Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained

The True Meaning of Democracy

Reading Room: Chapter 19 Summary

Darkness Visible

“… yet from those flames
No light; but rather darkness visible…where peace
And rest can never dwell …”

Writers like Plato, Rousseau  and Machiavelli believed that deception was an essential element in government, that only the wise were wise enough to understand the necessities of various government policies and actions. Without secrecy and deception, governors could not govern. This mentality seems to prevail today, a time when there is less and less government transparency.
      
It is generally accepted that most politicians tell the voters what they want to hear at election time to win votes and that once elected act in accordance with the wishes of those who paid the campaign bill. When listening to campaign speeches, when entering the voting booth, as one does when entering the theatre, one must willingly, subconsciously, suspend one’s disbelief.

Thus, there are two realities to be maintained at once. And there are two sets of powers controlling the two complementary realities: the visible oligarchs, those elected to office, the invisible oligarchs, their paymasters and handlers. The true source of power is usually hidden. Selfish deeds often pass for “official policy” giving them a veneer of legitimacy.

There are those who have argued that the United States Constitution was written and a centralized Federal government was established so that speculators would get paid in 1789. In the year 2009, as planned, they got paid once again. But on this occasion the transaction occurred before an observing public. The invisible oligarchs are no longer invisible.

AIG has had to change its name and logo so as to protect its employees from physical assault. But the real culprits, the legislators and government officials without whose connivance none of this ever could have happened, escape unidentified. It is typical,  especially in the United States, that the citizenry, even as it is being robbed and  driven to destitution, never challenges and holds accountable its own government, the people in power who determine its individual and collective destinies.