Article by WN.Com Correspondent Dallas Darling
The world was horrified last year when Spain sent thousands of policemen with impoldering to Catalonia to prevent voters from voting for independence. The election of the votes unconstitutional, the police attacked voters with sticks, tear gas and rubber bullets.
Later, the Spanish authorities made their way to polling stations. There they dragged voters away while picking up ball boxes. Several pro-referendum leaders were arrested.
Hundreds of Catalans, draped in blue and red and yellow stripped separation flags, were injured. When the police kicked the people, young and old, a voter who had tried to cast their vote said to the BBC: "Today I have seen the worst actions a government can take against the people in its own country." a government banishes democracy, prohibits only the practice of democracy. Or you might think.
While democracies around the world face their twilight years, some start to wonder if those same democratic governments can ban democracy and no one notices that? Freedom House, a think tank, says yes. They warn not only that authoritarian rules quickly replace democracies, but that also applies to the banning of opposition groups or keeping alternative political parties at bay. Many have been politically imprisoned in their own country.
Freedom House also noted a "crisis of confidence" in the United States and Europe, where those democracies give excessive preference to established companies or terminate time limits. The same applies to attacking journalists, purge voters, make small minorities make laws and ignore the separation of powers. Other issues were manipulating elections and maintaining unequal access to public space when it comes to freedom of press, speech, ideas and assembly.
The term & democracy; & # 39; murder
One way in which democracy can be banned and people do not notice it is because of the term & democracy; & # 39; to redefine. This also means that people have to reinterpret what they expect from democracy. Democracy, which literally means "domination by the people", is a system where citizens exercise power by either choosing people from their midst to represent them or to decide directly on decision-making powers and legislative laws.
Sadly, however, some democratic states have involved their citizens in re-education campaigns for the popular concept of democracy & # 39; to pervert. In addition to maintaining narrowly defined parameters of the public debate and the free exchange of ideas, they have applied unethically manipulative persuasion forces. and control. The same applies to redefining democracy as an exaggerated commitment to a person or an explicit ideology.
Some leaders in the United States and Europe have done this by radicalizing their supporters with rabid nationalism, intolerance and a fear of immigrants. Democracy is now a "virtue of violence" rather than of openness and compromise – which is necessary to survive. But the love for the country has not only stopped at the border. It also stopped a leader and a political party. Another thing that has stopped is the idea to represent everyone.
Votes for the view manipulators
Governments and leaders know in a different way that democracy can be banned by the mass media and by making education free and compulsory. This, as long as both are subject to the regulatory powers of the state. The goal is to shape the voters of tomorrow by passing on the thought patterns, values and norms that the state wants to adopt from childhood. States that include the US and Europe.
By doing so, the state can form the opinion of the voter. Because voters vote according to their opinion, their vote determines who is in power, which is part of the state. Who controls public opinion then controls the domination of power. There are many democratic states today that have controlled the control of public opinion. This includes the narrow political spectrum of debates in systems with only two political parties and two ideologies.
An example of this is the debate about the financing of the border wall. Republicans claim that it saves lives. And yet a Medicare for All plan would save many more lives. Another case was Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who was hearing a hearing on a parliamentary committee. Her statement of how American democracy broke fundamentally & # 39; was due to an infectious company money went viral. But there were no major media stores that ran the video.
Non-conformists do not have to apply
The fact that there are several rival parties has little effect on democracies. Nuances are allowed and the maneuvering space is tolerated. But wander past these and there are strict censorship to push the non-conformists back into the mainstream – or to discredit and isolate them completely. As a result voters remain ill-informed, less educated, less critical and more malleable and receptive to media propaganda.
They also remain less critical while their citizens place more trust in the government. Easily manipulated and deceived, they are less inclined to defend their autonomy. This includes giving up their basic rights and civil liberties in exchange for the protection and safety of the government. Some have even compared modern democracies with feudalism, where state and property are the master and yardstick for all things.
An example of this are the preventive invasions and permanent wars that Western democracies have had. This applies to building boundary walls that never address the underlying causes of migration. There is also a social arrangement that makes it possible for someone who does very little to find a fortune of billions of dollars, while millions who work all day of their lives barely protect themselves from a despicable existence.
F ** k Freedom
Democracies can also be confronted with peaks in state violence and political groups – which today no longer just stalk the edge of politics. In the United States and Canada, for example, the authorities have arrested leaders before a protest actually took place. Judges then accused them and the demonstrators of the same domestic or environmental offenses as terrorist groups. This includes the same severe penalties.
Others are concerned about the increase in hate speech and acts of verbal and physical violence have become normalized. Consequently, many democracies no longer fear the fear itself, but the possibility of being beaten or killed. It also forces people from the public sphere to silence them. Afraid to even "think" about or "criticize" the institutions that mask their political violence, they can not begin to fight them – let alone resist.
Such fear had just witnessed another Donald Trump rally. After the president had approached journalists and attacked the press, he threw the crowd into a raging allusion: "Good King News sucks!" A Trump supporter then attacked a BBC cameraman with violence: "F ** k the media." This is not only a next step to something much worse that will happen, but it overthrows and subdues all others the liberties of a nation, starting with the freedom of expression.
"You are accused of pursuing the independence of Catalonia."
"Where is the independence of Catalonia … https://t.co/OGbzUlE6A5
Monday 18. 6.30 pm in the European Parliament.
# Catalonia and the lawsuit against the referendum: a challenge for the … https://t.co/mVaOxXzTIT
Living in a democracy must guarantee that every citizen will be respected and appreciated as a person. This is because every vote counts. But there is no guarantee. An irony of modern democracies is that elections, which make up a large part of their attraction, do not reflect what appeals to them most. Politicians can cast votes by making promises, but once in office those same promises are reversed. Call it inequality.
The gap between what is promised and what is actually delivered, only gets worse. It is also kidnapped and held hostage by wealthy and business donors and armies of lobbyists, who actually make laws. Thanks to these donors and gerrymandering districts, elections are polluted and hardly free and fair. As a result, politicians offer only half of what democracy can offer, but not the whole.
This includes progressive strategies that can have a better vision of democracy. Despite her pursuit of a better tax code, a Medicare For All plan and a cleaner environment, Ocasio-Cortez has to walk a tightrope. Even in her own Democratic Party. She has already been warned that certain Democrats in New York, supported by wealthy and powerful donors, may reschedule her district after the 2020 elections. It even implies elimination.
Democracy is the biggest threat
The 12 Catalan separatist leaders who are accused of rebellion and are scheduled to be sentenced to prison are not the only ones. To be sure, stone walls do not make a prison, nor does it iron a cage. There are other ways in which so-called democratic governments can accuse and limit their citizens. Especially when you think about locking up the mind and spreading well-informed ideas and decisions. The same applies to emotions.
The leaders of such democratic governments know very well who the real enemy is. Nothing is more dangerous for democracy than people. That is why they will always claim to serve the people while allowing themselves only to rule directly. What these leaders demand – and seize – is legitimacy. They do not care about their value or opinions. Always obedient to their caretakers, but dangerous to each other.
Dallas Darling (email@example.com)
(Dallas Darling is the author of Politics 501: An AZ Reading on Conscientious Political Thought and Action, Some Nations Above God: 52 Weekly Reflections on Modern-Day Imperialism, Militarism, and Consumerism in the Context of John's Apocalyptic Vision, and The Other Side Of Christianity: reflections on faith, politics, spirituality, history and peace He is a correspondent for www.WN.com You can read more about the writings of Dallas at www.beverlydarling.com and www.WN.com / dallasdarling.)