Language, including the meaning of words, is a collective key into human consciousness and self definition. A key whose ability to unlock and define reality, may be in part designed unknowingly by someone other than oneself. This difference in perception between self intention and actual real world effects, has dramatic repercussion for our democratic institutions.
Democracy has been atrophying for multiple reasons, some of which apply to many citizens lack of interest. The reasons for public apathy are varied. Often nonparticipating citizens express a futility over the meaning or relevance of their own vote. The government “of, by and for the people.”, as Abraham Lincoln put it, will fall away if people do not participate, or their participation is manipulated into directions only serving separate interest.
There are systemic exploitative interest under our current social/economic/cultural paradigm, that have the position and desire to undo our liberal institutions. They are doing so. They adapt to take advantage of low voter turnout, even to the extent of seeking to retard voting in some segments of the population. The poor, and for whatever reason, societies alienated, are the targets of voter suppression strategies mostly carried out by the political right.
The tried and true strategy of divide and conquer is as effective as ever. The best way for divide and conquer to operate stealthily is subconsciously, but with the wedge issue driven so called culture war, divide and conquer has gone overboard into mainstream. We are being taught how to be a nation divided against itself. The beneficiaries of this insecurity driven turmoil are; those who commandeer the issues of division, then step in to control the void in unity for their own benefits.
The liberalism implied by democracy and a free press, was the largest obstacle to exploitative and predatory interest. The very creative context that manifest democracy and freedom of expression, needed to be untied and undone, for the usual oligarchies that “rule” humankind to reassert themselves as preeminent over the rule by the population.
Word poisoning is a significant corruption of the public interest, which now relentlessly attacks democracy’s implied equalities of citizenship. I imagine that me calling democratic institutions what they are, liberalism’s hard fought offspring, will cause some to feel I, and or the calling of those institutions liberal manifestations, is wrong. The very word has been poisoned by propaganda fed as moral value or some other overriding presumed good. This is done for a reason, and it is not benign.
It is to disable democracy and responsible liberty even while using it, or calling it the conserved good to be protected. On the right, science (a word now poisoned in some minds) is likewise under attack on quite obvious predatory and religious grounds. Like the word poisoning turning useful words into conceptual thought-terminating clichéd buzzwords; by undoing scientific based objective intentioned fact seeking, all manner of untestable assumption can be placed on the “fair and balanced” playing field of perception. Democracy is unlikely to continue if lies are made equal to truth.
Listening to right wing talk and news shows is an exercise in untested assumptions parading as fact. And fact they will appear to be, to those conditioned to their kind of “truth”, as the real one. As one would expect of this strategy, it will be full of proclamations of being the truth, the facts, and whatever else fits pre-established certainty. Here I will note, unlike in those news shows, that this is all my opinion.
In the “conservative” political party particularly, things such as unions, which seek to give workers some representation in their economic lives, are thought of as things to get rid of. Yet it was unions which gave us the 8 hour day instead of 14, along with the 40 hour work week. It was unions that checked child labor and dangerous work conditions. These representative protections too, are to be erased if unions are eliminated, for there will be no entity to object to or check exploitation and abuse.
Many a free entrepreneur received their chance to be one, by the benefits prior unions have made, that allowed them to save up and create a business. Others, to buy a house. But the mind controlled are oblivious to these realities due to the propaganda fed them by self serving interest catering to the appearance seductions that an advantaged position enables. In my view, there is an entire industry catering to relieving cognitive dissonance by incessantly observing an emotional viewpoint seeing others an not as worthy as I. Just look at the politics of emotion always being fermented against others by the right. They snicker over cars, food, alleged bad qualities of freedom and justice etc., and of course, those who point this out to them. Them they call hypocritical.
Otherness is acid to Democracy
What has been going on on the so called right, is the re-framing of the words of liberalism, like freedom, to seem to imply only to certain kinds of people. Wedge issues are used to tag segments of the population as other and not us. This begins to allow identity perception to exclude others, (who one is encouraged to think), seem not to be worthy of the same rights in citizenship.
We see other religions cast into suspicion, other ethnic groups, others ideas of democracy and freedom. Democracy itself has then come to appear to not include those others we do not like or feel believe just as we do. The “attack” on gay marriage in California is an example of this taking of rights away by a segment of the population that denies the other segment its right to exist as same. The void in unity (and democracy) being commandeered by alleged family values voters fed much highly paid propaganda and moral innuendo, evidences the seductive nature of well intentioned but inherently wrong undoing of the right of citizenship because of ones opinion.
The stress generated by the fear that divide and conquer creates, allows the subconscious rationalizations to spread like wildfire over right wing megaphones and echo chambers. It is a major industry whose existence is explained as a counterbalance to liberalism. It’s intent is to destroy liberals (and liberalism), as many a right winger will profess. What they do not know, or seem to intend to not know, is that by destroying liberalism, they will undermine their own democracy and responsible freedom to the point of their own irrelevance.
Much conservatism as it is today ,”knows not what they do.”, although they certainly believe that for them at least, they are standing up for the right thing. The problematic construct is in the nature of their own identity parameters and how separation undermines democratic perception.
With the aid of the corporate model of non responsible behavior, companies with stakes in what democracy does, and what responsible freedom would be, have extra access via wealth and position, to influence the nature and appearance of societies issues. They become an institutional bias effectively against the interest of the populations will, and for the interest of the business desire to more wealth via its security issues over the public. The Bush administration was an example of manipulative doublespeak on many occasions; that our nation is meant for some of us, and not for others.This reworking of words and concepts extended so far as to the extent of ignoring the Constitution and the Rights of Man as if they were just pieces of paper to be discarded.
We seem to be unwilling to confront these issues as a culture. Whether it be by ignorance imposed or desired, denial, or an ideological confusion fostered by divide and conquer strategies, if democracy goes under, so will We The People.
Government “of, by and for the people. ” requires just that to make it true. As we are conditioned to accept social, economic and other cultural exclusions, we are being encouraged to untie the nature of the rule of law and union our nation was founded upon.
The soul of our Common Union is being unlocked of its protection, a Pandora’s Box opened in its name. We are under permanent threat from within.