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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
Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea you have freedom of choice. You don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land, they own and control the corporations that’ve long since bought and paid for, the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pocket, and they own all the big media companies so they control just about all of the news and the information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying to get what they want. Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else. But I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. George Carlin
Now, there’s one thing you might have noticed I don't complain about: politicians. Everybody complains about politicians. Everybody says they suck. Well, where do people think these politicians come from? They don’t fall out of the sky. They don’t pass through a membrane from another reality. They come from American parents and American families, American homes, American schools, American churches, American businesses and American universities, and they are elected by American citizens. This is the best we can do, folks. This is what we have to offer. It’s what our system produces: Garbage in, Garbage out. If you have selfish, ignorant citizens, you’re going to get selfish, ignorant leaders. Term limits ain’t going to do any good; you’re just going to end up with a brand new bunch of selfish, ignorant Americans. So, maybe, maybe, maybe, it’s not the politicians who suck. Maybe something else sucks around here ... like, the public. Yeah, the public sucks. There’s a nice campaign slogan for somebody: The Public Sucks. Fuck Hope. George Carlin
You pompously call yourselves Republicans and Democrats. There is no Republican party. There is no Democrat party. There are no Republicans nor Democrats in this House. You are lick-splitters and panderers, the creatures of the Plutocracy. Jack London, The Iron Heel
Michael: I’m a hypocrite. I’m a liar. I’m associated with evil, terrible things.
Baba: But, Michael, you’re a politician. Alan Bleasdale, GBH VI: Message Understood starring Robert Lindsay & Lindsay Duncan & Michael Palin & Julie Walters & Tom Georgeson & Andrew Schofield & Jane Danson & David Ross et al, director Robert Young, Channel 4 1991
Churches are becoming political organisations. Robert Ingersoll
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
Political leaders operate within a pretty narrow framework which is set by external factors, power systems of various kinds. Noam Chomsky, New York Peace Action Benefit lecture, ‘Obama’s Imperialist Policies’, Youtube 56.24
Politics and ideology are largely bounded by the consensus of the business community. On critical issues there is a tactical debate within the mainstream, but questions of principle rarely arise. Noam Chomsky, Deterring Democracy p59
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.
Such ideas have ample resonance until today, including Locke’s stern doctrine that common people should be denied the right even to discuss public affairs. This doctrine remains a basic principle of modern democratic states, now implemented by a variety of means to protect the operations of the state from public scrutiny: classification of documents on the largely fraudulent pretext of national security, clandestine operations, and other measures to bar the rascal multitude from the political arena. ibid.
After the American revolution, rebellious and independent farmers had to be taught by force that the ideals expressed in the pamphlets of 1776 were not to be taken seriously. The common people were not to be represented by countrymen like themselves, that know the people’s sores, but by gentry, merchants, lawyers, and others who hold or serve private power. Jefferson and Madison believed that power should be in the hands of the ‘natural aristocracy’. ibid.
There is essentially one political party, the business party, with two factions. 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.
The cost of elections has skyrocketed … democracy has eroded … 70% of the population is essentially disenfranchised and over 70% on the income scale: 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, lecture 8th July 2017, ‘The Corporatization of the Universities’, Youtube 1.39.35
The spectrum is basically from centre to extreme right, extreme right, way off the spectrum. Noam Chomsky: The Empire’s Election Extravaganza, interview Abby Martin, The Empire Files, Youtube 2015
Both parties shifted to the right as everywhere in the world, and the Republicans just went off the spectrum. ibid.
Obama is running a global terror programme of a kind that has never been envisioned before. ibid.
The right to use force and violence at will is accepted pretty much across the spectrum. ibid.
About 70% of the public, the lowest 70% of the income scale, are pretty much disenfranchised; their attitudes have no detectable influence on the policies of their own representatives. ibid.
A plutocracy with democratic forms. ibid.