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#4088: Goff on democracy and freedom
From: Stan Goff <email@example.com>
All this talk of democracy! Like freedom, it's a slippery term begging for
My own work in the US has largely been involved with something called
democratic reform, with questions of how the electoral-legislative process
is purported to work, and with how it actually plays out in the real world.
The US foreign policy establishment is exporting their definition of
"democracy," precisely because that form of technical democracy has been so
efficient at protecting the interests of our own MREs. Every four years, we
get to chose between two pre-selected corporate candidates for president,
and a slate of legislators who are members of the one corporate party with
two names. This two-party system NEEDS "the oppostion," from the standpoint
of the ruling class, because that gives them two competitors to play off
against one another. They do everything possible to prevent non-corporate,
especially populist parties, from getting into the process, with restrictive
ballot access laws, private financing of campaigns, and single-member,
winner-take-all districts (as opposed to proportional representation).
What our foreign policy establishment in Haiti has attempted is to
"construct" is an "oppostion," one with no popular support, then to try and
convince everyone that without an opposition, there can be no democracy.
There continues to be a problem, however. The Haitians have seen the goods
delivered by the US for quite some time, and they haven't bought it. All
the "opposition" parties in Haiti right now could hold a convention in a
Teleco station, because they have no popular support. So this re-definition
becomes ever more crucial to the US establishment and their comprador
surrogates in Haiti, because it's all they have left to try and discredit
the electoral result. "There's no 'opposition', so there's no 'democracy'."
It's the fallback plan.
It's the old conflation/re-definition trick that has managed to make
democracy and capitalism synonymous in popular discourse in the US, even
with the glaring contradiction in the same discourse that the political
sphere can somehow be separated from the economic. It's chicanery, pure and
simple. Haitians can spot bunko a mile away.
Fanmi won. They will win again, if the laboratory and the macoutes don't
make an alliance again to tear everything up. They won, because the
majority of the population has invested its hope in Aristide. Sorry to
disappoint some of you, but that IS democratic. No one said the result had
to satisfy the international financial oligarchy, even though that's what's
between the lines when you listen to the drumbeat of demonization taking
place right now.
I'm giggling, too.
I'm tickled to death at how the whole scheme that's been imposed on Latin
America and the Caribbean has been predicated on setting up these
phony-baloney systems of consenual domination, and the Haitians are not
That's why I love Haiti. Nothing to do with charm. I can be charmed in a