Rulers need not oppress those majorities who go along
Consentership, far more pernicious than dictatorship
We consense this December 11, 2007 article which challenges a US foreign policy that makes the US a bully instead of a respected good-neighbor. The column appears in newspapers in several countries and languages. The author resides in Vancouver, WA where he operates a business consulting firm.
By Ben TanosbornWhile polls indicate most Americans feel the nation is being led in the wrong direction, down-to-earth regular folk seem inclined to follow the same pied piper foreign policy. In the minds of Main Street America, similar to the “moral majority” of time past, you cease to be a good American the moment you question US foreign policy. Yet that “patriotic majority” prefer to think of themselves not as nativists, jingoists, or exclusionary.
Shortly after 9/11, Democrats and Republicans decided to set aside their minute differences in foreign policy and act as a united front. After all, they could always maintain a presumed differentiation in the domestic arena … as if their gross mislabeling as conservative and liberal defined how either party stood.
That citizens consent to relinquish rights and freedoms, allowing Bush’s White House to do as it pleased -- all too often in open acts of criminality -- has made it starkly clear that even if we claim to live under democratic rule of law, our republic operates under a much different rule: the rule of consentership. We, the citizenry, are simply the consenters! Such role reversal has made Americans the doting citizens of their uncle, Sam, an embarrassingly felonious uncle at that.
It’s looks as if in early 2008 consentership will continue to dominate our Tweedledum-Tweedledee politics, be it the occupation (or negotiated presence) of Iraq, a demonization of Iran and other “terror-villains,” or the denunciation of any nation that challenges our hegemony and “right” to collect tribute any way we see fit. Bush will soon be out, but his replacement will be a clone, possibly “a Bush in drag.” Perhaps we continue to be led astray with the promise of a lesser evil in domestic governance, but it will not be a lesser evil in the areas that are essential to bring understanding among peoples of the world.
It’s to our national detriment, including America’s standing in the world, too. Of late, we are befuddled by the popularity and confrontational attitude of Mr. Putin in Greater Russia, a man that not so long ago our own Duce tabbed as his straightforward, trustworthy friend Vladimir. How was Bush able to get a sense of Putin’s soul and just a few years later have him turn against us?
In the neo-czarist land of Vladimir Putin, an overwhelming majority matches their consentership against our own. The Russians’ newly found economic success and national pride have turned their political behavior into one of consentership. The US should not expect anything better after our screw-you behavior during their cold-turkey exit from communism, and now our insolence of trying to park missiles at their borders.
Consentership may not be dangerously consequential for small nations that have no influence beyond their borders. For an imperial superpower it can turn out to be the most extreme among political extremes, perhaps the worst form of dictatorship. After all, we are consenting to the rule of a very few… and those few have been granted the power to push the nuclear button at will, to turn daylight into permanent night.
Could it be that we are consenting because that is exactly what we want? That deep inside we feel that someone needs to do the dirty work on our behalf, and that there needs to be a price paid? Are we really accomplices as much as we are consenters? Isn’t this a form of a dictatorship by that antidemocratic triumvirate that rules our lives: predatory capitalism, wasteful consumerism, and religious fundamentalism?
Let’s stop being hypocrites! Let’s stop blaming Bush for our own cowardice and lack of civic guts. Empowering a selected -- not elected -- government; granting clearance for the neocons to act; giving Bush the green light to invade Iraq; tolerating the usurping of our rights and freedoms; and going along with blatant economic malfeasance that is sure to bankrupt this nation, defines the highest level of consentership: what some of us would call the ultimate political pass.
Let's Face It: The Warfare State Is Part of Us
Are Americans Unready to Boil?
Success and the Peace Movement
Email this article Sign up for free Progress Report updates via email
What are your views? Share your opinions with The Progress Report:
Page One Page Two Archive Discussion Room Letters What's Geoism?