The U.S. Government’s Attack on Democracy

Democracy or any form of government is fine with me as long as it’s a voluntary arrangement among consenting persons and the resulting government is peaceful and avoids aggression against those who do not endorse it or join it. Democracy as practiced in the U.S. doesn’t satisfy these conditions. However, this imperfect American democracy has its ideals, and I’d like to point out that even these ideals, imperfect as they are, are being attacked by the U.S. government. Yes, the very governments that constantly extol democracy and claim that extending it overseas justifies their intrusive foreign policies, these governments are busy at home attacking even their own imperfect democracy. As one among many possible expressions of these democratic ideals, here is a quote by the editors of the journal named Journal of Democracy. They made this statement in their very first issue in 1990:

“No doubt the question of the definition of democracy will be a subject of some discussion in these pages. It is a discussion we wish to encourage, not to foreclose. As a starting point, however, we would define democracy as a system of government with three essential features: (1) meaningful, extensive, and peaceful competition among individuals and organized groups for all effective positions of government power through regular, free, and fair elections; (2) highly inclusive and genuinely independent political participation in the selection of leaders and policies, such that no significant adult group is excluded; and (3) a high level of civil and political liberties — freedom of speech, religion, opinion, and information; freedom of peaceable assembly; freedom to form and join organizations; and equal protection and due process under the impartial rule of law — sufficient to ensure the integrity of political competition and participation and the accountability of the rulers to the people.”

Does anyone doubt that these conditions do not hold in America? Does anyone doubt that these conditions hold less fully today than in the past? Does anyone doubt that the U.S. government has imposed measures that have worsened the democracy as judged by these ideals? America’s government has become less and less democratic according to its own ideals as expressed above, and the government itself has helped make this happen. For an example of argument to this effect, see here. The latter source says nothing about the government’s attacks on freedom of the press and speech, on whistleblowers, and on assembly. Nothing about police and government spying, the destruction of due process, and the police state. Nothing about the two-party control of politics. Nothing about oligarchy in America. Nothing about the prison system gulag for victimless “crimes”.


10:56 am on August 21, 2014