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49,760. What was beginning to emerge in the 1920s was a new idea of how to run mass democracy. At its heart was the consuming self, which not only made the economy work but was happy and docile. And so created a stable society. Adam Curtis, The Century of the Self
27,082. Freud was not alone in his pessimism. Politicians like Adolf Hitler emerged from a growing despair in the 1920s about democracy. The Nazis were convinced that democracy was dangerous because it unleashed a selfish individualism, but didn’t have the means to control it. Hitler’s party, the National Socialists, stood in elections promising in their propaganda that they would abandon democracy because of the chaos and unemployment it led to. (Nazi & Democracy & Election & Pessimism) ibid.
49,762. The other part of Project Democracy was to use military force in secret operations to overthrow foreign regimes that stood in the way of freedom. The main target was the government of Nicaragua, the Sandanistas. The Sandanistas were Marxist revolutionaries who had seized power in 1979; but since then they had held elections and had been democratically elected. The Reagan administration dismissed this though as a sham. And an operation was set up to enforce the right kind of democracy by overthrowing the Sandanistas if necessary. The man in charge was a leading Neo-Conservative Elliott Abrams. (Democracy & Nicaragua & US Empire & Reagan & Neo-Conservatives & Terrorism) Adam Curtis, The Trap
138,594. The whole idea of mass democracy began to be questioned and undermined from inside the political establishment itself. It began almost unnoticed, hidden behind the wave of enthusiasm after the fall of communism. But a political scientist called Peter Mair has argued that what happened in the 1990s was that the old idea of democracy started to disappear in the West. And it was replaced by something else which we haven’t fully comprehended yet or even seen because it is outside the old categories of politics. Western politicians, Meyer said, literally changed their roles: they gave up being representatives of the people and instead they became the agents of a new bureaucracy which was rising up and promising that it could manage the dangerous and unpredictable force of individualism better than the politicians could ... Individualism and its drive to self-actualisation can corrode and eat away at the collective power of mass democracy. Peter Mair said the same was now happening in the West. (Power & Elite & Paranoia & Individual & Democracy & Politics) Adam Curtis, Can’t Get You Out of My Head IV: But What if the People are Stupid?
127,000. Our form of democracy is bribery, on the highest scale. (Biography & Bribery & Democracy) Gore Vidal: The United States of Amnesia, 2013
127,004. We should stop going around babbling about how we’re the greatest democracy on earth, when we're not even a democracy. We are a sort of militarised republic. The founding fathers hated two things, one was monarchy and the other was democracy, they gave us a constitution that saw to it we will have neither. I don’t know how wise they were. (Democracy & Republic & Constitution & United States of America) Gore Vidal, interview Australian Broadcasting Corporation 2001
123,658. The democratic charade that exists, the political theatre that has replaced our democratic process. And is just one more step towards this corporate totalitarianism which no-one seems willing or able to stop within the ruling elite. (Corporation & United States of America & Democracy) Chris Hedges, lecture Seattle University 2018, Corporate Totalitarianism: The End Game *****
123,659. The diseases of despair that have plagued American society, the patholgies that rise out of a decaying culture. (Corporation & United States of America & Society & Democracy & Culture) ibid.
123,660. At the end of empire as you begin decay they engage – historians call it micro-militarism – they carry out suicidal military fiascos. (Corporation & United States of America & US Empire & Democracy) ibid.
123,661. We’re going to tax them at 91% like we used to … [and] destroy the military machine in this country which is the greatest enemy of democracy. (Corporation & United States of America & Rich & Tax & Military-Industrial Complex & Democracy) ibid.
123,662. We lost control of our government, we lost control of our economy, and this isn’t unique to the United States. (Corporation & United States of America & Control & Democracy) ibid.
123,663. Everything becomes tribal, truth no longer matters, the rights of the citizenry no longer matter. (Corporation & United States of America & Rights & Democracy) ibid.
123,664. The liberal class functions as a kind of safety valve in moment of distress … They never critique the system. (Corporation & United States of America & Liberal & Democracy) ibid.
123,665. We have enough cumulative evidence to say that it was stolen from him [Bernie Saunders]. (Corporation & United States of America & Democrats & Democracy) ibid.
123,666. We going to have to walk out into the wilderness or a long time. (Corporation & United States of America & Advice & Democracy) ibid.
123,667. So we saw that period in the 70s when corporations organised. (Corporation & United States of America & 1970s & Democracy) ibid.
123,668. The system only wants people who will perpetuate it. (Corporation & United States of America & System & Democracy) ibid.
123,669. What they are doing is extracting from us. (Corporation & United States of America & Democracy & Society) ibid.
123,670. It has the capacity to commodify everything. (Corporation & United States of America & Commodity & Democracy & Society) ibid.
123,671. They are taking from us our constitutional rights by judicial fiat i.e. re-interpreting the right of unlimited corporate power through a distorted interpretation of the constitution. (Corporation & United States of America & Constitution & Democracy & Society) ibid.
123,672. Jesus didn’t come to make us rich. (Corporation & United States of America & Jesus Christ & Democracy) ibid.
123,673. There used to be a liberal wing of the Democratic Party but it’s long gone. (Corporation & United States of America & Democrats & Democracy) ibid.
123,674. You can’t maintain a democracy in an oligarchy. (Corporation & United States of America & Democracy) ibid.
123,675. They are playing a very dangerous game by refusing to address the fundamental issues that have distorted our society. (Corporation & United States of America & Democracy) ibid.
123,676. You’re not going to rationally argue these people out of their world-view. (Corporation & United States of America & Democracy) ibid.
123,677. He [Trump] is the classic con artist that rises up out of a decayed state. (Corporation & United States of America & Democracy & Trump) ibid.
123,678. You’ve created fertile ground for the rise of American fascism. And our only response now is sustained mass acts of civil disobedience. (Corporation & United States of America & Democracy & Solidarity & Protest & Dissent & Revolution) ibid.
123,679. The state will be viscous … They will throw everything at us … We have no time left just from climate change, we have no time left, and in that sense resistance becomes a moral imperative. We have to stop being constrained by the tyranny of the practical. (Corporation & United States of America & Democracy & Solidarity & Protest & Dissent & Revolution) ibid.
123,680. Revolution is what I’m calling for … I’m calling for the overthrow of the corporate state. (Corporation & United States of America & Democracy & Solidarity & Protest & Dissent & Revolution) ibid.
123,681. But if we don’t stand up, it can’t be seen and we can’t use the word hope. I don’t know if we will win. I don’t even know if we will survive as a species. But these corporate forces have us by the throat and they have my children by the throat. And in the end, I don’t fight fascists because I will win, I fight fascists because they are fascists. (Corporation & United States of America & Democracy & Solidarity & Protest & Dissent & Revolution & Fascism) ibid.
123,920. The disintegration of these social bonds plunges individuals into deep psychological distress. (Society & Poverty & Democracy & United States & Capitalism) Chris Hedges, lecture Sanctuary for Independent Media, New York 2018, ‘American Anomie’, Youtube 2.01.07
123,921. Our corporate coup d’etat and failed democracy has freed the oligarchic elite from all legal and moral constraints. (Society & Poverty & Elite & Democracy & United States & Capitalism) ibid.
123,922. Mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence ... The electoral process is a facade. (Society & Poverty & Election & Democracy & United States & Capitalism) ibid.
123,923. A third of the American workforce earn less than $12 an hour and most of them do not have access to employer-sponsored health insurance. (Society & Poverty & Democracy & Poor & United States & Capitalism) ibid.
123,924. Empires in decay, ravaged by widespread anomie, embrace an almost wilful suicide; blinded by their hubris and unable to face the reality of their diminishing power, they retreat into a fantasy world where hard and unpleasant facts no longer intrude. (Society & Poverty & Democracy & Empire & United States & Capitalism & US Empire) ibid.
123,925. An aggressive criminalisation of the poor … The poor are thrown into prison and must forfeit all their property for being caught with small amounts of the same drugs. (Society & Poverty & Democracy & Poor & United States & Capitalism) ibid.
123,926. The self-destructive pathologies that plague the United States: opioid addiction, morbid obesity, gambling, suicide, sexual sadism … hates groups and mass shootings, rise out of this anomie. (Society & Poverty & Democracy & Poor & United States & Capitalism) ibid.
123,927. Capitalism: you don’t want this greed to dominate society. (Society & Poverty & Democracy & Poor & United States & Capitalism) ibid.
123,916. The most expensive election in history costing billions of dollars and bankrolled by a few billionaires. When 400 individuals have more wealth than the bottom 150 million Americans, and the top 1% donate political money than the bottom 90%, as ask, What’s the price for democracy? Empire: US Democracy: The Power of Money, Al Jazeera 2012
125,380. One heartbeat away from the presidency not a single vote cast in my name. Democracy is so overrated. (Politics & Vice-President & Democracy) House of Cards US s2e2: Chapter 15, Frank’s swearing-in ceremony