Dr. Glen T. Martin
THE DEATH OF DEMOCRACY AND THE DEATH OF THE WORLD�S FUTURE
(Published in the Roanoke Times Newspaper, 22 January 2002)
In a memo not considered important enough to publicize in the mainstream press, Attorney General John Ashcroft recently commanded the Justice Department to resist all requests under the Freedom of Information Act. And George Bush has ordered the records of all recent US. Presidents sealed from the public. Our government must operate beyond the purview of the people entirely. It is already mostly there. During the last year of the Clinton Administration, the U.S. government labeled eight million items “secret.”
Meanwhile revelations continue to surface about the US pressure on the Taliban in Afghanistan over the past several years to allow an oil pipeline to be built through their country. The Taliban refused even under the US threat of bombing. Then September 11 gave them the perfect excuse to bomb that already suffering and poverty stricken country even further back into the stone age. Several sources cite 3600 civilian casualties and millions starving and displaced from their homes into hell-hole refugee camps. Now the US is busy installing a new government friendly to US interests, that is, to building an oil pipeline through their country.
Of course, the function of the mass media in the US is to provide a cheering section for US military destruction of other peoples, and to hide the truth. But just in case the propaganda system is not effective enough, government secrecy must be increased. Under the anti-terrorist act, the millions of non-citizens in the US can be detained on “secret evidence.” The government is not required to operate in public. Whatever democracy we may have had is in shambles. But don�t think that the “watchdog” press will scream bloody murder at the destruction of democracy. That is not their job. Their job is to be cheerleaders for government policy and the big corporations who control our government.
In 1993, the press gave great hype to the US Marines landing in Somalia on a humanitarian mission to a starving country that was in political chaos. Headlines read “the US government with a heart!” There was no mention of the fact that the US government had for the previous two decades supported a brutal dictator in Somalia named Mohamed Siad Barre who destroyed his country through brutal repression while at the same time selling off the rights to nearly two thirds of the country to four giant US oil corporations: Chevron, Amoco, Phillips, and Amoco. Then after the people revolted and chaos ensued, the Marines were sent in as “saviors.”
Similarly, the mainstream press has ignored the revelations of a whistle blower working for the giant military service corporation DynCorp in Bosnia. This corporation provides maintenance support for US military all over the world. In Bosnia, the whistle blower claimed to provide evidence of massive fleecing of military money through fraud (that is, of our tax money). But it is reported that what led him to finally speak out was DynCorp Executives buying 12 to 15 year old girls from neighboring countries as sex slaves and bragging to one another about the acts they were forced to perform for their middle aged owners. Researchers have documented that sex slavery and prostitution for the executives of US Corporations is a world wide multi-billion dollar business.
Money is power and that is why the US military (with half of our national budget to use in secret ways we will never know about) and US Corporations rule the world, devouring everything, raping the globe of its precious resources, destroying the environment for future generations, and paying off the mass media to be their cheerleaders and pimps. It is the same for poor countries around the world – from Somalia to Afghanistan to Yugoslavia (destroyed by the US military in 1998) to Iraq (destroyed by the US military in 1991) to East Timor (the invasion and destruction of which by Indonesia was approved by the US in 1975) to Nicaragua (whose revolution against a brutal US installed dictator was destroyed by a US created terrorist army during the 1980s).
I have some extensive personal experience with Nicaragua, having been there half a dozen times. After their revolution in 1979, there was great hope with a new economic order designed to benefit ordinary people: land reform, and a health care movement and literacy campaign for all the people. Any government that cares about its people (this is literally true), the US propaganda machine calls a “communist dictatorship.” The US mass media systematically ignored the UN supervised elections of 1983 that overwhelmingly elected the government that cared for its people back into power. We hired and equipped a terrorist army to destroy their revolution, our CIA supervisors ordering them to hit only “soft targets” (i.e. civilians). Again, silence from the US media. The US destroyed their government by 1990 and instituted a new government that cared for our multinational corporations more than the people. We call this “free trade.”
Recently, a friend sent me photos of the Managua Municipal Dump that we visited in 1996. The families, children, men and women combing the dump to survive that I saw in 1996 are today more numerous than ever. Today, sweatshops operate in “free trade zones” in Managua exploiting a starving people at misery level wages so that you and I can buy cheap clothing in our “superstores.” The wealth and power of our military destroy all who resist us world-wide while the wealth and power of our corporations buy sex slaves in Bosnia or wage slaves in Nicaragua.
That is why there is no possibility that the cruel economic blockade around the Cuban people will ever be lifted unless the government that cares about its people (the Cuban revolutionary government) is destroyed. The drive to domination brooks no opposition and a flourishing socialism in Cuba would be a beacon of light to the world�s slaves that there are alternatives to their nightmare existence. I have visited Cuba five times, sometimes for extended stays during which I have spoken at length with government officials and civic leaders. It is a government that cares about its people – about ending racism, sexism, inequality, exploitation and injustice. For that reason the US government (with the backing of the big corporations) is absolutely intent on destroying Cuban socialism. The so called “war on terrorism” is a perfect excuse for the US military to attack any country that represents an alternative to its system of domination and exploitation. And Cuba, a country with only the highest integrity in international affairs, has now been listed as one of its possible victims.
I recently returned from India where I was given a tour of one of the many huge slums of Mumbai. Even I was shocked at the level of misery of the tens of thousands of people living there. Jammed into tiny rooms, entire families work day after day making the products that you and I buy so inexpensively in our “superstores.” One family makes gloves, another shoes, another watch bands, another brooms, another luggage, another clothing. They get pennies per day for their endless work, sleep in the same tiny room, without water, without bathrooms or sewage, with passage ways between the sheds just wide enough for two persons to squeeze past. In Mumbai, they are not even herded into sweatshops. They sell to middle men who sell to the big corporations that are taking over India because of its cheap labor. They exist in a living hell of hunger, disease, and insecurity – hundreds of thousands of people.
This is the reason why democracy is being destroyed in the US and around the world. The goal of the US ruling class and its puppet US government is military and economic domination and exploitation of the entire world. It has nothing to do with terrorism or standing for justice or any such nonsense. But democracy could not be destroyed without out the help of their cheerleaders, the US mass media. That is why it is of utmost importance that none of the things I have mentioned here ever get reported. The people must be convinced to voluntarily give up democracy and the future of our planet.
THE RESURRECTION OF DEMOCRACY AND NEW HOPE FOR THE WORLD
The death of democracy is caused by fragmentation. Our planet is divided into absolute fragments. Democracy requires wholeness, a body politic participating in making the decisions that affect everyone. Democracy can only be universal � protecting universal human rights that belong to every citizen of our planet. There can be no wholeness in a world of international trade, communications, travel and intercourse unless it is wholeness of humankind under a single democratic constitution. Democracy cannot fully exist within nations since governments in a world of international insecurity and chaos must function in secret, which is the death of democracy. Democracy cannot exist within nations when global capital not only has the power to control governments but has the ability to travel elsewhere should any government attempt to control or limit its destructive practices. But the Earth already has its Magna Carta for wholeness and democratic integrity. The Constitution for the Federation of Earth has been ready since 1991 for ratification by the people and nations of the earth. It is publicly available on the world wide web.
The first dimension of our present fragmentation is a global economic system predicated on absolute winners and losers. This system t allows vast concentrations of wealth and power that, we have seen, have immense capacity to exploit and enslave people around the globe in the service of ever greater wealth and power. We have seen that money is power, under this system, to buy the votes of legislators, to buy high priced lawyers to evade the law, to buy lucrative military contracts, to buy human beings as sex slaves, to buy untold millions of poor and starving people as wage slaves. The Constitution for the Federation of Earth is predicated on the wholeness of humanity and initiates a new economic order that replaces fragmentation with the rule of democratically legislated law protecting the most vulnerable from victimization by the rich and powerful and regulating economic life for the benefit of the planetary environment and the welfare of future generations.
`The second dimension of our fragmentation today is a planet divided into 189 “absolute” sovereign territorial nation-states. This makes people think of their national self-interest before the good of humanity. It makes people think of “them versus us,” of developing military and intelligence secrecy, of low intensity and high intensity struggles against other nations conceived of as enemies or victims. It puts governments at odds with other governments and creates a world order where military power and not justice determines the outcome. The Constitution for the Federation of Earth binds all the nations into a whole, a federation under a duly elected Parliament comprised of a House of Peoples and a House of Nations. For the first time in history, a governmental authority can represent of interests of all peoples and nations fairly within the whole of a democratic world order. Nations� rights are preserved to the extent that every nation may choose it own economic, political and social order consistent with the universal human rights guaranteed by the Constitution. But nations are now demilitarized and disputes are settled by the world court system under the equitable rule of law applied to all. Economic might and military power no longer dominate and destroy the weaker in pursuit of their fragmented self-interest.
The third dimension of fragmentation in today�s world involves the chaos of partial identities and group egoisms preventing people from recognizing others around the globe as fully human and deserving of equal treatment before the law. Racist, sexist, religious, ethnic, class and nationalistic hatreds and conflicts tear our world apart. It is easy for people who identify with one race or nation to bomb dark skinned people, to ignore the misery of yellow skinned people, to stereotype the religious faith of Moslem peoples, etc. The Constitution for the Federation of Earth not only makes all this illegal, it creates for the first time in human history the unity of all persons as citizens of the World Federation. For the first time, there is an enforceable legal and moral category of universal human economic and political rights, protected by law, police, the executive, the parliament and the world judiciary. People now have an incentive to identify with the diversity and rich multiplicity of all others on the planet, for those different from themselves no longer have to power to threaten or destroy them. Wholeness supercedes fragmentation and genuine democracy is made possible for the first time in human history.
The forth dimension of fragmentation in today�s world involves the mass media of the world who are inevitably loyal to those fragments that are the source of their livelihood (the corporations) and those nations in which they operate. It is only human (all too human) that the mass media in the United States are loyal to its government and economic system to the exclusion of universal human welfare and the future of the planet. It is only natural and all too human that they are complicit in the death of democracy and the destruction of the future of our planet which is inevitable under the current system of global fragmentation. A Constitution for the entire Earth would transform all that precisely because genuine democracy allows people to begin identifying with the good of the whole and not with some fragment. The divisive power of great wealth, of territorial governments and of group egoisms is vastly diminished within the framework of just, democratically legislated law over everybody. A great liberation could take place for the mass media. They could now really begin to fulfill their traditional theoretical role as watchdogs of democracy and the common good � precisely because for the first time in history there would really be a legally recognized wholeness and common good for humanity.
Under the present world system of irreconcilable fragments, there is indeed no hope either for democracy or the future of our precious planet. But a simple very logical step forward in our moral and intellectual lives could transform all that forever. It is a very small step to the next level of human existence on planet Earth, the level in which we recognize every person on the planet as fully human and act to legally protect their humanity within the framework of a democratic Constitution. The Constitution for the Federation of Earth is the Magna Carta of our day. It is a brilliant document, designed by some of the finest minds of our time, and directed explicitly to preserving diversity within a new framework of wholeness and addressing the global crises of the environment, militarism, the population explosion and global poverty and misery. It doing so it eliminates of root causes of hatred and terrorism as well as the fragmentation that induces national arrogance and militarism. For genuine democracy can only exist, as all thoughtful persons know, in a world that combines authentic peace with global justice. Only a democratic constitution for the entire earth can resurrect our dying democratic traditions and provide hope for the future of our endangered planet.