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The Palestinians committed a serious crime: there was a free election in Palestine in January 2006 and they voted the wrong way. Now, that’s not acceptable. You can do all kind of things but not that. You don’t vote the wrong way in a free election. So the United States quite openly – Israel too of course – turned to punishing the Palestinians for this crime. Noam Chomsky, lecture Brown University April 2010
The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum. Noam Chomsky, The Common Good
The elections are run by the same industries that sell toothpaste on television. Noam Chomsky
The Communist Party was labelled ‘extremist’ and ‘undemocratic’ by US propaganda ... The Vatican announced that anyone who voted for the Communists in the 1948 election would be denied sacraments, and backed the conservative Christian Democrats under the slogan O con Cristo o contro Cristo. (Either with Christ or against Christ). A year later, Pope Pius excommunicated all Italian Communists.
A combination of violence, manipulation of aid and other threats, and a huge propaganda campaign sufficed to determine the outcome of the critical 1948 election, essentially bought by US intervention and pressures. Noam Chomsky, Deterring Democracy
The US planned military intervention in the event of a legal Communist political victory in 1948 ... Washington’s intention to resort to violence if free elections came out the wrong way is not very easy to deal with, so it has been generally suppressed, even in the scholarly literature. ibid.
The CIA operations to control the Italian elections, authorized by the National Security Council in December 1947, were the first major clandestine operation of the newly formed Agency. As noted earlier, CIA operations to subvert Italian democracy continued into the 1970s on a substantial scale. ibid.
And with popular organizations weakened or eliminated, isolated individuals are unable to participate in the political system in a meaningful way. It will, over time, become largely a symbolic pageant or, at most, a device whereby the public can select among competing elite groups and ratify their decisions, playing the role assigned to them by progressive democratic theorists of the Walter Lippmann variety. ibid.
The ideological system is bounded by the consensus of the privileged. Elections are largely a ritual form. In congressional elections virtually all incumbents are returned to office, a reflection of the vacuity of the political system and the choices it offers. ibid.
Half the population does not bother to mark the ballots, and those who take the trouble often consciously vote against their own interests. ibid.
November 1989: Elections in Honduras which had been under US control at that time for ten years … There were two candidates: one of them represented large landowners, the other represented big industrialists; they had identical programmes; there was a campaign but it was just insults … The effective rulers were the military under US control. Noam Chomsky, lecture Deterring Democracy, Youtube 2.09.17 1992
Nicaragua had in fact elections in 1984 but those elections were not an ‘inspiring example of democracy’; the reason is they couldn’t be ‘controlled’. ibid.
2001: The United States radically intervened in the election and warned Nicaragua that the Untied States would not accept the wrong outcome … all of this passes without comment. Noam Chomsky, lecture New York 2002, ‘The History and Hypocrisy of the War on Terror’
Elections are increasingly just becoming a charade run by the public relations industry which tries to mobilize populations to vote while making sure that issues are marginalized. Noam Chomsky, lecture University of Toronto 7th April 2011, ‘The State Corporate Complex: A Threat to Freedom and Survival’
The primary task of an elected representative from the first moment of taking office is to begin to try to raise money for the next campaign with corporate lobbyists working together with his staff for fair legislation for him to sign with predictable consequences; all of this is part of a general assault on democracy. Noam Chomsky, lecture Vortrag October 2016, ‘What Principles and Values Rule the World?’ Youtube 48.24
What’s being discussed is tweets at 3 a.m. you know various kinds of vulgarity – anything but serious problems. Noam Chomsky, The Alien Perspective on Humanity 16th August 2017, Youtube 51.14
The cost of elections has skyrocketed … democracy has eroded … 70% of the population is essentially disenfranchised … their opinions have no effect on policy; influence increases slowly as wealth increases; you get to the top fraction of 1%, they pretty much get what they want. Noam Chomsky, The Corporatization of the Universities, lecture 8th July 2017, Youtube 1.39.35
Dewey Defeats Truman. Chicago Tribune 3rd November 1948, Truman won
By dividing the electorate this way we’ll be able to have them spend their energies at struggling amongst themselves on questions that for us have no importance whatsoever. United States Bankers Magazine 1892
On Election Day I stay home. Two reasons: first of all, voting is meaningless; this country was bought and paid for a long time ago. That empty shit they shuffle around and repackage every four years doesn’t mean a thing. Second, I don’t vote, because I firmly believe that if you vote, you have no right to complain. I know some people like to twist that around and say, ‘If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain.’ But where’s the logic in that? Think it through: if you vote, and you elect dishonest, incompetent politicians, and you screw things up, then you’re responsible for what they’ve done. You voted them in. You caused the problem. You have no right to complain. I, on the other hand, who did not vote – who, in fact, did not even leave the house on Election Day – am in no way responsible for what these politicians have done and have every right to complain about the mess you created. Which I had nothing to do with. Why can’t people see that? George Carlin, Napalm and Silly Putty 2001
Yes, we can elect our leaders but you can’t select your leaders. You don’t select anyone. Your masters who own you will select who will run. That’s all they want to know: which one do you like best? Jordan Maxwell, interview Shade: The Motion Picture, 2013