A Middle East Warning: American-Style Democracy Isnâ™t the Answer
by Ron Holland
March 12, 2011
The entire world except for government leaders and politicians are thrilled with the revolutionary spirit moving through the Middle East. The leaders of authoritarian regimes from Tunisia to Egypt have fallen and the rest are threatened in every nation in the region. It is my hope that your brave spirit of rebellion against one party rule and foreign backed puppet governments will provide encouragement to people around the world to stand up and follow your example showing how your fear of government tyranny is over.
Most governments ultimately rule and generate tax revenue by threat and force of arms and the only difference is the degree of violence and police state actions. While here in the West, we join you in solidarity for freedom and representative government, please understand that our history over the last 100 years clearly shows how democracy isnâ™t the panacea claimed by most establishment politicians. Thomas Jefferson described democracy as nothing more than "mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine". Trust me, democracy can be just as bad and often less efficient than authoritarian dictators, fake monarchs and military rule.
Anthony Wile, chief editor of The Daily Bell has explained the problems of American, democracy better than anyone I know in his Middle East interview yesterday on Russia Today (RT) which broadcasts in English to over 100 nations around the world.
US-style regulatory democracy is a government-intensive approach that seeks to regulate almost every facet of human behavior and uses concerns for people's "safety" as a justification for tremendous authoritarianism at home and I might add for our Middle East friends, a neocon military policy of aggression, occupation and natural resource control abroad.
The representative features of democracy also have major flaws because this model allows powerful domestic special interests at home or foreign power elites to easily buy off a majority of parliament members and control the government and monetary policies of the nation state. Just as your dictators or monarchies have been controlled by Western interests allowing the pillaging of your natural resources, it is a very simple matter to buy majority control of representatives who should be representing the citizens but instead sell their souls to outside interests.
The worst problem with US-style democracy is the illusion that individuals or voters have power or control over the government. Yes, you get to vote and protest which on the surface might appear an improvement over a government structure controlled by a few at the top but this brings up the fatal weakness of regulatory and representative democracy as is practiced in Europe and the West today.
In order to create the illusion of benefits to voters, these democracies have to borrow massive amounts of money to buy votes and benefits today and most of the burdensome costs are placed on future generations. Therefore sovereign-debt-financed democracy can only exist as long as investors are willing to purchase the treasury debt obligations to finance this kind of welfare/warfare state. Heavily indebted Europe and America are now rapidly reaching the end of this fatal debt Ponzi scheme cycle as the current and future tax revenues cannot service the debt.
The end of the debt spiral is here for the western democracies and this is why the world economy is crashing and inflation is now destroying the ability of the working poor around the world to feed themselves.
The Swiss Solution
A democratic model of representative government restrained by the people is the best solution to controlling politicians at home and to insure your congress or parliament represents the citizens rather than controlled by powerful elites in foreign capitals like Washington or London. It also provides the means for citizens to control government expenditures, deficits and debt creation as well as limiting tax increases and promoting programs which benefit citizens rather than only wealthy financial interests.
In Switzerland, the people still rule and have the ultimate right to decide decisions when the executive, judicial and representative branches of government fail to act in the best interests of the nation. Through the right of referendum they can cancel legislation and with the initiative they can pass or create legislative action on issues parliament refuses to act upon. The Swiss system of direct democracy and decentralized confederation style government protects minority interests and allows different ethnic, language and religious groups to rule themselves in accord with what is best for each community and area.
The Failure of American Style Democracy
Here in America, the electorate does not have oversight over legislation and unpopular government regulations or financial bailouts like in Switzerland. Neither can we initiate legislation to balance the budget, end the deficit or control our foreign policy. We have to depend on our "elected representatives" and as a group they always let us down because private contributions canâ™t compete with organized special interests.
Imagine if 4% of the American voters signed a petition requiring a nationwide vote "yea or nay" on the banking bailouts, invading another Middle East nation, auditing the Federal Reserve or on the trillions in new Washington debt added because of the financial meltdown? The United States would still be a decentralized republic with limited government if we still had we had the political option to control Washington and the special interests.
While it may not be too late for us here in the United States to return to our first legitimate government, the Articles of Confederation, it will be a difficult task against the powerful people which rule our nation. But for you in the Middle East today who are showing those of us in the West how to stand up to tyranny, elite rule, squandered resources and massive government debts, you have an easier job. But donâ™t stop with just throwing one corrupt leader out and replacing him with another and donâ™t buy the propaganda about American-style democracy.
If our system of democracy worked, America would have a balanced budget and we wouldnâ™t be facing national bankruptcy. Our dollar would be strong, our free-market economy prosperous and we wouldnâ™t be building empires, propping up dictators, controlling your oil or invading your territory.
The first step to liberty and freedom is to be willing to confront authoritarian regimes and this is happening in every nation in the Middle East now. Just today, police in Saudi Arabia opened fire on peaceful protestors and I believe their days are numbered. The House of Saud is just like all other authoritarian regimes held together by force but ultimately built only on sand which the tides of a people organized can overthrow.
Donâ™t exchange one dictator for another, one monarch for another or a one-party rule for another one just as controlled by foreign interests or domestic elites as you have today. You see, here in the United States, we throw the bums out every 2 and 4 years without ever changing anything. Donâ™t make the two mistakes we have made.
Build your system of government based on the successful Swiss model of Confederation government which gives the people the right to create and cancel legislation and laws when your legislative body or leaders fail to follow the majority will of the people. Today, forms of direct democracy, referendums and decentralized government like in Switzerland can easily be created using Facebook and other social media.
You have organized your freedom efforts with social media and these new internet tools can also be used to control a government you establish. Second, after 100 years of foreign intervention and manipulation of governments and leaders in your region, the tools of the Facebook color revolutions can also work to build freedom-oriented institutions and safeguard your freedom movements from foreign intelligence actions against your efforts.
Therefore take into account your religious and cultural traditions in creating a government model and donâ™t make the expensive mistakes we have made in the West as we like you have also lost control of governments. Your success just might provide the example we need to escape our own forms of political tyranny in the rest of the world
I wish you good luck, prayers and victory in your efforts but remember democracy does not guarantee either freedom or a government controlled by the people. With regret, our loss of freedoms is proof that American-style democracy isnâ™t the answer.
Ron Holland is a contributing editor to the Swiss Mountain Vision Newsletter and Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Foundation for the Advancement of Free-Market Thinking (FAFMT) in Vaduz, Liechtenstein.
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