It’s great that people are proud about something, but it worries me if one takes pride on the basis of illusion. Linus in the Peanuts strip is quite attached to his blanket, because he BELIEVES, and likely has been taught to believe from his youth, that THAT is the source of his mental and emotional well being. That’s not true, but because he believes it, he is attached to it in an unnatural way. His attachment is really more pitiful than prideful, although I would not personally condemn him. I would simply treat him as a person who is suffering from a socially-induced illusion and try to work with him to get him healed. Oppressed people in this system are similarly attached to voting. It is a ritual. Voting is simply not the system that ultimately controls this political order. I’m sorry to tell ya. This is a plutocracy, economics controls politics. I myself would be happy and proud of voting and proud for the masses to be proud if in fact this was a communal order where the vote was directly tied to political outcomes. I know better. Most legislation is written by corporations and lobbyists and paid for by special interest groups. The US government itself is legally a corporation and voters are not the real shareholders. The purpose of voting is to legitimate the decisions of the elites and make them appear as the will of the people.
I think a lot of this is like Santa Claus in the sense that when you really WANT and NEED to psychologically believe something you do. I have no problem with people voting, but I do lament the romanticism or the idea that voting for either of these two elite plutocratic parties is going to really do anything to feed your children, or house you, or insure you, or clothe you or any of that or PREVENT you from being killed by cops or gunned down in some war defending corporate interests calling it “democracy.” I think sometimes people confuse voting with real activism. I used to say vote if it makes you feel good, but then DO something tangible on the issues that matter to you, because you haven’t yet and if you don’t then it’s a wrap.
Part of the mentality of the drones and zombies in this society, which has been conditioned and upon which the system is based, is that they HAVE to do what the elite says when in fact you do not HAVE to. It reminds me of 1984 or Brave New World where the key theme is “obey.” In political science we often use the term sheeple (as in people as sheep). For “sheeple”, the system is “naturalized,” that is they have been socialized so long in its tenets that they cannot envision any other action and to legitimate their own mental colonization they cannot but seek to impose and condemn those who do not CHOOSE to act similarly.
Government is not the same as administration. Government means the people are “governed” as in ruled. Administration means the people have appointed individuals to manage their affairs. In this case, we don’t appoint the people, our affairs are in empirical disarray, and so we are then told that simply engaging the ritual of picking the emperor is somehow going to change that. That is an illusion and a dangerously fallacious one.
Let me help here. This is NOT a democracy. Democracy means the people rule. This is a REPRESENTATIVE democracy and that shift is NOT semantic if you understand the constitution. Here the majority rules (actually a tiny subset of the majority but for our purposes we’ll stick with the general case). So let’s say there are 5 of us deciding an issue. You need education. Keep in mind the other 4 of us are doing just fine in that area. So we vote based on our partisan interests. Guess who loses? So you have no choice but to engage politically in a perpetual begging campaign for your humanity as you try to convince at least 2 of us that you deserve education for your community and if you never do, then you go without and we call it “democracy” and we say you should honor and respect the result and even legitimate it by re-electing us.
Let me complicate this and make it even more realistic. Same example, only now the 4 of us have money to give each other to maintain our united front against you, even when some of us are a bit sympathetic (liberalism). The result. Yep, you’re back on the 2nd annual begging tour. In fact, in this political system any Afrikan leader or any other oppressed group is perpetually on this beg, bum, borrow, steal track. The elites are not. When the elites squandered almost a trillion dollars, within weeks they took your money and mine, paid themselves the debt, gave themselves bonuses, and as they robbed us, they smiled and said we wanted to be robbed and that it was best for us and the theft occurred under the Bush AND Obama administrations. And the smiling bandits will keep smiling until the people get smart. Thomas Jefferson and others in making their arguments about this state warned that while their version of political order had great potential, It also had a deadly Achilles heel. If the people were mis-educated and misled about the nature of the system itself, it could devolve and become a tool of oppressive tyranny where the small and the powerful dictate to the mass and weak, distributing resources accordingly and wreaking havoc on world peace and stability and the human capacity to get along with each other. And Jefferson and the others also said that when that eventuality became apparent it was necessary for those who knew to organize against that power. (Neither he nor his contemporaries argued that you should in that instance merely keep legitimating it as if it were your divine obligation). It’s ironic someone said “sacred” because Jefferson called it the sacred duty of the patriot NOT to support such a state and such a power. Just as many who claim to be Christians or religious often seemed to have actually skipped the life of Christ and the actual Biblical texts, so too many who worship at the feet of Babylon, have not really read in depth and studied the founding fathers and the prerequisites and warnings they repeatedly gave for their “experiment.”
I myself am not troubled by people voting, I am troubled by them doing that or ANYTHING that they do not understand merely because they have been taught blindly to do so and without any real consideration of whether it means anything in terms of their real empirical condition which is supposedly the point. It’s not the ritual, but the conditioning, programming and brainwashing that troubles me.
As long as Afrikan people and frankly many others, actually believe that pulling a lever for a bunch of millionaires appointed by the corporate structure, who do not even believe and in many cases, cannot even carry out, what they say in these campaigns, actually changes their collective condition, they will fail to do critical things that they CAN do to move THEMSELVES towards self-determination and they may very well face an empirical social genocide where their people die having their needs not met.
The system will only do something for you, if you have the power and leverage independent of it, to compel it’s compliance with your will and in plutocracy, that power is rooted in economics. I believe in the community building for itself. So for me neither the lever nor the placard and sign. Neither the ballot, nor the bullet, but the build.