test-Towell_Oh yes it is

Published in The Light newspaper, 40 (Dec.), 2023, p. 12

Oh yes it is! Oh no it isn’t!

Illusion of democracy created with pantomime politics.

Kevin Towell

THE constitution of North Korea proclaims it a democratic republic.

In reality, their single-candidate elections are merely for show, and those who wish to reject the sole candidate must do so in a specially monitored booth – an act which risks persecution, incarceration or death.

Who are they trying to fool with this pantomime? Perhaps no one. Instead of a mechanism for government to (allegedly) derive authority from a democratic mandate, their voting is instead a ritual of humiliation and subjugation.

In the Western world we are told how fortunate we are to live in true democracies. Systems of government so well-perfected that our leaders yearn to export them to less fortunate nations – often at gunpoint. Doubtless it is coincidence that many of these democratically unfortunate nations are highly fortunate in other ways – such as in the possession of abundant oil, gas or mineral resources.

What makes a Western democracy different to the North Korean model? Well, instead of a single party, there are typically two, or sometimes three, main parties on offer.

Cynics may suggest that in practice, these opposing parties often represent a single establishment ‘uniparty’ – yet others say nay! They debate approved divisive political issues with furious passion! They wear different colour ties! Thus the electorate are presented with an illusion of choice.

Noam Chomsky once wrote: ‘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.’ This spectrum is known as the ‘Overton window’. You may read The Guardian, etc. and support the Labour Party. You may read The Telegraph, etc. and support the Tory Party.

Political opinion outside these bounds is banished to the outer darkness by the word ‘far’ (merely denoting populist), and by a variety of other insults and smears. Far Left. Far Right. Extremist. Fanatic. Loon. Mob. Terror sympathiser. Woke. Conspiracy theorist. Communist. Fascist. Antisemitic. Racist. Something-aphobe – and a host of similar playground jeers.

The establishment media of both Left and Right comprise in their totality a finely tuned propaganda machine designed to divide us and ensure that any populist resistance remains mired in infighting, and thus may never hinder the elite.

Sometimes the establishment’s ‘current thing’ may require them to coddle one side to help subdue the other. Leftist sentiment was manipulated to label covid dissenters as ‘scary far right’, and rightist sentiment is being similarly manipulated today to label antiwar or pro-Palestinian dissenters as ‘scary far left’. Could there be any better demonstration of how the Left–Right perspective has become weaponised?

Many who admit that Western democracy isn’t perfect may still mock comparisons with North Korea. Indeed, we are more comfortable under this slightly more elaborate fake democracy. Yet though the velvet glove is rather thicker in the West – better concealing the state’s iron fist – this is still a carefully crafted illusion.

As Frank Zappa once said: ‘The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.’

The occasional rotation of tie-colours lulls the unwary into false hope that a change of superficial government may bring real change, and is thus a handy safety valve for public discontent – until the hopium hit wears off and another election is required to renew it.

I still remember the heady excitement and optimism I felt as a naive student when Tony Blair’s Labour Party won power in 1997, and D-Ream’s Things Can Only Get Better was blasting out through the student-union bar.

The Iraq War betrayal dashed my foolish illusions for ever, and it is interesting to compare the ‘dodgy dossier’ of Iraq’s supposed weapons of mass destruction (WMD) with the more recent dodgy dossiers of absurd computer modelling used to terrify parliamentarians into toeing the climate and covid lies.

Where faked evidence and panic-mongering are not sufficient to bring the elected useful idiots into line, then flattery, bribery and blackmail (e.g. Jeffrey Epstein’s notorious island) will usually do the trick.

The mysterious death of WMD expert Dr David Kelly after the Iraq War hints at the shady world of deep politics where the true power lies.

Douglas Adams once wrote: ‘The President in particular is very much a figurehead – he wields no real power whatsoever. He is apparently chosen by the government, but the qualities he is required to display are not those of leadership, but of finely judged outrage.

For this reason, the President is always a controversial choice, always an infuriating but fascinating character. His job is not to wield power, but to draw attention away from it.’

Adams clearly understood that the pantomime puppet-show of shallow politics is mostly a sham, a distraction from where power really lies.

It is sometimes said that all politics is local or all politics is parochial (pertaining to the parish), yet the most local level government – the parish council – is regarded as a joke institution on the rare occasions its existence is even noticed.

Power becomes ever-more distant and centralised, and just as local government has mostly been relegated to the unglamorous task of emptying bins, national governments are fast becoming mere rubber stamps for unelected globalist institutions – snapping to attention and saluting smartly when the globalist elites declare a war, a pandemic or a climate emergency.

‘Global problems require global solutions’, they cry – not realising that the tendency to centralise power and wealth in the hands of ever-more distant, unaccountable and hubrisridden elites is at the root of most of our problems, and should be reversed.