Monbiot.com » Consumer Hell. – by George Monbiot
I just really enjoyed this article, which is depressingly correct.
An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:
Progress is measured by the speed at which we destroy the conditions which sustain life. Governments are deemed to succeed or fail by how well they make money go round, regardless of whether it serves any useful purpose. They regard it as a sacred duty to encourage the country’s most revolting spectacle: the annual feeding frenzy in which shoppers queue all night, then stampede into the shops, elbow, trample and sometimes fight to be the first to carry off some designer junk which will go into landfill before the sales next year. The madder the orgy, the greater the triumph of economic management.
There’s the common view of democracy held by the majority, positively, and the elite view of democracy held by the minority, positively ‘and’ negatively. The minority knows what democracy means and understands that it’s a good thing, if basic morals are allowed to guide our assessment, but it simply chooses to embrace elite democracy, in which the majority are used and abused within a system that will benefit that minority at the expense of the majority. It’s probably correct to say that elites don’t believe in democracy. The thing is, They usually claim that they do.
Thinkers like Walter Lippmann elucidate such thoughts which are in turn examined by other thinkers who find such views appalling. Here’s Noam Chomsky discussing these conflicting notions of democracy in an article titled Force And Opinion. An excerpt from that follows:
[David] Hume was an astute observer, and his paradox of government is much to the point. His insight explains why elites are so dedicated to indoctrination and thought control, a major and largely neglected theme of modern history. “The public must be put in its place,” Walter Lippmann wrote, so that we may “live free of the trampling and the roar of a bewildered herd,” whose “function” is to be “interested spectators of action,” not participants. And if the state lacks the force to coerce and the voice of the people can be heard, it is necessary to ensure that that voice says the right thing, as respected intellectuals have been advising for many years.