The state of American democracy: Outline
Historically, a decline of democracies was dramatically characterized by military coups. However, the trend has changed and democracies can decline through democratic norms erosion led by country leaders. By consolidating power, leaders can skilfully weaken democracy with citizens remaining unaware. America has experienced various alarming threats with the potential of declining its democracy. Fewer people are supporting the democracy in America. Historically, democracies as wealthy as Americans’ have never broken down. However people have concerns are being raised on whether the U.S is a democracy.
Influence of money and media on American Democracy
Nichols and McChesney in the book ‘Dollarocracy’ explain how elections in the US are being managed by consultants from a class that use millions of dollars and end up defining American politics something that has not been witnessed before. The more money gives this class power to manipulate American people especially with the help of journalists and media in general. Research shows that the consultants endanger electoral politics challenging American democracy. The authors argue that those in power who do not wish to have their wealth undermined through public participation use certain developments to weaken voting power, civic action, and participation. The authors (11) argue that America is experiencing a decline in democracy associated with money power. The establishment of the money and media voting is turning the US into a Dollarocracy where associated with one dollar for one vote contrary to democracy that requires one vote one person. The independent journalism supports this state promoting the advancement of the system leading to questions of whether the US is a democracy or not.
Use of power to manipulate citizens
Chomsky on the book, ‘Necessary Illusions’ discusses how citizens in democratic nations are manipulated and controlled weakening the democracy in the societies. Chomsky (15) argues that the class of elites in the US use media to manipulate people. The managers in the media industry are expected to share attitudes, aspirations, and perceptions of the elite class or of those people in power. To survive in their career, journalists conform with the ideologies of those in power. This means that the only information shared by the media is the only intended information. Contrary to sharing of all available information. The disconnect of Washington from the rest of the nation suggests that something is happening to American’s democracy. The concentration of corporate power amongst the elite class is against the American’s liberal legal framework.Even though the US is identified as a case of democratic states, its focus on rights-based individualism increases the risk of weakening democracy with the elite class taking control.Democracy demands equality which is promoted by nationalism as opposed to individualism.
According to Sheldon argues that democracy is struggling in the US. Sheldon argues that the US citizens are becoming submissive and uninterested in politics and thee elite class in ensuring that the trend stays that way. Under this state, the author explains that the public is being controlled by the elite class and is not sovereign as expected. Sheldon refers the US is a managed democracy. This means that corporate power is no longer answering to state controls. Under the managed democracy, the US is characterized by corporate power and the victims are the totally demobilised public. This book indicates that there is an issue with the US democracy that needs to be addressed.
Economic and political democracy
Democracy is not just a political process. It is also an economic process. Both are important for the US to maintain its democracy. According to Wolf, political democracy has effects on economic democracy and vice versa. For example on page 23 the author discussed the economic crises that began in 2007. During the recession, politics played a role in dealing with the crisis. This shows that both democracies have an influence on each other. Wolf argues that for a true socialist government to exist, it must have three components, one nationalized property that seeks to replace private properties. Two national planning that would replace markets. Three workers to appropriate the oversupplies their work. The book focuses on the idea of surplus value which forces capitalists to exploit laborers. The laborers do not control the sharing of the surplus. What happens is that managers share it. Such practices give leaders control over laborers and without them knowing American people end up being exploited by the elite class. This indicates that the US democracy is weakening and questions on whether the American state is a democracy are inevitable. As long as people in the US are being exploited and controlled by one class then democracy is at risk in the country.
It is clear that the US democracy is weakening question whether the US is a democracy or not. The disconnect of Washington’s from the other parts of the country suggests that there is a democracy crisis in the US. From the four books, it is clear that the US democracy is weakening especially with the emergence of the elite class which seems to control politics and economy in the US. Therefore, the topic of whether the US is a democracy or not is significant as it seeks to enlighten the public on how to ensure that the country maintains its democracy.
Chomsky, Noam, ‘ Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies. Taschenbuch’ South End Press. 1989.
Nichols, John and McChesney, Robert, ‘Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America’ Nation Books: New York. 2013.
Wolff, Richard, ‘Democracy at Work: A Cure for Capitalism’ Chicago: Haymarket. 2012. Books.
Wolin, Sheldon, ‘Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism – New Edition’ Princeton University Press. 2012.