Tuesday, 15 November 2011


 For the past nine months or so, the US has been urging people engaged in 'the Arab Spring' protest movement to take to the streets and bring down their authoritarian regimes and restore democracy. No even a word, however, on the part of the US government and most of the media about the grass roots movement in Israel or the repressive states in the Gulf.
Even more hypocritical, while castigating countries that prevent the free expression of political protest, the US has moved with police-state methods against its own protesters at home. On the morning of 15 November 2011, several hundred New York city police moved to arrest several dozen protesters at Zuccotti park. US city governments have cracked down on protesters with the same vigor that the US government condemns when taken by governments it criticizes.

The latest round of police repression is hardly isolated. Similar cases have unfolded from California to the southern states - from San Francisco to Philadelphia, from Phoenix to Orlando, the same story. An Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) survey has found that the US is near the bottom of 31 member countries in terms of equality, with alarming levels of poverty and lack of upward mobility ranking comparable to those of Chile and Mexico.

That the US is no longer the land where the American Dream can be realized is made very clear by unemployment, poverty, and living standard statistics. A historical comparison of income distribution in the last three decades clearly shows that the only beneficiaries of the American Dream have been those in the top ten percent of the pyramid. Few analysts are optimistic that the next ten years will mark an improvement in socioeconomic equality or upward social mobility for Americans. On the contrary, the trend is downward as much in the US as it is in Europe, accompanied by watering down of freedom and democracy as many have understood it to function historically.

That the US has been moving toward a quasi-police state in the last ten years - after the Patriot Act - is an undeniable reality to which people have conformed. Terrorism has been used a smokescreen to violate human rights and to slash any semblance of social justice that was left over as a legacy of the FDR era.
A new public opinion poll indicates that only 49 percent of Americans agree that their country is special, superior to others around the world. This figure is the lowest in the postwar era and represents a drop of 11 points in the last ten years and indicative of a broader trend that the country is headed in the wrong direction. There is something seriously wrong with 'American democracy' when a protester is holding up a sign that reads "I can lose my job for having a voice". That percentage of Europeans responding to the same question is even less satisfied with their countries than Americans is indicative of a wider Western dissatisfaction with pluralistic societies delivering on the social contract.

More than anything, people around the world are amazed at the arrogance and hypocrisy of the US government that has the audacity to preach human rights and social justice to other countries, while violating them on its own soil. More than anything. people at home wonder how long will the corporate-owned media and government at all levels will continue to preach about a dream against the background of a reality closer to a nightmare for such a large segment of the population.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Due process in regard to addressing media behavior requires revisiting the law, the FCC, and balancing the precedence based upon it, which encompasses Habeas Corpus and Civil Liberties. And, these laws having been scrutinized in Military Court during Civil War due to Civilian Courts having been disabled, come first. Yes, it is apparent that vigor has been shown in other countries due to monetary issues; however, the monetary system is not the only criteria being addressed in the United States.

How enforcement behaves in a particular state concerning Federal issues is based upon their philosophical views--from the elected judges to the Governer. The new Governor of Maine might be a good example to point toward as an example. Otherwise, when a case that comes to the attention of the people, as it has here is brought into question, then the due process is founded on whether a Civilian Court has jurisdiction.

This is not the 1960's movement revisited.

Wrong era.