The Choice Between Democracy and Autocracy
By David Sirota
Hear ye, hear ye! Let it be known that in this 10th month of the first year of His Majesty King John Hickenlooper’s reign, the sovereign governor of the
This royal order, which made big headlines last week, was all about intimidating imagery. Just as King John had hoped, the iconic photograph to emerge from the sweep was a front-page Denver Post photo of a heavily armed police officer menacingly guarding the Capitol — a deliberate visual message telling the despot’s subjects to retreat or face consequences. He later told a reporter that he was aiming to preemptively crush “something that could easily catch on.”
Back on the East Coast, it was much the same, as His Majesty King Michael Bloomberg issued a decree stating that as a benevolent despot, he would “allow” his Manhattan subjects to occupy Wall Street (as if the mayor has the power to grant — or withhold — democratic rights). But then King Mike quickly sent his police force in for mass arrests, standing down only after a wave of outrage from the larger serfdom watching on television.
This might all sound like Medieval Europe, but it’s not. It’s
Alas, it’s a predictable situation. Horrifying economic inequality has prompted the bottom 99 percent of income earners to finally exercise their constitutional rights to protest. In response, the nobles in the top 1 percent are demanding their political puppets make clear that such dissent will not be tolerated — and they expect their demands to be followed. This country’s landed gentry, after all, spent a lot on campaign contributions to make sure their hand-picked autocrats were installed in governors’ and mayors’ offices, and now they’re having those autocrats engineer a whole new kind of bailout.
As opposed to merely cutting a check to the bankers, this bailout is all about resource allocation.
It has the kings preventing law enforcement from being deployed on financial criminals who destroyed the American economy. Instead, those finite law enforcement resources are being funneled into arresting more than 1,000 protestors and abrogating the vassals’ First Amendment rights to “peaceably assemble and petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
During his previous reign as mayor of
With such extra-judicial authoritarianism now being used against dissidents all over
Ultimately, that’s why this historical moment is so important. Whatever you call the spontaneous uprisings against oligarchy — Occupy Wall Street, Occupy Denver or simply “We the People” — they prove that the only savior in these neo-feudal times is continued protest. Without it, the future of the economy and our freedoms are clearly at risk from King John, King Mike and every other self-styled monarch now waging war on the fundamental principles of American liberty.
This article was published at NationofChange at: http://www.nationofchange.org/choice-between-democracy-and-autocracy-1319293123. All rights are reserved.
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs