“People have forgotten the warnings of the founding fathers
that you can’t trade your rights for safety,
because the minute you don’t have your rights anymore
you’re not safe.”
– Paul Craig Roberts on the Alex Jones Show, 11/4/10
Transcribed by Jeff Fenske
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAAYDHP0BfY]Paul Craig Roberts: The Impotence of Elections – Alex Jones Tv 1/4
In his historical novel, The Leopard, Giuseppe di Lampedusa writes that things have to change in order to remain the same. That is what happened in the US congressional elections on November 2.
Americans out of work, out of income, out of homes and prospects, and out of hope for their children’s careers are angry.
Jobs offshoring, which began on a large scale with the collapse of the Soviet Union, has merged the Democrats and Republicans into one party with two names. The Soviet collapse changed attitudes in socialist India and communist China and opened those countries, with their large excess supplies of labor, to Western capital.
Pushed by Wall Street and Wal-Mart, American manufacturers moved production for US markets offshore to boost profits and shareholder earnings by utilizing cheap labor. The decline of the US manufacturing work force reduced the political power of unions and the ability of unions to finance the Democratic Party. The end result was to make the Democrats dependent on the same sources of financing as Republicans.
Prior to this development, the two parties, despite their similarities, represented different interests and served as a check on one another. The Democrats represented labor and focused on providing a social safety net. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment insurance, housing subsidies, education, and civil rights were Democratic issues. Democrats were committed to a full employment policy and would accept some inflation to secure more employment.
The Republicans represented business. The Republicans focused on curtailing big government in all its manifestations from social welfare spending to regulation. The Republicans’ economic policy consisted of opposing federal budget deficits.
These differences resulted in political competition.
Today both parties are dependent for campaign finance on Wall Street, the military/security complex, AIPAC, the oil industry, agri-business, pharmaceuticals, and the insurance industry. Campaigns no longer consist of debates over issues. They are mud-slinging contests.
Angry voters take their anger out on incumbents, and that is what we saw in the election. Tea Party candidates defeated Republican incumbents in primaries, and Republicans defeated Democrats in the congressional elections.
Policies, however, will not change qualitatively. Quantitatively, Republicans will be more inclined to more rapidly dismantle more of the social safety net than Democrats and more inclined to finish off the remnants of civil liberties. But the powerful private oligarchs will continue to write the legislation that Congress passes and the President signs. New members of Congress will quickly discover that achieving re-election requires bending to the oligarchs’ will.
This might sound harsh and pessimistic. But look at the factual record. In his campaign for the presidency, George W. Bush criticized President Clinton’s foreign adventures and vowed to curtail America’s role as the policeman of the world. Once in office, Bush pursued the neoconservatives’ policy of US world hegemony via military means, occupation of countries, setting up puppet governments, and financial intervention in other countries’ elections.