The study by Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page is the first-ever comprehensive scientific research into whether the U.S. is really a democracy. The answer appears to be “ No!” “Despite the seemingly strong empirical support in previous studies for theories of majoritarian democracy, it says, our analyses suggest that majorities of the American public actually have little influence over the policies our government adopts”.
Dr. Mark Mason:
I think we have more than one crisis. We are all aware of the urgent calling from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change from the UN. They released a report again urging us that we must take an immediate action on global warming and carbon. And we have the international crisis that has to do with international relations. There is another crisis. The Congo is a region of intense and immense human suffering, and they are not alone.
As global citizens we are all aware that we have real serious issues to deal with. And yet, we need to take the time, to pause and to talk about, and to consider the big questions – democracy, do we want a democracy, do we have a democracy?
I appreciate the opportunity to talk to you to present questions that we are not asking. What is the public good? Where are we going? Do the political and social institutions serving the interests that we want? Are they producing the kind of world that we want to see? And I think many of us guess that we are not producing the kind of world that we want.
The structure of the American government has never been a democracy. The purpose of the Electoral College is to distance the people from the direct election of the President of the United States. The purpose of the Constitution, as it was constructed, was to create a body of the Senate and the President, who were effectively representing the interests of the wealthy landowners of the United States.
But more of a concern than that is the funding that basically controls the elections. We have a plutocracy. It is a government that is run by the rich and oligarchy, and money buys elections.
Is there any middle way which could prevent us from going to extremes, either to ochlocracy or to the rule of the richest people?
It seems to me that the answer to political systems that are failed democracies or labeled democracies, and then there are dysfunctional democracies, the solution to it is more democracy, not less. We have a long history of autocratic governments and to this day they all serve the interests of a tiny elite. The parliamentary system, the so-called representative system of government around the planet represents the interests of a tiny wealthy elite.
The failure that we have is the tyranny of the minority. We don’t know what a democracy is. We are not even allowed to experiment with democratic political institutions. These so-called democratic parliamentary systems of Western Europe and the US are fraudulent institutions. The US has a banking aristocracy and the US is no more democratic than Saudi Arabia is; it is a total fraud. And the people are becoming aware that the failed system is that not that we have too much democracy, but that we don’t have any.
The US is just another horrendous British empire. We are ruled by aristocratic bankers, we don’t have a democracy, we are told who is going to run the country. And the President of the US is told by bankers and by military industrial contractors what to do.
You’ve mentioned something which you termed as “the public good”. Is it something which the authorities use to keep people preoccupied with to prevent public protests? Or is it something more substantial?
In the US it is anything expect for bringing people together in a sense of community to discuss the public good. The very last thing politicians and the US political elite want the American public to do, is to talk to each other about things that matter in our daily lives. The public policies, as produced by the US Congress and the President of the US, they are far removed from what the American people want. We are isolated and atomized here. We cast votes every four years and play spectators the other four years. That’s not a democracy.