Testimony To US Impeachment Hearings Suggests Democracy Is The Weakness In American Democracy

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The Impeachment hearings have, in the main, delivered to us little that we do not already know. But some of those things which we already know, are interesting – if only due to the blatancy with which they have been communicated herein.

Consider the testimony of one Fiona Hill, up until recently the Russia analyst on the US’s National Security Council:

“The Russians, you know, can’t basically exploit cleavages if there are not cleavages […] The Russians can’t exploit corruption if there’s not corruption. They can’t exploit alternative narratives if those alternative narratives are not out there and getting credence. What the Russians do is they exploit things that already exist.”

Now, on one level, it is rather refreshing for somebody to *actually* state, even if only implicitly, that Russia did not singlehandedly ‘break’ American society nor democracy. That the Americans themselves were *more than capable* of breaking it … themselves, to the net potential benefit of other people(s).

But that is not why I quote this here. Instead, it is because entailed within former analyst Hill’s remarks is something rather more disconcerting, once you look at it for more than the cursory half-a-second you’re supposed to, in order to see “RUSSIAN” plastered repeatedly next to “EXPLOIT” and draw the obvious, instinctive [and somewhat erroneous] conclusions.

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What she is in fact stating, quite bluntly and blatantly, is that a ‘divided’ society is a weak and a vulnerable society. That the narrative space which allows, or even encourages, multiple competing perspectives – is a vulnerability.

What she is saying – is that it is democracy itself, and the startling lack of complete success for some kind of totalitarianizing impulse within American nation and polity … that makes the Americans allegedly able to be “hacked” and subverted.

[I would contend, often ‘hacked’ and ‘subverted’ by themselves … but, then, were the Hills of this world to bother themselves with the after-midnight type-tappings of an Antipodean observer such as myself – they’d probably just suggest that I’m demonstrably proving their point for them by subverting their eth(n)os through pushing an “alternative narrative”. Can’t have that, now, can we]

In a way, she has a sort of a point. It is rather difficult indeed for democracy to produce the “wrong outcomes” … if there is no democracy in the first place, after all. And it is hardly a novel thought that the possibilities of greater, or even genuine choice within a society may lead inexorably to ‘subversion’ – after all, that’s exactly how the US and others have historically justified clamping down on far-left political sentiment both at home and abroad, right throughout the Cold War era, prior and beyond.

Yet the question must be asked: if we are now once again at the point wherein ‘killing democracy to save it’ is being semi-overtly contemplated … just what is it, exactly, that is being preserved there. What does “winning” look like? And what is it that makes such a “win” worth actually having – and for whom.

Certainly, it is not a ‘win’ for anybody whose perspective, whose lived experience, whose truth , is an “alternative narrative” relative to that of the mainstream elite.

And that’s probably partially the exact point.

Moments of crisis – real or imagined or even (especially) downright fabricated – are often seized upon in order to make sweeping changes to the system which they occur within.

The aghast horror with which the prospect of ‘democracy’ producing “wrong” outcomes, or allowing for the debates to take place which question comfortably acceptable [to the elites] ‘truths’ … is already being mobilized towards this inexorable purpose.

And in that situation, wherein the mechanisms via which those holding power can be challenged, called or even held to account , are to be rolled up and stowed away in perpetuity … that does not benefit anybody except those *already* among the elite.

It may be done, in theory, to “protect” from the challenging (or, if you like, “subversion”) of the American system from without … but in reality, it is the dissenting voices from *within* who shall be most harshly repressed. And, indeed, already historically have been.

Terry Pratchett put it best:

“Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions.”

When the official statements made amongst the highest heads in the land start to insist that permitting differences of perception, of opinion, of preferred course of action [those “cleavages”, and “alternative narratives” aforementioned] is tantamount to scurrilous subversion if not outright treason …

… then it is ‘pull together under the lash, or be rushed’, rather than ‘freedom’ which is dominant.

And “democracy” exists only as an embalmed, desiccated cadaver upon public display in the polis, rather than a living, breathing, yet-vital entity in either sense of that last adjective.

Totalitarianism really *will* have won – American totalitarianism, against America. No foreign “subversion” really required!

17 COMMENTS

  1. The impeachment is part of the coup attempt that the Dems and the Establishment have been waging against Trump ever since he was elected.

    The Ukraine furphy is the stalking horse; the Russia-interference fiction was to be the original driver for impeachment, but was abandoned when it was found to have so many holes, peas could be shot through it.

  2. In my view the US was never a proper democracy but then most are not. Its no better here in NZ or Australia. As to this impeachment business they have tried to impeach most if not all the Republican Presidents that ever took office. The Russian narrative is in my well informed opinion a farce. The real reason is Trump was never the establishments choice and his walking away from corporate stoogery like the TPPA was and is seem as unacceptable. Not to mention his limiting involvement in existing and new wars.

  3. The Dem Party establishment over there favouring centrists/moderates. What use is a centrist in a plutocracy? Explode a bomb under’m would be better. We can see better than Americans.

  4. Sean, it’s bloody better here in NZ. False equivalence is a friend of nonsense. There are really 3 parties over there, except the powerful, the 3rd , has equal representation in the official 2.

    • Saying something is the case does not make it so. NZ is turning back into a colony as it was in the British Empire days only a lot lot worse. A corporate sponsored police state that makes the majority pay dearly for the comfort and benefit of the few.

  5. Trumps true purpose is as a useful idiot to give the GOP plausible deniability. He plays the maverick, not interested and indeed deliberately rebellious toward the republican establishment. His true purpose is to delay or reverse the inevitable demographic decline of the GOP. Up till the last election, much was made of the demographic shift in many states toward a much large latino population. It was estimated that within a short space of time it may not be possible for the Republicans to win elections based on this changing demographic. Voila!, Trump suddenly appears on the scene. You may have noticed that out of all the static, the crackdown on latino immigration is the best planned and organised policy the Trump government is running. The wall is not so much physical as it is an unwelcoming environment to dissuade future migrants from making the journey. Having kept at arms length the GOP can say, it wasn’t us, and then continue the same policies. The GOP however may at this point be wondering if they can now fit the genie back in the bottle.

    • Alan: “Trumps true purpose is as a useful idiot to give the GOP plausible deniability.”

      Were that so, it’d be a post facto rationalisation.

      In this household, we followed closely the GOP primaries. The senior figures in the GOP would have chewed off their own hands if it could have stopped Trump getting the nomination; he was the very last person they wanted. Unfortunately, as you’ll recall, a line of preferred candidates fell at the hurdle of getting enough votes: the membership wanted Trump, and that was that. The GOP establishment couldn’t gainsay the members without causing a schism in the party, from which it might never have recovered.

      However. The GOP will most likely vote against his impeachment; they control the senate. And they won’t allow one of their own to be impeached – on spurious grounds, as it happens – even if he wasn’t their choice in the first instance.

  6. Despite the many testimonies revealing that Trump blackmailed Ukraine to investigate the Bidens, the Democrats will not win the vote for impeachment in a Senate packed with Republicans. It’s not a farce, just follows the dictum ‘stupidity rules’, except for Trump’s lead in the non involvement in TPPA & wars, that Sean notes!

    • Janio: “Despite the many testimonies revealing that Trump blackmailed Ukraine to investigate the Bidens…”

      Be careful about accepting uncritically what’s reported by the msm. Biden is as crooked as a donkey’s hind leg. See this for what’s actually been going on:

      https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/11/a-timeline-of-joe-bidens-intervention-against-the-prosecutor-general-of-ukraine.html

      A member of this household hopes that Biden will win the presidency, the reason being that, in their view, the US citizens deserve him. God help them all – and possibly the rest of us – if Biden were to win; it looks to me as if, as well as being crooked, he has the Reagan problem.

      Doubtless most of you weren’t born, or are too young to remember, when Reagan was president; but I was an adult. Rumours about his failing mental competency began circulating, as I recall, by the end of his first term or early in his second term. I remember hearing a discussion between somebody on RNZ and the then political corespondent from Washington; they reported that WH staff had a Plan B, which they intended to put into effect if Reagan was confused and unable to remember the names of his officials for more than a few days consecutively. That plan involved taking over and delegating his presidential responsibilities and duties. Fortunately for him, it’d happen sporadically only, at least in the early years, so his staff didn’t need to put their plan into operation – as far as I know.

      By the looks of it, Biden is already in the early stages of dementia. Or something….

  7. I think that the whole Democrat establishment is deeply corrupt. As the receptacle of politically disinterested and wilfully ignorant voters it has been the obvious vehicle for undeclared policies by a hierarchy totally cynical and dismissive of the actual interests of those very voters; just like our 1980’s Labour government . The public figures within it are the servants of big business moreso than the traditional assumption of the Republicans serving that clientele . Just as the National party here in the 80’s was of a distinctly, even radically socialist persuasion as compared with any now.
    The reward for serving the business elite is not adequately provided by the remuneration of an MP , or the doubtful kudos of holding office. It’s provided by a system of graft that the Democrats have been donkey deep in for decades . Trump is an outsider , doesn’t know the rules, and has undertaken to drain the swamp. Eventually he might just do that. The Democrats are shit scared that he will succeed and they are abandoning all caution in a desperate attempt to get rid of him before the shit hits the fan in a big way. So much so that they are destroying their credibility as a rational political organisation. They must know that if they don’t get rid of him now it will be too late. They are forsaking any chance of winning the next presidential in the hope of getting rid of Trump. Pence or Pompeo or any of the grotesque Republican possibilities to replace him is OK. Anything but Trump, even if it’s for the next 9 years.
    That’s what I think anyway.
    D J S

      • We must get our news from the same outlets D’Esterre. To wit reference to mono alabama. for instance.
        Cheers D J S

        • David Stone: “We must get our news from the same outlets…”

          I’d say so. Since neither of us parrots the msm line. Moon of Alabama; Consortiumnews; the Off-Guardian; RT. And so on….

          A youngish relative continues to be a useful source of information from various other websites.

  8. Truth has been the victim since before Trump was elected. Democracy requires truth, effort to uncover and report truth. That is not available from the media. They are complicit with multiple falsehoods against Trump (pretty dumb really when reporting the truth about him offers easier wins).

    Democracy also requires effort and involvement by the people to keep at bay the power of the plutocrats and deep state. Our candidates and the rule of law, not theirs. That’s why the Democrat machine attacks Sanders and Gabbard.

    Finally democracy requires the ability to allow expression of alternate opinions, and to allow common ground. This takes effort. Wokesters mirroring the alt-Right, showing displays of extreme intolerance is lazy and leads to authoritarianism. Demands for political correctness stifle debate and freedom of opinion. Active democracy requires openness, even when it is offensive.

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