Whitney's Inaugural Address on Democracy Future
January 20, 2005
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Gary Webb - Presente
Whitney's Inaugural Address on Democracy Future
Authentic Journalist Jennifer Whitney, who reported from Bolivia during last July's gas referendum, from Venezuela during last August's presidential recall referendum, and from the United States during last November's presidential vote, offers a sweeping analysis of "elections" and democracy of the past year and finds - despite the simulated "democratic" coronation underway today in Washington DC - some glimmers of hope:
- Depressed About the Inauguration? There Are Better Models of Democracy Building from Below
By Jennifer Whitney
Special to The Narco News Bulletin
Whitney offers original reporting and lessons from the elections in Bolivia, Venezuela, Iraq and the United States, explaining:
"So while Republicans are gorging themselves at the most costly inauguration ever, let’s go on a quick tour of recent vote-casting to see what remnants of 'democracy' are evident in national electoral politics around the world. Along the way, we’ll get some glimpses of what a real democracy might entail – not one that sits on the shelf and is occasionally dusted off and wielded at the enemy like a trophy.
"Democracy is not a possession, not a thing to flaunt with pride or to regard with envy. It is a utopia, if one discards the notions of hippie communes and takes the true meaning of the word “utopia,” which is “no place.” It is something we can dream of, strive towards, and be inspired by, but it doesn’t really exist. It is more accurately a verb than a noun, an ongoing process rather than a final result. It is fluid and demanding, because it can never be attained and sustained. If you turn your back on it, it ossifies and crumbles; it cannot be forgotten, nor left to professionals to manage on our behalf. It is at its best when fought for, argued over, and challenged by the participation of those of us implicated in the very word, democracy, that is to say, the people who are meant to rule...."
And she finds, even at this cloudy moment in history, that elusive thing called hope:
"On this inauguration day we are facing the swearing in of the vacant foundationless cynical facade of democracy that unfortunately is our birthright, and to add insult to injury, the US government is exporting that 'democracy' to Iraq and calling it liberation. In both countries we are confronted with a situation where there is no political space, there is no room for debate; there is no real choice. As in Bolivia, what is desired by the majority of people in the US and Iraq did not and will not appear on the ballot.
"But we are in a time of great transformation, and it is precisely during such times that small actions can have enormous effects. The spokesperson for Bolivia’s Coordinating Committee for the Defense of Gas, Oscar Olivera, says 'Right now, history has placed social movements in a decisive moment and we have no choice but to work for the power from below, the power of the people.' We have to choose what side we’re on.
"We must walk towards that utopia of democracy, which doesn’t exist, but which beckons us to fight for it. Walking, we learn what we can along the way, driven not only by desperation, but by curiosity as well. Is there another way to live, to relate, to govern? Can we imagine what it might look like? What steps might we take towards creating conditions in which we could build it? Are there others like us, around the world and in our own neighborhoods, who might want to walk with us? With every answer, with every step, we are closer to understanding the action, the verb, the constant motion of democracy. And this is cause for hope – hope because people around the world, and particularly in Latin America, which is not utopia but which walks forever towards it, people everywhere are also asking these questions, and many others, defining and developing an authentic democracy, a democracy which doesn’t collect dust on the shelf between elections but which has room – in fact – demands that there be room in it for everyone."
Whitney reports what the Commercial Media will fail to disclose today: the context in which the inauguration in Washington, its claims of "democracy," its attempts to export its version of "democracy" in the elections planned for January 30th in Iraq, are taking place.
It is a context largely provided by Latin America - especially from Venezuela and Bolivia - where new models of a democracy that "does not sit on a shelf between elections" are thriving and advancing, while the North American people see their own democracy slip out of their popular hands.
Especially if your hope is challenged, this is an important story.
Read the whole thing:
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Al Giordano Publisher The Narco News Bulletin http://www.narconews.com/ new email: firstname.lastname@example.org