Without getting too much into the subtleties of the thing, a democracy functions on the will of the majority mediated by legal design. In a “fair” and practical democracy the majority protects its minority members with laws designed to protect behaviors without recourse to the majority or minority status of the actor. However, since the majority on any one issue can “win” in both legal terms and often in power terms, minorities create ways of coping with their lower power status; that is, all minorities save one: the wealth addicted, including certain other forms of social pathology and the “society” of privilege that forms around them. They reject the lower power status inherent in being a small percentage of the population by creating ways of controlling the political process with other means than openly stating their interests and having them judged by the body politic.
It is an obvious strategy: if you are only 3 to 5% of the people and you have competing interests, then doing whatever it takes to get a 51% measurement of the vote is clearly a primary route to political power. When the 3 to 5% have an outsized percentage of the wealth, they 1) can hire enough voices in all the right places to appear of outsized importance, 2) can convince themselves of their own importance and 3) can let the “especially worthy” into their ranks of privilege as reward and a way of encouraging a public view of accessibility.
What is not clear, and intentionally so, is that everything – everything – done to advance the cause of the 3 to 5% among the majority has to be a lie. I am using the rather archaic conception of “lie” as the communication of something that is known to be false in its direct content or its effect. Our language has been so manipulated by the hired agents of this minority that “lie” requires that you admit that you have intentionally made self-serving and untrue statements (and even this is not called a lie, but rather an apology). Anything short of this is called a misstatement, a greater truth or blamed on some version of the Devil.
Winning and losing is different for a group comprising only 5% of the population, but who must appear to represent 50% to be listened to. Compare: if a true majority is being represented, then losing a vote means that those that you represent have rejected your ideas. If you comprise only 5% of the population and your candidate or initiative is rejected, it means that you did not present your option in a way that would attract enough votes (or didn’t steal enough): you know that it is not the wishes and the needs of the 5% that have been rejected, since they were never presented, but the packaging designed to bring together 51% didn’t work. The values and interests of the 5% are never presented or questioned; what matters is not truth, but how to get into an office or initiatives on the books that support those interests.
This means that there is no symmetry between the Democratic and the Republican parties. In the simplest view, the Democratic party purports to represent the majority lifestyle and interests; the Republican party actually does represent the lifestyle and interests of the economic elite. There should be no electoral contest ever! The 5% position, if openly and honestly stated, would lose every time. But openness and honesty are not the currency of political communication.
All of this (and I mean ‘all of this’) is difficult to talk about since the language has been, if not controlled, greatly influenced by a way of relating to material and service exchange in a completely insane way. The accumulation of excess has historically gone from a socially frowned on habit that raised doubts about a person’s ‘goodness’ (Neolithic societies); to an activity allowed to Gods and demigods, but not to regular folk (early “civilization”); to making the 10:1 threshold of excess as acceptable, but much beyond that questionable socially and of questionable utility (spread of mercantile classes); to everyone should get as much as they can and to do so is not only a right, but good for the economy and the world. In fact, the inhibition of acquisitiveness is now the suspect position (a version of today’s utter Madness). In such an environment, the possibility of a reasoned, responsible discussion of these issues beyond a narrow number is difficult. Imagine trying to discuss Revolutionary War history in a room of crazy people all of whom believe themselves to be either George Washington or King George!
As long as the insanity of the wealth addicted and the special forms of social pathology that have come to underpin the economic elite and politically powerful are the models for social and economic behavior, the 3 to 5% will attract a following. This following will try to emulate this mad minority’s easily observable, often manufactured, qualities. In a rational world (one at least somewhat founded in biophysical reality) these behaviors would be a category in the DSM and have some treatment paradigm, but not be the standard for proper human action.
Of course, the Democratic party doesn’t represent majority lifestyles and interests, though it has the responsibility of seeming to, and could be made to if there were ways to communicate and coordinate the mutual concerns of the multitude. Worker’s organizations of all kinds are the best source for such coordination and are thus the first to be attacked by the mad minorities minions.
The reward structure is clear. Hannity, Limbaugh, M. Reagan, Liddy, O’Reilly, Gibson, Ingraham, Malkin, Beck, Hewitt, Buchanan and many more have tailored a presentation, content and style, to the message of the mad minority. While some may actually believe some of what they present, it is more likely that most are moved by success and economic motives, motives easily in the control of the mad minority.
Even in so small a part of the world as I inhabit, I feel the pressure to certain phrases, certain positions, certain arguments that I understand will excite the interest of those who can decide if my efforts are acceptable — it goes far beyond the quality of the writing. I can only guess at the pressures on those who aspire to aspects of the madness in the first place. The pressure to suck-up and not to fuck-up must be huge especially as the “communicator” finds their way into the very heart of the wealth and propaganda machine.
The capacity to control the measures of success and social acceptability has come more and more into the hands of the 3 to 5 % mad minority. The consolidations of media/entertainment companies have let the many hours a day of media contact be designed by more and more centralized sets of goals. There are thousands of films, TV shows and stories that glorify consumption — even a presentation that attempts not to has to sell itself in consumption terms and language.
And yet! The vast majority of people, the real species still with some intimations of sanity, realize that there is something terribly wrong. Unless the 3 to 5% mad minority maintain a full court press the incipient sanity of the multitude always threatens to break through. Such sanity, of course, has no place to go in the present world, and so quickly loses its power like a single wave washing impotently up a beach. We see this in the election of Obama. He was elected against the limitations of prejudice, and being an unknown, by the hope of the multitude for some sanity in their lives. But he was also supported by many of the 3 to 5% and will be swept away by them unless the great thirst for sanity begins a movement.
We live in a vast and complex ecology of these forces, many levels of idea and action mediated by all the forms of human motive, capacity and madness, but the multitude is still potentially the human animal, grounded in their daily biology and natural sanity. We must begin to use those capacities first to save our personal selves and then possibly more beyond ourselves. The mad minority will lead the earth’s people to ruin as they attempt to save themselves from the ecological and economic disasters of their design. It is not populism to see hope in the multitude, it is simply that they are the only source of sanity left.