Is Western Democracy Real Or A Facade?
February 14, 2012
By Paul Craig Roberts
The United States government and its NATO puppets have been killing Muslim men, women and children for a decade in the name of bringing them democracy. But is the West itself a democracy?
Skeptics point out that President George W. Bush was put in office by the Supreme Court and that a number of other elections have been decided by electronic voting machines that leave no paper trail. Others note that elected officials represent the special interests that fund their campaigns and not the voters. The bailout of the banks arranged by Bush’s Treasury Secretary and former Goldman Sachs chairman, Henry Paulson, and Washington’s failure to indict any banksters for the fraud that contributed to the financial crisis, are evidence in support of the view that the US government represents money and not the voters.
Recent events in Greece and Italy have created more skepticism of the West’s claim to be democratic. Two elected European prime ministers, George Papandreou of Greece and Silvio Berlusconi of Italy, were forced to resign over the sovereign debt issue. Not even Berlusconi, a billionaire who continues to lead the largest Italian political party, could stand up to the pressure brought by private bankers and unelected European Union officials.
Papandreou lasted only 10 days after announcing on October 31, 2011, that he would let the Greek voters decide in a referendum whether or not to accept the austerity being imposed on the Greek people from the outside. Austerity is the price charged by the EU for lending the Greek government the money to pay to the banks. In other words, the question was austerity or default. However, the question was decided without the participation of the Greek people.
Consequently, Greeks have taken to the streets. The conditions accompanying the latest tranche of the bailout have again brought large numbers of Greeks into the streets of Athens and other cities. Citizens are protesting a 20% cut both in the minimum wage and in pensions larger than 12,000 euros ($15,800) annually and more cuts in public sector jobs. Greek taxes were raised 2.3 billion euros last year and are scheduled to rise another 3.4 billion euros in 2013. The austerity is being imposed despite Greece’s unemployment rate of 21% overall and 48% for those under the age of 25.
One interpretation is that the banks, which were careless in their loans to governments, are forcing the people to save the banks from the consequences of their bad decisions.
Another interpretation is that the European Union is using the sovereign debt crisis to extend its power and control over the individual member states of the EU.