The Collapse of Western Democracy

by Paul Craig Roberts

Democracy no longer exists in the West. In the US powerful private interest groups, such as the military-security complex, Wall Street, the Israel Lobby, agribusiness and the extractive industries of energy, timber and mining, have long exercised more control over government than the people. But now even the semblance of democracy has been abandoned.
In the US Donald Trump has won the Republican presidential nomination. However, Republican convention delegates are plotting to deny Trump the nomination that the people have voted him. The Republican political establishment is showing an unwillingness to accept democratic outcomes.
The people chose, but their choice is unacceptable to the establishment which intends to substitute its choice for the people’s choice.
Do you remember Dominic Strauss-Kahn? Strauss-Kahn is the Frenchman who was head of the IMF and, according to polls, the likely next president of France. He said something that sounded too favorable toward the Greek people. This concerned powerful banking interests who worried that he might get in the way of their plunder of Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Italy. A hotel maid appeared who accused him of rape. He was arrested and held without bail. After the police and prosecutors had made fools of themselves, he was released with all charges dropped. But the goal was achieved. Strauss-Kahn had to resign as IMF director and kiss goodbye his chance for the presidency of France.
Curious, isn’t it, that a woman has now appeared who claims Trump raped her when she was 13 years old.
Consider the political establishment’s response to the Brexit vote. Members of Parliament are saying that the vote is unacceptable and that Parliament has the right and responsibility to ignore the voice of the people.
The view now established in the West is that the people are not qualified to make political decisions. The position of the opponents of Brexit is clear: it simply is not a matter for the British people whether their sovereignty is given away to an unaccountable commission in Brussels.
Martin Schulz, President of the EU Parliament, puts it clearly: “It is not the EU philosophy that the crowd can decide its fate.”
The Western media have made it clear that they do not accept the people’s decision either. The vote is said to be “racist” and therefore can be disregarded as illegitimate.
Washington has no intention of permitting the British to exit the European Union. Washington did not work for 60 years to put all of Europe in the EU bag that Washington can control only to let democracy undo its achievement.
The Federal Reserve, its Wall Street allies, and its Bank of Japan and European Central Bank vassals will short the UK pound and equities, and the presstitutes will explain the decline in values as “the market’s” pronouncement that the British vote was a mistake. If Britain is actually permitted to leave, the two-year long negotiations will be used to tie the British into the EU so firmly that Britain leaves in name only.
No one with a brain believes that Europeans are happy that Washington and NATO are driving them into conflict with Russia. Yet their protests have no effect on their governments.
Consider the French protests of what the neoliberal French government, masquerading as socialist, calls “labor law reforms.” What the “reform” does is to take away the reforms that the French people achieved over decades of struggle. The French made employment more stable and less uncertain, thereby reducing stress and contributing to the happiness of life. But the corporations want more profit and regard regulations and laws that benefit people as barriers to higher profitability. Neoliberal economists backed the takeback of French labor rights with the false argument that a humane society causes unemployment. The neoliberal economists call it “liberating the employment market” from reforms achieved by the French people.
The French government, of course, represents corporations, not the French people.
The neoliberal economists and politicians have no qualms about sacrificing the quality of French life in order to clear the way for global corporations to make more profits. What is the value in “the global market” when the result is to worsen the fate of peoples?
Consider the Germans. They are being overrun with refugees from Washington’s wars, wars that the stupid German government enabled. The German people are experiencing increases in crime and sexual attacks. They protest, but their government does not hear them. The German government is more concerned about the refugees than it is about the German people.
Consider the Greeks and the Portuguese forced by their governments to accept personal financial ruin in order to boost the profits of foreign banks. These governments represent foreign bankers, not the Greek and Portuguese people.
One wonders how long before all Western peoples conclude that only a French Revolution complete with guillotine can set them free.


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Jul 3, 2016 3:47 AM

The article’s frustration echoes, yet an echo is all it is. The lies and deceit that surround us render even the above questionable. Our instincts are correct yet who is brave enough to follow such? I applaud the author for stating what is plain, it should continue, even the smallest contribution can foster a change. ¡Viva la Revolución!

Jul 3, 2016 12:44 AM

Reblogged this on Susanna Panevin.

Johnny Hacket
Johnny Hacket
Jul 2, 2016 11:23 PM

 The German people are experiencing increases in crime and sexual attacks.
I wonder where this little morsel of truthiness came from , sounds like it came from the far right s play book of racist propaganda , this is the sought of shamefully nazi BS that you confront when talking to people who have never met a refugee, some what surprised to see this on a website that is usually very good , I hope we don’t now need another site to monitor the Off Guardian.

Jul 3, 2016 12:07 AM
Reply to  Johnny Hacket

..you took some in and know, right?

Johnny Hacket
Johnny Hacket
Jul 3, 2016 1:09 AM
Reply to  ThomasT

I know lots of refugees , they seem like normal everyday people fleeing a war zone to me , what do they appear like to you ? a threat ?

Jul 3, 2016 7:04 AM
Reply to  Johnny Hacket

“I know lots of refugees , they seem like normal everyday people fleeing a war zone to me….”
I ask–because you’re very vague : how many is “lots of refugees”? And, how do you “know” them? These aspects matter.
I would say that in any group of a thousand “everyday people” ( fleeing a war-zone or not) you’ll have a typical number of petty thieves, con artists, drug dealers/users, traffickers of all manner if illicit goods, trained militia members whose objective is to enter along with the truly needy mass and set up projects of indiscriminate murder and mayhem–and among these, goodness gracious me! there are almost certainly some men who’d regard any easily vulnerable young woman in the host nation as fair game.
And all of that is due to the fact that large groups of “normal everyday people” also contain the bad and the ugly along with the good.
But there’s another factor at work here and it’s VERY important. Do you seriously inagine that, among many hundreds of thousands of desperate people fleeing a war, that those who are crowded at the front of the mass are predominantly the moral cream of the crop? Would it surprise you that the group which is most ruthless–the most talented in lying, cheating, stealing and in general having zero consideration for anyone except themselves have pushed their way past many others who don’t share this moral depravity?

I know good people have come through hell to find refuge in Europe because I, too,  have met some of them .

But as for most of the few hundred people with whom I’ve lived in daily contact for the past year (only a dozen or a score of these being actual war refugees as far as I am aware–the rest being simply economic immigrant refugees looking for something better than what was possible at home in Albania, Romania, Bulgaria, Chechnya, the Ukraine, etc.) the great majority of them I would not trust out of my eyesight. They are shameless cheaters, liars, thieves, fences for stolen goods, drug addicts and dealers—and they demonstrate every day that they have no consideration for anyone except themselves and their own close cliques.

Jul 3, 2016 1:35 PM
Reply to  proximity1

You need to avoid generalisations. The migrant crisis is not about nice people suffering an influx of nasty people. It’s a complex socio-economic issue that needs to be addressed with maturity and nuance.

Jul 3, 2016 2:53 PM
Reply to  proximity1

It’s hard to believe that the first refugees who fled from war invested or poor countries are liars and thieves as you are claiming here. Actually it’s more likely to be opposite. In WWII when the jews were fledding from Germany, it were the rich and educated who first fled, like Einstein, Freud, Adorno and so on and so forth. Which was good for countries like the US and the UK. It brought them brains and money.
But of course if your possibly unknown intention is to find a scapegoat for the turmoil that the world is in, then refugees are a perfect choice. They have no Rights, live in a foreign country which is completely different as compared with their own in culture, language, climate. They live in concentration Camps (we euphimistically call them refugee Camps) or if they are lucky are given a place in a neighbourhood by a government where nobody else wants to live, and they are constantly afraid that one day they have to return to their country which is supposed to be save. They are outlaws and treated by many as scum. They have no social security whatsoever, unless people from the country that they fled to help them (which I do and many others too, which is actually very easy and satisfying to do and gives you much hope and evidence that humanity is good).
Remember Sarajevo? – Still surrounded by mine-fields and that is supposed to be a safe place. How do you think people in Fallujah have to live? Or Aleppo? Or Benghazi? You know, the places we ‘liberated’ for the Iraqi, Libyan and Syrian people?
What is more: Liars and thieves don’t have a lot to get in Europe. Actually, places where they can become millionaires are to be found in Libya, Iraq and Syria where they can trade in stolen oilfields with governments who are paying our pensions. See?
It is propaganda to believe that the refugees are stealing from us. Pretty handy for governments who do not want to acknowledge that the turmoil the EU and US are in, is their own fault. And instead of acknowledging that the main problem is that we’re broke and artificially hold the stocks high, as otherwise pensionfunds will go empty, meaning that the elderly will go broke, governments and their media put the scapegoat on refugees. This is a very old trick and it is just striking that you bought it as if it is true.

Dave Hansell
Dave Hansell
Jul 3, 2016 1:02 PM
Reply to  Johnny Hacket

You’ve called it spot on in regard to the final sentence of your comment Johnny Hackett. The amount of over excited hyperbole and shoddy analysis passing itself as journalism on this site is certainly reminiscent of the poor quality standards which represents the Guardian. This also goes for the BTL comments.
The poster Proximity makes a valid point but couches it in exclusive to one group terms rather than recognising that it’s validity is a general one and that it is not possible to put boundaries around one group and remain an honest point.
Essentially what proximity is recognising is that refugees and migrants have the right to be viewed not as a single homogenous entity but as people containing arseholes. Where he, and those controlling this site fall down is that they treat this group they define as “the people” as a single homogenous group. A group defined here as made up entirely of progressive, kind, honest, reasonable, rational etc people. In short, the self same view as you have been castigated for in regard to refugees and migrants by, for example, Proximity. This poster, and they are clearly not alone, either has not yet made the connection that “the people” have the right to be regarded as containing arseholes just as refugees have the right to be viewed as containing arseholes, or they, along with what seems to be the party line on this site, are not being honest.
Similarly, in regard the EU vote of “the people” , the article the other day with the two writers who I have to concede I’ve never encountered or heard of (maybe that’s down to my ignorance, but then again there are countless numbers of people I’ve never encountered or heard of) makes a similer glaring error. The house line of this site is that the EU is unreformable. OK, that could be a point of argument but to dwell on that misses the key point here that the same is also the case about the British State and it’s neo feudal establishment. There is no problem, for example, with the notion that the EU is at present undemocratic.
However, the majority of those classified as “the people”, who have been abandoned in England to neo liberalism by all the main Westminster establishment parties, who argue this point have absolutely no intention of democratically reforming the British State. They have no time for democratic arguments about replacing our non democratically elected Head of State, or reforming the feudal undemocratic House of Lords, or tackling the unwritten constitution with a proper written one and a bill of rights, or reforming the electoral system to tackle the two party cartel. Such notions are shouted down as “lefty nonsense” and worse.
In the same vein, any talk of replacing any protective legislation incorporated into British law from 40 years of EU membership with similar standards is dismissed in the same manner. Employment protection, privacy from state intrusion, consumer protection, human rights, environmental protection, gay rights, equal rights, health and safety etc etc etc, all “lefty” issues. And I ‘m sorry to say, of those two writers the other day the first one got it right and the second, with his wishy washy analysis along the lines of “this CAN happen and “this COULD lead to so and so”, is calling it wrong. It says Daz on’t side of buses, but they don’t sell soap powder.
Reforming the British State is a non starter. Which is why two things are now happening. One which I do not agree with but can fully comprehend the rationale is the demonstrations in England for a second referendum. That should not happen. But this site should have no complaints about that because the driving force behind that call for many people is the realisation that the alliance of forces between the British neo liberal and neo feudal establishment and those defined as “the people” here will not reform the British State along progressive and democratic lines. Nor will they have any truck with evidence based policy on anything from working time through to environmental protection.
Those who try to bring evidence based analysis to the table are essentially treated as insufficiently English. Thus a large proportion of the population who are not considered “the people” are looking around for a lifeboat. It will be interesting to watch the dialectical contortions required to fit those 16 million into a homogenous box labelled “Establishment.” Which takes us to the second issue which is Scotland, whose “the people” and communities were also abandoned as having nowhere else to go. They have chosen a different type of nationalism to “the people” in England and “the people” who voted for Trump. An inclusive civic, tolerant, rational nationalism which looks outwards towards our responsibilities for each other compared to the inward, xenophobic, intolerant, and downright ignorant post truth, anti rational nationalism of the homogenous “people” who are currently going around insisting ‘we’ve got our country back,” “we won you lost” and who look at Scotland only to complain they have free prescriptions and no university fees with a view to removing that from them rather than voting for Westminster politicians who will end austerity and give the same rights to the English and Welsh.
It’s called analysis. It’s what the Guardian has failed to do and what this sight aimed to provide. On the showing in recent weeks and months the evidence is that off guardian needs an awful lot of target practice.

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig
Jul 3, 2016 5:00 PM
Reply to  Johnny Hacket

PCR did not say that all refugees are rapists any more than he said all rapists are refugees. It is, however, unfortunately true that there is a subculture of this among some of the recent refugees, who ganged up to attack to German women in large numbers over New Year’s. That is a fact, like it or not. It is also a fact that both the police and the MSM initially tried to conceal these events from the German public, probably for fear that it would lead them to question Merkel’s refugee decision. It was only because of the internet, through which assault/rape victims spread their story, that the German government and media eventually had cave and admit that the New Year’s Eve celebrations had not been ‘problem free’ after all, as they had initially claimed.
The truth is the truth; in and of itself, it is neither left-wing nor right-wing. How we respond to the way things are could be described and left-wing or right-wing, perhaps. But in order to respond in an effective manner, we must first know the truth, whatever it may be. In a free and democratic society, the government and the media have no business and no right to conceal information from the voting public, just because it might make them look bad. This is very Orwellian stuff, and I’m not using that term lightly. This is a good example of why alt-media exist, and why we need sites like the Off-Guardian.
“In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
– George Orwell

Brian Harry, Australia
Brian Harry, Australia
Jul 2, 2016 10:35 PM

The first paragraph says it all. The “most powerful nation on Earth”, the USA, has already been infiltrated from within, and control taken from “the people”. If the current Presidential campaign is not the final warning to the American people(with two imbeciles vying for the job of President) that they need to revolt against NeoCons and Zionists who have seized control of the Government, then God help America.

Jul 2, 2016 10:26 PM

Guillotines can’t come soon enough – but I’d be quite happy to use a rope and a lamp-standard on these people. Less mess to clean up.

Kenneth Lindemere
Kenneth Lindemere
Jul 2, 2016 9:13 PM

“One wonders how long before all Western peoples conclude that only a French Revolution complete with guillotine can set them free.” Not too long, one hopes, although given the damage that they’ve done to the world’s ecosystems in their venal quests we’re most likely too late anyway.