompanies it, gravely undermines the very good work they do.
It is mission creep at its worst, for militarisation of domestic forces and democracy cannot long coexist. Ask yourself for a moment what kind of society would consider it acceptable to place police in high schools carrying AR-15 military assault rifles [1358, 1359] - the same kind weapons used by soldiers during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan? One might be excused for wondering what type of mind considers it acceptable to for murderous weapons to be carried amongst school children, but gives does very little toward addressing the problems of poverty and racism so prevalent where school police deploy such weapons. Povery and rampant racism such as that allegedly displayed by so many white police in St. Louis, Missouri.
During police actions and subsequent rioting in Ferguson - a small town adjacent to St. Louis - the public was able to see how even a small town of 22,000 had police equipped with military weapons [1349] were all to willing to deploy them.
“Ferguson is the site of an occupation happening in plain sight, and the police remain undeterred because they can occupy, because they know they have unlimited power, because they know they cannot be stopped.”
~ Roxane Gay [1350], writing in the Guardian about the Ferguson police after they shot an dark skinned teenager six times - the United States as everyone outside that country knows, is a highly racist society.
Police in Ferguson had the finest military equipment available - tanks, grenades, drones, etc. The U.S. 1033 program allowed as of 1997, police departments to request and receive military equipment free of charge [1350]. In 2013 alone, over $450,000,000 worth of advanced military equipment for use in war zones was acquired through the 1033 program by police forces around the United States [1351]. Under the program police are required to use the equpment they receive within one year [ibid]
"The program contains a built-in incentive. As these local police departments receive this equipment, there are no meaningful constraints on their ability to use it. If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."
~ K. Dansky [1351], senior counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union
Police in Ferguson used their overwhelming military might to
  • arrest a city alderman who was part of a peaceful march [1358],
  • to arrest some reporters covering their actions [ibid],
  • allegedly threaten to kill a journalist [1359] for reporting on their alleged activities,
  • attack other journalists with tear gas then destroy their cameras and recorders [ibid, 1358],
  • refused to identify themselves (as required by law) even to the extent of removing their (required) name tags [1360, 1361],
  • place heavily armed snipers and personnel carriers in the streets [1352, 1353, 1354],
  • and more [ibid].
Incidentally, it is of interest regarding democracy to see how police Ferguson and nearby cities responded to criticism - they took courses in manipulating media. One such course for example, was entitled “Officer-involved shooting - you can win with the media” [1423]. The course was described as a “fast-paced class is jam-packed with the essential strategies and tactics, skills and techniques” including a “detailed case study of Ferguson.” The course was recommended for “all upper echelon law enforcement professionals who ever expect to face media contact will benefit. This includes top-level decision-makers, command staff, supervisors, and subject-matter expert.” [ibid]. When I worked with paramilitary forces (eg. police) those in charge seemed to have three primary concerns: 1) keeping actions of police secret form the public 2) appeasing politicians 3) manipulating media. Everything else, in my experience, was secondary. What this means for democracy and democratic rights, you can decided for yourself.
But back to the main point: Police in the United States have asked for, and are receiving tens of thousands of machine guns, 200,000 ammunition magazines (including magazines holding 100 rounds each of M-16 ammunition), thousands of camouflage and night-vision equipment, and hundreds of silencers, armored cars and aircraft [1320]. The number of SWAT teams has radically increased in the past twenty years (see eg. professor Kraska’s work [1321]. To such an extent that police recruiting ads are dominated by SWAT teams using exotic weaponry [1322, 1323].
Consider for example in the U.S. eight different police departments in the state of Indiana purchased MRAPs ( Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles) designed for use in active war zones. One of the departments had a mere 13,124 people in its area, yet deemed the 25000 Kg necessary. Why? Two reasons - the used MRAP was less expensive than a new SWAT vehicle, and as the local Sheriff M. Gayer said:
“The United States of America has become a war zone.”
~ M. Gayer, Sheriff of Pulaski County, Indiana, USA [1310]
Incorrect. The perception amongst police that they must arm themselves to the teeth and become heavily armed paramilitary organisations, is mere confirmation bias. For as in Canada during a time when the federal police (RCMP) routinely demanded more and more military grade weaponry [1311, 1312], the crime rate in both countries had dropped significantly. Violent crime in the U.S. for example, at the time when Sheriff Gayer was acquiring the heavily armed anti-mine vehicle, had decreased more than 50% over the prior two decades, and continued to decrease throughout the U.S. [1313] and Canada [1314]. Moreover violent crime has been decreasing throughout most industrialised nations for the prior three decades [1315].
Instead, there is some evidence [1316, 1317, 1318, 1319] to suggest that the extent of and occurrence of violence by police in North America has been increasing during the same period, particularly in the U.S. In that country the oxymoronically named Homeland Security (oh so remenicent of the German Fartherland - even the clothing is similar) service has been repeatedly cited for such behaviour, as well as for a consistent demand for and use of military weaponry [ibid]. Police training has also changed - it is now ever more frequently concerned with instilling a “them and us” attitude. This is unsurprising. For as the U.S. rapidly transitions away from democracy and toward the current (in all but name) oligarchy (vide infra) the rise of a police state is sadly inevitable. Precisely as has occurred historically wherever imbalance of opportunity and wealth reach untenable levels Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls ). The rise of police militarisation is the inevitable result.
Sheriff Gayer’s statement therefore, was correct. The U.S. has become a war zone. But not in the way he meant. Rather the the war has become increasingly between the few in power, and everyone else.
Another example: In the United States the Homeland Security department has initiated a secret watchlist database little different from that kept by the STASI described above, but with even more information, and with a technology (flying insect-like drones that can look in windows and even kill [255], automated inspection of every communication from voice to internet searches [ibid, 338], correlating geolocation information from all mobile phones [221, 339], etc.) far more pervasive than anything the Stazi had availableIs Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.).
“People in America and around the world should not have to worry about protecting themselves from an unhinged United States government, unchained from its own Constitution, but worry they must. And the government should not, under the guise of protecting its own citizenry, conduct mass dragnet surveillance in secret, let alone the rest of the entire world while publicly crushing anyone who tries to expose it.”
~ Thomas Drake [1243] testifying before the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
Like the Stazi, there is denial of these events. Robert Gibbs, the U.S. drone president’s former press secretary has stated that he was instructed by the White House never to acknowledge president’s use of drones [804]. Again, democracy cannot exist when propaganda trumps openess and truth. For even with the best of intentions, history has shown over and over [217, 218, 219, 220, 221] that when there is no public oversight of the watchers and when there is little or no accountability for the actions of these para-military police forces, mission creep not only occurs, it rapidly increases.
Democracy has never survived this type of activity.
Part of this mission creep is that those in charge of surveillance begin to watch those who might one day dissent. With current technologies, this means everyone can be and is being, watched. All upon the remote and highly unlikely possibility that they might, one day, in the far future, embarrass the government in some way. This type of surveillance is known as “preventative arrest”.
Finally, let me give a small but telling example of how destructive such mission creep can be.
Flashbang grenades are military weapons. They explode with high dB noise and high candlepower flash - enough to cause “temporary” deafness and blindness for anyone nearby when one goes off. I place “temporary” in quote here, because cochlea and retinal damage can indeed be permanent from such exposure. Additionally if anyone is too near, these granades can burn flesh.
Recently a SWAT team broke into Alecia Phonesavanh’s home in a mistaken event looking for nonexistent drugs. Let me quote Ms. Phonesavanh’s description of events:
“After breaking down the door, throwing my husband to the ground, and screaming at my children, the officers – armed with M16s – filed through the house like they were playing war. They searched for drugs and never found any.
I heard my baby wailing and asked one of the officers to let me hold him. He screamed at me to sit down and shut up and blocked my view, so I couldn’t see my son. I could see a singed crib. And I could see a pool of blood. The officers yelled at me to calm down and told me my son was fine, that he’d just lost a tooth. It was only hours later when they finally let us drive to the hospital that we found out Bou Bou was in the intensive burn unit and that he’d been placed into a medically induced coma.”
~ A. Phonesavanh [1326]
Her son survived the grenade these officers allegedly tossed at his crib, but with a hole in his chest that exposed his ribs. With luck and help, this will hopefully in time, heal. There is sadly though, brain damage as well. At time of writing doctors did not know if the child would recover from this.
Sadly this travesty is not an isolated incident. The American Civil Liberties Union report on police militarisation [1327] as well as many other reports from NGOs [1328, 1329, 1330] clearly show a pattern - the more military equipment a police department obtains, the higher the likelihood that it will be used regardless of need. Let me give one final example: In the U.S. state of Utah, citizen death by police shooting outnumbered total homicides from gang violence, drugs, and child abuse [1444]. Mission creep? Police state? It is certainly not wise to not have white skin if travelling through Utah [1445] [313]  [313] Interestingly this U.S. state is also the centre of the U.S. specific religion of “Mormanism”. If you are unfamilar with that cult, you may enjoy [1447], particularly in regards to how police in that area can kill more people than die from all other violent crimes. Belief systems underscore cognitive dissonance..
Mind you this is not for a moment speaking against officers who for the most part are trying to do a worthwhile job. Rather it is to point out that as I tried to show in my article on technological non-neurtrality Is Technology Neutral? No. , a technology in and of itself determines two things:
  1. It will be used
  2. It will be used for purposes other than those for which it was designed
That is to say, any use of military equipment by police will invariably lead and has lead, not only to mission creep but to use against the innocent. The end results it sadly, yet another threat to democracy. (Please also see here: Controlling the Rabble: A quick how-to guide .)
Mission creep indeed - the Sturmabteilung began to receive more and more miliatry grade weaponry, and to use these weapons against civilians, particularly those they identified through racial profiling. By the time the Sturmabteilung had metamorphised into the Nazi SS, it was too late.
Germany was no longer a democracy, and no longer free.
10.5.9.6.3 Vorbeugungshaft (Preventative Arrest)
First a little history:
Consider the dictatorships which arose in Germany under Hitler, Russia under Stalin, and Italy under Mussolini. In all three, persons whom the state perceived as exhibiting criminal but behaviour which they considered to be a possible danger to themselves, were incarcerated without trial. Let’s look at Nazi Germany. There the Criminal Police office was authorised to apply Vorbeugungshaft (preventative arrest) against anyone whom they considered to be a risk to the state. Vorbeugungshaft was frequently motivated by racial profiling (bigotry against people with dark skin for example) or political predjudice (marching in peaceful protest against the U.S. corporations aiding Hitler for example). They also applied Vorbeugungshaft againt minorities (homosexuals, Jews, Roma) and academics (who often spoke out about what was happening). People against whom such preventative arrest was applied, sometimes set free after a beating, sometimes “disappeared” (killed), sometimes locked up indefinitely, sometimes used for years in prison labour gangs, and sometimes simply sent through what we now term “rendition” (secret transportation system) to other countries under German control to be tortured killed in concentration camps.
While Vorbeugungshaft was in theory constrained by law and oversite, in practice prisoners were treated however those in charged wished. For example, Hitler’s special police - the Gestapo - dhad the power to place anyone under Schutzhaft (protective custody) and ship them off to concentration camps for any reason at all.
Now present day:
Hitler’s Vorbeugungshaft is currently alive and well in several countries such as New Zealand, Britain, Italy, Canada, Germany, and the United States [195,196,197].. In this latter such incarceration without trial on the basis of mere “suspicion” is used quite broadly (please also see Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.) for citations). There boarder guards, Fatherland Homeland Security, the FBI, and many other paramilitary forces of the state can and do incarcerate people sometimes for very long periods (years) on the basis of a number of junk science procedures which are supposed to differentiate the “suspicious” from “normals”.
Junk science is a term used to specify technologies or procedures which to a lay person have the appearance of scientific validity, but are in fact, fraudulent - junk - when analysed by real scientists and scholars. A good example of this is the so-called “lie-detector” upon which so many police and courts rely. “Lie-detectors” and other GSR, EEG, etc. devices used to detect human response accuracy in forensics have been proven to be have no scientific basis whatsoever [263, 264, 265, 266]. The same, it might be said applies to the latest version of this, the misuse and abuse of MRI data in faux forensics (see Is Neuroimaging Pseudo Science?) [548]).
The U.S. president has said that arresting someone on suspicion that they may one day commit a crime and detaining them without charge (Vorbeugungshaft, Schutzhaft) is an “essential power” for the police in order to protect the public [234]. In exactly the same manner that Hitler’s government claimed preventative arrest was an essential power to keep Germans “safe” [1093]. In Canada the population was less willing to abrogate their civil rights... for a while. However then the federal police (RCMP) announced that they had been following two suspects for a year who they had just arrests on terrorist charges [959], Prime Minister Harper was able to ram through legislation for preemptive arrest in just two days [960]. Of course the fact that the RCMP announced the arrests just at that time was mere coincidence (right?), as was Mr. Harper’s parroting [561] of U.S. president Obama’s claim that this suspension of civil liberties was an “essential power”.
Such propaganda memes and platitudes such as “essential power” or “to keep us safe” mask the rather obvious fact that that preemptive arrest and detention without charge overthrows the most fundamental rights of democracy and civil liberties, such as habeas corpus, due process, right of public oversight, and so on. In fact, it has been more than 800 years since any western leader has taken such powers upon himself. Why 800 years? Because it has been 800 years since the Magna Carta - the basis for many western legal systems - outlawed such powers. However as a number of historians have pointed out, there is a remarkable similarity in this statement to the “essential powers” Stalin demanded [962], and to the identical power of preemptive arrest which Hitler took for himself [267].)
Such powers in the U.S. and Canada have been granted without a need for a warrant (i.e. without public and judicial oversight). Preventive detention means that anyone may be incarcerated without any need to prove allegations of potential wrong doing. The techniques used to determine who may or may not one day commit a crime, is epidemiologically, statistically, psychologically, and even sociologically null. I need not discuss the academic literature on the issue here, as it is readily available (see [268] for a good overview). Suffice it to say that no reputable scientist would call the techniques anything other than a low form of junk science. And no thoughtful person could see such junk science as anything less than an affront to democratic rights, the right of public oversight, and the right of due process. And a direct mimicry of Hitler’s Vorbeugungshaft. (In case you believe this a harsh appraisal, I would urge you to check the citations, and to read the history of preventative arrest under the Nazis.)
“Preventative arrest is useful and necessary”
~ Canadian Prime Minister and apparent clairvoyant Stephen Harper [357]
Two example of how preemptive arrest is used:
1.
The widely respected and multiple award winning journalist Amy Goodman and two of her colleagues were handcuffed and arrested in Minnesota [269]. Goodman was charged with Obstruction and her colleagues with Felony Riot Charges. All three were violently manhandled by police while in jail, resulting in multiple injuries requiring later treatment. They were arrested prior to travelling to videotape and conduct interviews with marchers for a protest march which had not yet taken place. That is to say, they were arrested for legal activities they had not actually committed but might, sometime in the future, maybe, perhaps, legally commit. In a speech many months later, Ms. Goodman discussed how preemptive arrest was being widely used for the purpose of intimidating people from the legal act of peaceful dissent and also to intimidate journalists from reporting events. Note that the past was replete with misuse and abuse of preventative arrest: Hitler’s Germany preventative arrest of Jews; in the U.S. preventative arrest of “communists”; in Australia preventative arrest of aboriginal people; and so on. But history tends to repeat. And so this same scenario - arrest without crime particularly against certain groups, violence by the state against those held, eventual release after years of suffering - is being repeated. Malaysia, New Zealand, Germany, Australia Canada, Britain, and so on have adopted the preventative arrest model of the United States.
2.
In the United States Islamophobia has been steadily mounting, fanned by grossly inaccurate statistics, ludicrous media coverage, and above all, steady propaganda in favour of permanent war and rape of any nation not in favour of handing the U.S. their natural resources. Please see Chomsky on this issue, as well as: The World Wide U.S. War of Terror and The Hubris of Empire: Is the United States the world’s greatest threat to peace? .
The end result is demonisation of an entire religion not at all unlike the early Nazi demonising of the Jewish religion. (As a quick aside, Goodwin’s Law is a propaganda meme which seeks to infantalise and trivialise fact in favour of ideology.)
Hence this example: In 2010 Nick George, a U.S. citizen and college student, was seized by the TSA as he went through security at the Philadelphia airport. He was handcuffed by police, taken to jail, and left there with no explanation. He was not informed of his rights, not allowed legal council, nor allowed to call his family [1448]
“TSA agents and the police felt they had the authority to detain and then arrest me, purely on ignorant assumptions about a language spoken by 295 million people worldwide.”
~ Nick George [ibid]
What was Mr. George’s crime? He had some Arabic/English flash cards in his pocket (he was learning Arabic as part of his foreign language study at college) and (horrors!) he had a book in his carry on luggage by a former U.S. Secretary of Commerce which was critical of U.S. foreign policy.
Ultimately Mr. George was lucky. The American Civil Liberties Union was told of his case, and after a five year battle in the courts (five years!) the case Mr. George brought against those who arrested him was ruled in his favour [1449]. The police and TSA had clearly violated the U.S. Constitution (First Amendment) in his case. However, others have not been so lucky (please see here: Are U.S. Run Torture Sites Crimes Against Humanity? ). As with the Nazi Party in Germany were the idea of Vorbeugungshaft originated, a state edging toward fascism largely ignores the courts - Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.) and The World Wide U.S. War of Terror .
Mission Creep
Add preventative surveillance to preventative arrest, both in the absence of public or judicial oversight, and we have a recipe for abuse the STAZI or the Nazis might have envied. Arresting people on the basis that they fit a profile of those who might, one day, in the future, maybe, commit a crime is junk science at its worst. There have been numerous examples of the application of this junk science to wrongful rendition [203,204,205] and subsequent torture of innocents [222], wrongful internment [204,206], suppression of potential whistleblowers [270], profiling at boarders [271, 271], no-fly lists [272], and similar practices.
Mission creep however, has taken this junk science of preventative arrest a step further into the bizarre: When a number of countries developed remote controlled and autonomous flying and submerging drones (UVAs), the promise was that they would only be used for military purposes [240]. Now however thanks to mission creep, most federal or large metropolitan police forces have these systems and regularly use them to surveil their country’s citizens [239]. The governor of the U.S. state of Virginia Bob McDonnell for example, stated that arming police with military drones was “the right thing to do” [584]. Presumably because the governor wishes police to have the ability to conduct unmanned remote assassinations for parking violations. Another example: In two large U.S. cities [241], the drones fly twenty-four hours a day recording every activity below them. The U.S. military has allegedly deployed drones to kill, without trial or proof of guilt, people in Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq, Colombia, and Yemen [657] and allegedly many other areas of the world.
Currently the U.S. Department of Defence has been developing biometric non-cooperatively tagging. (The contracts are highly lucrative for the private for-profit companies involved.) This is basically a system whereby UAVs can track individuals by means of facial recognition, olfactory signatures, gate (walking) signatures, and other biometric characteristics unique to individuals [237]. The military has stated [ibid] that one of the goals is to be able to spot “adversarial intent” [242], which you will note, is essentially the same as “preventive arrest”. This time determined by flying robots.
Little surprise therefore that several police forces have expressed interest in acquiring these technologies when they are fully developed [238]. And so despite the military claim [237] that the systems will only be used for military purposes [ibid], just as with normal UVA acquisition,mission creep makes it highly likely that they will do so. At time of writing, the U.S. is heavily funding design of flying drones (some nuclear carrying [509]) which can make their own kill decisions without human intervention, and kill if they suspect “potentially hostile behaviour and intent” [256].
The U.S. has developed a number of junk science preventative detention techniques. Future Attribute Screening Technology (FAST) project which was "designed to track and monitor, among other inputs, body movements, voice pitch changes, prosody changes (alterations in the rhythm and intonation of speech), eye movements, body heat changes, and breathing patterns” has been given the green light by the government of that country. Phrenology - a system of reading bumps on the head and determining personality therefrom - was used at one time to lock people up before they could commit a crime, deny them work, and even used to put them in mental institutions. Now thoroughly discredited for the junk science it was phrenology was in its day used by police, government, and employers as a means of screening “good” from “bad” potential in people. Today’s version of phrenology is FAST, and it is no less junk science than its predecessor. Yet there are always those in lab coats willing to take the large amount of money offered for giving such junk the veneer or authenticity. Using Orwell’s 1984 as an instruction manual, the initiators of FAST and its intellectual kin have gone to laudable lengths to protect the public from any abnormal thought crimes.
To be judged on a scale of "normality" against a scale drawn from the mean of a profoundly ill society, is hardly the basis for preventative arrest. Historically it was however, the basis upon which great writers such as Solzhenitsyn were imprisoned by the profoundly ill Soviet Union. As always those in power who order the implementation of such silliness have no background in science, no credentials to assess what is junk and what is not, nor the understanding of historic and sociological perspective showing their actions to be antithetical to human freedoms.
The resulting accelerated diminution of democratic rights, is obvious.
“… Once accused of connections with terrorism ... the U.S. constitution and international human rights apparently do not apply. Torture by the U.S. is allowed. Pre-trial punishment is allowed. The presumption of innocence goes out the window. Counsel of choice is not allowed. Communication with news media not allowed.”
~ Dr. B. Quigley [510], Centre for Constitutional Rights, Loyola University
“The rack is an engine of the state, not of law.”
~ William Blackstone, 1769 [511]
Removing civil rights to protect the public? A Thought Experiment:
“To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget, whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again, and above all, to apply the same process to the process…”
~ G. Orwell [1244]
I have written about false positives in neuroimaging Is Neuroimaging Pseudo Science?), and how those who are unfamiliar with the scientific method, mathematics, or statistics are easily fooled by the misapplication of science to social situations. Here is a small thought experiment I have constructed, which may be illustrative of how and why the use various tools to find people they consider “dangerous to democracy” are themselves a danger to democracy.
Lately those in power have adopted the term “terrorists”, “extremists”, “militants”, and horrors! “leftists” to describe those they do not like. From peaceful marchers to MIT linguistics professors, anyone questioning the deontology is anathema.
McCarthy and his frothing-at-the-mouth mad men preferred “communist” as the designated term for those he considered a threat to his power. P. Trudeau called them “Separatists”. Custer called them “Redskins”. Cromwell called them “Huguenots”. Gloucester called them “Witches”. And so on. Every few generations those in power come up with a new name for those they wish to demonise, whether justified, or as is more commonly the case, completely unjustified. Such names provide an infantilization of narrative. They help prevent further investigation of whether or not those in power are demonising some group purely for their own gain. Hence we have the term “freedom fighters” for those groups killing on behalf of powerful nations, and “insurgents” for those being killed.
Again, labels serve to infantilise the dominant narrative. The result is that reason is replaced with a meaningless slogans, truth is replaced with revisionist narrative infantalization.
With this in mind, consider the following thought experiment.
Assume that there are a few such dangerous persons in the U.S. state of California. A recent U.S. census estimated that 36,457,549 people lived in California. Although the number of persons who are really dangerous to democracy outside of some corporate and government offices is difficult to ascertain, let us for the sake of this example say that there are 100 such people in California. This is 0.00000274th of the population. Assume further that the combined techniques used to avert “dangerous people”, from forcing people to remove their shoes at airports, to building profiles of “dangerous types”, are 99% accurate. With a quick calculation it is clear that for California, all these methods and security initiatives will falsely identify 364,756 people as dangerous. Or said another way, a little under 400,000 completely innocent people in that state could be detained, have their lives disrupted, subjected to questioning and forced confinement, be subject to a battery of physical and mental interrogation techniques, be frightened, have their their friends and co-workers interviewed, be added to no-fly lists [314]  [314] Incidentally, such lists have been ruled by the U.S. judiciary to be unconstitutional (i.e. illegal) [1324]. Furthermore a federal judge in that country has ruled that innocent persons have illegally been rufused the right to clear their names [1325]. Yet as of this writing, the government of that country has done nothing to rectify the situation. That is to say - the greatest threat to the right of an individual citizen to travel comes not from any outside force (i.e. “terrorists” - see here The World Wide U.S. War of Terror ) but from the halls of power directly. , and so on. All without having any effect on correctly identifying the 100 real dangerous.
Now let us carry this little thought experiment a bit further. Suppose this time, that the methods used to identify these 364,756 people are not 99% accurate. In fact, if we look at the academic and forensic literature on the subject, methods used by security forces have been estimated at on average at best 40-60% accurate [306, 307], some as low as 20% accurate [308]. So rerunning our calculation, we find that 2,1874,529 citizens of California, over two million innocent people in one state alone, could be falsely identified as “dangerous”. Again, without once accurately identifying even one of our supposed 100 real “dangerous persons”.
Of course repeating the “dangerous” identification method would not bring greater accuracy, for obvious reasons. But it would serve to further disrupt the lives of the completely innocent. As would running more significant method such as torturing all of the 2.1 million innocent citizens identified by the other methods. False positives are as unavoidable by security forces as they are in medical screening, the latter being far, far more accurate than any of the techniques currently in use.
Finally, let us complicate things a little bit in this thought experiment. Suppose this time we use scientific research, which shows rather clearly that the actual number of “dangerous persons” is picayune compared to the population. You can do the calculation for yourself using numbers between one and ten for example - the probability of false positives, of disrupting lives for no reason other theatre security and fear induction, is very high. As is the rapid decline in democratic rights and democracy itself due to the implementation of these “methods”. All whilst simultaneously the probability of identifying any truly “dangerous” people (who may or may not exist) is so low as to render the methods rather useless. Especially when such methods are contrasted to other methods of truly lowering threat Who was Betty Willams? , imaginary or real.
All societies have those who threaten them. It has always been this way. But the extent of reaction to threat may sometimes be overreaction, and sometimes lead to systems which destroy society in a manner far worse than the original threat (imagined or real) could ever have accomplished. One need look no further for a step by step example of this, than to Hitler’s Germany.
Infinite detention without trial
In addition to the removal of democratic civil rights addressed in the previous subsection, the United States Senate has passed the National Defence Authorisation Act [359]. This act authorises their military to detain indefinitely and without trial, anyone alleged to be an enemy combatant or anyone alleged to be involved in that nebulous and conveniently inclusive term, “terrorism”. This meant that anyone could be locked up for life without trial, without any recourse, without contact with family or friends [360] on the say-so of some anonymous accuser. Worthy of note too was that this law included U.S. citizens. This because that country’s Supreme Court had previously ruled (in the Hamadi case [361]) that U.S. citizen could be classified as an enemy combatant.
The then U.S. president New Year’s Day signed, on New Year’s Day, the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA) [424, 359]. The NDAA had no temporal or geographic limitations, thereby enabling the U.S. president to retain anyone in the world including U.S. citizens for any reason he deemed fit, for an infinite amount of time. The law also made it impossibly difficult to transfer suspects from military detention to civilian oversight. Section 1021 of the NDAA reads in part:
(c) Disposition under the laws of war: The disposition of a person under the law of war as described in subsection (a) may include the following: (1) Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorised by the Authorisation for Use of Military Force.
That is to say, the Bill codified the power of indefinite detention empowering the president to detain anyone accused (not proven, not guilty) of acts under the Bill without trial for an indefinite period. Since the U.S. has been at war with various peoples The Hubris of Empire: Is the United States the world’s greatest threat to peace? since its founders (religious evangelicals) first seeded gifts to native Americans with smallpox. This Bill certainly gives the leader of the country the power to detain anyone in the world including any citizen of that country (as made explicit in Section 1022 of the Bill), on mere accusation of transgression, forever. That is to say, detention without charge (codified in Section 1867 of the Bill). Why ’any’ citizen? Because the Bill (in Section 2) allows the president to target anyone who is accused of “substantially support[ing]” groups or individuals and “associated forces” which the government deems “hostile” to the U.S. or its allies. Section 1031 and 1032 codify detention by the military of any person, including any U.S. citizen without charge.
“1031, the statement of authority to detain, does apply to American citizens and it designates the world as the battlefield, including the homeland.”
~ U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham speaking before the U.S. Senate [428]
As a number of law professors in that country have stated [426, 427] this wording is so vague as to be universally inclusive. In other words, indefinite detention in military facilities on mere accusation without charge, without a civil trial and without civil oversight, were now part of U.S. law. The most basic democratic rights of freedom of movement, the right to face ones accusers in a timely manner, equality before the law, and a fair trail by before one’s peers, were thereby permanently removed.
This officially marked the end of fair trial and trail by jury of one’s peers in that country. It also eliminated the most important check on government power written into that country’s Constitution, thereby essentially nullifying an individual’s protections under said Constitution. Recall for a moment the discussion of Germany’s SA in Section 5.5: Democratic rights: Freedom to travel. There I mentioned that the German SA was eventually merged into the military, making warentless random search and seizure, accusation, and of course detention, a military matter. The NDAA was alleged by many to be a clear and obvious move in this same direction.
Prior to this, the only countries in the world since the fall of the German Reich with similar laws had been oppressive dictatorships exemplified by Egypt’s hated Mubaric’s regime, Burma’s military dictatorship, Robert Mugabes Zimbabwe, and Uganda’s dissent laws.
A sad situation for a country once held up as a pillar of democracy. Very sad.
10.5.9.6.4 A Panopticon is incompatible with freedom and democracy
"You cant write poems about trees when the woods are full of policemen”
~ Bertold Brecht
“Communications data are storable, accessible and searchable, and their disclosure to and use by State authorities are largely unregulated. Analysis of this data can be both highly revelatory and invasive, particularly when data is combined and aggregated. As such, States are increasingly drawing on communications data to support law enforcement or national security investigations. States are also compelling the preservation and retention of communication data to enable them to conduct historical surveillance. ... Communications surveillance should be regarded as a highly intrusive act that potentially interferes with the rights to freedom of expression and privacy and threatens the foundations of a democratic society. Legislation must stipulate that State surveillance of communications must only occur under the most exceptional circumstances and exclusively under the supervision of an independent judicial authority.”
~ F. La Rue [1040], the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Opinion, report on state surveillance and freedom of expression.
Suppose you are apprehended rooting through people’s trash searching for financial information. But when taken to court, you state that you would never, ever, use the information against individuals. You are just curious, and your actions are certainly not malevolent. And besides, if someone does not like what you are doing they can "opt-out" by keeping their trash in their house and never throwing it out. If you are a corporation or government agency, you are let off with a pat on the back, a hearty congratulation for your vigilance, and a large amount of money to continue your fine work.
Secret watchlists, preventative arrest, biometic tracking, indefinite internment [223, 224], and killing without human intervention by autonomous machines which make their own kill decisions. All without public access, information, or direct oversight. When similar surveillance and kill methodologies have occurred in the past (notably East German, Hitler’s Germany, Indonesia, North Korea, and Soviet Russia), democracy could never prevail.
In more and more failing democracies:
  • licence plates are routinely scanned in mall parking lots [226], and highways [362],
  • cameras along roadways recognise individual cars and map their routes and destinations to databases [357],
  • tracers are randomly attached to vehicles by police [227],
  • police carry portable brief-case sized devices that can listen in to any cell phone within a 10mi range, including feeding the phones false signals and even shutting them down - all without judicial oversite [360, 361]. iPhone cracking software (it takes an average of four seconds to bypass security on an iPhone [495]) is readily available to governments and police [496], and is a growth industry for several corporations who market to police [497].
  • small semi-autonomous drones record video and audio 24 hours a day flying a few hundred feet above the pavement and peering in windows [228,229],
  • small hidden CCTV records eye movements in stores and on the street [ibid], (The U.S. FBI for example, has launched a $1,000,000,000 face recognition project in order to be able to use CCTV from stores, street cameras, drone surveillance, your pictures on the net, etc. [639] and track you. The goal is to producea national photographic database without actually need legislation to do so [640]).
  • finger prints are remotely and automatically taken from a few tens of feet away and merged with data from facial recognition cameras [230],
  • DNA databases are filled with data taken from children at birth [231],
  • security vendors are routinely complicit in such monitoring individuals, corporations, and NGOs on behalf of governments [363],
  • retinal and other biometric scans are automatically taken upon entrance to stores and buildings [232],
  • and so on - the list of tools to build the currenty in-process Panopticon is very, very long.
Both the state and private for-profit corporations both on behalf of the state and independently of the state, do this in every western country. The technology is paid for in the main by the taxpayer, who is unaware [358] of the use to which her money is being put. Universal surveillance is, as history has so clearly shown [viz. 233], inimical to democracy. As I show here Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.), the construction of the panopticon in the United States was completed some years ago. That country has opted for universal surveillance and other antidemocratic tools of power using fatuous and fallacious justifications The World Wide U.S. War of Terror for its massive erosion of democracy. No democracy has ever survived a panopticon.
Note too, that all of this surveillance and spying has created a highly profitable, mulit-billion dollar industry. Consider:
(an image: pls click to see it)
Theatre security surveillance is the pretence of security for some ulterior purpose. For example, banning nail clippers on aeroplanes - even a moment’s thought would indicate that anyone capable of seizing control of a plane using nail clippers, is also capable of doing so without nail clippers. What then is the real purpose of theatre security surveillance? There are several primary purposes:
Pharmaceutical companies do not make money by the eradication of disease. Similarly government spy, theatre security, and surveillance agencies are not funded for saying that there is little or no threat to the country. Nor are they funded for reporting the fact that car accidents, underfunding health care, or the ever increasing gap between rich and poor have killed many orders of magnitude more people than so-called “terrorism” [193,234,235,236].
Yet trillions of dollars [191] have been spent on alleviating a trumped up threat [192] little different from the artificial threat of communism used to break unions and destroy social programs during the United States’ egregiously hate filled McCarthy era [193,235]. (The fact that far, far more persons are killed by being struck by lightening [359] than from this trumped up threat is ignored.) If you recall your history, you will know that the only purpose of McCarthyism was to create a fear laden populous willing to give politicians and the military contractors which owned them, free reign to construct a vast array of atomic weapons as a “deterrent”. A deterrent to “communism”. The Soviet Union at that time had no such weapons. But this fact did not deter the profiteering McCarthyites. The U.S. began (and still continues) the arms race and its attendant ludicrous build up of its military based almost entirely upon the lies and clearly antidemocratic witch hunts of the McCarty era. And the propaganda lessons learned therefrom - induce fear, ensure unconscious obedience, and theatre security.
Fortunately the profiteering by those contractors and their pet politicians could never happen in our own more enlightened time. At time of writing, roughly 1300 government agencies and roughly 2000 private companies dealing with “intelligence concerns” in the U.S.. They reside in roughly 10,000 locations throughout the United States [502]. But none of this has anything to do with profiteering, again, because we are far more enlightened in that regard than during the evils wrote by McCarthy era. (Please also see my articles discussing terrorism The World Wide U.S. War of Terror , crowd control Controlling the Rabble: A quick how-to guide , and junk forensics Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.) for additional citations.)
However it does give one pause when even the insignificant country of Canada under Prime Minister Stephen Harper spends billions of dollars on theatre security surveillance (airport backscatter machines, deep packet inspection of all communication, out of date and never-proven F35 fighter jets at a cost of $3,800 per family [382], etc.) whilst simultaneously slashing social programs and help for the poor to the lowest levels in history. The governments of Prime Minister Harper did however, find ample money important things: such as having his Cabinet Ministers stay in $5,000 per night hotel rooms [566], pay $1,000,000,000 for a swimming pool used once by G20 leaders [567], pay The more than $100,000 for paper flags and lapel pins for a single display of “patriotism” [568], diverting search and rescue military helicopters in order to fly them to and from fishing vacations [964], and so on while simultaneously slashing aid to the poor [569]. One more thing: like the U.S. loss of billions of dollars allocated for “fighting terror” [Op. Cit.], Prime Minister Harper’s government “misplaced” $3,100,000,000 of taxpayer money allocated toward “fighting terror” - the Auditor General for Canada could find no paper trail, no indication of where this money went [965]. Again, while slashing social programs and help for the poor and decimating environmental funding Why Do Politicians Destroy Science? , to the lowest levels in history.
As an aside in this regard, works by J.R. Saul, M. Hurtig, J.Gerald, J Friesch, M. Chossudovsky, D. Gabriel, and M. Parenti are quite interesting in demonstrating rather clearly how rapidly centuries of democratic rule and work on behalf of all citizens can be (and was being) destroyed in just a few short years by men of consummate evil - those who condone torture, removal of basic human rights, mass environmental destruction for profit, etc. whilst professing their adherence to Christian evangelical morality Religious Fanaticism is a means of controlling the rabble .
At any rate New Zealand, Australia, Italy, France, Germany, Canada, the United States... the list of democratic countries imitating the U.S. agenda of theatre security, then paying for same by slashing social programs is sadly, rather long.
Please also recall the statements of Australian Senator Glen Lazarus above [Op. cit.], which rather clearly show the extent to which far right anti-democractic legislation will go to destroy freedom of information, privacy, and the civil rights of citizens under the ludicrous excuses supplied by the U.S. War of Terror.
Another example from Canada:
“You will have no idea who has access to where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing, and that should give everyone pause... there is not even a requirement for the commission of a crime to justify access to personal information real names, home address, unlisted numbers, e-mail addresses, IP addresses and much more without a warrant.... [adding] ... significant new capabilities for investigators to track and search and seize ... information about individuals.... Canadians have not been given sufficient justification for the new powers,”
~ J. Stoddart, the federal Privacy Commissioner for Canada [462].
Canada’s Privacy Commissioner and a host of experts were appalled at the introduction of a Bill by Public Safety Minister . The Bill [463], a virtual copy of similar legislation passed in the U.S. allegedly removed several rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Again, in a manner similar to that in which U.S. Constitutional rights and freedoms had allegedly been eliminated by a series of laws (eg. the NSA and telcom situation, effectively removing accountability from the Executive Branch of government - with profoundly antithetical implications for democracy in that country. Please see [465] and Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.) for details).
The Minister of Public Safety, Mr. Toews allegedly stated [466] that anyone who did not support this alleged erosion of rights and freedoms, was siding with paedophiles. Whom he allegedly claimed without data or justification, his law would target [467]. The Bill, which I have discussed here, was in the view of many experts [462, 467] utterly necessary from a policing standpoint, but essential to installing warrentless universal surveillance of the citizenry.
This type of propaganda statement by Mr. Toews is the well known False Dilemma logical fallacy, which I discuss here complete with several other examples Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.).
History has shown that the greatest threats to individual rights frequently emanate from within the halls of power rather than from any outside force. It is naive to believe this is different in our own time.
The use of hyperboled threat to justify these attacks on the whole of society by those in power has allegedly resulted in the imposition of laws and powers inimical to democracy in all of these countries. But which are highly favourable to profiteering and concentration of power in the hands of a few.
"The [system] involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities."
~ Zbigniew Brzezinski, former U.S. National Security Adviser and foreign policy advisor to U.S. presidents Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, Bush, Obama
As I argue elsewhere on my site The Hubris of Empire: Is the United States the world’s greatest threat to peace? , The World Wide U.S. War of Terror , Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.), What is Money?), Is Fear induction Social Engineering? , Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls ) that it may be that the greatest threat in democracies to the well being of the greatest number of people, is rampant militarism and its close cousin, corporatism. There is certainly a large body of academic research which I cite throughout my site indicating this to be a distinct possibility.
Ostensible democracies which suppress meaningful dissent are not democracies in any meaningful sense of the term. Massive restrictions on access to information concerning who is investigated, for what reason, and if said investigations are indeed legal, imply that they may be being carried out contrary to the interests of the majority of the citizenry. Protecting democracy, protecting the public, is not by any stretch of the imagination synonymous with removing individual rights and freedoms.(an image: pls click to see it)
"Because even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re being watched and recorded. And the storage capability of these systems increases every year consistently by orders of magnitude to where it’s getting to the point where you don’t have to have done anything wrong, you simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call. And then they can use the system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made. Every friend you’ve ever discussed something with. And attack you on that basis, to derive suspicion from an innocent life, and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer."
~ Ed Snowden [1052] one of the alleged whistleblowers who exposed various details on the U.S. government’s universal surveillance system
For a largely independent and for the most part unaccountable government agency to make these sorts of decisions, to decide who may dissent, to decide who is to be protected from what, to decide who may be censored, who may be incarcerated, and the like... may indeed be the antithesis of democracy.
"What kind of ’homeland’ will we become if we do not demand that secretive domestic surveillance operations are brought in line with longstanding principles of liberty and the Constitution?"
~ Murray, N., Crockford, K. [233]
Finally and without comment, I would invite you to consider for yourself the implications for the continuation of democratic rights and freedoms here in Britain, under the following recently passed laws:
  • Terrorism Act: Government may effectively ban any group it chooses by labelling said group as “terrorists”. No proof that such groups are a threat need be given.
  • Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act: Government may monitor, record, use all private communication in any form. That is to say, the Act allows the imposition of universal surveillance without warrant or just cause.
  • Anti-Social Behaviour Act: Government may issue arbitrary punishments which lack any legal precedent based upon heresay evidence. The punished person or group under the Act has little legal recourse such as habeas corpus. (My friends here call this the ’Burn all witches act).
  • Extradition Act: Government can extradite any British citizen to the United States for any reason and without any evidence, trial, or public scrutiny. This essentially negates the rights of British citizens, since the U.S. has suspended habeus corpus as indicacted above.
  • Criminal Justice Act: Police may compel individuals to give DNS samples upon arrest even when no charges are laid and the individual is released. DNS samples are kept in perpetuity. The privacy and rights implications are incompatible with democratic and private freedom of movement.
  • Civil Contingencies Act: Government may deploy the military on UK soil during peacetime without notice or reason, and without proof of need, judicial oversight, or public scrutiny.
  • Civil Contingencies Act: Government may seize all property or assets of anyone without warning, without proof of need, without judicial oversight, and without compensation or return.
  • Serious Organised Crime and Police Act: Protest of any form (eg. marching quietly with a placard) without written permission from government is illegal around Parliament – the very institution that once protected free speech.
  • Prevention of Terrorism Act: Government can jail anyone via house arrest for any reason without trial and prevent them from communicating with anyone, for any length of time, without public oversight.
  • Terrorism Act: Government can imprison anyone for any reason without charge or trial for 42 days. This period may be extended perpetually, without judicial or public oversight.
  • Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act6: The executive branch of government (Prime Minister and Privy Council) may alter (almost) any legislation for any reason without consulting or notifying Parliament. Since Parliament represents (in theory) the people, the implications are obvious.
  • Identity Cards Act: All British citizens must submit to compulsory identification whose details have no limit in what or where the information is stored. Private corporations but not individual citizens are entitled to access the data without notification.
This year 328 Britons were injured by cattle grids [430] (used by cows when walking between fields). This year too, 738 were injured by beanbags [ibid]. And again also in this year, 123 Britons were hurt by pelmets [431] (a decorative framework to conceal curtain fixtures at the top of a window casing). A full 2,399 Britons were injured by skipping ropes [432], and a staggering 2,276 by tins of corned beef [431]. According to Amnesty International during this same year, the number of Britons harmed by “terrorists” was zero [435]. Perhaps laws against beanbags and pelmets would have made more sense?
At any rate, similar laws have been and are being enacted on an ongoing bases not only in Britain, but in many other democratic countries. Another U.S. example will make this clear - in particular the notorious CALEA laws [985]: The U.S. Federal Police (FBI) objected to legislators that increasing use of encryption among the public was hampering their ability to spy on citizen activities. And so they sought extensions to CALEA which would require wiretapping facilities be built into all computers, cellphones, software, apps, routers, cars, Google Glass, Microsoft Kinect, computer games, banking systems, business computers, travel booking computers, the camera in your laptop and touchpad, and, well, everything [986].
Consider: There is no publicly available evidence whatsoever that eliminating privacy aids in apprehending criminals. None. The FBI at time of writing were able to show a mere 12 cases where encryption slightly hampered investigation [1011]. And even in these 12 cases, encryption did not prevent the FBI from successfully obtaining plain text communication [ibid]. According the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) disclosures, these numbers are very typical - out of billions of communications per year, less than a dozen even slightly hampered investigation through use of encryption and of these none prevented rapid plain text acquisition [1012]. Additionally, telecommunications company records show that there is very good cooperation with FBI requests for wiretaps, with or without court warrants [1013]. Translation: Available documents do not support the FBI’s allegeations that it would be unable to listen in on communications (i.e. spy on everyone) without new laws mandating all hardware contain spyware backdoors.
In other words, they sought to disable all privacy in communication, local travel, etc. without cause or evidential justification.
As you probably know, this is an exact replicate (updated to current technology, of course) of the infamous laws passed to allow wiretapping by the STASI in East Germany and the KGB in the former Soviet Union. Both groups sought (and ultimately received) the right to force manufacturers and infrastructure to build in listening channels in all communication systems [987, 988, 989]. Even in the case of the STASI, forcing manufacturers to alter typewriters to make every one of them produce unique patterns so written material could be traced to the author. East Germany and the Soviet Union were police state. Their secret police could only dream of a system such as the FBI pressed legislators to alow. An ear and eye in every device with police capable of watching everything you do and say is by very definition, a police state. And empatically not a democracy.
“The FBI’s desire to expand CALEA mandates amounts to developing for our adversaries capabilities that they may not have the competence, access or resources to develop on their own. … We believe that on balance mandating that endpoint software vendors build intercept functionality into their products will be much more costly to personal, economic and governmental security overall than the risks associated with not being able to wiretap all communications”
~ report authored by 20 international security experts [1014] concluding that what the FBI was demanding of government would increase rather than decrease the ability of criminals to circumvent FBI spying. The FBI and U.S. government ignored the report.
This process of moulding laws across nations to enact authorisations as described above is called “harmonisation”. Canada [428], Britain, Australia [429], the United States, etc. have all signed “harmonisation” agreements. In many cases the laws enacted are virtually identical (in Canada for example, on “public protection” law exactly matched a similar law in the United States with only the country names and similar fine details altered [433]). The desires of the FBI just described, are currently being mirrored by similar requests in several other “harmonised” nations, police, and military forces.The implications for the continuance of real democratic rule (i.e. rule by the people for the people) under such laws are obvious.
Yet legal harmonisation has gone much further than this. In particular, harmonisation of trade laws has created blocks of trade organizations which operate across countries and across the world, which are largely independent of the laws of any particular country, as discussed below in Section 7.0.
A final word: Governments and large multinational corporations happily sell surveillance technologies to dictatorships to help brutally suppress any move toward democracy. Chinese ZTE Corporation for example, has sold more than $131 million for networking and monitoring equipment which can capture information from landlines, mobile phones, internet communications, etc. [488]. The system was sold to TCI (the Telecommunication Co of Iran), which has a virtual monopoly on all communications systems in that country, by Iran’s Supreme Council of Cyberspace. Other corporations around the world, in democratic countries - particularly one where the population is excessively overweight, existing largely on hamburgers and french fries - have happily sold similar surveillance systems to dictatorships for similar use [489, 490, 491].
A Panopticon is not only antithetical to the survival of democracy, it is antithetical to its emergence. (Please also see a more detailed article on the obscenity of the U.S. driven worldwide Panopticon here: Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.), which should also be read in association with the discussion of true terrorism here: The World Wide U.S. War of Terror . Democratic rule has been abandoned in large part due to acculturation to an artificially manufactured propagandised social narrative of “terrorism” and threat.
10.5.9.6.5 Attack on privacy (but not the privacy of the rich and powerful)
The U.S. Vice president was able to ensure that his personal home and other holdings were removed from public satellite photos, and remain removed long after his term had expired [704]. Can you do this?
Please see my article here Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.) regarding the egregiously anti-democractic attacks on individual privacy rights currently underway around the world.
“When closed societies gather information on ordinary people’s lives - when people know that their book-buying and library records are open, their sexual behaviour and financial decisions are no longer private, their conversations are bugged, their class lectures are taped, their protests are photographed by police, their medical records are exposed, and that all this information can be used against them - their will to challenge the regime in power falters.”
~ N. Wolf [1062]
"That capability [universal surveillance] at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide. ... if a dictator ever took over, the NSA ’could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back.”
~ U.S. Senator Frank Church [1085], speaking in the late 1970’s
In regards to this last quote by Church and the documentation presented in my article here Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.) (particularly Sect. 7): According to U.S. law professors J. S. Granick and C. J. Sprigman [1088], the U.S. NSAs activities are criminal:
“The administration has justified them through abuse of language, intentional evasion of statutory protections, secret, unreviewable investigative procedures and constitutional arguments that make a mockery of the government’s professed concern with protecting Americans’ privacy. It’s time to call the N.S.A.’s mass surveillance programs what they are: criminal.” law professors J. S. Granick and C. J. Sprigman [ibid]
What is noteworthy IMHO is not so much this, although it is surely important. But rather the fact that the U.S. government is allegedly committing criminal acts against its own citizens yet those citizens do nothing. The government is not brought down. There is no rioting in the streets. The perpetrators are not hauled before a court. And the government, seeing no effective need for accountability, continues to do whatever it wishes.
Sadly, such a system is many things, but a democracy is not one of them.
“This resembles the activities of a totalitarian state, not a free and open society."”
~ Dr. A. Cavoukian [1129], Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Canada commenting on leaked documents showing the Harper regime in Canada had allegedly allowed its agencies to secretly gather all communication from Canadian citizens in airports, then use that information to electronically track them for in hotels, resaurants, etc. for weeks thereafter. When discovered, the Harper regime, like the Obama regime, did nothing to curtail these allegedly highly illegal and totalitarian-like activities.
As I show here - Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.) - antidemocratic, amoral, and largely rogue “intelligence services” do not in any way work on behalf of or for the benefit of the citizenry. Rather they have constructed a Panopticon which benefits the oligarchs which run (vide infra) the United States and other western nations and the corporations the operate. In a similar manner the military has become rogue in the United States. Consider Seymour Hersh’s (well documented) research for example. (Mr. Hersh is a multiple award wining - including the Pulizer Prize - investigative journalist). In [1493] he concludes in part that by 2015 Russian and U.S. military routinely contacted each other, cooperating - along with intelligence services - to ignore U.S. president Obama’s orders and essentially operating their own foreign policy (please see articles here [1493] for Mr. Hersh’s discussion. In a democracy, this could not happen. Military and intelligence services could not operate in opposition to elected leaders. But the United States is not a democracy, and has not been one for decades.

10.5.9.7 Criminalising Dissent

“The decimation of civil liberties, carried out in the name of fighting terror, will shackle us to an interconnected security and surveillance state that stretches from Moscow to Istanbul to New York.”
~ Chris Hedges [971] discussing state terrorism
One of the hallmarks of degenerating democracies is the decriminalisation of dissent. A single example will illustrate this point. It is an exert from the training manual for the interestingly named U.S. Department of Defence Mission Assurance Program [972]:
“Anti-terrorism (AT) and Force Protection (FP) are two facets of the Department of Defence (DoD) Mission Assurance Program. It is DoD policy, as found in DoDI 2000.16, that the DoD Components and the DoD elements and personnel shall be protected from terrorist acts through a high priority, comprehensive, AT program. The DoD’s AT program shall be all encompassing using an integrated systems approach."
“Terrorism Threat Factors: Knowledge Check 1" is the following multiple choice question:
Which of the following is an example of low-level terrorism activity (place an X in the appropriate circle)?
1.O Attacking the Pentagon
2.O IEDs
3.O Hate crimes against racial groups
4.O Protests
A good citizen will of course immediately that the correct answer, and only possible correct answer, according to the answer check contained in the training manual [ibid], is #4. That this training manual appears to give trainees the impression that a citizen’s rights under both international law, various UN treaties (see here for a list: The World Wide U.S. War of Terror ), and the U.S. Constitution (amendment one), are an act of "low-level terrorism" is of course, accidental and unintentional. (Please also see my article “nothing to hide, nothing to fear” [Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.)]regarding the implications of such a mindset.)
Let me now give a different example the criminalisation of dissent:
In the United States so-called "food libel" laws [1168] have come into being. These laws help large food processing corporations to sue critics of their products for stating that such products may not be a healthy alternative to actual food. Or for suggesting that food inspection standards may be substandard. Or even that genetically modified foods may present hidden risks to the environment, to bees, and of course, to humans. These laws are essentially defamation laws, and place the burden of proof not on wealthy multinational corporation, but upon the individuals or small parent groups who may not wish junk foods in their schools.
One of the very first acts of the Canadian government under the Harper regime previously mentioned, was to eliminate the Court Challenges system [1169]. This system was set up by former governments to aid individuals and small groups in pay the horrifically high costs involved in taking large corporations, or even large government agencies to court. With its elimination, such actions all but ceased [ibid, 1170]. Corporations (and their pet politicians), no longer had to fear individual challenges to their activities.
"Because even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re being watched and recorded. And the storage capability of these systems increases every year consistently by orders of magnitude to where it’s getting to the point where you don’t have to have done anything wrong, you simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call. And then they can use the system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made. Every friend you’ve ever discussed something with. And attack you on that basis, to derive suspicion from an innocent life, and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer."
~ E. Snowden [1052] one of the alleged whistleblowers who exposed various details on the U.S. government’s universal surveillance systems
A system rigged legally to favour the powerful at the expense of the citizenry, which criminalises dissent or places massive impediments upon legal dissent, is not a true democracy.
Finally, a word about organised crime. There has been accusation by a number of academics, journalists, and NGOs that in some ostensibly democratic countries organised crime and government are to an extent interchangable [1222, 1223]. Or the latter gives the former largely a free reign [ibid]. One of the results of this has allegedly been a diminution of freedom of the press and an increase in self-censorship, for obvious reasons. As pointed out here Media Controls Most Narratives), democratic rights cannot exist unless those working against them can be brought to account. And without a free press, there is little chance of that happening:
“Organised crime is a fearsome predator for journalists in many parts of the world, especially Honduras (129th, -1), Guatemala (125th, -29), Brazil (111th, -2) and Paraguay (105th, -13), but also Pakistan, China, Kyrgyzstan and the Balkans. In organised crime’s shadow, it is hard if not impossible to refrain from self-censorship on such sensitive subjects as drug-trafficking, corruption and criminal penetration of the state apparatus. The passivity or indifference often shown by authorities towards crimes of violence against the media, or sometimes even their connivance or direct involvement, reinforces the impunity enjoyed by those responsible and fuels the cycle of violence against news providers.”
~ Reporters sans Bordiers [1224]
One more point concerning the criminalisation of dissent:
When 99% of the citizens of Catalonia voted in a free and open election [1854] to separate from Spain, the government under Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called the leaders of the separation movement “terrorists”, ordered troops to move into Catalonia, and threatened leaders with trial and imprisonment [1852]. Catalonia had originally been forced to join Spain at gun point 300 years ago and had been refused even up to the 20th C the right to speak their own language [1853]. When Mr. Rajoy was asked by journalists [1854] whether his actions were antidemocratic, he refused to respond [1852].

10.5.10 STEP SEVEN: Remove meaningful accountability

“Often in my lectures when I use the phrase imperialist white-supremacist capitalist patriarchy to describe our nation’s political system, audiences laugh. No one has ever explained why accurately naming this system is funny. The laughter is itself a weapon of patriarchal terrorism”
~ G. J. Watkins (Bell Hooks) [1723], Professor of African-American Studies and English, Distinguished Lecturer of English Literature at the City College of New York
(an image: pls click to see it)
Photo: Protester Janey Godley welcoming Mr. Trump to Scotland. Were a peaceful village in which people had lived since the 17th century was allegedly decimated by Mr. Trump’s alleged ignoring of environmental laws and local rights [1783, 1784] in order to build a golf course for the very rich. The hatred of the alleged Trump Crime Syndicate in Scotland was so strong that Mr. Trump became persona non grata to the majority of people in that nation. Trump’s use of degrading language to describe women, such as “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals,” and of course his frequent use of the word “cunt” in public when speaking about women [1785, 1786, 1787] has been very well documented, as has his alleged sexual activities against them [ibid] including allegations of rape [1788]. All without any accountability whatsoever.
At any rate, Ms. Godley’s peaceful and legal protest was stopped by police who, while doing nothing about Mr. Trump’s habitual hypersexualisation and use of the word “cunt” when talking about women, stopped Ms. Godley - a woman - from using the term on a sign.
Others felt the same way about Mr. Trump and the Trump Crime Syndicate. For example emulating Ms. Godley’s fine example, Juli Briskman gave her opinion of Mr. Trump as he and members of the Trump Crime Syndicate drove by her as she cycled to work [1848]. (I have cropped and reduced resolution of Mr. Smialowski’s excellent photograph in order to save bandwidth.) For expressing free speech on her own time (a right guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution), Ms. Briskman - a 50-year-old mother of two - was fired by her employer, Akima [1849].
(an image: pls click to see it)
Interestingly Akima allegedly merely reprimanded a male executive who allegedly called a called someone a “fucking Libtard asshole” [1851] on his Facebook account - an account which allegedly clearly identified Akima’s corporate logo and corporate information. Akima allegedly allowed the said executive to clean up his posts and no further action was taken against him. The screenshot above was allegedly of one of his alleged posts before he allegedly removed it, (it is trivially easy to enhance the photo to see the face quite clearly). Whereas Ms. Briskman acting in her own time with absolutely no corporate affiliation displayed anywhere on her person, was fired. Akima is a private for profit U.S. corporation, n’est pas?
What a terrific U.S. corporation. Well, so much for free speech in the United States - proof in a small way that that nation had given up fundamental democratic rights and freedoms. Mr. Trump who of course would have known about her plight, did absolutely nothing to help her (please q.v. Psychopaths in power)). After leaving the golf club (while people in Puerto Rico were tens of thousands of U.S. citizens were starving and dying following a devastating hurricane), Mr. Trump and his others in his Crime Syndicate also passed by a pedestrian who gave a vigorous thumbs-down gesture, and another person holding a sign saying “Impeach” [1850].
(an image: pls click to see it)
Well, Mr. Trump may have been the real obscenity, as the following may indicate:
“Would I approve waterboarding? You bet your ass I would. In a heartbeat. I would approve more than that. It works… and if it doesn’t work, they deserve it anyway for what they do to us” [1724], “Don’t tell me it doesn’t work - torture works… Waterboarding is fine, but it’s not nearly tough enough, ok?” [1723]
~ Donald Trump , U.S. president, billionaire politician born into wealth, and spokesperson for the imperialist white-supremacist capitalist patriarchy, demonstrating his alleged pride that he would perpetrate war crimes - for torture of human beings by the state is a war crime - just so long as it is the U.S. committing such crimes. It is interesting to note the similarity of his statement, particularly the part about “they deserve it”, to some of “justifications” given by Nazi officers at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. Just the most recent of a long line of U.S. presidents, cabinet members, and ranking politicians who condoned the madness of torture of other humans during illegal (and amoral) U.S. invasions of other lands. Please see The Hubris of Empire: Is the United States the world’s greatest threat to peace? , Under-counting the dead - how governments lie about those they kill , and Are U.S. Run Torture Sites Crimes Against Humanity? for details.) Accountability? None to date - the perpetrators live lives of riches and luxury while the millions [ibid] slaughtered at their orders lie in unmarked graves.
Following his election (by a small minority of citizens - a mere 29% of eligible voters voted for Trump [315]  [315] There were also many alleged voting irregularities, ranging from voting machines without a paper trail which were also trivially easy to hack [1845], to later confirmed Russian interference in the election [1843, 1844], to alleged suppression of votes by dark skinned people and the poor via a number of tricks such as misdirection to voting places, etc. [1846, 1847].) to U.S. president, Mr. Trump and his party moved quickly to eviscerate the office of the Office of Congressional Ethics. His party, behind closed doors held an in camera meeting, voting to remove the independence of the Office and place it directly under a House committee. That is to say, effectively move ethics oversight and investigative into the hands of politicians as well as prevent information about investigations being released to the public [1698, 1699]. They also voted rename the Office to the Office of Congressional Complaint Review. As well as voting to bar it from investigating anonymous complaints (i.e. from whistleblowers fearful of repercussions) and from investigating complaints about any activity prior to 2010 (such as Mr. Trump ’s and several party members alleged tax improprieties [1700]). Without independent investigation, with guarantees of anonymity, the corruption [1701, 1702] infesting the United States government and its many politicians can only worsen. This is not democracy, but rather a kleptocracy (rule by thieves).
The previous discussion of police actions during the G20 summit in Canada, the continual removal of the basic human right to privacy, and the like amply illustrate that accountability both on the part of politicians and those sworn to protect the public can easily be suspended without meaningful repercussions of any sort.
There are other illustrations of this:

10.5.10.1 Government agents

Elsewhere Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.) I have discussed the construction of the surveillance state and the many illegal as well as immoral (or perhaps amoral) activities undertaken by a handful of people against everyone else. I also discussed the vitriol, legal action, imprisonment, and even tragically, torture, launched against whistleblowers for exposing government corruption and alleged crimes whilst those perpetrating said crimes were left entirely untouched. Let me give a small example out of many:
The U.S. Obama administration’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, allegedly lied Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.) outright to the Senate about NSA activities. It is a allegedly criminal felony in the U.S. to do so - see U.S. law 18 USC § 1001 [1108]. Yet Mr. Clapper has not only not been prosecuted for this crime, he still holds his job.
In a country where the law is not applied equally, where those in power can act and so as they please without being held accountable, democracy is dead.

10.5.10.2 The destruction of democratic accountability: Judiciary

In the United States Justices are immune from prosecution should they err in judgement. A decision by that country’s Supreme Court (Stump v. Sparkman, 435 U.S. 349 [1204]) ruled any order issued by a judge as a part of a judicial function or in a judicial capacity cannot be prosecuted. For example, Judge Harold D. Stump ordered that a 15 year old girl be sterilised, allegedly without any medical or psychiatric justification whatsoever, but solely on the request of the child’s alleged mother [1205]. One week later the girl underwent a tubal ligation, having been told she was having an appendectomy. When the girl later married and could not become pregnant, upon consulting a doctor she was told she had been sterilised. She sued the judge. Eventually the suit made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which found as above.
“A judge is absolutely immune from liability for his judicial acts even if his exercise of authority is flawed by the commission of grave procedural errors.”
~ U.S. Justice White [1206], U.S. Supreme Court
I would be remiss in pointing out that this is exactly the same rule used in Iran [1207], Saudi Arabia [1208], North Korea [1209], and similarly lovely parts of the world. While of course judges should be protected, such immunity from prosecution is a ludicrous shill of equality of justice. Of course the courts argue that they police themselves. So does the U.S. NSA Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.).
“"A judge [should not be] free, like a loose cannon to inflict indiscriminate damage whenever he announces that he is acting in his judicial capacity."
~ U.S. Justice P. Stewart [1210], dissenting (loosing) opinion on the above case

10.5.10.3 The destruciton of democratic accountability: Waging War

Like so many petty kings before him, recently the U.S. president took it upon himself to be the sole arbiter of war, without any need to consult with or answer to ... anyone. He declared that he did not need approval or even consultation with Congress (i.e. the peoples’ representatives) in order to commit the U.S. to any war of his choosing anywhere in the world on his word alone, for any reason he may choose [1308, 1309].
The power to wage war without being answerable to the people or their representatives first, had formerly been only the purview of kings and dictators. Not of democratic systems of government. You are invited to take a moment an consider whether any other ostensibly democratic nation in history has managed to remain a democracy when its head of state took such powers upon himself. Pericles, J. Ceasar, G. Marius, and similar immediately spring to mind.

10.5.10.4 Enforcing non-democratic values

(an image: pls click to see it)
It is important to note that determining who or what constitutes a threat to a country’s well being is a non-trivial task. It is not the black and white no-shades-of-grey scenario propagandists and despots like to portray. What really harms a country and its people is seldom that simple:
During civil rights marches in the United States for example, the entire power of the state was focused against those with dark skin pigmentation, the media spoke of dissenters who wished to attend “white only” events as “rabble rousers” [213] and “hooligans” [214], politicians wrote laws allowing police to arrest these dark skinned protesters without due process [213], and so on. That is to say, the power of the state, media, and corporate function was arrayed by and for bigots and racists.
Yet those who attempted to exercise their democratic rights in defence of the democratic ideal that all peoples are created equal regardless of skin colour, who protested, who dissented from the status quo, where jailed, lynched, or otherwise made pariah. The majority of the political elite in most U.S. states saw marches and even written dissent from their bigotry and racism as a threat to the country and to “their way of life” [215]. Police, the military, the full might of the state was set to enforce racism.
Governments’ enforcement of non-democratic values far from being rare, is quite the opposite. How big a threat to democracy was the 84 year old woman pictured above before she was (allegedly) pepper sprayed in the eyes [348 ]for the simple act of peacefully and legally marching in protest against excessive banking profits? How big a threat to democracy was Rosa Parks [349] who was jailed for refusing to sit at the back of a bus in the “coloured” section with others of dark skin pigmentation? Attacking such people is not merely disabling dissent as outlined previously. Rather it is wonton disregard of democratic rights. And enforcement of non-democratic values by the very people sworn to uphold them.
In addition to the history of the civil rights movement, you may enjoy reading the history of the the New Zealand Maori freedom groups, the war against the U.S. Black Panther movement, the demonization of the Suffragette Movement, the history of Winnipeg Strike massacre, and ... well, the list is very, very long... to get a better idea of whether or not those in power have historically been the real threat to democracy. Democracy means all people have an equal say - the antithesis of power in the hands of a few.
As I said, it is not always easy to determine where the real threat (if any) to democracy lies. But it is seldom to be found amongst those dissenting from rule by a handful of sinecured plutocrats.
Another exmaple: There has been very intensive work on crowd control techniques and weapons. This work goes far beyond kettling and similar techniques mentioned above. It extends rather to the use of weapons in so-called Active Denial attacks upon groups of people. Such weapons include aural cannons which produce painful waves of sound sufficient to permanently deafen large groups [602]; pain cannons which use Gyrotrons to generate microwave beam which heats water molecules in skin [603], capable of essentially cooking a large groups of people causing intense pain or worse [604]; and so on.
Finally, a means of undermining democracy whilst seemingly but falsely, strengthening it:
In Canada the alleged evangelical Christian Prime Minister Harper created the Office of Religious Freedom. The propaganda news release from the government stated that the Office was designed to ensure that people of all faiths and beliefs had equal rights [705].
On the contrary however, the Office was modelled upon the Office of International Religious Freedom in the United States [706] created by U.S. president Clinton. In the U.S. Clinton saw to it that this group was concentrated mostly upon preventing persecution of Christians both in the U.S. and in other countries. It was largely used to enable U.S. evangelical Christians to preach without hindrance in countries which did not want them. Clinton’s Secretary of State stated that the Office really created a “hierarchy of human rights” [707]. That is to say, it was very clearly designed to protect one group rather than others. Update: The Vice-Chair (i.e. 2nd in command) of the Commission has publicly advanced a Christian-centric conception of religious freedom and a suspicion of American Muslims’ beliefs [798]. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom is currently being sued for religious discrimination.
Back to Canada: This Office in Canada was run by Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird (the same man alleged to have done much to sabotage action on climate change [708]). When Mr. Baird formed a panel to discuss activities of the Office, allegedly most (not all) who were invited where Christians and evangelical Christians [[709]. Mr. Harper’s and Mr. Baird’s political base was amongst evangelical Christians. Allegedly not invited were Muslim representatives including those from Shia and Sunni beliefs. Allegedly Buddhists were not invited. Sikhs were not invited. Allegedly Hindus were not invited. All of these are large religious groups, all persecuted in many countries [710]. Including Canada [ibid]. Allegedly secular groups which world wide struggle to ensure religious and secular freedom such Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Medicine Frontier, etc. were also not invited. Mr. Harper’s cut funding KAIROS and MCC allegedly because they aided starving Palestinians [709] .... they were also not invited. Mr. Harper’s party allegedly threatened a Mennonite church paper with the loss of tax exemption because said paper advocated peace and justice for Palestinians [ibid] ... the Mennonites also were not invited. One can be forgiven perhaps from theorizing that “Religious Freedom” did not apply to those who held religious beliefs different from those of Mr. Harper’s core support [797] - Christian fundamentalists.
Mr. Harper was interviewed after creation of the office [795]. During the interview he declared himself to be a avowed Christian. He said he prayed everyday for guidance. Little surprise then that he hired a person - A. Bennett - to run the Office permanently, who like himself, a Catholic. Mr. Harper stated that Mr. Bennett as a scholar. But Bennett had essentially no published writings [809], his primary academic experience being part-time dean and teacher at a very small Christian evangelical school [ibid]. In that role he adheres to the school’s Statement of Faith, requiring strict adherence to a strong fundamentalist version of Cristianity, including belief in the literal truth of the Christian holy book - the Bible [810]. A careful read through of the Office’s website [811] is eye-opening, for it says virtually nothing being largely composed of trite meaningless phrases. There is no information available as to how the Office will function, how it will protect those who need freedom from religion (persecution of agnostics and atheists around the world is rapidly growing according to the U.S. Department of State [812]).
One is left to assume that no other member of any other religion than Mr. Harper’s, no member of any human rights group, was sufficient qualified to head the Office. The prevailing view of commentators was that the Office was yet another sham similar to its U.S. predecessor - a means of channelling tax money into fundamentalist Christian evangelism [796, 797].
Certainly the U.S. example, and the law suit mentioned above would make one wary of any such government created taxpayer funded organisation, especially one draped in the doublespeak phrase “religious freedom”.... It all intents and purposes it appeared to most commentators that freedom meant “aligned with or not against fundamentalist evangelical Christian beliefs”.
In general it may be suggested that the use of tax money to fund a particular group under the never defined term “religious freedom” may play well to the base support of a political party. But it is anathema to democracy. And to the democratic rights of all members of society.
"Political language . . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind."
~ George Orwell [799] in Politics and the English Language.

10.5.11 STEP EIGHT: Normalise corporate power - trade agreements and trade blocks

"Corporations have neither bodies to be punished, nor souls to be condemned. They therefore do as they like." - Edward Thurlow [105]
(an image: pls click to see it) The United States, Canada, Britain, and several others are best described as oligarchic corpocracies, for the reasons I have touched upon above. This has been extended in recent times however, in ways directly antithetical to democratic rule. For trade agreements and those who control them have become the dominant law and power throughout the world. The proof of this is a simple observation - in no country which participates in or signs such deals, is the general public given a voice regarding their contents, or a referendum to determine whether or not such deals should be signed or even created in the first place. This is by definition, oligarchic rather than democratic rule. QED.

10.5.11.1 End of nation states

“Traditional nation states are unnatural and impossible business units in a global economy. As industry, investment, individuals and information flow relatively unimpeded across national borders, the building-block concepts appropriate to a 19th-century, closed-country model of the world no longer hold.”
~ Kenichi Ohmae [1122], Japanese economist writing in “End of the Nation State: The Rise of Regional Economies” [ibid]
“A truly global economy will require …compromises of national sovereignty…There is no escaping the system.”
~ Walter Wriston [1141], from former Citicorp CEO and CFR (Council on Foreign Relations) member writing in “The Twilight of Sovereignty”
... treaty laws can override the Constitution.”
~ J. F. Dulles [1144], later U.S. Secretary of State. In his speech (1952) he states that international treaties subvert the power of Congress, instead consentrating power in the hands of the president. He also says they can subvert citizen protections granted in the U.S. Bill of Rights.
Dulles’ words were prophetic, for as shown below international trade deals have largely eradicated the ability of many sovereign governments (Canada, Australia, Britain, Italy, ... down a long list) to apply their own laws in their own countries.
Earlier I mentioned Jackson and Sanger’s research [73], Reddick and Shiniad [74], the horrific TPP agreement (discussed below), and other studies which lead to the inescapable conclusion that many trade agreements are not merely antithetical to democratic rule, but further signal the end of nation states.
The TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) Trade Deal: a few points of interest
  • negotiated entirely in secret between multinational corporations and governments: no members of the public, no union members, no environmental scientists, etc. were allowed to participate
  • there are 6 chapters about trade, compared to a full 24 chapters about granting special powers to corporations
  • makes it effectively illegal for nations to pass laws restricting most activities of banks and financial institutions
  • most reputable independent economists agree that the TPP will result in massive job loss: eg. 450,000 in the U.S., 58,000 in Canada, 75,000 in Japan, etc.
  • makes it effectively illegal for nations to enact legislation to protect the environment or mitigate the effects of climate change if such legislation might threaten corporate profits
  • eliminates any chance of a free, open, uncensored internet, making the TPP one of the most massive (albeit subtle) censorship exercises in history
  • radically reduces access to life saving drugs or to producing such drugs outside the purview of the pricing of the pharmaceutical industry
  • creates secret unelected corporate tribunals to make trade decisions which become the rule regardless of a nation’s own laws or best interests
  • the TPP has no expiry date and prevents (by risk of sanctions, etc.) any member nation from withdrawing regardless of the nation’s own best interests
The TPP was constructed by corporations for corporations. That is why it was kept utterly secret. With only some brave people leaking details to inform those who cared what was happening to democratic rights under the deal.
Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz is one of the most respected economists in the world, a Columbia University professor, chief economist at the World Bank, and recipient on many international awards. He warned that the TPP free-trade deal had the potential to seriously harm the quality of life of Canadians. He also said that the TPP “negotiations” were between special interest groups (mainly corporate) which had strong influence over federal agencies. Here is a very brief excerpt from the warning [1593] by Dr. Stiglitz about the TPP:
“...here’s one provision which allows any company to sue the government if there’s a new regulation. That kind of regulation is being used by (cigarette maker) Philip Morris to sue Uruguay and Australia about cigarette disclosure. Now imagine if this kind of law had been in place when we discovered asbestos is dangerous to your health. Rather than what did happen — asbestos manufacturers were shut down and used their profits to compensate those who had to re-do their buildings and those who are dying from asbestos — under the new trade agreement, the government would have to pay the companies to not kill anybody … It takes away the basic right of government to protect its citizens. .... We wanted Big Pharmas to bring in new drugs, but we wanted the generics to keep the price down. While our drug prices are still the highest in the world, if it hadn’t been for the generics, they would have been through the roof. The Trans-Pacific Partnership upends that balance, making it much harder to access generic medicines. The poor won’t be able to be able to afford it, insurance premiums are going to go up … so it is going to affect every group in society, and none of them are at the negotiation table.”
~ Joseph Stiglitz [ibid], Nobel Prize winning economist
Trade agreements which are invariably negotiated behind closed doors in conjunction with multinational corporations, almost always excluding any representative of the unions, human rights groups, or the citizenry as a whole. These trade agreements regulate what a given government can and cannot do - not the electorate. They remove the rights of elected representatives of the people to interfere to any meaningful extent with many of the activities of large multinational corporations. Of course multinationals are not controlled by stockholders, but rather by their boards of directors - a handful of very wealthy Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls ), very conservative Evidence Based History vs. Revisionism), invisible-to-the-public men. Consider the history of the Rockefellers, the Koch brothers, the Fords, Raymond, Watanabe, and similar vis a vis their contributions to democracy and equality, as exemplified perhaps by the quotation following the next paragraph.
As the report says, trade blocks (and the multinationals which control them) and not nation states are rapidly coming to dominate human activity, laws, and ... democracy. These in turn are themselves but a mere portion of the picture, a the world rapidly looses democracy putting in place a rule quite its antithesis Is Fear induction Social Engineering? :
"We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practised in past centuries."
~ David Rockefeller, Honorary director of Council on Foreign Relations, honorary chairman of Bilderberg Group, founder of Trilateral Commission, etc. [106]
For the most part these trade blocks and multinationals buy and sell politicians at will. Even a cursory look at the literature in this area indicates the veracity of this statement (see for example, Chomsky’s, Blum’s, Parenti, etc. work in this regard). Astounding amounts of money are placed as campaign contribution to candidates who are ’cooperative’. So much that it has become almost impossible for individuals not funded (bribed?) in this manner to run or secure election.
Also relevant here is the paper published in the mid-1970’s by by the Council on Foreign Relations and authored by a member of the Trilateral Commission [273], which recommended creation of a ’new world order’ through trade agreements. Such agreements could subvert sovereign control in various countries without knowledge by the general public [190]. That is to say, sans democratic decision making. And without input from the very people most effected - i.e. the electorate.
In the decades since this paper was published, trade blocks have certainly become the dominant economic force around the world. But behind these trade blocks, stand a handful of highly connected entities, run by a handful of men, which really control the majority of the global economy. That to say, not so much trade blocks as a few interconnected corporations:
Analysis by [283] at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of share ownerships has been done using some aspects of complexity theory. They have proposed that of the 43,000 transnational corporations studied, a small group of corporations - mainly banks - holds disproportionate power (in the sense of network nodal hubs)over all of them, and hence they suggest, over the entire global economy. Additionally they found that 1318 of these controlling corporations collectively owned (via shares) the majority of large blue chip and manufacturing firms, which represented a further 60% of global revenue. And finally, they found that what they termed “super entities”, (although I suggest “tightly coupled systems”, an engineering term, may be more appropriate [316]  [316] Tightly coupled systems have many inherent problems, not the least of which is instability.). These super-entities number a mere 147 companies - 147 corporations which control 40 per cent of the total wealth in the global trade network. These super entities included Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs, and other equally well known businesses [317]  [317]  It is noteworthy that some of the wealthiest corporations in the history of humanity were given massive “bailouts” by taxpayers in many countries. But of course this had nothing to do with their alleged political influence. . Goldman Sachs, whose CEOs and VPs populated the U.S. Obama White House, contributed the most amount of money of all private contributers, to Obama’s campaign [641]. And where huge beneficiaries of taxpayer “bailouts” directed from the White House [641]. Probably a coincidence.
One might posit that these 147 powerful nodes might act together to further something of mutual profit benefit, which may be (if the past is anything to go by), antithetical to the welfare of the majority.
Finally, we need look no further for an example of the decline in power of nation states vis a vis trade agreements, than the ACTA, SOPA, and their many clones. These trade deals have been negotiated in secret between several powerful corporations and government representatives. The secrecy has been so extreme that a leaked memorandum stipulates only the final treaty will be made public after all secret negotiations have concluded [255]. The agreement has been signed, again in secret, by thirty nations at time of writing. It forces signatories to criminalise those accused of “infringement” where “infringement” can been alleged improper copyright to allegedly linking or even talking about those who infringe. It criminalises activities such as breaking the digital locks on rights-protected files purchased and legally owned by the purchaser, or even criminalising a scientist working in a university researching how such locks work. It criminalises decrypting information in certain types of files, calculating damages in an allegedly ludicrously unrealistic manner, such that the alleged transgressor is assured of being unable to pay fines. It does much more than this, which you can read about for yourself in various summaries, notably [256, 257, 258].
But for purposes of democratic rule within nation states, it removes the power of local parliaments and judiciary to set and interpret law, supplanting same with a trade agreement drawn up at the urging of large U.S. and Japanese corporations [ibid].
Further, when details of the TPP trade agreement were leaked, none of the major news media discussed the contents. All TPP negotiations and documents had been agreed to be kept secret from the public until a full four years after they had been ratified [608]. Leaked documents also indicate that the TPP gives multinational corporations the ability to largely ignore many safeguards such as environmental and privacy protection rights enacted by member countries. The United States had blocked all attempts [609] by various parties [610] to release these and related documents. Even so a few documents had been leaked to the public [611]. The TPP was negotiated in secret.
So secret were the meetings that during an 11-nation TPP three-day negotiating session in Vancouver, Canada, Prime Minister Harper did not notify parliament or the media of the even. The only way the citizens (whom Mr. Haper is sworn to serve) knew of the meeting, was after the fact when its occurrance was leaked by news media in Peru [1083]. When the group of corporate and government members (they are really the same thing, of course) met soon after in Ottawa, there was no announcement of the meeting, no press, no public, no trade unions, no representatives of the people (other than the most senior ministers of various governments), and certainly no debate in any public forum [1131].
It goes without say that the governments involved had something to hide from the people they supposedly represented. Little wonder - here are some of the leaked details:
Twenty four of the leaked chapters of the agreement concern granting new corporate privileges and rights, and a mere two concerned trade. Even though the agreement had been framed to the public as a “trade agreement”. In fact the leaked documents showed clearly that the secret agreement set many new limits of governments and protective regulations, whereby member states would be locked-in, unable to enact laws independent of the TPP regulations. Instead the TPP would implement a system of justice administered by a tribunal which could order formerly sovereign governments pay (with tax dollars of course) corporate costs for any and all environmental or regulatory rules set by local governments. Additionally many existing laws would have to be re-written to conform to the TPP.
The tribunal system essentially sought to established a corporate court system above the traditional legal system in member states.
Let me give a single example of this: FIPPA (Canada-China Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Act), was another trade deal negotiated in complete secrecy [667] under Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Chinese leaders. That is to say, no members of the citizenry were invited - only politicians, bureaucrats, and corporate heads. It was a deal which like NAFTA and the TPP, essentially handed control of sovereign nation-state control to a handful of corporations. For example, concerning the construction a pipeline which polls showed [665] most of the population did not want
"This treaty, in effect, will preempt important elements of the debate of the Northern Gateway pipeline and may frustrate in a very significant way the ability of the current ... or any future government ... from stopping that pipeline or bargaining a better deal"
~ Dr. G. Van Harten [668], Osgoode Law professor and specialist in international investment law
The deal allowed investors (i.e. Chinese corporations and individuals) to sue Canadian governments for 31 years if said governments wished to impose new or updated regulations which might interfere with the Chinese investor’s profits from Canadian oil and the pipeline [669]. Canadian law thereby became secondary to the dictates of this secretive trade agreement. The entire deal was negotiated by the Prime Minister (Mr. Harper) in secret, with no announcement, in a foreign country (China). The same country which was at the time suing Belgum for billions of dollars under a similar deal where the Belgians wished to stop Chinese corporations from taking their local businesses [675].
Additionally FIPPA established secret three-person courts which would judge any disputes between judge the disputes between said investors and government:
"The Canada China deal undermines basic Canadian principles of public accountability and open courts. It raises dramatically the stakes of Chinese takeovers in the resource sector. If ratified, it will tie the hands of future elected governments for at least 31 years."
~ G. Van Haren [668]
NAFTA was “sold” to the Canadian people as a nirvana in prices of goods and service would lower considerably, and that U.S. goods sold in Canada under so-called “free-trade” would be the same as prices in the U.S. This was simply untrue. The price of goods and services in Canada rose or remained the same relative to U.S. prices for the same items. Regardless - always higher, as much as 50% higher in some cases, than U.S. citizens paid [1136]. Despite promises of the tariff free exchange promised by the propagandists working for the Mulroney government (which signed the deal).
Within a few years NAFTA had eviscerated the power of the Canadian government to determine public policy in regards to foreign investment and control of resources. FIPPA continued this trend:
“... when a government makes a decision in the public interest that affects a company’s future profits of something they’re selling into the marketplace. It really takes your ability of public policy out of public interest hands, being the government, and puts into private investor hands"
~ W. Easter [670], Committee on International Trade co-chair
In fact, the Harper regime in Canada signed a plethora of trade deals [1126], most negotiated in secret and presented to the public as a feit accompli. Mr. Harper with fanfare and photoops signed at total of 38 trade deals while in office [1247]. Most without debate or discussion by the people’s representatives (parliament). No referenda were held. No information was given before the fact and presented to the citizenry.
Another point to keep in mind too, is that the results of these trade deals (NAFTA for example) invariably benefit the wealthy at the expense of the average citizen (please see [1248, 1137, and Harmonisation Is a Tool of War)] for a rigorous discussion of this issue). Regardless, those perpetrators of such deals such as the Harper regime are always long gone from office, relaxing in overly generous taxpayer funded pensions and perks, by the time the results of such deals can be tallied. It takes many decades to fully weigh the impact of such deals on all segments of society and the country as a whole. Hence the allegedly claims of the Harper and his ilk that such deals are wonderful, god-sent panaceas are mere fabrication since the claimed benefits are impossible to assess. Although the record certainly that such deals are usually disastrous for the average person.
Take the the case of CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the EU) deal. At no point during CETA “negotiations” (entirely behind closed doors) was even draft legislation available to parliament or the public [1129]. This deal was according to the Harper regime the “most significant trade deal” [1130] since NAFTA, yet absolutely no information regarding it was given before Mr. Harper signed the deal. NAFTA had enriched corporations but harmed the public [ibid, 1137, and Harmonisation Is a Tool of War)] and like CETA was negotiated entirely in secret, the details never revealed, signed without once indicating what was being signed or what had been agreed. Democratic decision making? Public input? No.
CETA and indeed all “free” trade deals being crafted in this era of global corporate rule, neo-conservatism and privatization - are, in the famous words of Canada’s leading humanitarian thinker, Sen Eugene Forsey “the greatest ever romp of the rich to skin the poor in history.”
~ F. Russel [1138]
M. Barlow [1139] has indicated that according to the few leaked details that Canadian municipalities and local governments under CETA could no longer protect water from exploitation by large water corporations such Suez and Veolia. Canadian law would simply no longer apply.
“The Harper government has gutted every regulation and law we had in place to protect our freshwater supplies. Now this deregulation is locked in as corporations from Europe as well as the U.S. can soon claim to have invested in an environment without water protection rules and sue any future government that tries to undo the damage.”
~ M. Barlow [1139], well known expert on evisceration of water protections under multinational trade deals
It should be mentioned too, that when such deals are finally presented, there is usually significant manipulation (propaganda) of public opinion to ensure support or at the very least, meaningless dissent. Please see my articles on manipulating belief Can Your Core Beliefs be Easily Altered? , and particularly media complicity in manufacturing consent (as Chomsky calls the process [1127]) as illustrated here: Media Controls Most Narratives) Sect. 8 and the CNN example.
Much of the strategy by corporations in regards to creating such trade deals - and the associated lobbying/bribery of government officials and heads of state (discussed in the next section) - has to do with what is known as policy laundering.
Policy laundering is a strategy of moving trade agreements to international bodies such as the WTO or WIPO or to foreign venues in situations where domestic approval for the agreements would be impossible. Often under the influence of the Word Bank (one more evil organizations on the planet - see [1053, 1054] for an introduction to the consummate harm this organisation has done through the world). Policy laundering relies upon the fact that most international bodies and international negotiation systems do not have laws ensuring democratic control or citizen input.
Two quick examples of this latter point: The egregious U.S. DMCA and its many clones instituted in the EU, Canada, Australia, etc. where all allegedly the direct result of policy laundering. To build trade agreements in this manner is offensive, and furthers the removal of control of nation states over their own affairs. Or consider the TPP, which even the U.S. president’s loyal supporter Senator E. Warren, stated:
“If transparency would lead to widespread public opposition to a trade agreement, then that trade agreement should not be the policy of the United States.”
~ U.S. Senator E. Warren [1055] in a letter to the U.S. president arguing in essence, that the shroud of secrecy concerning the TPP was in opposition to democratic principles.
The MAI discussed above and subsequent deals from the TPP through to FIPPA, CETA, SOPA and similar secretly negotiated international trade deals have eroded the power of nations states and democratically elected governments to implement policy in favour of the electorate. So many trade deals in the EU, Indonesia, Australia, or North America, etc. have been responsible [671, 672, 1054] in large part for a diminution in living standards while corporations and those they lobby profit enormously. Despite the cognitive dissonance or worse so dominating legislative power, most trade deals have served to enrich the already wealthy Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls ) at the cost of everyone else. Even a causal reading of international pharmaceutical negotiation [1056], deals regarding genetically altered foods [1057], arms trade [1058], copyright (particularly music and movie) legislation [1059], and many more will suffice to cause one to at least question the worth of such international, secretly negotiated, trade deals.
“There Is No National Security Purpose In Keeping This Text Secret … This Agreement Hands The Sovereignty of Our Country Over to Corporate Interests”
~ D. Issa [1063], U.S. House Oversight Committee Chairman after reading the text of the secretly negotiated TPP discussed above, completely in secret, between various heads of state, CEOs of giant corporations, and no one else. Mr. Issa then leaked some of the items he had seen in the text [1064] - a truly horrific (but very profitable) erosion of democracy in favour of turning lawmaking over to the highest corporate bidder
When the power of nation states is subsumed under secretly negotiated trade deals far from public scrutiny, democratic rule is not merely undermined by heads of state who answer only to corporate and banking greed in order to set policy, but democracy is to far to great an extent, utterly negated.
Another example: The Harper regime in Canada signed on to the ICSID Convention [1156]. The Convention enabled foreign corporations (viz. U.S. held) to ignore Canadian courts and law, suing the country (eg. should the a future Canadian government seek to restrict foreign country destruction of Canadian forests) before foreign (not Canadian) unelected tribunals appointed by the president of the World Bank. Said unelected president has always since WWII been chosen by the U.S. government [1157]. Under ICSID Canada is disallowed from bringing claim against a foreign corporations, whilst said corporations may freely bring claims against Canada (see analysis by Dr. G. Van Harten at Osgoode Hall Law School [1158, 1159]. The Harper regime thereby effectively undercut Canada’s judicial sovereignty handing it over instead to arbiters selected by a U.S.appointed official. Again illustrating how trade deals undercut sovereignty as well as the rights of citizens of a nation to control their own resource and manufacturing systems.
And another example: El Salvador has refused to allow further mining in their country [729]. Almost all mining was done by multinational conglomerates centred in Canada, the United States, China, and Russia. The entire country was dotted with environmental destruction as a result - so the government moved to stop this by forbidding mining. The result? At time of writing the government of El Salvador is being sued in international courts under various trade agreements by these very corporations [730] If they win, then the right of the El Salvadoran government to protect its people will have been negated, and democratic rule destroyed.
Finally, the deals “negotiated” are entirely by and for large multinationals. Multinationals which have a higher net income than the GDP of most nations on the planet.
Consider the case of Uruguay:
Despite five decades of denial [1181] from the tobacco industry, we know that that industry allegedly added addictive substances to their products [ibid, 1182]. We also know, despite denials [1181] from the industry (even though they allegedly well knew [1183] the truth), that tobacco causes cancers, lung disease, rising health care costs, and premature death.
Measures such as warnings on tobacco packages and higher taxes have helped mitigate this industry from allegedly adding to the death toll. But when Uruguay and other nations attempted a campaign of labelling all cigarette packages and undertook an advertising campaign to help educate citizens on the dangers of smoking, the kindly tobacco industry, whose only concern was the health of people and not their egregiously large bank accounts, fought back. How? By allegedly claiming [1184] that the warnings on Uruguay’s cigarette packages and other anti-smoking initiatives by the government violate international trade treaties. Despite the fact that such measures reduce death rates substantially (see for example P. Jha’s summaries of methodologies in the New England J. Medicine [1185]). Fighting such claims before the World Bank is horrifically time consuming and expensive. Phillip Morris Tobacco who allegedly brought the claim against Uruguay allegedly makes more money than the entire GDP of that country [1184]. Similarly Big Tobacco claims against Gabon, Togo and Uganda, who have made similar efforts to curb the death toll due to smoking have met will similar suits against them by other tobacco corporations [1186]. A letter [1187] to B.B. Maloboka at Nambia’s Ministry of Health and Social Services allegedly from British American Tobacco is definitely worth reading. The tone of the letter is particularly interesting.
These countries are allegedly being constrained by trade deals which they signed in the hope of helping the prosperity of their nations, and/or under threat [1188] from such entities as the World Bank [ibid, 1189]. The bottom line is that the democratic rights, even the health of a nation’s citizens, is not the purpose of trade deals. But rather it has been alleged, the enrichment of a handful of very wealthy men Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls ) sitting in board rooms of the multinational corporations dictating the terms of the agreements. And perhaps, adding to their sense of self importance Psychopaths in Power .

10.5.11.2 Government for and by the powerful

“A detailed examination of White House visitor logs reveals the extraordinary access to the Obama White House enjoyed by Google, its top executives and employees. Since President Obama took office in January 2009 through October 31, 2015,i employees of Google and associated entities visited the White House 427 times. That includes: 363 meetings between White House officials and Google employees.ii 64 meetings involving employees of companies solely owned by Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt. The meetings were attended by at least 169 Google executives, from the company’s senior ranks down to software engineers, and 182 White House officials. The tally excludes large events at the White House such as state dinners, parties or industry conferences. Most of the remainder were intimate gatherings: one-on-one meetings with key White House officials, or small groups of Google executives and a White House official or two—meetings at which public policies are likely to have been discussed. The company’s top ranks have enjoyed frequent and direct contact with the top echelons of the Obama White House. Senior Google executives have met at least 21 times with President Obama in small, intimate meetings. Senior company executives also met at least 20 times with President Obama’s key political and economic advisers...”
~ The Google Transparency Project Campaign on Accountability [1599]
Google announced [1600] its support for the TPP. In this it joined other mulit-billion dollar corporations who has essentially unfettered access to the corridors of power while the vast majority of experts - who had no such access - decried both the TPP and the access of corporate CEOs to government leaders. Such access while others had none was, it was claimed [1601, 1602] a clear indication of the demise of democracy and democratic rights.
Twenty four of the TPP chapters concern granting new corporate privileges and rights. And setting new limits of governments and protective regulations. Member states would be locked-in, unable to enact laws independent of the TPP regulations.
Suffice it to say that damages against individuals for alleged transgression of the rules was ludicrously high - beyond the power of most individuals to answer. The committees applying the rules were to be unaccountable to anyone - their rulings took precedence over the laws of individual countries. Additionally there were no fair use provisions - civil laws and practice were abandoned for say, educators and medical staff, in favour of criminalising alleged divergence from ACTA or TPP rule sets.
“[the TPP is] designed to carry forward the neoliberal project to maximise profit and domination, and to set the working people in the world in competition with one another so as to lower wages to increase insecurity.”
~ Dr. N. Chomsky [1499]
There is a plethora of properly done research indicating that such deals are extremely harmful not only to the vast majority of citizens, but to the democracy and freedom. For an easy to read example with many citations, please see N. Klein’s “Shock Doctrine” and “This changes everything” [1500, 1591].
I would like to give an analogy concerning these class of international agreements. It may seem a little extreme but sadly is I feel, a rather accurate representation of what had been leaked (and agreed to) at time of writing:
Imagine a large city office tower, filled with thousands of office workers. Down at the bottom of the tower, in tiny letters, someone has scrawled some graffiti in crayon. It says: “Moustached men are funny looking”.
One day, several years after the graffiti was drawn Hercule Poirot - the famous Belgian detective - happens by. He sees the graffiti, and takes offence. He twirls his wonderful curled and waxed moustache once, twice, then marches straight off to the police station. There he accuses the owners of the office tower for allowing the offending literary work to be seen by the public. This he says, is an open and shut case of collusion with bigotry against people with moustaches.
The police, acting under the rules of the two international agreement mentioned, need no further evidence (for the agreements do not require proof of guilt, or investigation). They at once order that the office tower be destroyed. It soon is. And the offending graffiti is gone forever. M. Poirot is satisfied. When the owners of the office tower complain they soon find out that under the trade rules there is no recourse, regardless of the accuracy or inaccuracy of the complaint, and regardless of their complicity or noncompliance with the graffiti artist.
Now suppose that instead of a highly moral person such as M. Poirot making the original complaint, it has simply been someone with a grudge against the owners of the building. Exactly the same result would have ensued.
ACTA, TPP, and similar copycat negotiated-in-secret constraints deal with information, not office buildings. The implications for every form of intellectual endeavour from the dissemination of generic drugs to scientific research are obvious. For where the innocent can be accused and tried by extra-national groups without proof, the nothing to hide, nothing to fear mantra is arguably false.
Democracy, and indeed basic human rights and freedoms in a civil society, are never compatible with such trade laws.

10.5.11.3 Buying and selling

"When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things bought and sold are legislators."
~ P.J. O’Rourke [107]
For those with money such as trade blocks and large corporations, purchasing high-priced lobbyists, think tanks, and media to produce a narrative favourable to their wishes is rather straight forward. How else, in the midst of climate change Is Humanity Doomed by Climate Change? with the potential to destroy humanity could politicians ignore the world wide ecocide Why are We Killing Nature? (Ecocide) currently under way from the allegedly egregiously destructive and polluting Canadian tar sands project [108] and nickel mining projects through to the United States’ massive deforestation [109] and mountain capitations for coal [ibid], and the like? Or how else could politicians in so-called democracies ignore or gloss over the fraud [110,111,112] alleged to have occurred in leading financial institutions for the sole purpose of filling the pockets of a handful of CEOs and their hangers on?
The implications for true democracy of this apparent relationship between lobbyists and government is obvious.
“Given the abundant evidence of massive fraud, Americans everywhere have asked the same question: Why haven’t any of those bankers gone to jail? If federal investigators could not establish criminal intent for any top-flight executives, didn’t they have enough evidence to prosecute banks or financial houses as law-breaking corporations?”
~ William Greider [113]
Mr. Greider need wonder no more - elected members of the government who voted not to prosecute these bankers for fraud, theft, and graft received more than $58,797,874 in contribution from the financial industry.
Sadly there has been deterioration in recent years in many so-called democracies as the power of a handful of individual multi-billionairs and corporations grow. In essence several major laws - particularly those dealing with military funding, internet censorship, and universal spying - have been literally written by lobbyists.
In 1970 there were less than 250 lobbyists in Washington. Now there are more than 15,000 [613]. Lobbying is currently a 30 billion dollar a year industry in Washington [614]. A Strategs study [615] and a Washington Post fund study [616] looked at the 50 corporations spending the most upon lobbying in Washington relative to their assets. The studies indicated that spending money on lobbying virtually guaranteed a very high return on investment [ibid]. The bottom line is that many politicians in Washington are for sale to the highest bidder.
The process is a simple one: A lobbyist or lobby group writes a law beneficial to her employers. For example, for every member of the U.S. Congress, there are two full time lobbyists from pharmaceutical companies [485]. Do they work to ensure citizens are protected from unnecessary or harmful drugs? Guess. At any rate, the law is then forwarded to staff of members of parliament, congress, the Duma, etc. These staffers are promised employment by the lobbyists or the lobbyists employers (at vastly increased salary and benefits) if they work on behalf of the new law. They are also promised perks - vacations, money sent to a family member as a “business grant”, and so on. The staffers then dress up the new law with a few items to make it look less self-serving, then they send it to the actual elected official for whom they ostensibly work, with the advice that the new law is a good one and that it should be supported. The elected official, seeing both that the new law is supported by the same lobbyists who regularly contribute to her “campaign fund” and is supported by her staff, votes for it when it comes up in parliament. For the most part, the elected officials have no idea what is actually in the new law, since very few elected officials actually read the many laws they support - see [458] for some examples of this.
The shorter version here is that unlike in the past, lobbyists now directly approach the party leader, Prime Minister [616, 619, 620], or president [617, 618]. The end result is the same, the process is the same - just more direct.
A ’democracy’ in which politicians can be bought is not a true democracy - for rule is by the buyer, not the electorate.
Another example: Over 80% of those who collected/contributed more than $500,000 for the U.S. president during his campaign, allegedly received key administration posts [114]. For example, more than 50% of those receiving ambassadorships allegedly had raised $500,000 or more for the president [ibid, 115, 116]. All of the people contributing this amount or more allegedly received direct access to top administration officials [115]. Many were allegedly linked to companies which allegedly gained from the president’s policies [ibid]. Others allegedly received large - very large - gifts from the taxpayer in the form of so-called ’stimulus’ money [116]. Many were allegedly given direct access to the president [115]. Of course those who did not give this kind of money, received none of these things.
In a democracy, all people treated equally regardless of how much they give to a presidential campaign. In faux-democracies, this is not the case.
Another example: In the United States, almost all members of Congress vote each year for billions of taxpayer dollars in subsidies to oil companies. Most of them opine too that climate change could not possibly be caused or exacerbated by human production of greenhouse gasses. By my calculation (using data from [499]), roughly 98% of those who so voted have received “donations” from oil companies. Oil Change International has estimated that such corporations receive $59 back for every dollar spent on “donations” to members of Congress [500]. The result? As much as $40 billion given to the wealthiest corporations in the world [502] every single year from the U.S. taxpayer, while poverty rates in the general U.S. population are at the highest in history [501]. Democracy cannot, and does not, exist where politicians can be bought.
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The person pictured above is Mr. J. Inhofe, was a long time United States Senator and chairman United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works [1493]. In his position as chairman he had stated publicly that that humans could not influence climate change because (his version of a) God was the only one who could effect climate [1494]. Mr. Inhofe’s primary source of campaign funding according to funding disclosures [504] were oil, electric, and gas industries [1495]. He had authored a book The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future [1496] - but alas, Mr. Inhofe allegedly had no background or qualifications in science [498], environmental science, or climatology. Mr. Inhofe also voted against the Detainee Treatment Act which attempted to place at least some constraints upon the U.S. program of torturing prisoners [1497] (please see Are U.S. Run Torture Sites Crimes Against Humanity? ). Mr. Inhofe often quoted Christian scripture in his public appearances. Overall It was encouraging to see a democracy run in part by such good Christian men as Mr. Inhofe, who were well versed in factual discourse, science, and compassion for others.
“Often in my lectures when I use the phrase imperialist white-supremacist capitalist patriarchy to describe our nation’s political system, audiences laugh. No one has ever explained why accurately naming this system is funny. The laughter is itself a weapon of patriarchal terrorism”
~ G. J. Watkins (Bell Hooks) [1498], Professor of African-American Studies and English, Distinguished Lecturer of English Literature at the City College of New York
More: One of the U.S. government’s Federal Communication commissioners, Meredith Attwell Baker, did not protest or object to the merger of Comcast and NBC (internet and television), despite allegations at the time of the potential for monopoly [117]. A mere four months following her approval of the deal, Ms. Baker left government to become a lobbyist for Comcast-NBC [118]. And: E. Folwer allegedly drafted [701] the U.S. government’s health legislation. Her prior position was allegedly at WellPoint, the U.S.’s largest private (i.e. for profit) health insurance provider [702]. Once the legislation was drafted and passed, Ms. Folwer left government for a senior position at pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson [ibid] which had allegedly been a very aggressive [ibid] supporter of the law allegedly drafted by Fowler... and allegedly (aong with other pharmaceutical giants) a major financial beneficiary of the bill [703]. Sponsors of the egregious CISPA bill - basically a bill removing privacy rights of individuals (but not corporations) - included almost all of the major U.S.-based computer and software corporations [956]. Those against, most privacy advocates, NGOs, human rights avdocates, etc. [ibid]. The former spent $84,000,000 bribing lobbying U.S. politicians in Congress to pass the bill [957, 958].
There are literally hundreds of other examples which are readily available. You can judge for yourself whether or not where there is an effective revolving door between highly placed personnel in large, powerful corporations and government, there is any chance of true democracy surviving. (Update: Well, since I wrote the foregoing the revolving door has become so entrenched that it is now the de facto modus operandi in many world capitals. There is so much in fact, that its detailing would take volumes. Suffice it to say therefore that the comparison to the rot in Nero’s Rome is undeniable. If you are unfamiliar with that time in history, might I recommend that you begin with Gibbon’s “Decline and Fall, then look to the events in Washington, Britain, Canada, and other venues where democracy is clearly crumbling... or has collapsed completely. The parallels to the worst of excesses of Rome, where debauched Senators were bought and sold by merchants on the open market, is really rather interesting.)
In the United States post Supreme Court ruling [438]
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Perhaps there is no more clear example of vote buying in ostensible democracies than in the United States. The Supreme Court of that country (a group of unelected, politically appointed lawyers), removed all restrictions on corporations “donating” to politicians and to political parties [438]. That is to say, executives of multi-billion dollar corporations were now allowed to give any amount to any politician or political party. It became perfectly legal for someone to indicate to a politician that they will be given X dollars if they vote for Y. And so laws which were allegedly antithetical to the well being of the citizenry but desirable for wealthy corporate entities rapidly came into being.
The best known example of this was the alleged corruption of the copyright system in that country [439, 440, 441]. The lobby groups (corporations) in the country were allegedly so powerful that they actually wrote the laws (such as the DMCA [477]) later enacted by the government [ibid]. There are many, many other example - see for example Zinn, Parenti’s, or Weber’s, writings, or the summary give by [442]. The book “Unstacking the Deck: A Reporter’s Guide To Campaign Finance” [443] and the Center for Responsive Politics "Capital Eye-A Close-Up Look at Money in Politics" [444] and Brook’s work [445] are also good starting points.
The alleged corruption of many politicians in the industrialised world by large monied corporate interests, serves as a marker to the increasingly rapid diminution of democracy through trade blocks and the handful of corporate CEOs which control them.
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Photo: U.S. president Bush II and lobbyist, Jack Abramoff. The latter was later sent to prison for corruption which allegedly included deep ties with U.S. government leaders [1211]. The former has been found guilty of war crimes by the Malaysia Trials [Op. cit.] but has yet to be brought before the courts. In terms of corruption in government, the United States at time of writing is ranked as the worst amongst first world nations [1782].
10.5.11.3.1 Buying Support: Laws
This example has been made available by through the work of Dr. M. Geist at the University of Ottawa, who is to be congratulated for his research and for his efforts to return democracy to Canada: As Dr. Geist has discovered [602], the Canadian branch of the powerful U.S. MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) met with government ministers, MPs, and senior officials more than 100 times prior to the government’s enacting copyright laws very similar to those in the U.S. These laws are some of the most restrictive in the world, allegedly in favour of large corporations whilst allegedly doing little or nothing to protect artists, writers, fair use, or well, anyone else. This lobby group met with Canadian Heritage Minister James Moore, Foreign Minister John Baird, and Industry Canada Senior Associate Deputy Minister Simon Kennedy. These meetings occurred less than three weeks after the restrictive legislation, Bill C-11 and the decision to sign the alleged mass censorship ACTA agreement.
No groups opposed to the legislation had any such access. Ministers were unwilling to meet with Canadian artists, writers, consumer, education, internet freedom, or similar groups. But U.S. corporate lobbyists, appear to have immediate access. As Dr. Geist discovered, the meetings between Cabinet Ministers and senior government bureaucrats were led by the head of the U.S. MPAA.
“The U.S. pressure was relentless, particularly in the aftermath of Canada caving on an anti-camcording provision that sent the message that high level pressure worked. The result were digital lock rules mandated at the very highest level in the Canadian government.”
~ M. Geist [603]
A few weeks later, despite massive and essentially universal criticism of the governments alleged censorship actions Prime Minister’s Harpers party, which had a majority, passed the legislation. When powerful corporations can allegedly dictate laws to government ministers despite almost universal opposition from the citizenry, democracy suffers.
“Any politician who dares to challenge corporate demands and unregulated corporate capitalism knows they will be thrust from political life as well as their highly paid corporate jobs once they leave office. Politicians ... are corporate employees. And they know it.”
~ Chris Hedges [598]
Another example, typical of the buying and selling of laws (and lawmakers) by corporate entitites: The U.S. corporation Chevron had been pressing the U.S. government regarding the upcoming TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the European Union) [981]. Chevron allegedly wanted the TTIP to contain clauses containing strong investor rights - translation: weak rights for nations states and the people they represented [ibid]. The company had allegedly already seen such corporation-friendly rules inserted into CETA (which Candian Prime Minister Stephen Harper had agreed to, in secret meetings) [982]. It is of interest that Chevron was the same corporation which had allegedly used similar rules to allegedly disgregard payment of an Ecuadorian court-ordered penalty [984] for Chevron’s alleged horrific contamination, destruction, and pollution of a huge tract of the Anazon rainforest. Chevron’s profit’s at time of writing - profits, not income - allegedly averaged around $26,200,000,000 per annum [983]. Democracy cannot exist where laws favorable to those with large amounts of money use it to effect laws favourable to themselves:
“We will vigorously oppose any transatlantic agreement that compromises our democracies, human and Indigenous rights, and our right to protect our health and the planet. We urge the EU and Canadian governments to follow the lead of the Australian government by stopping the practice of including ISDS in their trade and investment agreements, and to open the door to a broad re-writing of trade and investment policy to balance out corporate interests against the greater public interest.”
~ Declaration [984] in protest against CETA (the TTIP forerunner) signed by more than 70 European and Canadian organizations decrying the excessive investor "rights" granted by their governments to a handful of powerful, wealthy, corporations which they felt utterly undermined the power of the governments involved to protect the rights of their citizens
A final albeit telling example:
As mentioned above the U.S. has constructed a Panopticon - an Orwellian dystopia in which the basic human right to privacy as been eliminated for everyone except the wealthy and powerful (see here for many more details and citations Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.)). Why? There are many reasons, mainly having to do with power grabs and suppression of dissent [ibid]. However in the current context, there is another reason relating to the further demise of democratic rights - bribing policy makers.
For example, consider the massive amounts approved for NSA and other surveillance - taxpayer monies in the billions of dollars. Monies which had not gone to the alleviate the fact the the U.S. had/has the highest incidence of child poverty and associated mortality in the industrialised world. Well, those politicians who voted for creating this surveillance state had received twice as much campaign financing from the war and intelligence industry [1104]. Those who voted for this Orwellian dystopia received on average 122% percent more money from war contractors than those who voted to dismantle it [1105].
A democracy in which laws and policies do not benefit the people, but rather a few very wealthy CEOs and industries, is a democracy in name only.
10.5.11.3.2 Buying support with taxpayer money: Propaganda
“It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be moulded until they clothe ideas and disguise.”
~ Joseph Goebbels [773], Nazi Minister of Propaganda
Using tax money to pay for propaganda is nothing new - it happens in many countries. From Australian governments alleged use of tax money to push MPAA-friendly laws [793] to the Italian government’s alleged use of tax money to place advertisements artificially inflating its job-creation statistics [794], using advertising agencies to push various agendas paid for by the the thin ruse of “informing the public” is also common. Unprincipled use of such tactics on the part of government can subvert democracy by convincing the citizenry of untruth - paid for by the very citizens being propagandised by a constant barrage of one-sided advertising. By way of example, a Canadian government over a single year used tax money to the tune of:
  • $16,000,000 to promote the Prime Minister’s "economic action plan" part of which consisted of an expensive [774] website which essentially was a lauding of his “plan” without any tangible statements or promises, and upon which many of the links were broken. At time of writing the “action plan” has allegedly had no known results other than the creation of a few seasonal jobs (no benefits, no permanence, low wages) with which to allegedly artificially inflate job statistics;
  • $5,000,000 for the Prime Minister’s “better jobs’ campaign whilst in reality he allegedly cut unemployment insurance [775], allegedly allowed foreign workers to have first crack at Canadian jobs in various sectors from mining to forestry [776], and allegedly set about to allegedly decimate job opportunities for workers [777] via a number of trade agreements [ibid];
  • $8,000,000 to promote the Prime Minister’s cuts to old age security whist his government raised the age of retirement [778] allegedly causing considerable suffering amongst seniors who had planned to retire at 65 [791], amongst those too ill or tired to work to the new higher age requirement thereby losing them substantial benefits [ibid], and allegedly decreased funding to the elderly in a number of areas [779]
  • $5,000,000 to promote the Prime Minister’s “responsible resource developement” whilst in reality his party allegedly decimated environmental protection laws [780] Why Do Politicians Destroy Science? , allegedly ceased funding of most energy alternatives [ibid], and allegedly heavily subsidized the environmentally disastrous Tar Sands and similar developments [ibid] Is Humanity Doomed by Climate Change?
  • Unknown amounts spent by allegedly having members of the Prime Minister’s party’s repeatedly allegedly misuse the so-called SO 31 rule of Parliament to spread alleged misinformation and alleged outright lies [781, 782] about the opposition party regarding environmental measures such as a carbon tax;
  • and so on - the amounts and types of spending kept climbing [792].
In general this waste of tax money at a time when the Prime Minister was slashing funding for social programs to allegedly the lowest level in history [783], and of science and scientific research to allegedly the lowest level in history Why Do Politicians Destroy Science? was allegedly reminiscent of Orwell’s doublespeak. Very sad.
One of the Prime Minister alleged supporters was the premier/governor of a western province. This person used tax dollars to pay for a flood of advertising which began a year prior to the election, praising the government for:
  • “creating jobs” (the only jobs created were allegedly seasonal, temporary jobs which on average paid minimum wage, had no medical or other benefits, and lasted only two or three months [784];
  • “protecting the environment” (the government for the first time the history of the province allegedly opened parks to mining companies [785], allegedly allowed clear cut logging in the last few remaining stands of old growth forests [786], allegedly allowed salmon farming by methods known to have threatened the survival of wild salmon through disease contamination [787, 788], etc.)
  • “providing the best medical service” (the province allegedly had the second worst medical service and provisions for the ill and elderly of all OECD nations [789])
  • “protecting families” (the province allegedly had the worst elderly care facilities in the country [789, 792] and allegedly the worst protection for children of any province causing the child care advocate to repeatedly lambaste the government for its neglect of families and children [790])
  • and so on.
The point here of course is that once in power, the allegedly unscrupulous have tremendous leeway in most democracies concerning how tax money is spent to promote their personal agendas. Use of advertising 24 hours a day to allegedly lie about facts allegedly using a taxpayer’s own money is anathema to informed democratic societies. The morality of so doing seems sadly to be of little consequence to the perpetrators. Who for the most part are never held accountable Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls ) for their actions. (Please also see Media Controls Most Narratives), Firehose Effect: the social epidemic of incessant lies), and Pedagogy is Social Engineering ).
10.5.11.3.3 Constantly campaigning
“’Jeremy! Jeremy! Can I get in?’ Mr. Adler said. ’No,’ Mr. Hunt replied. ’It’s the reelection! This is the million-dollar shot.’”
~ converation during a photo-op entirely at taxpayer expense while Canada’s prime minister Harper pretended to pray at Jerusalem’s Western Wall [1193].
Mr. Harper’s trip was with a contingent of 208. This included various members of his party, politicians, evangelical Christians [1194] (such as Mr. Harper himself [1195]), some allegedly homophobic ministers [ibid] (Mr. Harper had allegedly tried to reinstate a ban on gay marriage upon taking office [1198)], and business supporters of his party. Total benefit to the taxpayer and to Canada? None discernible. But the Jewish press at home did seem to be enthusiastic [1193]. Mr. Harper was allegedly accused yet again [1196] of allegedly electioneering and presenting photo-ops using taxpayer money [1197].
Unfortunately in ostensible democracies this behaviour has become normative. The following steps have become normative:
  1. Upon election, grant a few “feel good” promises. For example, apologise to indigenous peoples for past wrongs, but do nothing to actually help them recover.
  2. Pass legislation which while largely antithetical to the public good, rewards those large corporate and military entities which contributed substantial financial or strategic aid in getting the party elected. Reward supporters too, by beginning public works or other similar endeavours in electoral districts which elected members of the party in power - i.e. reward base supporters.
  3. Appoint supporters to the judiciary, senate, high bureaucratic posts such as ambassadorships, boards of trade, police boards, etc. Experience and expertise are irrelevant here; all that matters is their loyalty and support of the party and its leader.
  4. Begin using taxpayer money for photo-op junkets. Do not answer journalist questions at these photo-ops, simply pose, give a meaningless speech, and move on to the next venue. That is to say, have the taxpayer fund your campaign beginning roughly two to three years before the next election.
  5. Redistribute electoral districts in favour of your party, according to past voting patterns. Ignore all calls for electoral reform. Ensure that your shenannigans remain out of the public eye by enacting laws (per the discussion in Sect. 10.6.4 above, to enable mass electoral fraud in your favour).
  6. Travel around the world at taxpayer expense posing for photo-ops; give meaningless speeches praising those who agree with your party’s policies, criticising all others. Pretend you are important and a world leader. Receive meaningless honorary doctorates, corporate awards, etc. Pretend to be of value to the world.
  7. Behind closed doors promise large corporate, military, and trade supporters to write laws in their favour if they will provide funds and strategic activities (such as running ads to demonise any opposition), to ensure your election.
  8. When all else fails, declare war on someone or pretend someone is a threat to the citizenry. Order several false flag operations to confirm the rightness of your cause. These tactics generally raise low approval ratings - there are numerous historical examples of this, eg. [1199, 1200, 1201].
  9. Call the next election when the polls indicate you can win.
Sadly this list has become normative in most western ostensible democracies. I have chosen not to include examples in this article as they are readily available and widely known. However should you be interested, please see the following articles which are replete with examples and citations, and well illustrate the background theme here - to whit Note the underlying theme - that activities are for the benefit of those in power, not the citizenry: Why Do Politicians Destroy Science? , Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.), Can Your Core Beliefs be Easily Altered? Controlling the Rabble: A quick how-to guide Evidence Based History vs. Revisionism)Creating the Fourth Reich? North American internment camps)What is a Kakistocracy? Is Leo Strauss Better than You? Your government thinks he is. Media Controls Most Narratives)Your Educational System is designed to foster illiteracy The World Wide U.S. War of Terror The Hubris of Empire: Is the United States the world’s greatest threat to peace? .
“[Elections are a] dangerous and unnecessary exercise”
~ Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper [Op. cit.]

10.5.11.4 Revolving door: Corporat/Military Government

“American war-making machine, interchangeable parts in a militarized economic/political system that transfers wealth from the public treasury to the pockets of the already rich. ... America’s unnecessary wars of choice - complete with uniformed sacrificial soldiers - have become little more than public performances to convince the citizenry that all this expense is essential to our ’security.’”
~ Dr. A. Jones [1250], human rights researcher
Yet in modern ’democracies’ it is sadly frequent that highly placed managers of some of the most corrupt corporations move to positions of power in government, write laws and contracts benefiting their former corporations, then move back to these corporations once their tenure in government is finished. To assume that said managers once in government suddenly become public spirited, working on behalf of the poor and downtrodden, is perhaps a tad naive.
Hence we have examples of vice presidents and presidents who before their time in government were heads of oil companies, then whilst in government sign papers authorising invasions of oil-rich sovereign states and simultaneously giving their former corporations tax-free no-bid contracts to essentially rape the invaded countries resources [166,167,168,169]. Or we have the example of CEOs of shipping companies move to government, create laws to allow tax-free shipping and minimal inspection of their company’s vessels, then move back to head these same shipping companies [165].
Or consider the incidence of defence ministers who were former arms dealers [119,120] sign, once in government, no-contract arms acquisitions for their former employers [ibid]. Or even Cabinet Ministers who were VPs of forestry companies [121] create laws, once in government, to clear-cut the few remaining stands of old-growth forests. Or Prime Ministers after utterly lying about the reasons for sending their country’s youth to war and slaughter [170, 171] give massive tax breaks to the corporations for which they formerly worked [171]. And so on interminably.
It should be obvious that the restoration of true democracy anywhere in the world would be counter to the interests of these corporate leaders who temporarily occupy positions as heads of state or high office. For in a true democracy, wealth and power do not only flow upwards Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls ).
"... a Corporation is not a person and a handful of billionaires cannot pollute and take over the political system by spending unlimited sums of money in secret to elect candidates who support their agenda"
~ United States Senator B. Sanders [122]
Most multinationals are head-quartered in the United States. In that country they are recognised as persons, with the same rights and freedoms as individual people (Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad [308]). But of course they have power, influence, and money far beyond those of individuals. Corporations in that country are allowed unlimited funding of political parties and campaigns (U.S. Supreme court ruled (viz. Citizens United [310, 311]). They are also allowed unlimited funding of political broadcasts (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission [305]). And their money, has been declared by that country’s Supreme Court to be the same as speech [309], and may be used without limit upon lobbying [310]. Because of the size of the U.S. military, and the manner in which it is used, one may hypothesise that these multinationals not only influence U.S. elections, but probability of democracy arising and lasting elsewhere on the planet.
Another example, particularly egregious, not so much a revolving door as an indication of the power of CEOs vis-a-vis government. SNC Lavalin is an engineering firm. It had many projects, such as allegedly constructing prisons for the Libyan dictatorship [318]  [318] This information came out in documents released by Wikileaks [813]. In Canada it built hospitals. Such one in Montreal where $56,000,000 went missing [814], causing SNC Lavalin’s CEO Pierre Duhaime to resign [ibid]. He was later charged, along with Arthur Porter, the former CEO of the McGill University Health Centre, and others [815]. The charges included accepting bribes, conspiracy and committing fraud against the government. Now the interesting part: Mr. Porter was a personal friend of Prime Minister Stephan Harper. Mr. Porter was appointed by Mr. Harper to chair the government’s Security Intelligence Review Committee which reviewed “reports by ministers relating to the national security of Canada” [818]. Mr. Harper’s appointment also meant that Mr. Porter oversaw CSIS, Canada’s CIA equivalent. (His qualifications for the job? Guess.). Mr. Porter, charged with fraud and corruption, the Prime Minister’s hand picked chair of the the security Intelligence Review Committee, holding a top secret security clearance and privy councillor status - allegedly illegally skimmed tens of millions of dollars for himself from a hospital. Porter had allegedly a questionable history in other matters as well, such as an alleged attempt to secure $120 million in Russian financing for his country of birth Sierra Leone, channelled through a Porter family company [817]. As Mr. Ducepe a leader of one of Canada’s political parties asked at the time, what was wrong with Mr. Harper not to have thoroughly check this man out? As Mr. Ducepe noted [1018], it spoke volumes about Mr. Harper’s judgement. (Mr. Harper also hand picked and appointed four Senators who were later investigated for corruption and improper use of public funds [1019].). At time of writing, Mr. Porter and his wife have been arrested in Panama on a long list of charges of corruption and embezzlement [1020].
Corporations - specifically their largely unknown CEOs and board members - hold immense power. The have direct access to the highest levels of government. They sit on powerful government committees (even though they have no known qualifications for so doing - viz. the Porter example in the previous paragraph). They influence or determine domestic and foreign policies, who is elected, what social services (if any) will exist, policies against whistleblowers and freedom of information, military and police action, taxation policies, what is presented (and more importantly, not presented) through the media, and essentially all economic policies.
As the revolving door turns, can democracy survive? Historically, it never has.
“The real owners are the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions. Forget the politicians, they’re an irrelevancy. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the statehouses, the city halls. They’ve got the judges in their back pockets. And they own all the big media companies, so that they control just about all of the news and information you hear. [...] They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying ­ lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want; they want more for themselves and less for everybody else. But I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests.“
~ George Carlin
The simple reality in many so-called democracies is that those at the pinnacle of political power are either former executives in large corporations of questionable ethics, or under the sway (bribes need not be fiscal) of giant corporations. There are very two good and well known examples of this which have been formally studied. I mention these examples here only in passing since there is a plethora of well researched academic and lay literature on the subject:
  • The manner in which certain large oil and gas corporations allegedly plotted and planned the alleged seizure of the resources of several countries, even to the extent of allegedly perpetrating war crimes and crimes against humanity in the process. Several of the executives of these corporations allegedly moved into positions of high political power allegedly as part of this plan, allegedly in order to perpetrate these invasions.
  • The manner in which the execrable U.S. DCMA came to be, and how these U.S. laws came to be allegedly forced onto all western democracies (Switzerland at time of writing is the only democracy which has not buckled to the pressure [362]) to the alleged detriment not only of freedom of speech worldwide, but to the alleged detriment and alleged harm to the creators of the works theoretically protected by the laws. For many, the DCMA and its many equivalents (ACTA, SOPRA, etc.) now enacted around the world has become a de facto means of no-appeal censorship Censorship and Bibliocaust . Further, an industry funded group, the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property, released a report to the effect that the United States government should legalise mandatory installation of software in all computers, cellphones, music players, etc. which would lock the devices and access to files if it (the software) determined that anything on your devices was their 1) intellectual property which 2) had been installed without full payment [1021]. That is to say, industry wished for power to monitor all electronic activity - just like the FBI. (This is a DITF methodology commonly used to enact legislation favourable to corporations rather than citizens. I have discussed its operation here: Endemic Iatrogenia and Medical Incompetence) at the end of Sect. 6.)

10.5.12 STEP NINE: Normalise unethical, nepotistic, corrupt, and amoral action

"To be afraid of ideas, any idea, is to be unfit for government.” – Alexander Meiklejohn [123]
"Human rights commissions as they are evolving, are an attack on our fundamental freedoms and the basic existence of a democratic society. It is in fact totalitarianism. I find this is very scary stuff."
~ Stephen Harper [623], prime minister of Canada
(an image: pls click to see it)
Pictured above are Angela Merkel and Ivanka Trump.
  • The former person, Ms. Merkel, came from nothing to with diligence, hard work, and dedication became the Chancellor of Germany [1751]. She held an earned PhD in physical chemistry (her dissertation pertained to calculating rates of molecular splitting), and had spent more than two decades working in government, ultimately attaining Germany’s highest office. Her husband taught at the well regarded Berlin Humbolt Univeristy [1754].
  • The other person, Ivanka Trump, however was born to immense wealth, sent to a school where other wealthy people went, and received (a mediocre [1752]) BA. She had zero experience in government.Here experience in business was running clothing companies which allegedly used child labour and forced work at low pay which amounted to virtual slave labour [1780, 1781]. Her place beside world leaders taking part in discussions, and at White House meetings, and receiving access to classified documents [1753] ... came about because her daddy liked having her around. (Ms. Trump was also accused of violating human rights - please see The Slavery Epidemic Next Door) for details.)
“The key relation between Germany & USA is a serious matter. It shall not be family business I disagree with Ivanka Trump presence.”
~ S. Muresan [1755], (degrees in economics from the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies and Economics and Management at Humboldt University, President of the European People’s Party, Vice Chair of the EU Committee on Budgets). That is to say, one of these two merited her place, the other assuredly did not.
But wait, there’s more: below is this unelected woman whose businesses allegedly use slave labour [1773, 1774] at the G20 with world leaders. She sat in on meetings while Mr. Trump was ... somewhere else [1775]. Maxine Waters, the U.S. Congressperson from California summed this up nicely:
“Here you have the president of the United States at the G20, representing us as the leader of the free world, and so he’s going to play politics and give his daughter a chance to have a place in the sun and to be seen at a very important meeting that she knows nothing about. She cannot in any way deal with those members who are there representing those countries. She doesn’t know anything about these issues”
~ M. Waters, U.S. Congressperson [1776].
“It’s completely inappropriate. What qualifications and experience does Ivanka Trump have in her background that should put her at the table with world leaders like Theresa May and Vladimir Putin? Literally a foot over from Vladimir Putin. This just goes to, I think, the level of inherent corruption in this administration.”
~ Z. Maxwell [1777]
“ [Ivanka is] an unelected, unqualified, unprepared New York socialite [and not] the best person to represent American national interests”.
~ A. Applebaum [1778], historian
“This kind of thing happens all the time. In dictatorships.”
~ A. Siskind [1779], co-founder of a U.S. women’s rights organisation
And so on ... I have chosen just a handful of the more polite comments about the socialite Ms. Trump and her husband Jared’s presence in photo ops with world leaders.
(an image: pls click to see it)
Trump’s other family members as well as his personal friends where placed into key government areas. Almost all with absolutely no experience and no apparent ability or background to handle the jobs (such Mr. Trump’s unelected son-in-law Jared (who along with Trump’s daughter apparently illegally set up a private email server to conduct government business [1809]) being given the task of brokering a Middle East Peace Deal). Nepotism at its worst. Ms. Trump was not present because of merit or election, but because her mentally ill (please q.v. Psychopaths in power)) daddy liked having her there.
It is interesting to note that whenever democratic nations have transitioned to dictatorships, anti-democratic leaders invariably normalise nepotism, ignoring laws, fail safes, and ethical considerations to the contrary, since family and close friends are considered unlikely to turn on them.

10.5.12.1 Morality in peril

When in power the ethical foundation of many of these fine folks may be open to question.
  • Czechoslovakia, a democracy: The Prime Minister, Mr. M. Zeman, resigned after police raided private government offices finding $8 million in cash and large amounts of gold, his Police also arrested his chief of staff, J. Nagyova, with charges of corruption and abuse of power. Ms. Nagyova was also charged with having ordered the Czech military to spy upon people she did not like, including the PM’s wife. She was also accussed of bribing members of parliament with offers of well paying corporate posts in state-owned companies [1065, 1066]. Various other government members, including heads of military intelligence heads, were also charged [ibid]. That is to say, the sleaze went right to the top in this ostensible democracy, enveloping even those trusted with state secrets, protecting the citizenry, and so on. Entire government and military departments were bought for a few pieces of silver.
  • Brazil: Billions of dollars in taxpayer money went to host World Cup and Olympic events (largely to construction companies owned by or friends of government officials [1073]) while the infrastructure throughout the country was left to crumble [1071]. Corruption in the Brazilian government is endemic and epidemic [1072], as is the belief by many officials in their own superiority and entitlement [ibid].
  • Hungary: The government has systematically removed power from the Constitutional Court, severely limited the right of the independent press, set party loyalist as head of the National Media and Telecommunication Agency, altered election laws to redraw electoral boundaries to favour one party, outlawed some opposition parties, etc. [1074, 1075, 1076].
  • United States: “Exxon Mobil Corp. and its partners in a $15 billion Papua New Guinea gas project last year paid the travel expenses for employees of the U.S. Export-Import Bank as it considered whether to help fund the venture. The four workers ran up $97,367 in bills traveling to London, Tokyo and the South Pacific, according to data compiled by the bank. They flew business class, viewed the project’s route by chartered aircraft and were entertained by costumed villagers. Eleven months later, the bank approved $3 billion in financing for the liquefied natural gas facility, the biggest transaction in the agency’s 75 years.”
    ~ Mark Drajem [1078], Boomberg.
  • Britain: Following revelations that British MPs from all parties routinely allegedly submitted false expense claims to bolster their earnings from the taxpayer [1079], an MP and a number of Peers were caught on camera apparently agreeing to take bribes from journalist posing as representatives of foreign companies [1080].
  • Canada: While giving unelected political staff and former campaign managers huge pay raises [1067] - paying a provincial chief of staff more than the U.S. president’s chief of staff [258] and while giving unelected health care managers giant raises [1068] - the government of British Columbia forced ill or dying senior citizens to buy their own wheel chairs or pay rental fees every month for their use [1070], after having lowered help for the disabled to the lowest levels in history [1069], and having report after report list it as having the worst child poverty in the country [1077]. Or the example of Prime Minister Mulroney, about whom S. Cameron (who holds Canada’s highest civilian honour - the Order of Canada [1084]), documents a portrait of corruption which rivals third world dictatorships [1083]. Finally, the federal government under Prime Minister Harper also was alledged [1082] to be the most antidemocratic (prorogues [q.v. supra], corrupt (various scandals [Op. cit.]), secretive (FOI, TPP meetings, [Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.)], etc.), and most virulently anti-science government Why Do Politicians Destroy Science? in Canadian history.
For many years Mr. Mulroney had not acknowledged receiving money in bribes, instead launching a lawsuit against the Government of Canada [115]. However under oath Mr. Mulroney was found to have falsely testified that he "never had any dealings" with K.H. Schreiber the man who was involved with a bribery scandal [114]. Professor W. Kaplan described Mr. Mulroney as being evasive and misleading in his testimony during subsequent investigation of his activiites and alleged acceptance of bribes [113]. Even his own deputy Prime Minister also indicated that he did not believe Mulroney’s statements [112]. Mr. Mulroney also refused to appear before the government ethics committee investigating his activities while in office [116].
  • Italy: Italy is currently headed by a person with multiple alleged corruption charges, alleged tax offences, alleged abuse of power, alleged corruption of the media, alleged child prostitution, and allegedly using the power of the state to brutally suppress opposition [124,125,126]. The head of state, his friends, his government, all allegedly run the country in much the same way that Nero ran Rome. Yet no one would allege that Nero’s government was a democratic one. The ethics of a democratic government headed by such persons might be open to question, as would the claim to democratic rule.
And on and on interminably. The sad thing is not that such things happen rarely, but rather that they are so common. Corruption in government in democracies is not unusual - judging by its ubiquitousness regardless of country or nation, it may be normative. How rare or common is difficult to assess however (the UN and other Corruption Indexes [1081, 1082] have many problems.
But harbouring war criminals is particularly heinous for an alleged democracy.
...“the biggest irony of all, the protestations of Obama himself in his speech to children in Northern Ireland about peace, when he said, ‘those who choose the path of peace, I promise you, that the United States of America will support you every step of the way. We will always be the wind at your back.’ Now, I ask you, is this person going for the hypocrite of the century award? . Because we have to call things by their right names, and the reality is that by any serious examination, this man is a war criminal. He has just announced his decision to supply arms to the Syrian opposition, including the jihadists, fueling the destabilization of that region and continuing to undermine secularism and knock back conditions for women.”
~ C. Daly [1683], TD Dublin North, member of the Irish Parliament regarding Mr. Obama’s visit to Ireland.
Or consider the example of another country, one which spends trillions of tax dollars on its military yet is western nation with the largest rates of functional illiteracy, child poverty, and gun violence. In this ’democracy’ the head of state and his grand vizier have been alleged to be war criminals, torturers, and vicious human rights abusers. They have been accused of running a modern-day star chamber wherein a handful of people - president, vice president, minister of state, minister of defence, etc. decided who would live, who would die, and who would be tortured. At time of writing, a complaint of war crimes and crimes against humanity against these people (some of whom are still in power) has been filed with the International Criminal Court (vide infra for citations). Members of the star chamber cabal have allegedly met all of the requirements for trial and a life in prison under the Nuremberg criteria. Please see my article regarding terrorism here The World Wide U.S. War of Terror particularly Sect. 2.7 for full citations and details in this matter.
“Don’t come lecturing us about liberty. You need a reality check. .... Here we haven’t invaded anyone. Here we don’t torture like in Guantanamo. Here we don’t have drones killing alleged terrorist without any due trial, killing also the women and children of those supposed terrorists. So don’t come lecturing us about life, law, dignity, or liberty. You don’t have the moral right to do so”
~ President of Ecuador to U.S. ambassador[1220].
No one would have considered Mussolini’s government, against which similar charges were filed, to be a democracy. Yet the country where these persons still reside living lives of luxury and power touts its “democratic ideals” to the world. That this random country’s alleged war criminals were being aggressively shielded from all accountability for their actions was not an ancillary matter, but rather one of significant historical significance. History will as it has in the past, note protection of these alleged war criminals as a prominent marker for transition from democracy to its antithesis. (an image: pls click to see it)
Or consider the extent of democratic rule in some random country where government leaders give the heads of giant corporations trillions of taxpayer dollars in bailout packages for crises they themselves engineered. All whilst simultaneously attacking unions, dismantling privacy rights, and so on. The ethics of a democratic government offering such obvious rubrics as bailouts might be open to question.
Or consider the extent to which leaders and governments embrace true democratic principles when the heads of state can and do order executions and assassinations of those they do not like. Drone strikes far away, mercenary forces far away, assassinating [127]. All without once offering fair and open trial, recourse to the International Criminal Court in the Hague, or even seeking the endorsement of the people’s representatives in various houses of parliament or their equivalent [128] or even obeying their own country’s laws. In the United States the president has given himself the powers of a dictator - using signing authorities [800] he has allegedly given himself the power to have anyone in the world killed, for any reason, without trial or proof of guilt, on his say-so alone [ibid, 801, 802, 803]. A leaked document [802] of a U.S. Justice Department "white paper" allegedly demonstrates that the assassination and execution of his fellow citizens without trial or proof of any guilt, is also one of his new powers. Since he has refused to state whether or not this includes murdering his fellow citizens in their homes on U.S. soil [804], one can only assume that this this is the case. Greenwalds excellent analysis [803] of this is truly horrifying - for a pillar of democracy is the right to open and fair trial. Assassination on the say-so of one man alone is the antithesis of democratic rule. This is a tragedy no merely for the U.S., but for the whole of humanity for the precedent it sets.
“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
~ excerpt from the U.S. Constitution, 5thamendment [250].
Note that the clause “except in cases arising ... danger” does not in any way or at any time mean that that country’s constitution may be suspended. Rather it means that in wartime, active duty military personnel are not granted due process. But all others are granted full protection at all times. In other words, drone killings and assassinations without due process and recourse to the courts, no matter of whom or for what reason, are illegal. Should foreign nonmilitary citizens be assassinated [251], or non-foreign nonmilitary citizens [252,253], then the ordering of or perpetration of such assassination would be in violation of that country’s laws and constitution. Sadly violating constitutions is nothing new - in Canada for example the then Minister of Public Safety allegedly ordered Canada’s spy agency to begin using information obtained under torture [455,456, 457]. (This was the same Minister who had accused anyone who did not support his draconian citizen spying legislation as being akin to paedophiles. Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the UN Charter of Rights, the Geneva Convention, recommendations from the Court at the Nuremberg trials, and a plethora of academic research showing the negative consequences of such orders in the past was ignored by the government.
“The US policy of killing or imprisoning anyone it wants, anywhere in the world, is immoral and wrong in equal measure when applied to US citizens and foreign nationals, on US soil or in Yemen and Pakistan.”
~ G. Greewald [803]
Again - without due process a slippery slope may be ushered in whereby the wishes of those in power to end the life of a given individual, supplant the democratic process of public oversight through the courts and legal system. The ethics of a democratic government which ignores the principals of equality of justice for all might perhaps, be open to question.(an image: pls click to see it)
Or consider the extent to which the leaders of these governments invade other countries, suppress nascent democracies there, and install their own puppet dictators. A review of the history of Haiti, Indonesia, and sadly, many other similar venues may serve as illustrative examples. Democracy cannot long exist in countries whose leaders seek to suppress its rise in other countries.
Some of these leaders and their governments have in reality turned away from ethical operation. Instead they have embraced and or publicly stated their admiration of Straussian demagoguery Is Leo Strauss Better than You? Your government thinks he is. , or worse the childish absolutism of Ayn Rand Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls ). That is to say, a philosophical foundation both inimical to democracy and democratic rule. Hence their tolerance for dictatorship How to Support Despots so long as oil and wealth keeps flowing into their outstretched hands.
In addition to that article, a quick example may be of interest: As cited above, the Canadian government under Prime Minister Harper had been accused of allegedly misleading parliament [557, 558, 559], allegedly lying about budgets [555], allegedly dismissing parliament twice allegedly to avoid responding to questions regarding government alleged violations under covenants against torture [563], allegedly lying about military purchases [556], allegedly attempting to cover up federal police illegalities at G20 summit [564], allegedly gutting environmental protections [560, 561], and many other alleged activities of questionable morality [553, 554]. Mr. Harper denied it all, including his responsibility as leader when the Auditor General for Canada, the Parliamentary Budget Officer, and the Chief Electoral Officer allegedly found irregularities traceable to his government as cited supra.
"I invite you to look forward to ... a bold future where people are held responsible for their actions. ... There’s going to be a new code on Parliament Hill: bend the rules, you will be punished; break the law, you will be charged; abuse the public trust, you will go to prison,"
~ S. Harper [562]
"But how can we continue – politically, ethically, or morally - to prop up a government that is under criminal investigation and accusation of criminal conspiracy? ... We want, and we believe you want, to end corruption and restore honest financial management"
~ S. Harper [1010]
Note that these words from Mr. Harper regarding government accountability and responsibility were said before he came to power, and before a series of scandals and investigations hit his party and government.
When politicians allegedly obviate and obfuscate in order to avoid taking responsibility once they are in power, one can but conclude that there may be a morality gap at play. True democracy cannot and never has, survived such.
Another example, this time apparently minor until the mindset behind it is considered: Canada’s finance minister J. Flaherty, in Mr. Harper’s Cabinet, was allegedly caught lobbying the CRTC (a supposedly independent body governing telecommunications in Canada) on behalf of a radio station in his riding [731]. The radio station’s owner had allegedly contributed substantial amounts to his party [737]. Mr. Flaherty’s action was allegedly in direct and flagrant violation of Ethics Code [732] and of the Accountable Government code of Canada [733]. Both basically forbid sitting Cabinet ministers from intervening on behalf of their constituents before extra-parliamentary groups such as the CRTC. The Accountability in Government code in particular forbids ministers from using their office, eg. using government letterhead, their office titles, etc., as a way to garner influence. Additionally the CRTC received letters of support from two others in Mr. Harper’s government [734] who by law must also adhere to these same codes. The Federal Ethics Commissioner confirmed that Mr. Flaherty acted improperly and breached the Conflict of Interest Act [735]. Rather than discipline or demote these government members allegedly violating Canada’s laws in this, the Prime Minister’s Office issued statements defending Mr. Flaherty’s actions. No other actions were taken.
Similarly when International Cooperation Minister J. Fantino in the same government as Mr. Flaherty allegedly published highly partisan and allegedly utterly incorrect pages on Canadian International Development Agency official website [740] attacking Canada’s official opposition, he too was not demoted or required to make a public apology [741]. Use of taxpayer funded government department websites for partisan purposes is explicitly prohibited by rules and law [742], and is a misuse of taxpayer monies. It is also, ethically questionable. Yet nothing was done other than pull the pages - but not before researchers could make copies [743].
This apparently minor issues may seem inconsequential when contrasted to the obvious issues of corruption highlighted by Parenti [738], Chomsky [Op. Cit.], Zinn [739], and a host of others. However I chose it to illustrate the unthinking manner in which those in power in ostensible democracies casually circumvent rules. Very sad.
Well, be that as it may, the unfortunate reality is that there are no longer any true philosophical democracies left on the planet. A philosophical democracy is one in which every person has an equal say in the running of society as a whole, and moral and ethical conduct is held in high esteem.. Similarly there are no longer any truly ethical democracies in the Socratic sense, remaining anywhere. Yet there are some true democracies still surviving. Uruguay, Iceland, Costa Rica, Sweden... are approximate examples. But there are no others.
Democracy in the true sense of the term is threatened in countries were the electorate merely choose between two trade block/multinational representatives of similar policies, and more importantly, belief systems. Countries where the choices is between two parties who work for corporate hegemony, enrichment of the few at the expense of the many, which allow little to no control by the electorate of decision making between elections, which spend billions on propaganda, and ensure an ever widening discrepancy between the mass of people and the chosen few... might be transitioning from democracy to something else entirely.
"Every republic of this sort that we know of since the world began has failed, badly failed".
~ Benjamin Franklin, speaking of democracy [129]
This may be particularly clear during times of crisis. Equality of basic human rights, the right to clean water, the right to freedom of speech, the right of freedom of travel, the right of free association... if a government cannot guarantee these rights during a crisis, then surely such rights are not a particularly high priority for such governments. And democracy in any true sense of the term may be lost.
For these reasons, democracy as a philosophical practise rather than a philosophical inclination, has never survived more than a very short period of time.
“In the real world, elite dislike of democracy is the norm. The evidence is overwhelming that democracy is supported insofar as it contributes to [their] social and economic objectives...”
~ Noam Chomsky [130]
Finally in regards to ethics: U.S. presidents have seldom been nice people. From its inception the United States had charges of mass genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity levelled against it and its presidents. Please see The Hubris of Empire: Is the United States the world’s greatest threat to peace? , The World Wide U.S. War of Terror , and Are U.S. Run Torture Sites Crimes Against Humanity? for some recent examples. In a nation where war crimes have been alleged to be daily occurrences [ibid] and the choice of presidential candidates is between two alleged extremophiles and serially corrupt liars such as Ms. Clinton and Mr. Trump in an election based solely upon whose propaganda system is stronger ... ethics, let along democratic rule ... is dead.

10.5.12.2 Imposing “democracy”

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." - U.S. president John F. Kennedy [478]
(an image: pls click to see it)
A quick note about the propaganda of “bringing democracy” to other countries. The argument usually given is that human rights abuse is lower when there is democratic rule in a country. As you may be aware, there is little historical evidence for this. Some of the best known democracies have appalling human rights records (British slave trade [284], mass murder in India [285], Churchill’s slaughter of the Kurds [286], placing car bombs [287], etc.).
In the United States: In that august land, a woman is raped every two minutes [975], with over 75% of these resulting in violent injury [ibid] requiring medical care. Women in that country are violently attacked every 18 seconds (abstracted from [976]), with domestic violence rapidly rising [977, 978]. A women is murdered every three hours in the U.S. [979]. Homicide is the major cause of death for pregnant women in most parts of the United States [980]. Women cannot safely venture from their homes at night for a walk most U.S. cities [979]. (Some researchers have found lower incidence (see [980] and [979]), but none question that the numbers are very high. And increasing. It is this wonderful culture which the men in charge of that country wish to bring to the world. Wonderful.
Well, to continue: Assuming that what was brought was indeed democracy and not some hapless scheme for raping the country of its oil, mineral, or drug resources, it is unlikely that said democracy would last. For if even one tribal or local leader disagreed with the forcibly installed government, all members of that particular tribe would automatically support the tribal leader, regardless of the rightness of his position (see [131 for examples]. As you may know in many parts of the world, one’s tribe and family are far more important than the individual or government.
Western democratic ideas of the individual’s place in society simply do not make sense in many of these cultures.
Imposing a form of government antithetical to a culture’s values is ensuring not merely its failure, but also the suffering of those forced to live in line with someone else’s idea of what constitutes the best, culture, economic policy, ontology, and form of government. Just as when religion is imposed upon peoples by a conquering nation, the forced imposition of one value system upon another is an invariably recipe for disaster.
Imposing a form of government be force against the wishes of the people sometimes leads to unfortunate activities.
History, both ancient [11,86, 132] and modern [131] is replete with examples.
“The United States started with genocide and it’s still doing it.”
~ Buffy Sainte Marie [503], a native Cree Indian, during one of her concerts
One of the most eloquent example of the real reason behind most wars and its roots in greed may be heard from a 1931 speech given by U.S. Major General Smedley Butler before the American Legion. Butler had spent a lifetime in the marines, fighting mainly on foreign soil. He was decorated for valour many times, was recipient of two US Medals of Honour. Butler is the most highly decorated marine in US history. His portrait hangs in honour at the USMC headquarters.
Here are his thoughts in 1931, toward the end of his career in service to the U.S. government:
“I have spent 33 years ... being a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism.... I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912. I helped make Mexico, and especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1916. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City (Bank) boys to collect revenue in. I helped rape half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street.... In China, I helped see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.... I had ... a swell racket. I was rewarded with honours, medals, and promotions. I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was operate a racket in three cities. The Marines operated on three continents....”
~ Major General S. Butler, the most highly decorated U.S. marine in history. [486]
In democracies just as in dictatorships, it is almost trivially easy to get the public onside for these wars, even when it is obvious that there is actually no need whatsoever to go to war. The method used by the Nazis is just a potent today as it was under Hitler’s rule:
“Naturally the common people don’t want war: Neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.“ – Hermann Goering, president of the Reichstag, Nazi Luftwaffe Commander in Chief [486] following Henry Ford’s massive influx of money and automation expertise to aid the Nazi Party achieve its goals [487]
“Politically speaking, tribal nationalism always insists that its own people is surrounded by “a world of enemies”, “one against all”, that a fundamental difference exists between this people and all others. It claims its people to be unique, individual, incompatible with all others, and denies theoretically the very possibility of a common mankind long before it is used to destroy the humanity of man.” H. Arendt [1333], from The Origins of Totalitarianism
Please also see my article on what is known as Just War Theory Jus Ad Bellum: Kant, Hegel, and other war spelaeologist for a more thorough analysis, as well as citations concerning what some have called the War of Terror here The World Wide U.S. War of Terror .

10.5.12.3 Ideologues

“[U.S. president] Obama is equally weak, which is why he was chosen by the oligarchy as president. A person without experience and knowledge is an excellent tool for the oligarchy. American blacks and white liberals actually believed that an inexperienced candidate from nowhere without an organization of his own could make a difference. Apparently, the gullibility of a majority of Americans is endless. This American hallmark of gullibility is why a handful of neoconservatives can so easily lead the sheeple into endless wars.”
~ Dr. Paul Craig Roberts [1684], former U.S. Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy, associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, and professor
To act against the good of the people evidences four possible traits: one may be ethically and morally challenged, as illustrated above. One may simply intellectually and educationally challenged as illustrated here: Why Do Politicians Destroy Science? . One may be clinically pernicious as discussed in the next section. Or one may be an ideologue.
Ideologues see the world in terms of black or white. There can be no shades of grey for these people. Men who abuse women for example, frequently are found to see women as either angels or devils - there is no rational perception of a woman as normal human.
I would like to give an example of this which rather clearly illustrates this point. Consider this quotation from Canadian Primer Minister Harper’s former Chief of Staff and personal friend, T. Flanagan:
“I certainly have no sympathy for child molesters, but I do have some grave doubts about putting people in jail because of their taste in pictures. I don’t look at these pictures.” Flanagan said Wednesday during a lecture at the University of Lethbridge. It’s a real issue of personal liberty.”
~ T. Flanagan during a talk at the University of Lethbridge [805, 806, 807]
This is typical of ideologues. Those who think in black and white, who reduce all issues to black and white, do not believe in graduated scales. It is all or nothing. And so free speech to Mr. Flanagan and his ilk means that the fact that children are mutilated psychologically and physically to market them for a paedophiles pleasure should not impact his ideologue views that freedom to view this bestiality trumps the staggering harm to children. Flanagan’s logic means that child victims of sexual torture should just get over it, because viewing child pornography should be okay. Because by Mr. Flanagan’s ideologue logic, this is a victimless crime.
Recall the quotes from Mr. Flanagan given in Section 2.5 above, another example of the flawed black and white logic of the ideologue:
“I think Assange should be assassinated, actually. (laughs)”
~ Thomas Flanagan [807] advisor to and personal friend of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Mr. Assange allegedly helped place leaked documents concerning alleged military indiscretions - i.e. war crimes - onto the internet.
Calling for murder of a man who had never harmed anyone is as amazing as calling for paedophiles to be left alone to view child pornography. Yet as ontologically void as such beliefs are, they are not uncommon at the top levels of power:
  • “You are either with us or against us” as U.S. president G. W. Bush declared [805],
  • Canadians are either with us or with the child pornographers” as Canadian Public Safety Minister V.Toews shouted [Op. Cit.],
  • “only a free market economy and increasing growth will make our country strong” as Britain’s P.M. M. Thatcher declared,
  • “We are a Christian nation only” as U.S. Senator and presidential candidate John McCain stated [808],
  • and so on interminably.
A final example: A minimal standard of law and civilised behaviour is that when very large numbers of defenceless civilians government leaders must call the killing to stop. Questions of who is responsible, was the killing just or not, etc. could come later. Hence when thousands of civilians including children were killed and wounded, homes for the disabled were bombed, tens of thousands were made homeless, etc. by Israel’s bombing of the Palestinian people [1334, 1335, 1336, 1338], most government leaders around the world called for an immediate cease fire. The United Nations condemned Israeli actions [1337]. Yet prime minister Harper’s regime in Canada criticised the UN for condemning Israeli actions [1338]. Mr. Harper even indicated [1339] that Israel was justified because Hamas (a militarised branch of the Palestinians) were placing weapons in civilian areas to hide behind human shields. Of course International law prohibits [1340, 1341] anyone from attacking a military target if it is located in a densely populated area.
(an image: pls click to see it) Mr. Harper (pictured at right) unfortunately allegedly evidenced an intensely one sided approach which seemed to be in violation of his obligations under international law [The World Wide U.S. War of Terror ]. As did Mr. Obama. At time of writing Israel has been under investigation by the United Nations for alleged war crimes [1342] in carrying out the very actions Mr. Harper and his regime had allegedly defended [1343].
“There’s a long list of Harper acts that offend Canadians’ intelligence and sense of fairness. Just this week, he refused an inquiry into Canada’s nearly 1,200 murdered and missing native women, calling it pure crime and not a “sociological phenomenon,” as relatives prepared murdered Tina Fontaine’s body for cremation. But it was demonising scientists and killing the census that made people think of Harper as primitive. We are a rich organised country that admires counting skills.
Perhaps it was Harper’s dead sociopathic eyes or the way he campaigned with pre-selected audiences from behind a metal fence. No. It was when people started to think of his hair as a separate organ, like Dick Cheney’s heart which he basically kept in a pocket, a living pulsing thing that would halve, leap on you and clap both sides of your head if you poked it.”
~ H. Mallick [1410], columnist for theStar, one of Canada’s two main news outlets.
“He lacks a moral conscience when he comes to people he dislikes or distrusts. And that’s the definition of a sociopath."
~ H. Mallick in the Vacouver Observer [1411]
As previously cited, during the 2011 election in Canada, Mr. Harper and his party were elected by a mere 24% of the voters (39.6% of those who voted, which were only 61% of the eligible voters = 24.1% [Op. cit.]). Furthermore the Harper regime was alleged in some ridings to have used dirty tricks and even in one case election fraud, extremely dirty ad campaigns, alleged hiding of fiscal problems until after the election, and other techniques to grab power [Op. cit., 1362, 1363, 1364]. The Hamas election on the other hand was very carefully monitored and in no cases did the international monitoring team find illegal or unethical practices [1365]. Furthermore, Hamas was elected by a 77% turnout of eligible voters receiving 44.5% of the vote [1366]. In other words, Hamas was more democratically legitimate than the Harper regime in Canada. Both Canada’s Harper regime [1367] and the U.S. Obama government [1368] rejected this free and open election refusing to honour the results. Democracy in action.
(an image: pls click to see it)
The bottom line here is that despite the propaganda or lack of reason issuing form ideologues of all persuasions, the world is not one thing or another - everywhere there are shades and subtleties. That is what makes life dynamic, exciting, and wondrous. Seeing the world in black and white only, as a conflict between good and bad, denies the wonder and beauty of reality in favour of an absolutist’s ever narrowing tunnel vision.
Democracy cannot survive were the absolutism of ideologues trumps ethical behaviour, international law, and indeed, common decency.

10.5.12.4 Clinical perniciousness

“You’ve retired. You don’t have anything to worry about”
~ George W. Bush, U.S. president, scion of wealth and power, speaking to an older woman unable to meet food or housing payments, with the real threat of having to live homeless on the street for the rest of her life [365]
“It was like talking to a robot. No expression, no feeling. People were sharing touching stories, stories where you’d expect recognition in the other person’s face that they at least hear what you’re saying that there’s empathy. He didn’t even shake his head. He was completely blank.”
~ David Wilson following a meeting with Mitt Romney, Republican nominee for U.S. president [651]
“I’ve never stood before someone who had no capacity for empathy. It went behind flat affect. It was a complete lack of ability or motivation to understand other people.”
~ Julie Goodridg, after a meeting with Mitt Romney [ibid]
Volumes could be written on the mind set of those who undermine democracy and the human rights implied therefrom. There is a paper for example, by a very well known and highly respected U.S. research psychiatrist, which diagnoses one relative recent U.S. president, the same man who oversaw the torture of human beings as state policy - G.W. Bush - as a clinical psychopath [804]. You can research this very interesting literature concerning the sanity of several world leaders throughout history for yourself. The results for the majority of the best known leaders of modern times are not particularly heartening. But rather than pursue this point, a further look at Ayn Rand whom I mentioned above, may be of interest in regard to the democratic ideals of national leaders:
Ayn Rand, born Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum, may be in order here. Rand inspired a philosophy concerned with the faux meritocracy of power. In particular Rand argued that power is held by those who deserve to have it. She advocated hyper-egotism, power-worship and anarcho-capitalism. In her work and writings she opposed welfare, unemployment insurance, Medicare, [367] or in sum any form of aid for the poor or underprivileged.
"Control of the population is the major task of any state that is dominated by particular sectors of the domestic society and therefore functions primarily in their interest"
~ N. Chomsky [612]
Her view of economics was allegedly equally allegedly bigoted - to her the world consisted of ’producers’ (the wealthy, powerful, heads of industry) and the ’moochers’ (everyone else) [368]. She considered everyday working people to be parasites living of the wealthy and powerful [367, 368]. She considered Native Americans to be ’savages’ who should have no rights, praising the actions of the invaders who took native lands by force, by treaty violation, and by biological warfare (i.e. giving out smallpox infested blankets as presents to Native Americans) - something which Rand considered admirable [367].
“Sen. John Goedde, chairman of the Idaho [a U.S. state] Senate’s Education Committee, introduced legislation Tuesday to require every Idaho high school student to read Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” and pass a test on it to graduate from high school.” [770]
Her diaries showed her considerable admiration for William Hickman, the serial killer who raped and murdered a young girl. Hickman became her prototype for the hero of her later books. Because he did what he felt was right for himself, a trait Rand thought more important than any other [369, 370]. She was horrified that tax money was given to help the handicapped, saying during a later interview that altruism was evil [371]. Rand was IMHO a textbook example of a sociopath.
“Given the abundant evidence of massive fraud, Americans everywhere have asked the same question: Why haven’t any of those bankers gone to jail? If federal investigators could not establish criminal intent for any top-flight executives, didn’t they have enough evidence to prosecute banks or financial houses as law-breaking corporations?”
~ William Greider [366]
It might be difficult to find a more simplistic, calssist, narcissistic, sociopathic, and appallingly naive world view than Ayn Rand’s. Despite this Rand’s Objectivism is taught in several U.S. universities as if it were actually a philosophy rather than calssist diatribe. Rand and the the tautological psychopathologies Is Leo Strauss Better than You? Your government thinks he is. , What is a Kakistocracy? , Should Arms Dealing be a War Crime? , Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.) were made for each other. Note that many of those who allegedly benefit Randian use of power who sit on the ruling Trilateral Commission [378], and who occupy several positions of power in government [372] including Prime Ministers [373], Cabinet Ministers [374, 375, 376], presidents [377], heads of multinationals [378, 379], captains of industry [377, 378, 379], chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve [380], and the U.S. Supreme Court Justice [381] have allegedly openly expressed their admiration and agreement with Rand and Strauss’ viewpoints.
The argument has been and is being made more and more frequently that sociopaths and psychopaths are predisposed to seek power over others. Most of these are conscienceless, lacking empathy or affection. The are casually deceitful, lack remorse, are ruthless, and essentially mimic human behaviour in order to gain power. See for example Stout’s well known work [711] highlighting data that at least 4% of people have a genetic/behavioural predisposition in this direction, as well as other work by Hare [712], Babiak [713], Dutton [714] and others - all of whom point to the simple fact that the average healthy person does not seek power over others.
But sociopaths and psychopaths most assuredly do this. As easily as the disgraced seven time winner of the Tour de France allegedly lied about his decades long use of performance enhancing drugs [715], allegedly threatening any and all who tried to correct this [716], allegedly including ruthlessly launching lawsuits against them [717] and allegedly accruing a vast fortune in the process [ibid].... so too do others in the public eye, including some in very high position in many countries, match most or all of the criteria of clinical psycho- or socio- pathology.
Little wonder perhaps that democracy around the world is so threatened from within. Especially as previously discussed, in FPP systems where the “elected” leader is given dictatorial powers with little or no between elections. (Update: Someone emailed me About me) to say that use of the phrase “dictatorial powers” was outlandish exaggeration. I wish I was incorrect about this, but even a cursory reading of the powers history of constraints on power over the past decades in most democratic countries reveals rather clearly the accuracy of the phrase. Please see Zinn’s histories - in the references - for an introduction, then go on to read some of the citations to Chomsky, Parenti, Saul, Jacobs, Lawrence, Eulul, Harrison, Foucault, Griffin ... and the many others I cite. Sadly the comparison between dictator and democratic leader in terms of actual powers and how they have been used over the last few decades is not as great as one might hope. The major difference is in subtlety and in openness of the use of such power, not in the actual use. Very sad.)
Whenever there is a transition from democracy, allegedly psychopathic/sociopathic theories such as Rand’s and Strauss’ take hold amongst those in power. This because they perfectly align with the genetic/behavioural predisposition of psycho-/sociopaths to seek power over others. History, and to some extent emerging clinical data, is replete with examples.
Those imbued with greed and avarice create myths about "producers" and "parasites", myths about democratic meritocracies, and religious myths that are essentially variants of the old English “the king is annointed by God”. The common folk are mere commodities - invalid people whose low place in society is due entirely to their own failings.
Democracy and leaders who embrace Rand/Strauss are utterly incompatible. It is interesting to read through the backgrounds and actions of some of these people in light of this, and of Stout’s and others’ clinical research. (Please also see my article on clinical psychopathology amongst some of those in power Psychopaths in Power as well as discussion of the mindset of absolutism so common to world “leaders” Evidence Based History vs. Revisionism).)
"We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality - judiciously, as you will - we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors ... and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
~ Top aid to U.S. president G.W. Bush, quoted by New York Times journalist Ron Suskind [565]
“We need to flatten entire neighbourhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too. ... This needs to end quickly – with a bang, not a whimper."
~ Gilad Sharon [718], son of Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
"We must blow Gaza back to the Middle Ages, destroying all the infrastructure including roads and water."
~ Eli Yishai [719], Deputy Prime Minister of Israel
“[rather than negotiating with Hanoi, the United States should] bomb them back to the stone age .... until we have destroyed every work of man in North Vietnam.”
~ Curtis LeMay [720], U.S. Air Force general responsible for destroying two thirds of Japan’s cities in World War II
“I further charge you with submitting to me promptly an overall plan of the preliminary organizational, practical and financial measures for the execution of the intended final solution“
~ Adolf Eichmann [721], from a memo drafted for Göring, Germany
“I... reserve the right to act unilaterally ... against anyone”
~ U.S. president Obama [722].
“Actually it’s quite fun to fight them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot... It’s fun to shoot some people."
~ Lt. Gen. James Mattis, a three star Marine general and commander of US Marine expeditions during wars to seize oil resources [723], DoD transcripts [724], later appointed top Marine General at U.S. Central Command
10.5.12.4.1 Clinical perniciousness: an example of Democratic leadership
There are many example of leaders in modern times as mad and pernicious as the worst heads of the Roman state. Consider the example of the Invasion of Vietnam by the United States some decades ago. The U.S. government invented a lie - the Gulf of Tonkin incident [928] - which convinced the public and congress to authorise the use of conventional military force in Vietnam. Again - all based upon a lie [ibid].
The U.S. invasion resulted in the slaughter of millions [929] of Vietnamese and tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers [ibid]. The real reason for the war of course, was to stop the democratic elections there following the Vietnamese defeat of the French - elections held under the auspice of the Geneva Conference [930]. president Eisenhower in his memoirs [931] said that: Ho Chi Minh would have won by a landslide. According to president Eisenhower, the U.S. did not want an example of a free and open election placing a socialist government in power [ibid].
Hence the invasion and subsequent slaughter - dropping 6.5 million tons of bombs, 400,000 tons of napalm (to burn people alive), and 11.2 million gallons of Agent Orange to destroy crops for several generations, dropped upon the people of Southeast Asia. (See also Chomsky [932] and more from Eisenhower [933, 934] on this).
The U.S. won the Vietnam war in every respect - no free and open elections were ever held. Democracy, which in this case would have allowed for leaders who did not wish giant U.S. corporate control of their country, was snuffed out [932, 942, 941].
The fact that millions were killed was simply incidental to this (please see next paragraph in support of this statement). The war was also extremely profitable for U.S. bankers and drug companies [936]. And certainly the peoples of Vietnam who survived, and their progeny to this day opine [935] that the aggression against them was an act of horrific terrorism.
U.S. presidents Johnson and Nixon where in charge at the time: In 1968 there was a presidential election in the United States. There was also a very unpopular war being waged against Vietnam. Then president Johnson held secret talks with North Vietnam and peace was immanent, something which Johnson planned to announced prior to the election. Richard Nixon, a candidate for president, got word of this by illegal means [937] and himself allegedly contacted, and allegedly had his staff (one of whom allegedly later became Attorney General), the Vietnamese leadership asking that they delay peace on the promise that he, Nixon, would offer a better deal should he become president [ibid, 938].
That is to say, he allegedly asked that the killing of U.S.and Vietnamese citizens be allowed to continue because he wanted to win the election - something unlikely to happen if Johnson was able to announce peace before the vote. This was of course, treason. But Johnson allegedly did not tell the public about this, and allegedly asked the Christian Science Monitor not to publish information about it [280] because all of the information had been gleaned through his own alleged illegal wiretaps [932, 939, 940]. (Please also see Christopher Hitchens’s The Trial of Henry Kissinger [941] and Berman’s No Peace, No Honor: Nixon, Kissinger, and Betrayal in Vietnam [942] for details on the alleged actions of then Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in allegedly also perpetuating war and terror allegedly for personal gain.)
At any rate, Nixon was elected by a mere 500,000 votes (less than 1%) in one of the closest elections that country’s history. The alleged promises he made to the Vietnam leadership were broken and the war continued another five years. An additional 22,000 U.S. soldiers died as a result [280], and an estimated additional two million [943, 944, 945, 946] Vietnamese, Laotians, and Cambodians were slaughtered. In a war based upon a lie [928], and perpetuated so that one allegedly U.S. president (Johnson) could hid the fact that he had broken the law, and another (Nixon) could get elected. Leadership of this type, means war and slaughter and death.
Eventually this person was discovered to be a crook, liar, and worse through the well known Pentagon papers [947] - information leaked by a very brave whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg. (Since that time U.S. government suppression of whistleblowers, even to the point of calling for their death, has been state policy - see here for details: Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.).) Mr. Nixon was (after he and his Cabinet and staff denied all wrongdoing - i.e. more lies), forced to resign in disgrace.
Within two days of his resignation the replacement president, Mr. Ford, issued a complete and utter pardon for Mr. Nixon, thereby removing the right of the citizenry to conduct a public trial and presumably, issue a sentence of a life time in jail time for Nixon’s alleged treason [947, 948, 949, 942]. And for causing the death of so many in order to get himself elected.
Clinical perniciousness - the sign of mentally ill leadership - is antithetical to democracy, and the ethical and moral behaviour of nations. But sadly, not uncommon.
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10.5.12.5 Lawlessness

We are not ruled by murderers, but only by their friends,”
~ Rudyard Kipling [585]
Imagine for a moment that Prime Minister of India, the world’s largest democracy, began to believe that the United States contained U.S. citizens who did not like India. And that he decided not to try to apprehend these people, or give them a fair trial before a jury of their peers back in India. No. Instead, suppose that the Prime Minister of India just had the names of these people who allegedly did not like his government, added to a kill list. And that every morning he would get up, choose a few names from the list, then order his military to send remote controlled missile armed drone aircraft into United States airspace to murder the people on that list. And their families and friends if they happened to be standing too near when the drones hit. Can you imagine how the U.S. might feel about such a wanton disregard for international law and violation of India’s own constitution?
It is chilling to realise that this scenario is currently a reality. Not in India, which is indeed a democracy, albeit a troubled one. But in another country entirely. In that country, the names of people to be murdered are marked down on lists [587]. The leader has never met the people he orders murdered. He knows next to nothing about them [ibid]. Most of the people he orders murdered live far away, on the other side of the world. Most of them will never leave their villages. Some of those he orders to be murdered are children as young as sixteen [ibid]. And some are citizens of his own country [1174]. Extrajudicial murder and assassination on his say-so alone.
None of the people he has allegedly ordered murdered were given a chance to surrender [588]. None have been allowed recourse to the courts or to a trial [ibid], 587]. Most of those he ordered murdered were poor and bereft of resources to help them [ibid]. Most were placed onto these kill lists by the same kind of intelligence that rounded up children and imprisoned and tortured them by the hundreds [589] in violation of international law [592] in the leader’s own country [593]. Only to later discover that the children and adults tortured and killed had been completely innocent of any crimes [ibid]. Yet that wise and just leader continues to order murders without trial, on his say so alone [587].
And so entire villages, men, women, children are included in so-called “signature strikes” [586] and drone attacks [ibid]. These are strikes based solely on “suspicious behaviour” [590], such as the alleged mass murder of civilians in a wedding party which was deemed “suspicious” [591]. Or consider the “signature strike” which killed fifteen people, all mourners gathered to bury the brother of one of the mourners. The dead man had been accused without trial, without a chance to defend himself, and most of all without any proof... of being an “enemy combatant” [598]. And so pursuant to the leader’s will, without knowing anything about the mourners, they were all killed because they were relatives and friends of the dead man [ibid]. The great leader’s motton of “Change you can believe in” The World Wide U.S. War of Terror .
“What kind of country targets rescuers, funeral attendees, and people gathered to mourn? If a Hollywood film featured a villainous King ordering lethal attacks on rescuers, funerals and mourners — those medically attending to or grieving his initial victims — any decent audience member would, by design, seethe with contempt for such an inhumane tyrant.”
~ G. Greenwald [599]
There has been only one other democratic country in the past 100 years which also had people murdered, as well as their families, and their friends throughout the world. Without trial; without any independent evidence; without even being charged with a crime; without any proof that the murdered people were dangerous; without any right of appeal; without allowing their side to be heard; without even the right to even know why they were on the lists. The leader of that country used kill lists from which he chose who would live, and who would die. Eventually many of the persons involved in creating and acting upon these lists were tried and found guilty of crimes against humanity, at the Nuremberg trials [601]. At those trials, it was judged for all time that all those who collaborate and assist in such programs are guilty under Principle VII [600], to which all western countries (and indeed most countries in the world) have agreed.
“Not to mince words here, if it is not in a situation of armed conflict, unless it falls into the very narrow area of imminent threat then it is an extrajudicial execution. We don’t even need to get to the nuance of who’s who, and are people there for rescue or not. Because each death is illegal. Each death is a murder in that case.”
~ N. Modirzadeh, Associate Director of the Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research, Harvard University [595]
Yet a modern government and its leader have announced that any person’s life is now disposable, and subject to the momentary whim of that leader [ibid]. Exactly as had occurred in Germany during the Reich. To see this happening entirely without comment by any leader of any democratic country in the world, is very sad. And a sign perhaps of how profoundly damaged some democracies have become.
”Any government that brutalises and massacres its people does not deserve to govern.”
~ B. Obama, U.S. president [597]. Please also see here: The World Wide U.S. War of Terror for discussion and citations about what terrorism really means, and how it is perpetrated

10.5.12.6 Overthrowing democracy: The end of Australian Independence from the United States

There are so many examples of how so-called democratic nations overthrow real democracy whenever it arises, that I need not say more on the issue here. Read for example, research by scholars such as Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, and others listed in the bibliography Bibliography for my site).
Instead I will give a virtually unknown example of how democracy was allegedly subverted in a first world nation by another first world nation, also ostensibly democratic.
To see how this occurred, consider first the the United States oxymoronically named Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
These excellent alleged human beings have been alleged by decades of very well documented research to have committed human rights violations, numerous war crimes, torture of utterly innocent peoples, forced medical experiments on prisoners, and many decades of activities in destabilizing democractic and other governments around the world. All, it has been alleged, on behalf of a handful of plutocrats and their pet politicians [1659, 1660, 1661, 1662, 1663]. See for example thorough and well documented research by such scholars as Zinn, Blum, Chomsky or ... well, many others who provide ample evidence and solid academic research on this matter. However the alleged role of the CIA n destablizing even the democracies of 1st world nations is not not widely known. Consider therefore, the example of Australia:
In the mid 1970s Australia’s 21st Prime Minister, Gough Whitlam, abolished royal patronage, joined Australia to the Non-Aligned Movement, supported the creation of “zones of peace”, drafted Australia’s first Aboriginal lands rights legislation, opposed nuclear weapons testing, and above all announced that his government would deny any foreign power to control Australia’s resources or allow it dictate its economic or foreign policies.
This was not appreciated by the United States. Previous Australian governments had had very cozy and secret [1664] relationships with the U.S. even going so far as to suppy so-called “black” teams to the CIA [ibid, 1665]. Several Whitlam government officials also stated that U.S. bombing of Vietnam was “corrupt and barbaric. (U.S. actions in Vietnam and Cambodia were subsequently alleged by researchers decades later to be a war crime - please q.v. The Hubris of Empire: Is the United States the world’s greatest threat to peace? ).
In response a CIA station head in Vietnam declared that the U.S. should regard Australia as “North Vietnamese collaborators” - in other words criticising the U.S. was equivalent in the alleged minds of the CIA as being in cahoots with whatever “enemy nation” the U.S. was currently invading (between 2001 and 2016 the U.S. invaded 37 soverign nations, for example [1666, 1667, 1668).
Given Australia’s attempt to be an independent nation free of U.S. interference, it should be of no surprise that Willam Colby, the CIA’s then director and Maurice Oldfiled the head of MI6, allegedly [1664] discussed what to “do” about Whitlem. The British contribution was to at once begin bugging Australian Cabinet meetings on behalf of the CIA [ibid].
The U.S. allegedly began a smear campaign. Theodore Shackly, head of the CIA’s East Asia Division, sent a telex [1669] declaring that the Mr. Whitlam, the Prime Minister of Australia, was a “security risk”. Who was Theodore Shackley? He was the same charming fellow who had previously allegedly directed a coup d’état initiated and funded by the CIA to oust democratically elected Salvador Allende in Chile [1670, 1671, 1672, 1673]. Allende was a popular socialist who was against giving U.S. corporations unlimited access to anything they wished in Chile. So the CIA set out to get rid of him. After the CIA directed coup ousted (killed [1674]) Mr. Allende, the U.S. backed dictator Augusto Pinochet was put in power, ushering in several decades of torture, massive human rights abuses, destruction of the economy, and virtual enslavement of large parts of the citizenry. But his government was very favourable to the U.S., U.S. military on Chilean soil, and U.S. corporate mining, etc. in Chile.
Back to Australia: The day before Mr. Shackley’s telex, John Kerr - the British Queen’s representative in Australia (a token function of cutting ribbons at openings of shopping malls) - visited the headquarters of the Defence Signals Directorate, Australia’s NSA [1664]. Where he was briefed on the “security crisis” alleged in Mr. Schackley’s top secret telex. The CIA wanted the democratically elected Prime Minister of Australia, gone. And so on the morning of the day that Mr. Whitlam was to inform Parliament about the secret CIA presence in Australia, John Kerr using his legal but never used “reserve powers” as the Queen’s do-nothing ceremonial functionary, prorogued (dismissed) Parliament and dismissed Mr. Whitlam [ibid]:
“He [John Kerr] was an enthusiastic member of the Australian Association for Cultural Freedom, described by Jonathan Kwitny of the Wall Street Journal in his book, The Crimes of Patriots, as an elite, invitation-only group … exposed in Congress as being founded, funded and generally run by the CI’”. The CIA ’paid for Kerr’s travel, built his prestige … Kerr continued to go to the CIA for money’” [1675]
Decoded messages intercepted by whistleblowers in Australia revealed that the CIA referred to Mr. Kerr, the Queen’s representative in Australia, as “our man Kerr” [1664]
"Kerr did what he was told to do."
~ deputy director of the CIA [1679], quoted by investigative journalist, John Pilger, recipient of the presigeous Richard Dimbleby Award for factual reporting, the BAFTA Awards, and the UK’s Grierson Trust Award
Some Australian to this day, some 40+ years later, consider Mr. Kerr a traitor. Every year his and the CIA’s actions are remembered on 11 November by groups of Australians who mark the day as a time when a democratically government in a first world nation was toppled because it refused to be a lackey of the United States. Since that time, the CIA and U.S. military has kept permanent bases in Australia, U.S. corporations control much of the Australian economy, Australia has sent support and troops to most U.S. led wars, and no Australian government since Mr. Whitlam’s has gone contrary to U.S. wishes.
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10.5.12.7 The end of trust

"If the people knew what we had done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us."
~ George H.W. Bush, U.S. president, to journalist Sarah McClendon
“(i)n an electoral system, run by and for a corporate oligarchy, deception and demagoguery are essential elements – entertaining the people while working for the wealthy.”
~ J. Petras [1283] writing in “The Politics of Empire”
“We’ll know our disinformation is complete when everything the American people believe is false”…..William Casey [1685], CIA Director 1980
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“(i)n an electoral system, run by and for a corporate oligarchy, deception and demagoguery are essential elements –
entertaining the people while working for the wealthy.”
~ J. Petras [105] writing in “The Politics of Empire”
“You know, the very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common.
They don’t alter their views to fit the facts.
They alter the facts to fit their views.”
~ Dr. Who, aboard the Tardis, 1977
10.5.12.7.1 Trust of government
“While I am reluctant to believe in the total depravity of the Senate, I place but little dependence on the honesty and truthfulness of a large portion of the Senators. A majority of them are small lights, mentally weak, and wholly unfit to be Senators. Some are vulgar demagogues . . . some are men of wealth who have purchased their position . . . [some are] men of narrow intellect, limited comprehension, and low partisan prejudice . . . John F. Kennedy [1291] U.S. president, quoting a member of his Cabinet
After the egregious alleged corruption of the disastrous alleged war crimes of the G.W. Bush administration in the United States, citizens celebrated the ascension of a new president - Barack Obama. Mr. Obama used social media, university town halls, and the like to campaign on a message of hope, change and transparency. And he promised an end to war and the burgeoning surveillance of innocent citizens. All a lie.
Under Mr. Obama:
  • government whistleblowers were routinely prosecuted [1642]
  • U.S. arms sales (already the highest int he world [1643]), went even higher - with U.S. sale of arms to the worlds ugliest most despicable dictatorships leading the way [ibid]. Mr. Obama even authorised massive arms sales to slaving states, such as Saudi Arabia [1644] where it was known that the weapons sold were used in genocide (eg. in the Saudi genocides in Yemen [1645])
  • police militarisation soared [1646], police murder of innocent citizens soared [1647], prison populations soared [1648], white police shootings of people with dark skin pigmentation without any meaningful accountability soared as well [1649] although it took a team of UK journalists to chart this [ibid] as under Obama no database was kept
  • surveillance has became widespread and universal; those perpetrating this illegally (please q.v. Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.)) were retroactively pardoned by Mr. Obama [1650].
  • the U.S. torture state became normative - Mr. Obama did nothing meaningful to abate U.S. torture of innocent people or decrease the number of so-called black sites were this was done [1651] - please also q.v. Are U.S. Run Torture Sites Crimes Against Humanity? .
  • Mr. Obama - a constitutional expert - eviscerated constitutional protections through refusing to eradicated the previous administration’s abuses (eg. the Patriot Act) even extending such evisceration via the Military Commissions ACT and several presidential signing orders. Mr. Obama in fact created more laws through signing orders (essentially rule by degree) than any other U.S. president in history [1652]
  • Mr. Obama launched more covert wars than any other president in history [1651], as well as launching entirely new wars (Libya, Egypt, Somalia, etc.) without Congressional authorisation [ibid] or UN sanction (i.e. illegal wars)
  • Mr. Obama launched murder without trial or recourse wold wide, violating sovereign territories around the world to launch drone strikes frequently slaughtering innocent people, and without any publicly verifiable justification for his actions [1653, 1654] - please also q.v. Is a Drone War a War Crime? and The World Wide U.S. War of Terror
  • Under Mr. Obama American communities became undeclared police states, without Constitutional protection - please q.v. [ibid] and Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.)
  • Under Mr. Obama, there was absolutely no action (other than verbiage) to mitigate the three greatest threats to human existence (climate change; genetic engineering; unending U.S. led and created, war (please q.v. The Hubris of Empire: Is the United States the world’s greatest threat to peace? )
And much more - more government surveillance, police abuses, more censorship (q.v. Censorship and Bibliocaust ), more long-term imprisonment for minor offences, more militarisation, more corruption, more cronyism, more inequity (q.v. Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls )), and above all more expansion of the U.S. War of Terror. Under Mr. Obama, the average citizen was worse off, more fearful, more traumatised even then under the horrific regime of G.W. Bush.
All of this from a man who campaigned on hope and change for the better. Little wonder that trust in government in the United States was at an all time low. A situation match amongst other devolving democracies such as Britain and Australia who had over the decades become little more than U.S. functionaries for disaster capitalism.
For example, at time of writing, surveys in the United States show that less than 20% of the public express any trust in their government [179] down from 80% four decades ago [ibid] [319]  [319] There are many caveats to the numbers given here - the data is difficult to come by and very much subject to differing methodology. For example the British Social Attitudes Survey is supremely different than the Gallup surveys. However simple trend analysis and some basic autocorrelative work on what data is available (see [185]) indicates that since the 1960’s public trust in government in most democracies has been plummeting. Particularly in the first world and the wealthiest countries. Trust is the lowest in the world’s wealthiest country, the United States, for obvious reasons.. Approval of Congress is currently running at 9% [1155] - that is to say, 91% of the citizenry in the U.S. believes their elected representatives are untrustworthy.
In Europe, less than 29% of voters in the amongst thirty member countries of the EU express trust their own governments [180]. In Canada the number is in between these two, at roughly 24%. In Brazil, Spain, Germany, and South Korea government is the least trusted institution (actual numbers are unavailable, but less than the 23% trust given to the least popular multinational in those countries) [181]. In Italy trust in the national government is approximately 10-12% depending upon data source [182]. In Australia popularity was roughly 30% [183]. The highest rates of satisfaction were in Scandinavian countries [185] although again available data prevented any more accurate statement. British trust in their government runs at below 30% [186]. The government of India, the world’s largest democracy, is so little trusted by the citizenry as to engender country wide protests against endemic political corruption as exemplified by the struggles of Anna Hazare [184].
In other words, trust by the citizenry of democracies in their governments is perhaps, justifiably low. Perhaps with justification Is Experimenting on Humans Justified?).
If we factor in trust in the ability or willingness of ostensibly democratic governments to manage finances for the benefit of the public, we find for example, less than 20% trust in the voters of the EU [179], and a disastrous 5% in the United States [ibid, 184]. The most powerful democratic economic giants, the U.S. and the EU, the public not only does not trust their governments as indicated above, but they additionally do not trust their governments to be competent or by extrapolation, to work on their behalf.
It should be noted that the downward curve in public trust in most democratic countries has occurred over several decades, regardless of which party is in power. In a true democracy when the public no longer trusts their government, the government is replaced by a government with different policies and plans. But in pseudo democracies parities adopt mild variations on essentially identical platforms and policies. Polices The Hubris of Empire: Is the United States the world’s greatest threat to peace? which for the most part are demonstrably Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls ) of little benefit What is Money?) to the majority The Real Monetary Cost of War of the electorate Is Leo Strauss Better than You? Your government thinks he is. .
“The predatory financial institutions on Wall Street will trash the economy and loot the U.S. Treasury on the way to another economic collapse whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton is president. Poor, unarmed people of color will be gunned down in the streets of our cities whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton is president. The system of neoslavery in our prisons, where we keep poor men and poor women of color in cages because we have taken from them the possibility of employment, education and dignity, will be maintained whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton is president. Millions of undocumented people will be deported whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton is president. Austerity programs will cut or abolish public services, further decay the infrastructure and curtail social programs whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton is president. Money will replace the vote whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton is president. And half the country, which now lives in poverty, will remain in misery whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton becomes president. This is not speculation. We know this because there has been total continuity on every issue, from trade agreements to war to mass deportations, between the Bush administration and the administration of Barack Obama.”
~ Chris Hedges [1655], awarded the Pulizer Prize
In other words, voting makes little difference when the only choice is between two wolves.
10.5.12.7.2 Ignoring law
It has been argued that the reality in failed and failing democracies, that the citizenry really have little true choice at all. Little wonder there has been such a diminution in trust.
“When once a republic is corrupted, there is no possibility of remedying any of the growing evils but by removing the corruption and restoring it’s lost principles; every other correction is either useless or a new evil”. – Thomas Jefferson, an early U.S. president
Of course diminution of trust is bidirectional - that the lawmakers do not trust the electorate is a given considering the oppressive laws being enacted in many former democracies, and the brutal (and illegal and unnecessary) suppression of dissent as witnessed at G20 summits previously mentioned. It bares repeating perhaps that the Canadian suppression of dissent by the ultra right wing fundamentalist Christian Republican Party of Canada then in power, has been called greatest peacetime violation of civil liberties in that country in modern times [94,95,96,97].
But another example may be of interest here. First Amendment policy and tradition in the United States allows accredited journalists to record public open committee meetings. Republican members of the committee objected, and ordered police to arrest an academy awarding winning journalist and his film crew from documenting a hearing on a controversial natural gas procurement practice [454]. Banning the Fourth Estate has also begun to occur in other public government forums in several democratic countries: India [452], Britain [453], Australia [461], and so on. The ruling Republican Party of Canada under Prime Minister Harper took this one step further, not merely banning journalists but allegedly working to ban the electorate - making committee meetings (where the real business of government is conducted), completely secret [460].
Another example: In Canada the Harper regime appointed a person to the supreme court in alleged violation of law [1132, 1133, 1134] during the time that Prime Minister Harper had perogued (dismissed) parliament [Op. cit.]. That is to say, at a time when parliament could not question the appointment. Later the Supreme Court overturned Harper’s appointment - unanimously [320]  [320] The list of Mr. Harper’s questionable appointments was a long one. As I write these lines his Chief of Staff is under criminal investigation by the police [1274]; his Executive Director has been forced to resign under allegations of vote rigging and intimidation in the the riding of his girl friend [1273]; several of his appointments to the Senate are under criminal and related investigation [1274]; several of his Ministers have been forced to withdraw allegedly incorrect statements [1275, 1276, 1277]; and so on down a long list. Even the conservative New York Times commented upon alleged use of intimidation and threat by his regime [1278]. As with so many other failing democracies around the world, a system with relatively few checks and balances, werein a small minority (see above) of the population give a person the mandate of a virtual dictatorship (ibid) for many years, democracy comes to depend increasingly upon in integrity, ethics, honesty of those in high office. Should such integrity be wanting, democratic and civil rights are sadly, rapidly eroded..
And yet another example of allegedly ignoring law: The illegal and perhaps amoral spying in construction of the Panopticon discussed in detail here Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.), certainly contained many examples of bypassing or ignoring laws. One example in particular perhaps, shows the attitude involved at the highest led it be the business of committees or documentation on alleged illegal activities such as war crimes, is to keep the public ignorant of what government is doing, and thereby minimise . Such restriction is in a word, antidemocratic.
Democracy cannot, and never has, survived under these restrictions.
“The past decade has witnessed the most severe crimes imaginable by political and financial elites: the construction of a worldwide torture regime, domestic spying perpetrated jointly by the government and the Telecom industry without the warrants required by the criminal law, an aggressive war waged on another country that killed hundreds of thousands of people, massive financial fraud that came close to collapsing the world economy and which destroyed the economic security of tens of millions, and systematic foreclosure fraud that, by design, bombarded courts with fraudulent documents in order to seize homes without legal entitlement. These are not bad policies or mere immoral acts. They are plainly criminal, and yet – due to the precepts of elite immunity which were first explicitly embraced during Ford’s pardon of Nixon — none of those crimes has produced legal punishments.”
~ G. Greenwald [629]
10.5.12.7.3 Normalising corruption
To say that many politicians are corrupt the world over is simply a stating the obvious. There are so many examples of corruption amongst heads of state and their Cabinets - from the Chinese official bribery system to the U.S. unofficial bribery system - that it is difficult to find a head of state who has any ethical or moral values at all. The handful of honest heads of state such as Baklav Havel, are lost amid the staggering corruption of the others.
Consider former former U.S. Secretary of State and presumptive heir to the presidency, Hillary Clinton:
In 2015 the nonpartisan Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT) found that Ms. Clinton was the very worst ethics violator of all politicians, after finding “overwhelming evidence” [1606] that she abused her official position as secretary of state [1603]. Leaks [1604, 1605] and hacking of her email server [1607] allegedly show that as Secretary of State those nations (such as Saudi Arabia) who “contributed” to her foundation allegedly received no criticism for their actions and instead allegedly received contracts and other perks. In fact, there is a very large amount of information available from many sources beginning with her (and her husband’s) activities around the so-called Whitewater scandal through the decades up to the present alleging decades of alleged corruption by Ms. Clinton.
Whether this is true or not is moot to the main point here however. Which is simply to point out that these allegations and alleged documented proof were ignored or downplayed by all mainstream media, police, FBI, the Justice Department, the president, etc. in the United States. The few voices asking for formal public investigations such as FACT, were ignored.
Where allegations of corruption are ignored, where documentary evidence is ignored, where corruption has become so endemic as to be considered normal ... what chance has democracy?
10.5.12.7.4 War crimes
One of the most obvious reasons that governments are no longer trusted, yet never discussed in corporate owned media, is that several government leaders have allegedly committed war crimes, crimes against humanity, mass murder of civilian populations, and other heinous perversions against the common good. This is nothing new historically of course, but what is different today in our own time is 1) the scale of the crimes and 2) the effectiveness of the propaganda system in keeping said alleged criminals unaccountable for their alleged actions.

10.5.12.8 Malignant egophrenia and mental illness

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“It is the absolute right of the State to supervise the formation of public opinion.”
~ Joseph Goebbels [1279], Nazi Minister of Propaganda and Hitler’s successor as the Chancellor of Germany.
Global empires such as Egypt, Babylon, MedoPersia, Greece, Rome, Britain .... all pass through phases of birth, growth, assimilation, peak, decline, and collapse.
With each empire it appears to take humanity an increasingly lengthy time to recover from the decadence and destruction of the previous regime. Humanity did not recover from the collapse of the Roman Empire for a very long time. One can but postulate a similarly long Dark Age following the collapse of the current empire.
For any reader of Gibbon, Cicero, or Plutarch, the parallels between the current empire and the Roman are sufficiently close to ensure a clear certainty that the closets of current politicos are filled with togas. For the regimes of both follow similar patterns of
  • massive political and economic corruption,
  • remote out of touch leadership,
  • appalling gaps in wealth between classes,
  • an indifferent distracted citizenry acculturated to fear,
  • crumbling infrastructure,
  • a bankrupt treasury,
  • extreme wealth and power in the hands of a few,
  • massive military might and spending,
  • ’dumbed down’ education systems,
  • massive ’bread and circus’ entertainments (movies, television, and spectator sport) all devoid of culture or learning,
  • extreme forms of fadism,
  • fear and shock based propaganda system,
  • hyper-religiosity,
  • and so on - the correspondence if very strong between the two empires as they devolved.
A number of writers have postulated a mass psychosis on the part of the electorate in some democracies has allowed the policies and actions of fascistic nascent empire to take place. In his much quoted article Paul Levy for example, coins the term “Malignant egophrenia” to describe a group which is “unable to recognise that we are taken over, as we become bewitched by our own projections” [745].
Whilst there can be little question that any world leader embracing torture, war, and plunder of the poor as a way of life may well qualify as mad or psychopathic, and those who support her similarly ill.
How many psychopaths does it take to screw in a light bulb? Answer: Psychopaths declare war on lightbulbs then set the house on fire.
What Levy and others point toward however is not merely a psychological devolution into psychosis, but also a a moral devolution. Toynbee was reputed to have said “Of the twenty-two civilisations that have appeared in history, nineteen of them collapsed when they reached the moral state the United States is in now” [747]. Certainly many are of the same opinion [746]. There can be little doubt that several ostensible democracies are currently on the verge of destroying civilisation, whether by seeding the planet with toxins, by perpetual war, or merely through inaction and indifference to climate change. Even a cursory look at some of the cited works on this site will show this nicely.
The example of that execrable U.S. president Donald Trump who simply ignored democratic rights and freedoms, the courts, and anyone who disagreed with him, mimicking many of the actions of the worst dictors from Stalin to Hitler to Kim Jong-un served as an exmple.
Please see:
  1. Psychopaths in power)
  2. Soft Fascism, Neoliberalism, Hard Fascism, and Hayek)
for fuller discussion. There can be little doubt that when mentally ill persons such as G.W. Bush or Donald Trump become head of state, democracy is done.
“[Donald Trump ] is dangerously mentally ill and temperamentally incapable of being president [1731] .... We’ve seen enough public behaviour by Donald Trump now that we can make this diagnosis indisputably [1732]”
~ Dr. J. D. Gartner, psychologist, Johns Hopkins University Medical School
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10.5.13 STEP TEN: Only allow Nero and Caligula in the front office, hide the real rulers away from the public

“I remember years and years ago a conspiracy theorist telling me the world was ruled by blood-drinking, baby-sacrificing lizards. These psychologists were essentially saying the same thing. Basically, when you get them talking, these people [ie. psychopaths] are different than human beings. They lack the things that make you human: empathy, remorse, loving kindness.”
~ Jon Ronson [1856], author of “The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry”
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Fascism is malignant egophrenia writ large. L. Britt has described some traits common to fascist regimes from Hitler to Musolini to Franco, and several others. You can decide for yourself if any or all of these apply to your own country:
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“The current political system in place in the United States at the dawn of the twenty-first century is fascism. Of course, we don’t like to call it that. We like to call it democracy. Nonetheless, it looks an awful lot like fascism, though to understand how this is so requires an awareness of what fascism actually is. We don’t like to use the f-word at all. It tends to conjure up unpleasant images. Our perceptions of fascism are shaped both by the very real horrors of the Holocaust, and by the fictional worlds created by writers with British and American intelligence connections like Aldous Huxley and George Orwell. These are the images that our schools and our media provide for us. So when we think of fascism, we think of concentration camps filled with corpses and horribly decimated walking skeletons. We think of a stiflingly regimented society in which ’Big Brother’ watches our every move. We think of brutal pogroms by jackbooted thugs, and violent repression of dissenting views. These images are so far removed from the world that we live in that we cannot conceive that our system of governance could have the remotest resemblance to that which was in place in Nazi Germany. The problem is that fascism, viewed from the inside through a veil of propaganda, rarely looks the same as it does when viewed from the outside with the benefit of historical hindsight.”
~ David McGowan [1430, pp 3] writing in his study of fascism “Understanding the F-Word: American Fascism and the Politics of Illusion
“The current government [the Harper regime] prefers to govern by order-in-council and executive edict as opposed to having to answer to an occasionally meddlesome Parliament. As a result, the executive has so neutered the institutions of Parliament as to render them nearly impotent, practically unable to fulfil their constitutional duty to hold the executive to account…(T)o the greatest extent possible, it prefers to run all aspects of Parliament rather than be accountable to it ... The most corrosive and dangerous development ... is the highly centralized power of the PMO [prime minister’s Office] and cabinet with a majority government. Add the now-complete stifling of the rights of ordinary MPs to say or do anything on their own, and Canada has degenerated into a virtual dictatorship.”
~ B. Rathgeber [1431], writing in his book ’The Decline of Parliamentary Democracy in Canada’
Richard Sennett’s term Soft Fascism applies rather well to what is currently occurring in the United States, Canada, Britain, and other Five Eyes countries. Soft fascism is the complete takeover of a nation by a handful of persons whose only goals are twofold: profit and power. Under their influence corporate, political, and military power become identical, just as in any fascist regime. But unlike the hard fascism of Mussolini, the mass of the citizenry are seldom aware of the system they actually labour for, and under.
I have discussed an example of the rapidity with which a nation can fall under the trawl of fascism in my article on soft fascism and neoliberalism in much more detail here:Soft Fascism, Neoliberalism, Hard Fascism, and Hayek).

10.5.13.1 Psychopathology

“Worse than just being a liar or a narcissist, in addition he is paranoid, delusional and grandiose thinking and he proved that to the country the first day he was President. If Donald Trump really believes he had the largest crowd size in history, that’s delusional ... I’ve worked with murderers and rapists. I can recognise dangerousness from a mile away. You don’t have to be an expert on dangerousness or spend fifty years studying it like I have in order to know how dangerous this man is.”
~ Dr. J. Gartner [1757], psychologist and professor, Johns Hopkins University Medical School
Finally, there are a growing number of books and research indicating that there are a number of current leaders who are clinical psychopaths. For example "Without Conscience" by Dr. R.D. Hare in “Without Conscience” [767] has developed a checklist for psychopathology which when applied to some of today’s leaders gives very interesting results. As do the more standard Psychopathy Checklists (PCL-R and PCL: SV). Although of course a thorough and detailed analysis is necessary for proper diagnosis, Dr. Hare’s Psychopathy Checklist applied to some leaders and CEOs certainly indicates that they are clinical psychopaths. (Please see a fuller discussion of this psychosis in world headers here Psychopaths in Power and here Evidence Based History vs. Revisionism).)
At the very least, there may be much to question regarding the health of a mind that authorises torture, bombing of civilians, undeclared wars, selling of any and all lethal weapons to the highest bidder, ignoring and perpetuating environmental disaster, and above all orders mass death and destruction in order to further enrich his confrres.
Of course so-called leaders in many countries are in reality simply the the public face of those about whom the public knows little. The prevalence of monstering (discussed here: Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.)) is important to consider in this regard.
Regardless, democratic malignant egophrenia is a perfect ground from which fascism can spring The World Wide U.S. War of Terror . In this regard, please see my article on pathocacy, which looks at research supporting the view that certain types of psychopathology are prevalent amongst those in power Psychopaths in Power .
And finally as initially foolish as this may seem, have all senior politicians and corporate CEOs formally tested for clinical psychopathologies before they may hold office or run corporations.
Because in a number of published analyses (see particularly [678], then [679, 680, 681], and also here Evidence Based History vs. Revisionism) and here Should Arms Dealing be a War Crime? [682]) as well as the discussion in section 9 above, it has become clear that some heads of state and some corporate leaders have most of the traits of clinical psychopaths and sociopaths.
Indeed, some have been formally diagnosed as being such whilst holding high office [678], as well as populate the most senior levels of multinational corporations (see Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls )Sect. 9, [689] for a list of relevant citations as well as [683]. See also Bakan [690] regarding possible regulations and legal issues regarding this.) How to test? There is some emerging fMRI evidence that there is less grey matter in the anterior rostral prefrontal cortex and temporal poles in both non-psychopathic offenders and non-offenders [691]. As well as possible differences in makeup of the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal [692]. And of course there are a host of behavioural [693] and psychometric means available [694].
A small thought experiment: Police officers are subject to a battery of psychological tests prior to being allowed to carry a gun. What if we held politicians to this same standard? For in effect the heads of state of large nations, sans any vetting other than through the manipulations highlighted above in dysfunctional electoral systems, are given a gun capable of wiping out all life on the planet.
If these people possess even a modicum of traits recognised as psychopathic [757], there is the potential for terrible harm to millions, even billions, of people as illustrated here: Evidence Based History vs. Revisionism).
For surely no mentally healthy individual would order carpet bombing of civilians (as was done to Dresden (please see citations and discussion here: The World Wide U.S. War of Terror ), Vietnam (Evidence Based History vs. Revisionism)), and Iraq for example), torture of children - sometimes for years, mass rapine for oil, assassinations without trial or proof of guilt, drone strikes on villages filled with civilians, or similar horrific crimes against humanity? Unfortunately the structure and system of many ostensibly democratic societies self-select and incentivises these types of psychopathic behaviour (Are U.S. Run Torture Sites Crimes Against Humanity? , Psychopaths in power)).
Hence weeding out these anathemas to democratic rule and compassion through mandated testing similar (but better) than that required for police officers, child care workers, hospital staff, etc. might go a long way to re-establishing compassion, justice, equality, and most of all a government dedicated to the welfare of all of its citizens.
  • A mentally ill U.S. president and the Trump Crime Syndicate
    • Donald Trump became the U.S. president with roughly 29% of eligible voters voting for him [784] - i.e. less than 1/3.
    • Despite alleged obvious mental illness, nepotism run wild, serial lying, alleged serial rape, functional illiteracy, alleged massive corruption, incompetence, and more ... the core supporters of this person were ardent in their admiration of him. As I have indicated here Psychopaths in power), mental illness in celebrities in a communicable disease. Some have called this support of politicians so obviously corrupt, incompetent, unsavoury, unethical, and allegedly mentally ill ... Trump Derangement Syndrome. An illness so severe that truth and fact are ignored in favour of joyful acceptance of lies and actions hugely detrimental to supporters. We see echos of this with those who supported Hitler, Stalin, Kim Jong Il, and many others whose activities benefited only themselves. Trump Derangement Syndrome has a much older name - induced masochism.
    “[Donald Trump ] is dangerously mentally ill and temperamentally incapable of being president [783] .... We’ve seen enough public behaviour by Donald Trump now that we can make this diagnosis indisputably [784]”
    ~ Dr. J. D. Gartner, psychologist, Johns Hopkins University Medical School
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After the horrific mocking of a disabled man by Mr. Trump was caught on video, Mr. Trump denied [1736] ever having done what he was filmed doing. Not the sign of a healthy mind.
“But there was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart, not because it was good. ... there was nothing good about it. But it was effective, and it did its job. It made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth. It was that moment when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter - someone he outranked in privilege, power and the capacity to fight back. It, it kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can’t get it out of my head, because it wasn’t in a movie. It was real life. And this instinct to humiliate, when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform, by someone powerful, it filters down into everybody’s life, because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.”
~ Meryll Streep [1737], multiple Academy Award Winner

10.5.13.2 Ensuring Malignancy: Thirteen sure fire tips to undermine the democratic election process

“The U.S. has a new credibility - what we say goes.” - G. Bush I [744], clearly stating the antithesis of democracy
Every one of the twelve steps for destroying the democratic election process has been done - frequently, and all at once - in several ostensible democracies within the last decade. The citations give examples of each:
  1. Ensure that the electoral system is a first-passed-the-post system (such as in North America, Britain, etc.)
  2. Ensure that your friends own most media outlets [890].
  3. Ensure that your friends are billionaires who will pay anything to get you elected so long as you write laws to suit their will [891].
  4. Ensure that your friends own the corporations providing the voting machines, and that the voting machines can be remotely controlled from their head offices [891, 892].
  5. Ensure that the public education system includes little or no world history, culture, geography, very little true science (as opposed to science for military or commercial purposes), of love of knowledge and learning for its own sake. And above all, create a mandatory system where acculturation authority and to being ruled is the dominant meme [see 748, 749, 750] and modern scholarly research into hidden curricula [751, 752, 753, 754, 755].
  6. Ensure that there is a culture of lies, such that fact checking becomes irrelevant [889].
  7. Ensure that there is no accountability for telling lies during a campaign [888].
  8. Use tax money to fund your political operatives. Destroy all records (emails, paper trail, etc.) of such activities [893, 894, 895, 896].
  9. Ensure that true dissent is marginalised or quashed, while encouraging apparent but irrelevant dissent [897].
  10. Fix investigations. For example, if a government oversight department finds evidence of your wrongdoing, fire the head of the department and shut down the department [910]. Or if the public finds out about your wrong doing, appoint a personal friend as head of the publicly funded investigation, and limit the investigation’s powers to such an extent that they cannot call need witnessed or even render a public report [911, 912, 913, 914].
  11. Ensure that your message matches the confirmation bias and paranoia of the less than 30% of voters (in FPP systems) necessary to put your party in a majority position [898].
  12. Ensure you use dirty tricks: Robo-calls giving voters for the other guy false information [899], attack advertisements containing lies about your opponent [900], appeals to stupidity (eg. do not vote for the other guy, he’s and effete intellectual) [901, 902], accept illegal campaign contributions [903], buy votes [904], hire thugs to keep voters in poor neighbourhoods (who usually vote for the other guy) away from polling stations [905], bribe election officials [906], get the head of the federal police to stage a very public raid on your opposition prior to the election [907] and reward him with a Cabinet position when you win [908], etc.
  13. Ignore anything that matters. For example do nothing to alleviate the effects of climate change Why Do Politicians Destroy Science? , do nothing to rectify your country having the highest child mortality rate of all industrialised nations [909], do nothing to alter the fact that CEOs run the country not elected officials, and so on. Instead talk only about vague push-button meaningless terms such as “my country is the greatest in the world”, or the most egregiously meaningless PR term in recent memory: “change you can believe in” Replacing Truth and Information with Trivia - propaganda as culture).
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10.5.13.3 Undoing the malignancy: Some steps necessary to begin the restoration of true democracy

“You’re free. And freedom is beautiful. And, you know, it’ll take time to restore chaos and order. But we will.” G. W. Bush II [756], U.S. president
From the more than 1400 citations given in this little article we can see that there is now, in many former democracies:
  1. The greatest concentration of wealth in the hands of the fewest number of people in history Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls );
  2. The opportunity for the wealthy and for corporations to make unlimited political contributions (bribes);
  3. Laws which allow utter secrecy about who is contributing (bribing) whom;
  4. The largest concentration of private armies and police forces in the world;
  5. Ownership and influence of all mass media by a few individuals;
  6. The largest use of technology against the mass of the citizenry since the days of the STASI Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.);
  7. Essentially no accountability for those in leadership positions for mismanagement or blatant corruption while in public office.
The result is that political power, monetary power, military power, and the power of mass propaganda now rests in the hands of a few individuals in many former democracies. This is especially true of those which have extremely biased and relatively easy to manipulate electoral systems such as Britain, Canada, and the United States.
The inescapable and very sad conclusion is that despite the appearance of democratic processes, true democracy as defined and cited above is dead or dying in much of the world. But there is still some hope. The following steps would help eliminate the oligarchies and dictatorships which have spread over most of humanity, and restore the opportunity for people everywhere to live in dignity, tolerance, and freedom:
  1. Allow free speech. Take a look at my article on bibliocaust Censorship and Bibliocaust [605] to pursue this concept in more detail.
  2. All democracies must obey rather than ignore international treaties and conventions concerning human rights, the duty to detain and prosecute war criminals, the requirement to end torture, the requirement to protect whistleblowers and free speech, the requirement to ensure the basic human right of privacy, etc.
  3. Utterly eliminate national signing letters, whereby politicians can circumvent constitutional or international law whenever they choose.
  4. Empower war crimes tribunals to prosecute and jail if necessary, heads of state who violate international laws and treaties.
  5. Replace all FPP electoral systems with proportional representative systems. Reform the electoral system. More fair and equitable systems include Ranked Ballot Voting, Singel Transferable Vote, and possibly Mixed Member Proportional. The least democratic system is the FPP (First Past the Post System). Countries with this system are essentially dictatorships between elections.
  6. Remove laws which state that corporations have the same rights and privileges as individual citizens as well as those which effectively give them and their CEOs immunity from prosecution.
  7. Remove laws which allow corporations to contribute to political campaigns. Create laws which forbid indirect contributions (eg. through employee pressure, CEO private “gifts”, PACs, etc.) by corporations to political campaigns or politicians.
  8. Fund all political campaigns equally, from the public purse, for all parties which meet basic membership numbers.
  9. Cut defence spending by a minimum of 90%. Use the remaining 10% to form a defence force (as opposed to the current offensive force maintained in many so-called democracies). Use the 90% to fund free food and water for the very poor, free daycare, free job training, free health care, and so on. Use the rest (and there would be trillions upon trillions left over) to fund free universal education, supply life sustaining clean water, rebuild the bombed and destroyed countries which have been invaded for their oil, provide free AIDS and Malaria drugs, and fund free education to the third world, thereby all but eliminating the massive inequalities which are the source of most terrorism.
  10. Cut intelligence budgets by 99% (use the remaining 1% to hire students to watch the BBC, Al Jazeera, and similar real news stations which have actual journalists doing actual research.
  11. Eliminate secretive undemocratic elite planning groups such as Bilderberg, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Jasons, etc.
  12. Make world history a mandatory course of study for all students, in all levels of the education system, throughout their entire time in the educational system. Make courses in political manipulation, public relations, and propaganda studies mandatory for all students.
  13. Tax all financial transactions to a minimum 3% level. This will slow the spread of corporate control, the multitude of illegal financial transactions, etc., and regulate banks under independent public control.
  14. Make first year university world history, physical science, and scientific reasoning courses mandatory for all politicians before they are allowed to run for office, with yearly refresher courses.
  15. All earnings, perks, and benefits paid to any person, employee, CEO, bank president, or politician in excess of five times the minimum wage must be taxed at the 100% level.
  16. Cancel all “free trade” treaties, which invariably result in destruction destroy local democratic control and local economic development.
  17. Encourage self-sufficiency based upon local industries, local production, local food growth and distribution.
  18. Reallocate tax monies such that local government at the municipal level receives the bulk of revenue.
  19. Renew the ancient Athenian practice of ostracism. I began this article speaking of democracy around 500 BC in Greece. At that time all citizens voted once a year to decide on the politician most destructive to the democratic process. The person who received the most votes was banished from Athens for ten years. A practice which would if enacted in today’s dying democracies, go a long way toward restoring the Athenian ideal of democracy for and by the people.
  20. Educate the voting public. Education must be free for every member of society, including post-secondary education. This could easily by done by merely cutting military spending.
  21. Voting must be mandatory for every adult citizen (with obvious accommodation for the disabled and elderly).
  22. Institute compulsory testing of would-be politicians per the previous discussion (in Sect. 10.5.16.1, above).

10.5.13.4 Malignant egophrenia: A Legacy for our Children?

“Trump is no malfunction. He’s a perfect representation of who, as a country, we are and always have been: an insane monster. Frankly, we’re lucky he’s not walking around using a child’s femur as a toothpick. When it’s not trembling in terror, the rest of the world must be laughing its ass off. America, land of the mad pig president. Shove that up your exceptionalism.”
~ Matt Taibbi, investigative journalist and author
While the malignant egophrenia of men such as Kim Jong-Un, Czar Vlad Putin, or Donald Trump is obvious and well documented (please q.v for example, Psychopaths in power)), the general public miraculously marched like cattle to the slaughter (thanks largely to a wonderful education system Pedagogy is Social Engineering and its resultant mass functional illiteracy Your Educational System is designed to foster illiteracy ).
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(Photographer unknown)
"They never stop thinking of new ways to harm our country or our people, and neither do we.”
~ G. Bush II [142]
As I write these lines there are countries which call themselves democracies all over the world. Consider for example, the country with the worlds largest military, the United Sates. This nation has:
  • made torture a state policy (including torture of children) without trial;
  • made imprisonment without trial for unlimited time periods exempt from the rule of law when ordered under NCAA and similar letters of mark;
  • made remote controlled bombing of civilians in undeclared wars a state policy;
  • made invasion of countries holding resources the attacker wants a state policy;
  • made their country into a Panopticon by making universal surveillance of all citizen communication a state policy;
  • made it illegal to publish unclassified documents about alleged war crimes and corruption of officials;
  • made it legal for the head of state to order the assassination of anyone in the world for any reason, without recourse to law, the courts, or international conventions;
  • made it illegal to travel for any citizen it chooses, with no recourse for said citizen and no requirement to state its reasons for said ban;
  • made itself into an Orwellian dystopia by having more than 30,000 unmanned and frequently armed surveillance drones flying day and night in the skies above that country;
  • made it virtually impossible for anyone other than those in the thrall of and/or in congruence with the wishes of a handful of powerful unelected heads of corporations to run for or attain high office;
  • slaughtered tens of millions of innocent civilians, destroyed democratic rule all over the world, maimed and wounded uncounted millions, and perhaps given its massive environmental destruction, ensured future generations may not have a future (please see the menu items above under ’social engineering’ and ’obscentiy’ for citations and discussion on eacy of these points)
  • Study after study in mainstream academic political science (see [1347] for an overview) has shown unequivicolly that political decisions are concentrated in the hands of a few wealthy and powerful individuals and families.
Is such a country a democracy, or is it merely a clear example of what the end of democracy looks like? Or more realistically perhaps, is it a plutocracy in all but name?
The U.S. National Intelligence Council is the leading analytic group in the United States’ multibillion dollar intelligence system. In 2012 it predicted [1415] that the U.S. empire will have ended by 2025-2030. It cited the many trillions of tax dollars poured into pointless wars, corruption, failing (failed IMHO) educational system, death of the middle class and continuing discrepancy between rich and poor, and China’s steady growth in scientific, financial, and culture as some of the leading contributors to the the upcoming death of the U.S. empire.
Just another footnote in history. Which, as always, will effect the oligarchs not in the least.

10.5.13.5 Killing Democracy: An example

"For in a Republic, who is ’the country?’ Is it the Government which is for the moment in the saddle? Why, the Government is merely a servant – merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn’t. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them."
~ Mark Twain (S. L. Clemens) [1150]
Democratic rule is dying around the world. I have given a number of examples in the foregoing. As well as in my article on the euphamistism for the destruction of democracy termed “harmonisation” Did Irenaus begin Christian Censorship? . However in may be useful at this point to see what a rapidly devolving democracy looks like:
Consider the country of Hungary under Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, which in many ways exemplifies some of the major themes of this article:
Mr. Orbán and his party Fidesz has followed the typical pattern discussed above - that is to say, establishing slightly softened versions of ultra rightwing policies (in this case those of the far-right anti-Roma Jobbik party).
Mr. Orbán’s regime has allegedly:
  • begun removing checks and balances between the executive and legislative arms of government and the courts,
  • pursed a systematic defunding and closing of autonomous institutions (he Court of Auditors, the Hungarian Press Agency, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the National Cultural Fund, etc.) particularly those involved in issues of social justice and equality,
  • severely limited free speech in as much as speaking dissent from his methods has become dangerous for future employment,
  • concentrated power in his office while systematically removing power from other branches of government,
  • largely nullified rulings and power of the Constitutional Court,
  • severely limited the right of the independent press (for example, it has set a Fidesz loyalist up as head of the National Media and Telecommunication Agency),
  • altered election laws to redraw electoral boundaries in such a way as to favour Fidesz candidates,
  • limited access to information on government actions, policies, and internal operation,
  • cozied up to a number of multinational corporations signing secret deals without public input or debate,
  • ignored environmental concerns allowing instead corporate resource plundering,
  • worked to strengthen the arrest and detention powers of police, without recourse to the courts,
  • worked to nullify or at least weaken any form of dissent or gathering,
  • made it almost impossible for opposition parties such as the democratically elected members of the Hungarian Parliament - Hungarian Socialist Party - to operate or hold the regime accountable,
  • And so much more...
In a nutshell the rapid change of Hungary from a true democracy to something else presents a microcosm of what is happening in may other ostensible democracies around the world as they transition with every mounting haste away from democratic rule.
Namely the merging of government and corporations to exploit and repress everyone and everything in pursuit of private profit, power. Unfettered entitlement for a few, at the expense of everyone else.
The end result, as in Hungary, was a regime which allegedly acted for person political ideology and gain rather than for the citizenry as a whole, at huge cost to democratic rule.
You may wish to consider your own country, and ruminate upon its similarities to Hungary’s democratic devolution.
For the error made by so many is a simple one - there is an assumption that some of the items I have pointed out here and in other articles on referred to herein, are aberrations. Rather than part and parcel of full-scale attack on democracy. This was the same error made by the Germans during the rise of Hitler, and by the Italians during the rise of Mussolini.
The factual as opposed to perceptual reality, is that democracy around the world has been so marginalised by the rise of oligarchical government that the short step to unlimited power and unquestioned authority in the hands of a handful of not very nice Psychopaths in Power people is sadly, largely ignored by all save the few inheritors of the White Rose The White Rose Campaign for Human Rights .
“In reality, we are today in the midst of a theology of pure power—power born of structure, not of dynasty or arms,”
~ historian John Ralston Saul [963]
“There are no internal constraints left to halt totalitarian capitalism. Electoral politics is a sham. The media is subservient to corporate power. The working class is being disempowered and impoverished. The legal system is a subsidiary of the corporate state. Any form of dissent, no matter how tepid, will soon to be blocked by an internal security apparatus empowered by anti-terrorist laws that will outstrip anything dreamed of by the East German Stasi state. And no one in Ottawa or Washington intends to help us. Opposition parties, such as the Democratic Party, may cry foul when out of power, but once in power they bow to the demands of the omnipotent military and security organs that serve our corporate masters.
Any state that has the ability to inflict full-spectrum dominance on its citizens is not a free state. It does not matter if it does not use this capacity today. It will use it, history has shown, should it feel threatened or seek greater control. The goal of wholesale surveillance, as Hannah Arendt wrote, is not, in the end, to discover crimes, "but to be on hand when the government decides to arrest a certain category of the population." No one who lives under constant surveillance, who is subject to detention anywhere at any time, whose conversations, messages, meetings, proclivities and habits are recorded, stored and analyzed, as ours are, can be described as free. The relationship between those who are constantly watched and tracked, and those who watch and track them, is the relationship between masters and slaves.
There will, if this law is not blocked, be no checks left on state power. State Security will operate outside the law. Citizens will be convicted on secret evidence in secret courts. Citizens will be subject to arbitrary searches and arrests. Due process will be eradicated. Internal security organs will serve as judge, jury and executioner. The outward forms of democratic participation – voting, competing political parties, judicial oversight and legislation – will remain, but become meaningless forms of political theatre.”
~ Chris Hedges [1475] awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his work, exerted from a speech regarding the imposition of the so-called “police state” law (Bill-C51) under the egregious regime of Stephen Harper in Canada
Such police state laws were enacted throughout the west, as western leaders with increasing rapidity rushed to emulate the police state and Huxley dystopia under which 2.5 billion Chinese people suffered.
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(Graphic: From leaked British/U.S. spy agency social engineering documents [1492] It is interesting to compare this to social engineering strategies used by the KGB, FSB, STASI, and NAZI propaganda agencies. The similarities so great that one cannot but conclude that the goals may be identical.)
The United States presents a classic example of the transition from soft fascism (accelerating under U.S. presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama) to hard fascism (under U.S. president Trump ). (Please q.v. Soft Fascism, Neoliberalism, Hard Fascism, and Hayek).)
Mr. Trump came to power having carefully stoked an already present national anger into vitriolic hatred. Using the tried and true tools of abject lies, fostering racism and misogyny, and the like. Tools carefully outlined in Mine Kampf, I might remind you. He also played upon the high rates of functional illiteracy in the United States (please q.v. Your Educational System is designed to foster illiteracy ), relying upon the historical ignorance the U.S. educational system purposefully builds into students (please q.v. Pedagogy is Social Engineering ). Hence those who voted for him (less then 29% [1689] of eligible voters!) believed their anger is because of Muslims, Latinos, and others “taking their jobs” or “threatening terrorism”.
When in reality, it was of course the deteriorating lot of the average U.S. citizens was due to the greed, avarice, and outright amorality of the handful of CEOs and billionaires who have essentially seized the U.S. government from the people.
For as I said earlier, there are no poor people in U.S. politics - congress and the Senate are filled with multimillionaires. Mr. Trump ’s assertion placed a billionaire in the executive branch. Have such people historically worked on behalf of the people or on behalf of the wealthy you keep them in office?
Mr. Trump ’s obvious lies (please see [1690] for a detailed fact check of Mr. Trump ’s statements during the 2016 election campaign) were, thanks to above mentioned function illiteracy, believed by his supporters. However, once they realise that he even if willing (unlikely) to help could do nothing, they will be very angry. Sufficiently angry that the crowd control measures discussed here (Controlling the Rabble: A quick how-to guide ) will be invoked by Mr. Trump .
The powers which Msrs. Bush and Obama created during their evisceration of the U.S. constitution will be used to expand the surveillance state and fully enable the police state already nascent before Mr. Trump ’s arrival. The move from the soft fascism which began with U.S. president Roosevelt will have completed its devolution into hard fascism.
When Mr. Erdoğan of Turkey took upon himself the power to issue any legislation without Parliament, to dissolve Parliament at will, and to rule by decree, thereby eliminating in all but name all remnants of Turkish democracy, U.S. president Donald Trump called to congratulate Mr. Erdoğan [1750] on winning a rigged referendum. Mr. Erdoğan was guilty of ordering torture of journalists and civil rights workers [1759, 1760, 1761]. A few days later Mr. Trump called the equally murderous dictator Mr. Duerte in the Philippines to say he had Mr. Trump’s full support [1758], and invited this alleged madman (who had ordered the assassination of thousands of people all without trial [1769] to visit the White House [1770]. Mr. Trump also stated that he would be “honoured” [1762] to meet with the murderous human rights violating [1763] dictator Kim Jong Il. Mr. Trump called the dictator a "sharp cookie," and praised Kim’s ability to eliminate (i.e. murder) possible rivals to secure his grip on power [1764]. He also congratulated Viktor Orban of Hungary when Mr. Orban eliminated democratic rule (in all but name [1765, 1766] in Hungary. Mr. Trump also commiserated [1767] with Geert Wilder when he lost the Dutch 2017 election (Mr. Wilder had wanted to impose “head rag tax” on hijab-wearing women and who declared [1768] that Muslims hate all those who violate Islamic teachings).
Democracy - true democracy as discussed above - had long since ended in the United States.
The only choice presented to the electorate every four years was between oppressive wolf Tweedle Dum or oppressive wolf Tweedle Dee.

10.5.13.6 The real rulers are never seen or known by the public

“Politics is the entertainment division of the military industrial complex.”
~ Frank Zappa [1855]
U.S. presidents Bush, Clinton, Obama, Nixon, Reagan and of course the execrable Donald Trump and his Crime Syndicate were not the cause but rather the result of a United States floundering in corruption and disillusion, divisive hatreds, racism, warmongering, and spiritual decay. Eliminating monsters such as some have alleged Mr. Trump to be, would solve nothing. For the United States has a society in collapse for many decades. Mr. Trump’s alleged corruption, madness, and bigotry only made the collapse more obvious to the world at large.
Obviously alleged buffoons such as Mr. Bush II or worse, the alleged functionally illiterate racist Donald Trump were allegedly mentally incapable of any governance or even allegedly of coherent thought - please q.v. Psychopaths in power) for relevant citations and discussion). In the case of the later person, the inanity, alleged serial misogyny, alleged war crimes, alleged tax fraud, alleged election fraud, alleged massive corruption, alleged theft of the public treasury, etc. was so great that media and public both looked no further. They did not peer behind the curtain to view the real rulers or their activities.
So whilst Mr. Trump cavorted and pranced, the real rulers set about continuing what they had begun under Msrs. Bush, Clinton, and Obama - namely the utter evisceration of democracy and potential destruction of humanity as a whole. Too harsh a statement? Perhaps not:
In March 2017 the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (a scientific journal) showed that under U.S. president Obama the proliferation and manufacture by the U.S. of nuclear weapons dramatically increased:
“the overall killing power of existing US ballistic missile forces by a factor of roughly three - and it creates exactly what one would expect to see, if a nuclear armed state were planning to have the capacity to fight and win a nuclear war by disarming enemies with a surprise first strike.”
~ [1814]
Mr. Trump continued this insanity by ordering [1815] that even more nuclear weapons be constructed, and by refusing to rescind the U.S. Space Command’s alleged placing of such weapons in space [1815]. The research went on to indicate [1814] that this escalation undermined the strategic stability of the past. A stability upon which along with Mr. Trump’s decimation of environmental protection [1817, 1818, 1819] threatened the very survival of humanity. These facts were ignored by all major media, which instead had 24 hour coverage of Mr. Trump’s latest Twitter perversion. (All major news media in the United States, Britain, Canada, and Australia were owned by Trump sympathisers - please q.v. Media Controls Most Narratives) and [1816]).
Similarly whilst Mr. Trump preened and cavorted before the cameras, those in the background such as Paul Ryan (Senate majority leader) and others in the executive branch of U.S. government rammed through legislation and presidential orders (which the buffoon admitted [1820] to not reading before he signed them) which undermine workers’ rights [1821], destroyed most consumer protection [1822], eliminated rights of farmers and farm workers [1823, 1824], destroyed public education [1825], decimated health care [1826], allowed dumping of toxins into U.S. waterways [1827], revoked taxes for the rich [1828, 1829], set about to revoke protection for unwed mothers [1830], encouraged bigotry and hate against certain religious groups [1831] even to the point of forbidding some religious groups the right of freedom of travel [ibid], revoke the Dodd-Frank Act’s constraints of predation by banks and the financial system [1832], set about repealing Free Trade Agreements which constrained corporate perdition [1833, 1834, 1835, 1836], opened up unlimited arms sales to some of the world’s worst dictatorships and human rights abusers (such as Saudi Arabia) [1837], refused almost all humanitarian aid to disasters such as the Rohingya or Yemenis [1838, 1839], prevented or worked against free elections (such as in Gaza) [1840], deployed the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) antimissile system thereby directly threatening China [1841, 1842] ... and well, so very much more. Almost none of which was reported by mainstream press which again, fixed its attention upon the buffoon cavorting in the White House.
So who was really ruling from behind the curtain? Who really rules in Britain, Canada, the U.S., Australia, China, etc.? Certainly not the people. Not the heads of governments. Not the people’s elected representatives.
“These capitalists generally act harmoniously, and in concert, to fleece the people, and now, that they have got into a quarrel with themselves, we are called upon to appropriate the people’s money to settle the quarrel.”
~ Abraham Lincoln [1436], U.S. President, in a speech prior to the economic depression of the mid 1800’s
“(i)n an electoral system, run by and for a corporate oligarchy, deception and demagoguery are essential elements – entertaining the people while working for the wealthy.”
~ J. Petras [1283] writing in “The Politics of Empire”
Three hundred people, mainly U.S. residents, control 1.5 percent of all of the world’s wealth [1190]. This is more than the GDP of every country on the planet, except China and the U.S. Furthermore as I cited earlier, 62 of these people control more than half the world’s entire wealth. Let me say that again:
A mere 8 people own more than half the entire wealth of humanity [1202, 1721]. These are real rulers - can you name any of them? The fact that you probably cannot is an indication of just how free the press really is in your nation.
These people give very little back relative to their wealth and power. If you closely study their movements and actions it is clear that they are not simply oligarchs or plutocrats, but are rather a venal quaestuary class blithely causing mass suffering for personal profit. And the rush of power.
To imagine that these people do not directly interfere with and direct the laws and policies of most countries, would be extremely naive, particularly in light of the citations previously given (particularly [1303]) which show that these people buy and sell politicians and governmental policies. Please also see Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls ) for some rather telling examples.
In Walter Bagehot’s well known 1863 work “The English Constitution” [1434], he explains that the government of the day was assumed by the people to be run through the upper and lower Houses (in U.S. terms the Senate and the Congress), the monarch, and the Prime Minister. This he explains is false. Rather he showed that there were in fact two governments - the outer one the people knew, and another small group which actually set policy and law. The outer group changed with different governments and parties, the inner one did not. Hence when the British people voted, and the public face of government promised to “usher in a new era”, very little ever changed.
“The issue put before these electors was, which of two rich people will you choose? And each of those rich people was put forward by great parties whose notions were the notions of the rich — whose plans were their plans. The electors only selected one or two wealthy men to carry out the schemes of one or two wealthy associations.”
~ W. Bagehot [1435]
In the United States as in most nations, the prevailing narrative is of a hierarchical political system. The head of state has the ultimate power to enact legislation, control the military, can so on, followed by the a Cabinet composed largely of cronies, an upper house, and a lower house. Some of whom are loal to the head of state, some not - a ratio which depends on many factors, seldom however, democratic ones. At the bottom of this hierarchy are the various branches of bureaucracy, military, and spy agencies which receive orders from above and implement them.
This hierarchical top-down system is an utterly false narrative. It is mere propaganda.
Because legislators, politicians, are in the main generalists with little or no factual or practical knowledge of items upon which they must decide. Their primary job is to get elected or by other means seize power. Their main job once in power, is to protect the privileged class and to not rock the boat. Their policies therefore come from below - from an entrenched massive bureaucracy.
In the U.S. this means the CIA, the military, the department(s) of prisons, etc. down a very long list. As indicated in the citations, this bureaucracy is extremely corrupt, open to bribery, nepotistic, and little concerned with the social good.
For example, there are literally millions of employees involved in the “national security” bureaucracy in the U.S. [1440] with more than a trillion taxpayer dollars to use at their discretion. The president appoints perhaps one of these people (a director) who is usually taken from the ranks.
As Michael Glennon [321]  [321] Glennon was a legal counsel to U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, consultant congressional committees, consultant to the U.S. State Department. etc. His work has been praised by members of the U.S. Offense Defence Department, State Department, the White House, the CIA, etc. of Tuft’s University points out [1433], the bureaucracy carefully manages which options the executive class has placed before them. His example of U.S. president Obama’s being given only two options by the military - send some troops to invade Afghanistan or send some more troops to invade Afghanistan is telling [ibid]. Both for the control the bureaucracy exerts, and for the nature of the politicians upon whom the control is exerted. (It has been said the U.S. president John Kennedy was the last person to oppose the bureaucracy, particularly by refusing to authorise the use of nuclear weapons during the Cuban Crisis [1436], in direct opposition to the bureaucrats - in this case the military Joint Chiefs [1437]. Something it has been alleged, which cost him his life [1438]. Glennon’s research in “National Security and Double Government” [1439] strongly suggests that there is in fact double government in the U.S. - the real decision makers (oligarchs, heads of bureaucracies) and the public face (the president, congress, etc.).
“[the U.S. political system is] ... a bifurcated system - a structure of double government - in which even the President now exercises little substantive control over the overall direction of US national security policy. ... [this has lead] toward greater centralisation, less accountability, and emergent autocracy.”
~ M. Glennon [ibid]
Not to pick on the poor benighted U.S. here - other countries have long since followed suit. One need merely look at England under Tony Blair and David Cameron, Australia under Tony Abbot, or Canada under Stephen Harper to see that the bifurcation of government is complete. The EU is run by an unelected bureaucracy which controls the national economies. A And bureaucracy is appointed by major corporations which in turn are run by a handful of powerful individuals.
Almost all policies and actions which resutl are as antithetical to the well being of the average citizen. But very, very helpful to the greed of f a handful of priviledged aristocrates largely operating out of the public’s eye (because they also own all widespread media).
The clear and obvious fact that wealth now massively flows upwards, the middle class has all but disappeared, and that war is a permanent fixture in almost all allegedly Democratic countries simply points out that the wishes of the mass of the citizenry are wholly are ignored.
The public face of compassion and good masks the hidden face of something quite different Evidence Based History vs. Revisionism), Psychopaths in Power .
In my article on Orwellian “doublespeak” Firehose Effect: the social epidemic of incessant lies) I discussed the means by which “public relations” has merged with the postmodernist myth of the fluidity of objective reality. This has served to provide a means through which the public is kept unaware of the true situation. Essentially as I point out there and in other articles here on my site, Ivy Lee, Edward Bernays, William James, Maslow, Rogers, Leo Strauss Is Leo Strauss Better than You? Your government thinks he is. , etc. have laid a foundation through which objective reality and objective truth becomes fluid, unreal, subject to opinion, interpretation, and above all, manipulation.
“We’ll know our disinformation is complete when everything the American people believe is false”…..William Casey [1686], CIA Director 1980
"If the people knew what we had done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us."
~ George H.W. Bush, U.S. president, to journalist Sarah McClendon of the White House Press Corps, 1992 [85]
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“Forget the firing of James Comey [the head of the U.S. FBI illegally [1771] fired by U.S. president Trump as Mr. Comey’s investigation into Mr. Trumps illegal activities [1772] became know]. Forget the paralysis in Congress. Forget the idiocy of a press that covers our descent into tyranny as if it were a sports contest between corporate Republicans and corporate Democrats or a reality show starring our maniacal president and the idiots that surround him. Forget the noise. The crisis we face is not embodied in the public images of the politicians that run our dysfunctional government. The crisis we face is the result of a four-decade-long, slow-motion corporate coup that has rendered the citizen impotent, left us without any authentic democratic institutions and allowed corporate and military power to become omnipotent. This crisis has spawned a corrupt electoral system of legalized bribery and empowered those public figures that master the arts of entertainment and artifice. And if we do not overthrow the neoliberal, corporate forces that have destroyed our democracy we will continue to vomit up more monstrosities as dangerous as Donald Trump. Trump is the symptom, not the disease.
Our descent into despotism began with the pardoning of Richard Nixon, all of whose impeachable crimes are now legal, and the extrajudicial assault, including targeted assassinations and imprisonment, carried out on dissidents and radicals, especially black radicals. It began with the creation of corporate-funded foundations and organizations that took control of the press, the courts, the universities, scientific research and the two major political parties. It began with empowering militarised police to kill unarmed citizens and the spread of our horrendous system of mass incarceration and the death penalty. It began with the stripping away of our most basic constitutional rights—privacy, due process, habeas corpus, fair elections and dissent. It began when big money was employed by political operatives such as Roger Stone, a close Trump adviser, to create negative political advertisements and false narratives to deceive the public, turning political debate into burlesque. On all these fronts we have lost. We are trapped like rats in a cage. A narcissist and imbecile may be turning the electric shocks on and off, but the problem is the corporate state, and unless we dismantle that, we are doomed.”
~ Chris Hedges [1773]

10.5.14 Conclusion

“Secret laws, secret courts, secret trade agreements. Secret police. Secret police blacksites. Secret "crowd control" weapons for the secret police to use domestically. Torture. Rendition. Off-shore prisons. Extrajudicial assassination. And secret donors, of course. That’s what it’s all for. There was a secret coup in the US decades ago, and we were collateral damage.”
~ Slashdot comment in response to revelations of alleged attacks on civil liberties by the U.S. government [1468]
“Arguing that you don’t care about the right to privacy because
you have nothing to hide
is no different from saying
you don’t care about free speech
because you have nothing to say.”
~ Edward Snowden
The United States by the end of 2015 had lost all ability to handle the cost of its race for world dominance. A race which had created huge profits for the owners of defence industries while perpetuating death, destruction, toxic pollution, and poverty throughout much of the planet. The Nation debt was unpayable. As a result of obscene priorities, rising poverty and turmoil throughout the U.S. saw a huge increase in police crime and killings (particularly against the underprivileged). (Please also see the Afterward subsection in The Hubris of Empire: Is the United States the world’s greatest threat to peace? .)
Lacking any meaningful plan for development of aid to society as a whole, the U.S. had become torn by hatred, fear mongering, war, and death [322]  [322] Listening to the 2016 U.S. Republican Party convention chant USA over and over [1616] was so reminiscent of Hitler rallies where participants chanted DEUCHLAND over and over that I had to go and have a nice cool glass of water before continuing to listen. Sigh..
As an aside here, one of my colleagues in the U.S. asked me recently why the U.S. was so hated around the world. Wow. Here is a simple answer:
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The U.S. had kill and maimed millions of innocent people, invaded more than 75 independent nations, destroyed entire cultures, and so much more - it is in effect, a terrorist nation (please q.v. The World Wide U.S. War of Terror ). It is astonishing to me that so many well educated (up to a point) people such as my colleague are utterly unaware of the horrible history of genocide and destruction of their own country. Even to the point where they never question the propaganda meme “we are the greatest country in the world”. What a testament to both the effectiveness of the propaganda system developed by Bernays, Dewey and the rest (please q.v. Pedagogy is Social Engineering ) and the staggering lack of knowledge or even curiosity about history.
Grumble grumble ... moving on:
The U.S. economy by 2017 had been so drained by its wars of aggression and wanton killing that the nation was trillions of dollars in debt 1810]. The effects of deindustrialisation, universal offshore outsources, its global trade agreements were destroying the nation whilst those who implemented them - the billionaire corporate CEOs - alone benefited (please q.v. Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls )). The people and their bought and paid for corrupt Senators and Congressmen - as well as a series of utterly corrupt presidents - implemented tax cuts, deregulation, corporate impunity laws, and worse while looting the treasury via bailouts - billions of tax dollars handed over by a series of corrupt presidents. Under Mrsrs. Bush and Trump the country became a laughing stock - holding now respect from from former allies. It was a failed empire, too stupid or too cognitively dissonant to realise what was occurring.
The U.S. is ruled by in the words of Chris Hedges [1811] a “motley collection of imbeciles, con artists, thieves, opportunists and warmongering generals”.
The U.S. therefore is anything but a democratic enlightened nation. It is an oligarchy and a failed state in so many ways. The Bureau of Atomic Scientists Doomsday Clock opened 2016 at a mere three minutes from midnight, one could only look to the skies and wonder if civilisation has ever survived the greed of its psychopaths Psychopaths in power). But only a year later, with the allegedly psychopathic Trump Crime Syndicate and its abecedarian U.S. president, Donald Trump having taken over the U.S. government, the Bureau moved the Doomsday Clock to 2.5 minutes to midnight.
But those nations leaders who continued to claim their nations was “the greatest”, were universally involved in wars of aggression and avarice. Wars which created horror and holocaust ... and the largest mass of fleeing refugees in history. People from war torn Africa, from Syria, etc. which these great nations had invaded time and time again stealing resources and creating hundreds of millions of refugees. This same racism - for that is what such claims about refugees amounted to - was expressed in Canada, the U.S., Australia, and Britain during influx in former times of Irish, Jews, Ukrainians, Chinese, Japanese, Aborigines, and of course, dark skinned peoples. All of whom were relegated to third class status or outright banned from the “great” nations which had caused their abjection in the first place.
Such racism was what Hitler and those of his ilk put forward as rational and reasonable. Recall that Hitler’s stated purpose was to restore German ’greatness’. Primarily by banning undesirables (especially the poor and defenceless) and instead passing laws to aid the rich and powerful. The same people who supported Hitler - such as most of the wealthy classes in the United States and Britain - now support those whose arguments are virtually identical to Hitler’s. Nazism and Fascism are still alive, but masked as “American values” and similar inane claims to “greatness”.
Democracy has always died when wealth disparity increases. Oligarchs such as Donald Trump and his cabinet embracing demagoguery, racism, authoritarianism, jingoism, nepotism, massive corruption, ugly racist hatred, and most of all war, war, war ... rise to positions of leadership.
“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and he carries his banners openly. But the traitor moves among those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not traitor, he speaks in the accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their garments, and he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of a city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to be feared.” - Cicero, 42 B.C. [1287]
Militarism becomes the prevailing religion. One need look no further than the United States to see this quite clearly. Wherein after a series of appalling presidents who spread war and disaster throughout the planet, culminated in the enthronement of a modern day Commodus and similarly devoid ministers of state [1720, 1707, 1708, 1712, 1713, 1714]. In a nation where a man such as Donald Trump and his cohorts become rulers, democracy is already dead.
“[Donald Trump ] is dangerously mentally ill and temperamentally incapable of being president [1732] .... We’ve seen enough public behaviour by Donald Trump now that we can make this diagnosis indisputably [1731]”
~ Dr. J. D. Gartner, psychologist, Johns Hopkins University Medical School (please q.v. Psychopaths in power) and Soft Fascism, Neoliberalism, Hard Fascism, and Hayek)).
Let me remind you therefore what I pointed out above:
A mere 8 people own more than half the entire wealth of humanity [264, 265, 1721].
These people give very little back relative to their wealth and power. If you closely study their movements, biographies, and actions it is clear that they are not simply oligarchs or plutocrats, but are rather a venal quaestuary class blithely causing mass suffering for personal profit. And the rush of power. They care for nothing other than themselves and are by any meaningful analysis, psychopathic (please q.v. Psychopaths in power)). As are so many of their puppets in government, military, and corporate corner offices.
To imagine that these people do not directly interfere with and direct the laws and policies of most countries, would be extremely naive, particularly in light of the citations previously given herein. That these people buy and sell politicians and governmental policies not merely in first world countries, but in many other nations as well, albeit through proxy. (Incidentally I am aware of those economists who argue that it is not wealth that is important, but rather income. This is a spurious argument - for it is the influence such wealth gives to a few which determines state policy.)
“The real difficulty is with the vast wealth and power in the hands of the few and the unscrupulous who represent or control capital. Hundreds of laws of Congress and the state legislatures are in the interest of these men and against the interests of workingmen. These need to be exposed and repealed. All laws on corporations, on taxation, on trusts, wills, descent, and the like, need examination and extensive change. This is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people no longer. It is a government of corporations, by corporations, and for corporations.“
~ Rutherford B. Hayes [1693], U.S. president, 1886
There are ample planetary and distribution resources to eliminate poverty, hunger, and most diseases. That such resources are used instead for war, violence, and gathering even more wealth to this handful is no accident.
Governments and empires are run by a handful of individuals. Most of whom are utterly unknown to the citizens they rule. Instead they buy politicians who implement the policies they wish - which consist largely of keeping their names secret, their financial empires every growing, and their distance from the results of their policies on others, large.
The Panama Papers, Paradise Papers, and other leaks [ibid] demonstrate clearly that the sole purpose of capitalism and its enabling political and military systems is to befit a handful of oligarchs whose actions create permanent war, refugees, starvation, millions and millions of deaths, disease, climate change, and short unpleasant lives for the majority of humanity. The oligarchs (and their pet politicians and military) plunder and rape all around the world. Not the least result of this malignant egophrenia and greed of course, has been and is, climate disaster.
In democracies or in fact in any civilised society, government officials, the bureaucracy, police, military, and intelligence agencies should serve the public - not the government. And not the heads of state, their cronies, a handful of powerful CEOs, or the 62 oligarchs with trillions of dollars at their disposal.
Sadly, as this short article and others on my site here indicate, the citizenry and their well being has become the least important aspect of rule. In other words, true democracy is dying world wide. Gradually over the past few decades the political ideology of which Mussolini, Hitler, and Stalin were obvious manifestations, has begun to take over the globe. These ideologies can be seen in a plethora of current leaders, including those heading ostensible democracies. There they are more subtle of course than in outright dictatorships such as Saudi Arabia or North Korea, but none the less real of the same ontological bent. Failure to recognise this is due in large part to the strength of propaganda and acculturation.
“In reality, we are today in the midst of a theology of pure power - power born of structure, not of dynasty or arms,”
~ historian John Ralston Saul [963]
“Asked at a Senate hearing today how long the war on terrorism will last, Michael Sheehan, the assistant secretary of defence for special operations and low intensity conflict, answered, ’At least 10 to 20 years.’ . . . A spokeswoman, Army Col. Anne Edgecomb, clarified that Sheehan meant the conflict is likely to last 10 to 20 more years from today - atop the 12 years that the conflict has already lasted."
~ quoted by the Spencer Ackerman [301], from testimony by the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Offence Defence before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee [329]
Is there an alternative? Must democracy always die at the hands of monumental greed Malevolent capitalism, beat down economics, poverty, and the obscenity of oligarchical ruls ), avarice What is Money?), war lust The Hubris of Empire: Is the United States the world’s greatest threat to peace? , privacy and human rights invasion Is Universal Surveillance Oppression? Yes.), and other psychopathologies Psychopaths in Power ?
At the moment as is true at most times in history, there are very few truly civilised countries on the planet. The loutish, corrupt, vulgar, and unethical behaviour of so many government and corporate officials in so many countries, democratic or not, is sadly all too common. To imagine that such government officials work on behalf of the citizenry, is at best wishful thinking. And at worst wilful acquiescence through ignorance. As I hope this little article and others to which I have alluded herein may have made clear.
Yet there are good, decent, and ethical governments on the planet. Relatively few yes - yet they exist. Even amongst those which have long since eschewed democratic rule as unworkable. For example, consider the Royal Government of Bhutan:
In Bhutan the government is, like Britain, a constitutional monarchy and democracy. But unlike the rampant disaster capitalism which has overtaken all aspects of British life, the Bhutanese system values something else entirely. Under the Wangchuck dynasty, the Bhutan government has worked very hard, with some success, to implement policy based upon the GNH index [925, 926, 927].
Although of course there are problems, it may be that by comparison to Bhutan, the governments and political leaders in the United States, Australia, Britain, China, Indonesia, Canada, Nigeria, India, Hungary, etc. ad nauseam ... are examples of uncivilised, brutish, pillockry.
“But there’s a reason. There’s a reason. There’s a reason for this, theres a reason education SUCKS, and it’s the same reason it will never, ever, EVER be fixed.
It’s never going to get any better, don’t look for it, be happy with what you’ve got.
Because the owners, the owners of this country don’t want that. I’m talking about the real owners now, the BIG owners! The Wealthy… the REAL owners! The big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions.
Forget the politicians. They are irrelevant. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice! You have OWNERS! They OWN YOU. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought, and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls.
They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying, lobbying, to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I’ll tell you what they don’t want:
They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests.
That’s right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly they’re getting f–ed by a system that threw them overboard 30 f–ing years ago. They don’t want that!
You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shitty jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it, and now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, and you know something? They’ll get it. They’ll get it all from you sooner or later cause they own this f–ing place! It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it! You, and I, are not in the big club.
By the way, it’s the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long beating you over the head with their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy. The table has tilted folks. The game is rigged and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care! Good honest hard-working people; white collar, blue collar it doesn’t matter what colour shirt you have on. Good honest hard working people continue, these are people of modest means, continue to elect these rich cock suckers who don’t give a f–k about you….they don’t give a f–k about you… they don’t give a F–K about you.
They don’t care about you at all… at all… AT ALL. And nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. That’s what the owners count on. The fact that Americans will probably remain wilfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that’s being jammed up their assholes everyday, because the owners of this country know the truth.
It’s called the American Dream,because you have to be asleep to believe it. “

~ George Carlin [1491], shortly before his death
(an image: pls click to see it)
The consequence for the few remaining democracies around the world of what was happening with the death of democracy in the United States were that they too saw the rise of racists in their parliaments. Even the Nazi sympathising party the AfD in Germany by the end of 2017 been so emboldened by Mr. Trump’s example, that they had for the first time since the end of WWII, gained seats many seats in the parliament. Even whilst, like Mr. Trump and his supporters, voicing Nazi slogans.
In the same time period, approximately 35% of U.S. citizens believed Mr. Trump - an allegedly corrupt, insane, rapist, racist, woefully ignorant, functionally illiterate, bigot, and failed businessman - was “doing a great job” [1808] as he destroyed democratic institutions, ignored the U.S. constitution. So died U.S. democracy, not at the hands of an invader, not at the hands of an fool in the White House ... but at the hands of an ignorant, lazy, and above all, unthinking citizenry.
[1856 References Bibliography for my site)]