Close But Not Quite, Part 1

September 29th, 2011at 08:09am Posted by Eli

Sean Paul Kelley:

So, elites our are on record calling for less democracy. Not days after they do the New York Times writes an article that in many ways delegitimizes public, peacefull assembly and protest:

Hundreds of thousands of disillusioned Indians cheer a rural activist on a hunger strike. Israel reels before the largest street demonstrations in its history. Enraged young people in Spain and Greece take over public squares across their countries. Their complaints range from corruption to lack of affordable housing and joblessness, common grievances the world over. But from South Asia to the heartland of Europe and now even to Wall Street, these protesters share something else: wariness, even contempt, toward traditional politicians and the democratic political process they preside over.

They are taking to the streets, in part, because they have little faith in the ballot box.

Excuse me, but I was brought up to believe, even here in America that the right to assemble was an essential adjunct of democracy. Read the rest of the article. It’s very interesting in its use of innuendo, in the sly way it identifies protest as anti-democratic and they way it asserts that “that liberal economics combined with democratic institutions represented the only path forward.”

It’s the essence of neo-liberalism at work and the Davos-type elites are getting concerned.

While it may be true that the NYT is subtly dissing the protestors, I don’t see how their loss of faith in corrupt government systems where virtually every single politician is in the pockets of big corporations is inherently “anti-democratic”.  To me it sounds more like the protestors are starved for democracy, not opposed to it.  Additional quotes from the story:

“Our parents are grateful because they’re voting,” said Marta Solanas, 27, referring to older Spaniards’ decades spent under the Franco dictatorship. “We’re the first generation to say that voting is worthless.”

(…)

“We elect the people’s representatives so they can solve our problems,” said Sarita Singh, 25, among the thousands who gathered each day at Ramlila Maidan, where monsoon rains turned the grounds to mud but protesters waved Indian flags and sang patriotic songs.

“But that is not actually happening. Corruption is ruling our country.”

They really don’t sound anti-democratic to me, just anti-corruption.

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Elections,Politics


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