Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Democracy Inc.

I have few words for a recent essay of superb analysis written by Chalmers Johnson on a book by Sheldon Wolin. Democracy Incorporated.

The daily news is enough, when we read that, without so much as a hint of irony, Lehman Brothers handed out millions of dollars to executives days before going down in flames, and that insolvent AIG threw a $440,000 party to celebrate the federal bailout.

As the empire is coming to a close, we are offered a hollow denouement in Obama. What a sad and meaningless victory it will be for the first Black American to ascend to the U.S. presidency through the application of slick public relations--the Milli Vanilli of politics. No one can reach the heights of American political power without accommodating to corporate action-figure packaging.

Outrage without overt expression, reality leaks onto the glowing screen too slowly and too timidly to matter as a 90-year-old shoots herself in grief and shame in response to home foreclosure. Democracy has been evicted. The value of elections has been foreclosed. Elvis has left the building.

That political recognition of the Black community is centuries overdue offers the poignancy of a Greek tragedy to current national politics. In the last days of the American empire, we get around to a display of pretend equality to match the pretend democracy.

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