Sunday, December 6, 2009

our wondrous "guided democracy"!

guided democracy was a term used by the Suharto government of Indonesia to refer to its political system. this system, they claimed, was democratic, but not to a negative extreme: it was 'guided' by major institutions, namely, the army and president. there were elections, but they did not dislodge the power of the military.

the US now finds itself a 'guided democracy.' the military is setting and carrying out policy, as well as engaging in political combat -- all behind the scenes. by presenting itself as apolitical, the military finds its approval ratings much higher than the government. in fact, the military is part of the government, co-governing with Obama. the legislature, most of it anyhow, blesses this arrangement.

what is the political aim of the military complex? simply the continuation of its own cushy position, shielded from public opinion because it operates behind closed doors, and enjoying the adulation of much of the public. it acts as a hero, selflessly committed to our 'defense,' while in secret behaving like a thug, out to preserve its turf and its profits.

this street-fighter with movie star good looks has succeeded beyond its wildest dreams: a government in serious deficit is made to expand a war that in fact offers no concrete effect on the security of americans. at the same time, a long overdue effort to reform the health care system -- an effort essentially prepared in league with the corporate sectors that will benefit -- is in trouble and seems on the precipice of failure. both initiatives -- the afghan war enterprise and the health care reform -- will cost around 1 trillion. but only one of these money makers is a slam dunk.

welcome to guided democracy. this is how empires fall -- the state hijacked by the military bureaucracy and led into endless wars; the populace enfeebled, disempowered, distracted by dreams of military glory. well done, O great generals. or should i say, proconsuls?

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