One recent study of 98 countries outside the West found that 51 of them either prohibit or restrict foreign funding of civil society, with a clear global trend toward tightening control; as a result, international democracy-assistance flows are dropping precipitously where they are needed most. In addition, authoritarian (and even some democratic) states are becoming more resourceful, sophisticated, and unapologetic in suppressing Internet freedom and using cyberspace to frustrate, subvert, and control civil society.
- Overall, nearly one in every five democracies since the turn of this century has failed.
- An important part of the story of global democratic recession has been the deepening of authoritarianism.
- Perhaps the most worrisome dimension of the democratic recession has been the decline of democratic efficacy, energy, and self-confidence in the West, including the United States.
Democracy has been in a global recession for most of the last decade, and there is a growing danger that the recession could deepen and tip over into something much worse. Many more democracies could fail, not only in poor countries of marginal strategic significance, but also in big swing states such as Indonesia and Ukraine (again). There is little external recognition yet of the grim state of democracy in Turkey, and there is no guarantee that democracy will return any time soon to Thailand or Bangladesh. Apathy and inertia in Europe and the United States could significantly lower the barriers to new democratic reversals and to authoritarian entrenchments in many more states
===Is Democracy In Decline?, Journal of Democracy, Jan 2015
If the masses lack the knowledge and virtue necessary to govern justly, but instead are moved by irrational passions and self-interest, then they are easy prey for political leaders who can manipulate or pander to the people in order to further their own ambitions. Such a government can succeed only if good leaders arise who can lead the masses into making the right decisions and can rein in their passionate self-interest.
The great Athenian statesman Solon, whose constitutional reforms laid the foundations of the democracy around 600, set the pattern for such leaders. In a fragment from his poetry, Solon wrote, “I gave the people as much privilege as they have a right to: / I neither degraded them from rank nor gave them a free hand; / and for those who already held the power and were envied for money, / I worked it out that they should have no cause for complaint.”
The masses were freed from oppression and given a stake in the government, but not the sort of expansive power that would allow them to redistribute the property of the rich to gratify their envy. This is the idealized early Athenian democracy that later critics continually hearken back to when attacking the radical democracy of the later fifth century.
Rather than the “shepherd of the people” concerned with their long-term welfare, such leaders become “worthless demagogues,” as Aristotle calls them, panderers to the people, buying their support by redistributing public money to them. As Demosthenes, the last great leader of the Athenian democracy, said in 349, this “new breed of orators” asks the people, “ ‘What would you like? What shall I propose? How can I oblige you?’ ” and as a consequence “the interests of the state have been frittered away for a momentary popularity.
For all their rhetoric of “pure democracy” and the “people’s welfare,” then, the Progressives were in embryo a modern version of the ancient tyrants who championed the people in order to aggrandize their own power, which they financed by redistributing property. Under the pressures and crises of two world wars and the Great Depression, the expansion of the federal Leviathan through the proliferation of agencies and regulations would be accompanied by the multiplication of social welfare programs that, for all their initial good intentions, would evolve into the modern equivalent of the redistribution of property with which the ancient tyrant bought the support of the masses.
The high price would be the erosion of personal freedom and self-government by coercive federal regulatory power over more and more of private and state business.
==Democracy’s Dangers & Discontents: The Tyranny of the Majority from the Greeks to Obama (Hoover Institution Press Publication) (Thornton, Bruce S.)
We can no longer treat life as something that has trickled down to us. We have to deal with it deliberately, devise its social organization, alter its tools, formulate its method, educate and control it. In endless ways we put intention where custom has reigned. We break up routines, make decisions, choose our ends, select means.
==Progressive Walter Lippmann, 1914
It is all about control, simple. Yet, blinded by the fog of propaganda and ideologically induced brain-death the American public continues to buy into the notion that the rules and regulations spewing forth from Washington are designed to protect the average citizen from the ills of the free market and the rapacious mouths of capitalism. Capitalists don’t like free markets nor competition so throw that red hearing on the pile of sewage that represents the seething memes of the controlling classes. The Crony Capitalist system America and therefore, the world operates under, is one based on costly over-regulation, government and big business/finance dictate and increasingly totally controlled and monitored by the most invasive, powerful and destructive force on this earth today–the American Police State.
It is all about power and control and to put in as simple a way as possible, the increasingly centralized and all powerful fascist government of the United States seeks to control directly every aspect of our lives–birth(Vaccines), education (Common Core Propaganda, University grants and socially controlled) and our minds through the constant stream of manipulation and lies that are infectiously reproduced by the sycophantic corporate media, whose profits and power depend entirely on the government’s favor, the food we eat (poisoned and large scale corporate), debt servitude to make us servile servants, decreasing private sector employment opportunities and increasing dependence on the State, the internet to vending machines nothing will be left that is not controlled, manipulated and observed by the government.
Your bodies and your that of your children are no longer yours. Your information, from which you falsely presume to create knowledge, is totally propagandized. Your reality is an illusion created in Washington and corporate offices. We are in the advanced stages of turning America into an Orwellian nightmare and most of America sleeps through it, drugged up on unnecessary pharmaceuticals, indentured servants to an image of a lifestyle force fed us all on every news stand and the increasingly juvenile and morally vapid televisions sets we are still glued to. Our Children are inured to the blood and pain of war through realistic video games and in the process creating the future foot soldiers of the Empire.
Believe nothing from the mouths of professional politicians on either side of the political spectrum, for to get where they are they have already sold their souls–all of them. How anyone can still believe the garbage of lies from the mainstream media boggles my mind, but most still do. Do not trust government, period! We are well past the point of no-return, past the event horizon and, at an accelerating rate, being sucked into the black hole of the most complete tyranny ever known of earth. Democracy died in America a long time ago.
And now we want to control vending machines?
It’s bad enough that the Affordable Care Act is raising premiums and deductibles—and perhaps lowering your tax refund. In addition, the ACA has given the Food and Drug Administration the power to go after your favorite vending machine. By the end of next year, according to a new FDA rule, most snack machines must have calorie counts prominently displayed, or risk removal.
Any sort of vending machines, from mixed nut machines to gumball machines, are subject to this new rule, if the operator owns twenty or more machines. The calorie declarations must be clear, conspicuous, and placed prominently on a sign in, on, or adjacent to the vending machine.
This rule would not only cost the FDA millions of dollars to implement, money that could be better spent on speeding new drugs to market or returned to the taxpayer, but it could drive many small vending machine companies out of business with little real benefit to consumers.
No matter what you hear, there is only one, ONE, reason for the governments proposed regulation of the internet and that is government control. Control of the information, control of the economics, control over every bit and byte that you receive and not for your benefit.
Chairman of the House Oversight Committee Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) demanded yesterday that the Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler make public the details of the proposed net neutrality regulations that will regulate the Internet under the same rules as the old AT&T monopoly.
Chaffetz also asked the FCC Chair to appear and answer questions at the House Oversight hearing Wednesday, prior to the planned Agency vote on the draft rules now scheduled for Thursday.
The 332-page final draft FCC order was only delivered to the four other FCC commissioners three weeks ago. When Wheeler delivered the document, he took the unusual step of issuing a “gag order” to prevent its release before the FCC vote.
The FCC was forced to revisit “net neutrality” rules because the agency’s egregious 2010 effort at writing “Open Internet Rules” was thrown out in January 2014 by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in Verizon v. FCC. Although the appeals court agreed the FCC had the authority to regulate broadband services, they rejected the FCC’s potentially biased micro-managing of the Internet.
Chairman Wheeler tried to ramrod President Obama’s net neutrality proposal through the FCC on May 15, 2014. It was understood at the time that Wheeler was trying to maximize FCC breadth for the new rules by basing the legal authority of his proposal on parts of both Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 and the Telecommunications Act of 1996. But the day before the meeting, his fellow Democratic Commissioners, Jessica Rosenworcel and Mignon Clyburn, pushed back on the rush to regulate after being bombarded by consumers who wanted to preserve an open Internet.
If Hillary Clinton, very likely the most evil and powerful woman in the world (perhaps even exceeding Merkel) has come out in favor of the FCC proposals at the very last minute, one can be damned sure that the bill will be ultimately used in a manner that enhances large corporate powers (big donors) and the final missing ingredients of total Surveillance and Police State.
Hillary Clinton lends support to the FCC’s net neutrality plan days before vote
Former Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton today came out in support of the FCC’s proposal to reclassify broadband as a utility — the cornerstone of its plan to put stronger net neutrality rules into effect. In a conversation today with Kara Swisher from Recode, Clinton said she agreed with classifying internet service providers as common carriers under Title II of the Telecommunications Act but also pointed out that there was more that could be done.
“I think that for the FCC to do what they want to do — to try to create net neutrality as the norm — they have to have a hook to hang it on,” Clinton said to Swisher. “So, they’re hanging it on Title II.” When asked whether she agreed with that “hook,” Clinton replied that “it’s the only one the’ve got.” She went on to say that “I think that if there were another hook, it would come out of a modern 21st century teleocom act. And that hasn’t happened, and it’s not likely to happen.”
Regardless of Clinton’s desire for a more comprehensive and modern telecommunications act that better accounts for the internet, she still said she’d vote for the FCC’s current proposal. “As I understand it, it’s Title II with a lot of changes in it to avoid the worst of Title II regulation,” Clinton said. “It’s a foot in the door … but it’s not the end of the discussion.”
Specifically, Clinton wants to see changes enacted around incentivizing competition, something that’s sorely lacking in the broadband market right now; more broadly, she hopes to see internet connectivity treated more as an infrastructure problem. “It’s not just net neutrality standing alone, end of debate,” Clinton said. “And that should be part of a really smart legislative endeavor, but I don’t think people believe that could happen in the short term.”
The FCC is set to vote on chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposal this Thursday, February 26th.