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writing for godot

Freedom: The Main Goal of a Democratic Government

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Written by George Monroe   
Monday, 25 May 2020 22:17

The loud and angry cries of some Trump supporters, brandishing combat type weapons and protesting abuse of their freedom presents a puzzling dilemma. They seem to be very highly motivated by contrived and dangerous delusions that don’t square with the facts. Attacks on one’s personal freedom are eminently worth fighting for. However, it is best to be sure that what you are calling freedom is based on the truth. As the infamous Nazi Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, once said, “Propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident that they are acting on their own free will.”

Judging from the confused and incorrect responses when media journalists questioned people on the street, many Americans are woefully deficient in knowledge of what their democracy is and how it is supposed to work. This state of unknowing makes it easy for determined enemies of democracy to chip away at the societal infrastructure, including constitutional provisions and the rule of law, brashly promoting an illusion that promises great things while hiding egregious assaults on personal freedom and well-being.

There have always been some humans driven to exploit others for wealth and power. When the oppressed suffered unbearable pain and deprivation under such circumstances, some of them quietly banded together and organized in the hope of improving their lives. When their pain reached a level, wherein even the risk of death would no longer deter them, violent uprisings inevitably followed.

The American Revolution against the exploitative operations of the British Empire headed by  King George III was the first time in the history of the world that a group of enlightened and well-fixed men decided that there must be a better way to live and prosper. They dreamed that by establishing a democratically equitable system of governance people would be freed from arbitrary rule by an egocentric King or Emperor. There had been many previous revolutions by citizens working together for mutual benefit which were meant to gain their freedom from oppressive control.  However, after much violence that resulted in great loss of life and property, there were no visible examples on the world scene from which to extrapolate features of a new system based on democratic principles.

The British colonists in North America discovered in friendly societies of indigenous peoples a seminal resource for developing the new government system they wanted to establish based on democratic principles of personal freedom, shared common properties and self-management of governmental affairs.  After many fruitless searches around the world for the information they needed to do this, they realized that a long standing and successful democracy was already at work in the northeastern woodlands of the indigenous Iroquois nation. Benjamin Franklin persistently promoted the genius of the Iroquois League to the framers of the developing American Constitution. He recommended the adoption of many of the League’s practices which became the main features for the new democratic government that was for a time the hope of the world. Sadly, the greedy and power-hungry elements of the new society conspired to shut off the influence of the “savages” and confiscate their lands.  For more of the long-suppressed details about this dark stain on the fabric of our developing democracy, see my 2019 book Hidden Enemies of Democracy: Oligarchies On The Rise, Chapter Six, pages 17 – 21.

To build a new government based on freedom through inclusive co-operation, our forefathers devised a plan for civic choice-making that allows each person to have a voice and influence decisions. By agreement, each person was to commit some of the earnings of their labors to pay for the services that would be provided, including personal safety and protection of property. The funds collected as taxes were actually a form of insurance premiums paid to enable the group to achieve the needs and wants of its members better than most individuals could ever provide alone.

The main point here is that all of the monies paid into the United States Treasury as taxes and assessments are contributions the people have agreed to make via their duly elected representatives. This collection of money is theirs, contributed by them as members of their democratic community. The decisions about how and when to spend it are entrusted to their representatives in legislative bodies that make rules and pass enabling laws. The Social Security (insurance) program started under the leadership of Franklin Roosevelt in 1935 is an example of a tool created by a government of the people, for the people, and by the people to enhance their lives through applied democracy.

When a few self-centered oligarchs want to get rid of “the government” it actually means that they want to get rid of “us” (the 99%) so we won’t be having ideas that keep them from taking the money and power they covet. They want most of us to be living at a subsistence level and compelled to serve the few elites (the 1%) who will decide everything. They want to take away the properties we own together, such as national parks and lands, super highways, airports, service buildings, museums, research labs, municipal utilities, libraries, hospitals, medicines and life improving inventions financed with our tax monies because they know that without such ownership we will soon have little or no influence in the affairs of government.

For impeccably researched evidence to support these assertions see Democracy In Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America by award winning Duke University Professor of History and Public Policy Nancy MacLean. A new and very dangerous dimension to the siege of our democracy has been introduced by the advent of computer technology in conducting elections. In his 2020 book entitled Code Red: Computerized Elections and the War on American Democracy, election forensics researcher Jonathan D. Simon provides substantial evidence that computerized voting machines and processes are being used to steal American elections from rightful winners.

Before the Great Depression (1929 – 1939) there was no Social Security program in America or anywhere else. After the collapse of capitalistic economies worldwide, most of the people in the United States were nearly starving and otherwise living at a subsistence level. Desperately hoping for relief from their abject misery, a majority of the American people rallied to elect a President who worked with their duly elected members of Congress to create a government insurance program that promised to improve their lives. That safety net program was called the Social Security Act. It was signed into law by President Franklin Roosevelt on August 14, 1935.

Our democratic government is not imposed on us. It is created by us. The rules and laws for its operation are means we design to solve our problems and provide the benefits we seek. It is paid for by the taxes, dues and assessments that we each contribute from the fruits of our own labors. A Social Security Program is one of the special benefits we are able to provide through our democratic government. It is a prime feature of our real freedom. We elect people we trust to define the parameters and set the rules for operating it by writing and passing related laws.

Trump and his cronies are not frothing at the mouth just to take down Social Security, they want to eliminate all of the freedoms and benefits guaranteed to working people. They want to totally destroy the democratically created government that builds and protects such plans. The real game is aimed at suppression and controlling us at a subsistence level wherein we won’t have the time, energy, or economic resources to resist. If they succeed in their plan to install a de facto caste system based on monopoly capitalism, here are some freedoms that will be lost:

  • Affordable health care.
  • Social Security Insurance.
  • Free public education
  • Self-directed mobility and travel.
  • Access to public lands and parks.
  • Safe employment that pays a living wage.
  • Access to technology developed by government agencies.
  • Access to medical breakthroughs developed by government agencies.
  • Freedom to peacefully assemble and protest.
  • Right to safely strike and express grievances.
  • Safe public transportation.
  • Streets and highways in good condition.
  • Community and people-oriented law services.
  • Infrastructures in good working condition.
  • Swift due process before incarceration.
  • Fair and balanced courts.
  • Freedom of religious choice.
  • Freedom of decisions about one’s own body.
  • Freedom to legally choose a life partner.
  • Reproductive freedom.
  • Freedom to interact with other people and cultures
  • FAIR ELECTIONS THAT CREATE A Representative government of the people, by the people.

No doubt, you can think of other freedoms taken for granted in America that should be added to this list. Join the fight to make sure these freedoms continue to be available to all of us in our wondrous democratic republic. BE ACTIVE WITH OTHERS TO PROTECT THE VOTING PROCESS AND THEN CAST YOUR VOTE FOR THE CANDIDATES WHO WILL WORK HARD TO PROVIDE THE FREEDOMS YOU NEED AND WANT.

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