IEET > Rights > Political Empowerment & Participation > Affiliate Scholar > John G. Messerly
The USA Overthrows Democracies Abroad, Will They Overthrow Their Own?
John G. Messerly   Feb 15, 2017   Reason and Meaning  

All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage—torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians—which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by ‘our’ side.
~ George Orwell

Augusto Pinochet Ugarte (1915 – 2006), pictured above, was President of Chile between 1973 and 1990 and Commander-in-Chief of the Chilean Army from 1973 to 1998. His rule of Chile was a dictatorship.[3][4] Pinochet assumed power in Chile following a United States-backed coup d’état on 11 September 1973 that overthrew the democratically elected socialist Unidad Popular government of President Salvador Allende and ended civilian ruleSeveral academics have stated that the support of the United States was crucial to the coup and the consolidation of power afterward.[5][6][7] During the period of Pinochet’s rule, various investigations have identified the murder of 1,200 to 3,200 people with up to 80,000 people forcibly interned and as many as 30,000 tortured.[11][12][13]

Of course it is no secret that the USA has attempted to suppress democracy many times around the world since the end of WWII, and they have been successful in: Syria in 1949, Iran in 1953, Guatemala in 1954, the Congo in 1960, Greece in 1961, Brazil in 1964, The Dominican Republic in 1965, Italy in 1970, Chile in 1973, and others. In fact, the involvement of the USA in regime change around the world since the mid 19th century—both successful and unsuccessful involvement against all kinds of governments—forms a list too long to detail here.

Now here’s my question. If the military and covert forces of the USA are willing to overthrow (especially) democratic/populist governments around the world, is it much of a stretch to think that authoritarian forces won’t continue to use any means possible to suppress democracy in their own country? Voter suppression, gerrymandering, misinformation, propaganda, and all the rest may just be the beginning. It is but a short step from the above to using anything, including violence, to get your way. Especially when you are fanatical ideologues, power seeking plutocrats, or profit obsessed corporatists. And the job is made even easier with the cooperation of the coercive organizations of governmental agencies like the CIA, FBI, and the Justice department.

I fear for the Republic.

John G. Messerly is an Affiliate Scholar of the IEET. He received his PhD in philosophy from St. Louis University in 1992. His most recent book is The Meaning of Life: Religious, Philosophical, Scientific, and Transhumanist Perspectives. He blogs daily on issues of philosophy, evolution, futurism and the meaning of life at his website: reasonandmeaning.com.



COMMENTS

Allende was incompetent, and brought about his overthrow. He co-enabled Pinochet- no good comes from what could, or should or would have happened otherwise. Allende in some way helped kill and torture the victims of the Junta.
https://www.quora.com/World-History-Was-the-Coup-against-Salvador-Allende-in-Chile-justified

Come to think of it, wont comment on political articles anymore. Politics are going nowhere fast; will wait for different decade to comment, when politics are no longer politics as we define politics to be. Perhaps 2050 or so.
Brin, in a another piece, is being wildly premature to write about revolution at this time—for decades to come there are only technological revolutions possible. The social fabric was far too corroded during the past half-century; and if you would all go out to observe the situation carefully, you’d see that it will take decades to make even minor changes.
However it is understood a writer will throw things out for the reader to think about, and be entertained.

Loyalty to the principles of the republic, the loyalty that led
Republicans in Congress to be ready to impeach President Nixon when it
was proved he had schemed against those principles, seem to have
disappeared from today’s Republicans.  Their voter-suppression laws
and their gerrymander reflect their “power by hook or by crook”
attitude.

To Rms - this is largely the topic of Ezra Klein’s great piece in vox.

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/2/7/14454370/trump-autocracy-congress-frum

It’s boringly predictable that so-called ‘technoprogressives’ (Brzezinskian technotronic dictatorship?  Anyone?), post-humanism (good luck with that), anti-Trump shrieking about authoritarianism and the like would all be topical here.  Transhumanism within the context of world government will provide a solution to the messy problems of being human, of auto-determination and anything resembling spiritual liberty.  A key feature of the massively funded approaches to this hellish anti-human tsunami will include propaganda.  Nationalism will be decried (bloody individualism) while technologies capable of thought coercion, genetic manipulation and deniable weaponry will be applied under the supervision of the military and it’s subordinate agencies.

This is precisely the case all over America and in my hometown of Opelousas.  The neutralization of people refusing to take part in spying on their neighbors and families, who balk at being coerced, threatened into signing non-disclsure agreements required of counterintelligence ‘investigations’ are neutralized via slander, blackballing, pre-emption of the most menial activities, and includes murder in the form of piosonings, lethal electromagnetic radiation attacks, etc.  But hey, you can’t make a human omelette without breaking a few heads.

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