Tony Benn: Democracy (must-see)

Power to the people. ~ DS

Replaced video Mar 24, 2014

AALaAron on May 30, 2012

Tony Benn discusses the history of democracy, how it has been undermined, and how it can be strengthened.


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7 thoughts on “Tony Benn: Democracy (must-see)

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    • Do you mean by government the federal level? An authority to design and maintain laws? A collective institution in service of the public good, of/by/for the people?

      This is, as we know, hardly what democracies were designed ultimately to do, nor did they turn out that way, at least not in the US incarnation (Dennis Kucinich notwithstanding– I would elect him emperor, and trust completely that the foolish flock would all be the better for it!).

      But political science is hardly my forte nor interest. I despise politics, largely because the people are a-political, they are more of a mob of bible-belted, corporate-co-opted cultist believers in endless militarism and nationalistic American exceptionalism, and their ‘elected’ representatives are thus largely corrupted narcissists and corporate goons.

      If the people thought for themselves and actually had educated opinions, and voted their minds, then democracy would work, better at least. But that is not what happens, as we know, so it doesn’t.

      The people have instead promoted through apathy and delusion, an aristocracy of some sort, which they believe acts in their best interest, which of course it doesn’t.

      But perhaps aristocracy is the natural state of society?

      One thing I know for certain, it is not the role of government to create endless gratuitous wars, or international globalized abuse.

      We can sit here behind our borders and hash it out between the genuinely thoughtful and the anti-thinking vampires, but the moment a government backed by the military set foot in other lands with weapons of war, domestic politics is no longer the issue. War-crimes are, and that is the first thing a ‘government’ by the people should be concerned with.

      I would offer that the founders of this ‘democracy’ are not as angelic nor just as our myths about them would claim, and certainly they made ‘mistakes’.

      One major design flaw in our democracy, as born out by the unbroken history of american international bloodshed, is this idea of ‘Commander in Chief’.

      Another one has to do with Income Tax, but not for the typical right wing conspiracy reasons.

      When a vast portion of the income tax revenue is slated for weapons of war, we have a systemic problem, one far more pertinent to the people than controversies over insurance law.

  5. A very informative take from the British perspective, if idealized.

    The vile racism and arrogance of the British colonialists seems to be unaddressed, as is the actual reality of the former European colonies.

    Nobody was quite as inhumane and arrogant in their violence and racism, not the Dutch nor the French, the brits were the worst of all, and have yet to properly pay the reparations.

    Something gets lost in translation to the american scene. There was a time when popular movements, marching, petitions, etc. actually impacted the ruling class.

    Unfortunately we now see that demonstrations no longer work, the people don’t care about democracy, only the unifying principle of the free-market greed of the raygun/thatcher revolution, which appears to still have worked beyond their wildest dreams.

    By appealing to people’s innate greed, and equating greed with free-will, backed by religion and the thrill of the kill, the people were rendered developmentally disabled consumerist crack-addicts of an american myth.

    Democracy would work if the people voted for their equitable interests. Unfortunately they were lead to believe (or bought into) this corporatist, religious and nationalist paradigm, the propaganda that the ideology of the corporate class was correct.

    The false prosperity that trickled down through the credit, housing and equities bubbles seemed to affirm that myth.

    Cynicism aside, if there’s one thing that the Botch years confirmed, its that the people were co-opted, addicted, and their concept of their own interests distorted, bent to the will of the international corporate class. They are more a cult of consumerism than a democracy at this point.

    The people of this nation today don’t remember the London Blitz nor world war, they are not driven to pursue peace by the near destruction of their homeland. They remain lacking of the lessons of unrestrained nationalism and militarism that Europe learned the hard way.

    To the people of the USA, everything the corporations and globalization stands for is correct, and born out by the recent decades past.

    In our case, the people were pacified not by a yielding of power from the corporacracy, rather they were quelled to complacency by the few crumbs of the good-life their credit cards and home-equity loans appeared to provide.

    Without a vast, crippling reckoning of some sort (as England had), it’s doubtful that this hugely more powerful nation, this model ‘democracy’ will bear out the idyllic betterment of society espoused above, so long as the American corporate and militaristic empire and its hollow prosperity prevails.

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