A reader named Eddie comments on yesterday’s blog that “t
The presentation makes the point that China has progressed remarkably in recent decades, and argues that its autocratic form of government serves the people better than democracy.
No doubt about it, American democracy is under siege. Dark forces have been unleashed to undermine the processes on which the system depends. Billionaires are concentrating their resources on subversion of the power of the vote. Republicans who dominate state legislatures are enacting laws to disenfranchise those who vote against them. “Dirty tricks” – like gerrymandering – have diluted the power of the people to decide their political destiny.
Obviously,powerful interests have – as Eddie observes – screwed the system.
But at least we know about it.
As compromised as America’s press has become, it is still free. Sometimes we have to look beyond the traditional media to find enlightenment, but we can get information if we look hard enough.
A service named Truthout, for example, reports today on a protest against the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) during its 40th anniversary conference at the Palmer House Hotel in downtown Chicago last week. ALEC is a behind-the-scenes political player funded by the billionaire Koch Brothers. For decades, this “nonprofit” organization has been developing model bills and resolutions for legislators. Naturally, these templates have been designed to further the interests of the radical right, spawning legislation to privatize public services and destroy unions, for instance. ALEC has also been responsible for such aberrations as the diabolical stand-your-ground law enacted by some 30 state legislatures.
But ALEC has been exposed, and public reaction against the organization is building. According to Truthout, “labor groups, economic justice organizations, independent artists, a few media outlets and myriad others filled the sidewalks along Monroe Street outside the Palmer House” to call attention to ALEC’s subversive activities.
The kind of subterranean skullduggery that organizations like ALEC employ to skew the democratic process relies on secrecy to be effective. When the puppet masters are seen pulling the strings, they lose their power to manipulate public policy.
No such remedy exists in China. The government controls information and muzzles protest. Good or bad, they decide what’s best for the people. And they do it in secret.
In America, we the people can still decide what’s best for us. As long as we know what’s really going on.