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March 2, 2015 / Fantelius

Fundamentalistic Dead Democracy

Fundamentalism is a young word, a little more than 100 years old, and growing. Although it still hasn’t consolidated its adult form, it has moved beyond the confines of religion. As its present character is under debate, I stipulate the sense I attach to it.

Fundamentalism is a strong mental structure of ideas not influenced by conflicting reality.

I do not agree with Albert Camus who saw it as ”philosophical suicide”, nor do I agree with the University of Edinburgh study that concluded, ”lower intelligence is most associated with higher levels of fundamentalism.” My experience indicates that a fundamentalistic structure of the mind can function independently of the intellectual capacity in general. Highly intelligent people, with good knowledge and proven analytical abilities, can develop a fundamental structure of ideas regardless of their powers of reasoning in other areas. Dostoyevsky captured the seeming paradox of a strong and weak intelligence occupying the same brain in the novel Crime and Punishment. The protagonist Raskolnikov offers brilliant insight into his sister’s situation, but thinks like a simpleton about his own. This is not unusual. On the contrary, we can find many genius-declared individuals housing embarrassingly stupid ideas. I even suspected myself of embracing a stupid idea once, but came to conclusion that the suspicions were stupid.

Fundamentalistic Democracy is a belief in a nonexistent democracy. Despite mounds of obvious evidence that no democracy exists, the democracy fundamentalists hold on to their belief with the tenacity of a Bible devotee opposing evolution.

The previous blog tells of Laura Poitras who speaks of a threat to privacy while fully aware of the extent of government surveillance on all citizens. What kind of privacy can be ”threatened” if we are spied upon by the government?

A more glaring example is provided by John Pilger, one of our times foremost journalists. I can’t recommend his recent article strongly enough, Why the Rise of Fascism is Again the Issue. You’ll miss acquiring a healthy dose of nourishing knowledge if you don’t read it.

One sentence however knocked me off my chair, ”As WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden have revealed, a surveillance and police state is usurping democracy.”
I’ll assume that was a sloppy sentence, but I’m pushing my assumption. Where is this democracy being usurped or threatened that so many intellectuals speak of?

Surely it’s not in the decisions of the government that constantly favor a little (wealthy) minority against the wishes of the vast majority. In their report “Testing Theories of American Politics” professors Gilens and Page analyzed 1,779 decisions of the US government and found that the general public have ”a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy.” On the other hand ”Economic elites and organized … business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy.”

The Gilens and Page report tell us in no uncertain terms the the US is not a democracy. Those with a ”statistically non-significant impact upon public policy” have known this for years and codified it in the expression Money talks, bullshit walks. A substantial section of the fundamentalistic democracy intellectuals however continue to warn us about threats to democracy — where no democracy exists. As with fundamentalists in general, arguments contradicting their belief make no impact on their strong mental structure of ideas. Reasoning with them is as effective as blowing smoke on the stomach of a patient with a ruptured appendix.

A political system where candidates are financed by big money to get into office, supported by by big money (lobbying) while in office and given posh jobs working for big money after leaving their office… Democracy?
The largest prison population on the planet… Democracy?
Guantanamo… Democracy?
Initiation of wars… Democracy?
Inadequate, ineffective and horribly expensive medical care… Democracy?
Crushing the skulls of children, ripping apart the bodies of parents and burning grandparents with hellfire missiles in sovereign countries in order to kill suspected militants… Democracy?
Holding people in prisons and in isolation, denying them all rights, even the right to know what they are accused of, and torturing them… Democracy?
Taking from the struggling many to give to the wealthy few… Democracy?
Lying, spreading hate and provoking conflicts… Democracy?
Supporting, supplying and protecting a campaign of genocide against Palestinians… Democracy?
Spying on the citizens… Democracy?

Where, oh where, is this democracy that the fundamentalists speak of? Remember, trying to reason with a fundamentalist is the equivalent of trying to revive a dead cat with the smell of fish.
And give a round of applause to the rulers of the American ”democracy” for their achievement of creating so many fundamentalists.



“It’s not true that politicians always lie.
Sometimes they don’t speak at all.”
Dartwill Aquila




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