Where Is Democracy?
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 4 Feb 2019
1 Feb 2019 – In the past few months we have a tale of two elections.
In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, after a difficult election campaign (described in CPNN), there is serious reason to believe that the election results were fixed to favor a candidate favorable to the huge mining interests in that country. Although the African Union and the catholic churches of the Congo have questioned the results, none of the major powers of Europe, North America, etc. have spoken up.
The opposite has occurred with regard to the election results last year in Venezuela. All of the major powers of Europe and North America and their allies have claimed that the election results were fraudulent and they have announced their support for the losing candidate. He just happens to support the major capitalist interests in the huge petroleum industry of that country, unlike the President who claimed the election victory.
Not only do the governments of the major capitalist countries take these positions, but the major mass media follows the government lines.
This is not new.
In recent years we saw the “successful” overthrow of the President of Libya (put “successful” in quotation marks, because the country has been in chaos ever since). Was it by accident that Libya has major oil exports or that the overthrown President was a major financial supporter of the African Union?
And we have seen the unsuccessful, but extremely bloody attempt to overthrow the President of Syria.
Where is democracy? It seems to be held hostage to neo-colonialism, the continued exploitation of minerals and oil from the poor countries of Latin America and Africa and manipulation of the goverments in those countries to allow this exploitation. Although the mainstream media did not cover their remarks, several countries addressed this in the recent meeting of the UN Security Council called by the United States to gain UN support to overthrow the Venezuelan government.
The delegate from Cuba said that the current United States Administration appears to have “dusted off the Monroe Doctrine”, and in a fresh extension of imperialism in the region, gone so far as to say that all options are on table. And the delegate from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines recalled that the history of Latin America and the Caribbean is indelibly scarred by military interventions and imposition of dictator Governments.
Let us not forget Salvador Allende!
To further understand the process, we can go over 50 years to the precise analysis of neo-colonialism that was made by the Kwame Nkrumah, the President of Ghana. I have quoted his analysis extensively in my History of the Culture of War. Here are some excerpts:
“Faced with the militant peoples of the ex-colonial territories in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America, imperialism simply switches tactics. Without a qualm it dispenses with its flags, and even with certain of its more hated expatriate officials. This means, so it claims, that it is ‘giving’ independence to its former subjects, to be followed by ‘aid’ for their development. Under cover of such phrases, however, it devises innumerable ways to accomplish objectives formerly achieved by naked colonialism. It is this sum total of these modern attempts to perpetuate colonialism while at the same time talking about ‘freedom’, which has come to be known as neo-colonialism.
“Foremost among the neo-colonialists is the United States, which has long exercised its power in Latin America. Fumblingly at first she turned towards Europe, and then with more certainty after world war two when most countries of that continent were indebted to her. Since then, with methodical thoroughness and touching attention to detail, the Pentagon set about consolidating its ascendancy, evidence of which can be seen all around the world.
Who really rules in such places as Great Britain, West Germany, Japan, Spain, Portugal or Italy? . . . Lurking behind such questions are the extended tentacles of the Wall Street octopus. And its suction cups and muscular strength are provided by a phenomenon dubbed ‘The Invisible Government’, arising from Wall Street’s connection with the Pentagon and various intelligence services …”
In the culture of war, democracy is fragile and expendable. But the culture of war is also fragile and will eventually crash. When it crashes, we will have the chance to establish a new system with a culture of peace and a democracy that is sustainable. But how can this be done?
Dr. David Adams is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment and coordinator of the Culture of Peace News Network. He retired in 2001 from UNESCO where he was the Director of the Unit for the UN International Year for the Culture of Peace. Previously, at Yale and Wesleyan Universities, he was a specialist on the brain mechanisms of aggressive behavior, the history of the culture of war, and the psychology of peace activists, and he helped to develop and publicize the Seville Statement on Violence. Send him an email.
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