By Robert A. Vella

In a recent post on this blog detailing how sex has become a new part of America’s growing cultural divide, fellow blogger conartistocracy wrote the following insightful and exceptionally aware comment:

Sex has always been weaponised against women – many women, myself included avoid situations where we might be alone with a man after the experience of being sexually harassed/assaulted. But it seems to always be used as an opportunity to attack your reputation.
What is only dawning on people now is that sex can also be weaponised against men. In Denis Lehaine’sauto biography “Unperson: A Life Destroyed” an upcoming journalist who refused to work for MI5 was viciously slandered by previous girlfriends who accused him of rape. By extension no normal heterosexual man who enters into any normal concensual relationship is immune from this type of attack on his reputation. For that matter any man working with children, such as teachers can also have their lives destroyed by false accusations.
Women have customarily exercised caution with men, but when false allegations become widespread against men, – with women, or working with children – men back away from the situation leaving women and children more vulnerable and isolated.
If our society was being run by pimps and traffickers this fragmentation would be intentional. Historically slave owners broke the connection between men protecting their families and women and children in order to maximise exploitability.

Today, the blogger shared an article titled The Shock Doctrine – Naomi Klein: A Review.  Here’s a poignant excerpt:

Based on the economic ideology of Milton Friedman and married to the torture and methods of psychological warfare conducted by the CIA, disaster capitalism is the exploitation of natural and artificial catastrophes for the financial gain of a small corporate elite.

Among people who agree that the root cause of America’s societal decline in this tumultuous 21st century lays at the feet of corporate greed, laissez-faire capitalism, neoliberalism, and the systematic dismantling of democracy by corporatist practices, the debate typically centers around whether or not it was intentional.  Those in the dwindling pragmatic middle – moderates, centrists, and pro-establishment types – believe it was all just the result of incidental consequence, an unfortunate but unavoidable product of technological progress.  Those on the ideological left and right – progressives, libertarians, and more extremist factions – are more inclined to believe that America’s decline was not only intentional, but that it was the result of a conspiracy perpetrated by a clan of ruling globalist elites.

For me, this debate is – for all practical purposes – irrelevant.  Even if a grand conspiracy was true, there would be little chance for any of us among the ‘unwashed masses’ to prove it.  Instead, I place blame squarely on where it is most justly deserved – on We the People of the United States.

What do I mean by such a broad statement?  Let me offer you some historical quotes which might help explain.

Every nation gets the government it deserves.” – Savoyard lawyer, diplomat, writer, and philosopher, Joseph-Marie, comte de Maistre

False opinions are like false money, struck first of all by guilty men and thereafter circulated by honest people who perpetuate the crime without knowing what they are doing.” – also by de Maistre

Ignorance is not bliss, and it can have the gravest of consequences.

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” – Thomas Jefferson

And, I’ll conclude with quotes from another of America’s founding fathers and former presidents, John Adams:

To believe all men honest is folly. To believe none is something worse.

“I might have exhibited as many millions of plebeians sacrificed by the pride, folly, and ambition of their fellow-plebeians and their own, in proportion to the extent and duration of their power. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. It is in vain to say that democracy is less vain, less proud, less selfish, less ambitious, or less avaricious than aristocracy or monarchy. It is not true, in fact, and nowhere appears in history. Those passions are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty. When clear prospects are opened before vanity, pride, avarice, or ambition, for their easy gratification, it is hard for the most considerate philosophers and the most conscientious moralists to resist the temptation.”

Conveniently, authoritarians like to interpret Adams’ remarks as a condemnation of democracy;  but, that isn’t what he meant.  Rather, Adams was warning Americans against the failings of human nature – both in the intentions of ambitious men (and women) and the overly simplistic tendency of a populace to see such ambitious men as innately good or evil.  For the truly enlightened, no such moral purity exists.

“Never stop learning.  Never assume knowledge not in your possession.  Never completely trust your instincts nor your intuition.  You are only human.  Humility is not a vice, and arrogance is not a virtue.” – the author

13 thoughts on “Where lays the fault of America’s failing democracy?

  1. Well done, Robert! Adams’ remarks make a lot of sense – there is no system that’s intrinsically evil, but there are such men in every system conceivable. I think our best hope is to work to save democracy. In such a system, we have many rights guaranteed. An absolute monarchy or totalitarian dictatorship eliminate personal freedom. The free exchange of ideas on forums such as this would die.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Excellent piece.
    No human artifice does not fail at some point. It feeds on itself and at some point dies. It may have a long life but eventually dies. Adams’ remark is one that we should all remember at all times.
    And I agree with the closing paragraph by the author. Humility is not a vice.

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  3. Outstanding post Robert! And I love Naomi Klein! I find I agree with her on most all of her subjects.

    Along the lines of Klein’s viewpoints and critiques, in the 6-8 months leading up to our 2016 elections — county, municipal, state & national — I purchased two Bestsellers by Nobel Prize winners in Economics, Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman. I deeply wanted to better understand ALL the modern dynamics involved in our highly complex “free-market” system. No surprise, I wasn’t disappointed! Stiglitz and Krugman corroborate much/most of Klein’s assertions (proofs). Alex de Tocqueville noticed in 1835 what is still a pressing issue today, that freedom (or individualism) can be a tricky balancing act within democracy. At some point everyone has to become purely and simply HUMAN, embracing the fact that looking after the welfare of others is not only good for the soul, but is equally good for business and wealth! From Stiglitz’s book The Price of Inequality,:

    The top 1 percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live. Throughout history, this has been something that the top 1 percent eventually do learn. Often, however, they learn it too late.

    I’ll close with John F. Kennedy…

    If a free society cannot help the many that are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

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  4. Would it be OK if I cross-posted this article to WriterBeat.com? I’ll be sure to give you complete credit as the author. There is no fee; I’m simply trying to add more content diversity for our com5munity and I enjoyed reading your work. If “OK” please let me know via email.



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