We’ve spoken many times about how our present political structures are dominated by an oligarchy, which is trying to run the United States in its own interests and to the detriment of ours. That includes having stolen the November 2020 elections through massive, systematic electoral fraud, which has rendered our Constitution effectively meaningless, and will require drastic action if it’s to be restored as the foundation of our society.
Sadly, this was all foreshadowed by “experts” as far back as the 1960’s and 1970’s. I’m going to cite just two examples this morning, but there are many more out there.
Zbigniew Brzezinski, a counselor to President Johnson and National Security Adviser under President Carter, was also a member of the Trilateral Commission. He wrote an influential study titled “Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era“, which is also available for download. In it, on page 97 of the downloaded version, he wrote the following. Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.
Another threat, less overt but no less basic, confronts liberal democracy. More directly linked to the impact of technology, it involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled and directed society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite whose claim to political power would rest on allegedly superior scientific knowhow. Unhindered by the restraints of traditional liberal values, this elite would not hesitate to achieve its political ends by using the latest modern techniques for influencing public behavior and keeping society under close surveillance and control. Under such circumstances, the scientific and technological momentum of the country would not be reversed but would actually feed on the situation it exploits.
The emergence of a large dominant party, alongside the more narrowly focused and more intensely doctrinaire groupings on the right and the left, could accelerate the trend toward such technological managerialism. Such a large dominant party would combine American society’s quest for stability with its historical affinity for innovation. Relying on scientific growth to produce the means for dealing with social ills, it would tap the nation’s intellectual talent for broad target planning and exploit the existence of doctrinaire groups by using them as social barometers and as sources of novel ideas. Persisting social crisis, the emergence of a charismatic personality, and the exploitation of mass media to obtain public confidence would be the steppingstones in the piecemeal transformation of the United States into a highly controlled society. In different ways, both the doctrinarian and the conservative might find the temptations inherent in the new techniques of social control too difficult to resist. The inclination of the doctrinaire left to legitimize means by ends could lead them to justify more social control on the ground that it serves progress. The conservatives, preoccupied with public order and fascinated by modern gadgetry, would be tempted to use the new techniques as a response to unrest, since they would fail to recognize that social control is not the only way to deal with rapid social change.
Such an outcome—were it to come to pass—would represent a profoundly pessimistic answer to the question whether American liberal democracy can assimilate and give philosophical meaning to the revolution it is undergoing. This matter not only has relevance for the United States; it has larger implications: American success or failure may provide a significant indication whether a modern democracy with highly educated citizens can successfully undergo an extensive social change without losing its essentially democratic character.
There’s more at the link.
Taking that further, a 1975 report prepared for the Trilateral Commission titled “The Crisis of Democracy: On the Governability of Democracies” (also available as a free download) contained a section headed “Conclusions: Towards a Democratic Balance”. It argued (p. 113ff) that untrammeled democracy was a bad thing. Again, bold, underlined text is my emphasis.
Some of the problems of governance in the United States today stem from an excess of democracy – an “excess of democracy” in much the same sense in which David Donald used the term to refer to the consequences of the Jacksonian revolution which helped to precipitate the Civil War. Needed, instead, is a greater degree of moderation in democracy.
In practice, this moderation has two major areas of application. First, democracy is only one way of constituting authority, and it is not necessarily a universally applicable one. In many situations the claims of expertise, seniority, experience, and special talents may override the claims of democracy as a way of constituting authority … The arenas where democratic procedures are appropriate are, in short, limited.
. . .
The Greek philosophers argued that the best practical state would combine several different principles of government in its constitution. The Constitution of 1787 was drafted with this insight very much in mind. Over the years, however, the American political system has emerged as a distinctive case of extraordinarily democratic institutions joined to an exclusively democratic value system. Democracy is more of a threat to itself in the United States than it is in either Europe or Japan where there still exist residual inheritances of traditional and aristocratic values. The absence of such values in the United States produces a lack of balance in society … Political authority is never strong in the United States, and it is peculiarly weak during a creedal passion period of intense commitment to democratic and egalitarian ideals. In the United States, the strength of democracy poses a problem for the governability of democracy in a way which is not the case elsewhere.
. . .
We have come to recognize that there are potentially desirable limits to economic growth. There are also potentially desirable limits to the indefinite extension of political democracy. Democracy will have a longer life if it has a more balanced existence.
Again, more at the link.
I suggest that attitudes and opinions like those are what’s led directly to the usurpation of democracy by our present-day oligarchs. Both the left and the right wing of US politics are implicated: both of them will probably be happy to use “government by experts” (namely themselves) to ignore democracy and rule by decree. Witness the response to COVID-19 in various states, which tends to prove my point.
Our oligarchs have worked towards this end for a long time. It’s going to take us a long time to force them to let go of their death-grip on our democracy, and restore “government of the people, by the people and for the people” to the people from whom they’ve stolen it.