American Chaos


Does it matter? Bush or Gore. Not really. Who cares who wins an American presidential election between two identical candidates with identical world views? Only stock brokers and speculators around the world look interested in American chaos. American presidential election is the biggest showbiz on the earth. Everybody knows politicians lie and pretend to care about things in public they happily give away in private. Both Bush and Gore lied but it was part of their political culture. Indians are familiar with political hypocrisy and farcical elections. And by any standards the American presidential poll was a farce. American hypocrisy in politics, nationally and internationally, is unlimited. Finally the Bush-Gore dance drama ended in a fiasco—if anything it was simply bizzare. The dead-locked  presidential vote suggests among other things how flawed the American electoral system is. The two party system of America is notorious in bashing any voice of dissent that challenges the bi-polar polity, heavily dependent on corporate finance. In truth political bribery is not illegal in America, thanks to apex court verdicts that, equate spending with free speech. Progressive candidate Ralph Nader is right in describing the White House as a corporate prison. And for ordinary people throughout the world it hardy makes any difference who the prisoner is. Corporate power decides everything though a US president constitutionally retains an awesome ability to make things happen.


American democracy represents the mood of a minority as it is the case everywhere. In 1998 American Congressional elections voter turnout was a record low, with just 33 percent of eligible voters going to the polls. After all their parliamentarians and voters are not terrorised by the naxalite vote boycottists. The hard fact is that low voter turnout tends to be accepted and encouraged by the powers that be as a very good thing since non-voters are mainly among the poor and blacks. Indian dalits have their counterparts in the American society as well. It is pointless to blame it on Bihar. The Singhs and Yadavs may derive some comfort from the American syndrome. In some states of India general elections are so manipulated that sometimes people’s

representatives, not excluding persons with criminal records, get elected with the actual support of less than 30 percent of eligible voters. The business dominated parties in league with all powerful corporate community of America, have refused to reform laws that make it virtually impossible to create new political parties that might speak on behalf of the dispossessed. One party rule or two-party rule, the net result is an overwhelming majority  of people remaining demoralised, frustrated and socially powerless. Elections reflect market principles, not participatory democratic norms, with contributions being equated with investments. In the final  analysis electoral politics as it is in America, guarantees the maintenance of unquestioned corporate rule, having little appeal to ordinary voters. The way monopoly houses in India control ruling parties, communist parties, rather social-democratic outfits is well known.


The area where both Republicans and Democrats look alike from afar is on foreign policy orientation. Not that they differ much on hawkish stance and all of them, irrespective of their purely Democratic and purely Republican niceties, are too eager to see the White House showering the American military with mountains of unneeded funds that can only do untold harm to the security of third world countries. They pursue a kind of religious zeal in punishing Iraq and Cuba  through forced starvation. Their idea of sanctions is the same— it protects American hegemonism. They are equally adamant not to compormise on their extravagant life styles while blaming it on the South for the green house effect and global warming. They hardly differ on the controversies related to the depletion of ozone layer, third world debt, dumping of wastes in third world countries including Russia and bio-chemical threats posed by transnational corporations, to the world’s agriculture. Democrats and Republicans are on the same wave length when it is the question of  missile diplomacy. They fear missile attack from the White House certified rogue states like Iraq and Iran. It’s simply ludicrous. American corporations need war economy form their super profit and, Democrats as also Republicans are always ready to oblige them, no matter how they define the priority areas. America is overburdened with corporate traditions and the November presidential election illustrates among other things the Americans have no escape from chaos in the forseeable future.