American democracy and its problems

Radhakanta Barik

Judiciary cannot defend democracy. The strongest judiciary is there in Pakistan but the pillars of Democracy got demolished by the army and Islamic fundamentalist forces. Despite one election got manipulated by army the Judiciary stepped in and annul the election and ordered for another election. American judiciary is not saving democracy those who think like this is an illusion. There are structural weaknesses behind the American democracy which got bulldozed by Trump by sending its storm troopers. This is not going to happen in England or France. Ashutosh Varshney tells us an interesting fact regarding American democracy and finds the truth that the Supreme Court has saved the democracy against the coup de tat by Trump. As a son of Huntington who pleaded for the institutional strength as the political development. He encouraged through his theory of Clash of civilisations which motiviated American President to attack Iraq and destroyed the civilisation in the name of clash of civilisations. There is structural weakness in American democracy where the Blacks, indigenous people and workers have less rights in a democracy. American Constitution made by fifty industrialists in Phildelphia conference where all these lower classes have not participated in strengthening democracy. This is starting after 1960s and the Black lives matter have created a momentum to democracy. American state is against democracy which can be proved in the trajectory of history. The American state removed the democratic regimes in Latin American countries and helped in establishment of the military regimes. Recently the removal of a progressive leader from the Brazil and created a regime which is much more reactionary than the Trump. Trump has a close collaboration with the Turkey and Israel both speak against democracy. They took interest in South Asia and helped the military takeover in Pakistan in 1950s. They played a key role in removal of Bhutto and advised the army to hang him. They tried to destabilize Nehru and Indira Gandhi. Today Modi is a close friend of Trump and sabotage all democratic institutions in India including the media and Supreme Court. Indian democracy has got sabotaged by the institutional decay and creating communal division among people of India.

Today the farmers rally is going on the attacks on Muslims are going on by storm troopers of Modi in MP. They are burning the houses of the minorities in six districts of the Malwa region of MP. One does not when the storm troopers are going to attack the Kisan rally. Democracy has got separated from capitalism which got questioned by American scholar C Wright Mills in his book Power elite where he argues,  “what Ford thinks and the same thinking prevails in military elite." This makes him to face the court on the charges of Commission of UnAmerican ideas. Any dissident in India can be put into the prison under UIPA where no bail can be granted. Democracy in India has got separated from capitalism and capitalist masters are meeting the RSS chief in Nagpur and paying heavily to Modi and Shah for the PM cares Fund and Election bond which is getting used to buy the MLAs in sabotaging the democracy in states of India. It is capitalism fighting against democracy in India and America. Who taught whom? There is no dialogue between Modi and farmers in Delhi and they are standing at the gates of Delhi. But Modi is having gala time with Trump and went to America to campaign for him and telling that "Next time Trump" slogan was given by Modi in their soil. It is a shame on his part. He invited him to Delhi and while he was here the storm troopers went on creating riots in Delhi. These storm troopers went and attacked the students of JNU which organised a protest march on 5th January. His storm troopers went to attack Jamia. They went to destroy the Babri Majsjid. They went and burnt the train in Godhra and they killed two thousand people in Gujarat. It seems that Modi has taught the American President Trump to block the capitol Hill and win the election in any means as Modi did in 2019 general election with the help of EVM.

Prof Amartya Sen in his book Argumentative India created a chapter on USA needs to learn from India regarding the management of Elections in India. America needs to learn the management of general election and in India there is direct election rather than the Electoral college of America which creates confusion in counting of votes. The victory of Trump was getting questioned as he collected more votes from the bigger states of USA which created confusion and with the support of Trump's gang he got elected. Today he refused to accept the defeat in the present election to the American Presidency. His gang went to attack the Senate houses by listening the defeat of Trump. This is a warning to India as his friend Modi may create ruckus in the general election and elections to the state assemblies which he did in the state of Bihar where twenty assembly constituencies have got manipulated by the Election Commission for the BJP which made it possible to form the government in Bihar. Indian Express has given space for discussing the issues facing America after departure of Trump. Can American democracy be revived? This is an important article by a historian Vinay Lal about the problems confronted by America after Trump. American dream no more is an attractive proposition before the world. Respect for human rights a slogan by America does not appeal people. It is very difficult to reconstruct America and bring back its path of development with respect for human rights. "Those who live and flourish by brutalising others are themselves brutalised." The same situation is going to be discussed after Modi's departure. As Modi and his friends in USA and Brazil and Israel are violating human rights without hesitation and they have brutalised public discourse. There is no respect for facts and no dialogue. Farmers are on the strike for a month but no discussion yet by Modi, but Man Ki Bat is going as usual. It is going to be difficult for reconstruction of Indian democracy.

American universities are standing like forts surrounded by the sea of ignorance. People suffer from racialism and hatred for the blacks and migrants from Mexicans. When Europeans came down here they killed millions of Red Indians which have been recorded in the book by anthropologists. “Bury my soul under the Knee’s depth” which has not bitten their conscience. They extracted the surplus from the black labour working in their plantations while these white landlords moving around the farm on their horses with canes in their hands. Black rebel has softened their consciousness and they are still arrogant and living in the fort. Universities produce knowledge but knowledge does not reach people and they create academic sophistry. Asimov the migrant writer from Russia feels, ”There is cult of ignorance in the US and there has always been. The strain of anti intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” This is working in Northern India where the best universities are located. Once some years back I interviewed a large number of villagers in twenty KMs of BHU in Banaras where they say that they do not get access to best agricultural institutes work in the campus or best departments in social science or natural sciences do not have any impact over their lives. They live in deep ignorance and whereas universities having a pool of knowledge.

 An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States is a 1913 book by American historian Charles A. Beard. Shows the weaknesses in the legal structure of American constitution. All the members who came to the convention were property owners who drafted the Constitution  to protect the property owners of American society. Those slave owners also participated in it. This constitution could not deliver the justice to common people till 1964 when the Supreme Court gave a judgement regarding the black entry into the same schools and colleges. Indian Constitution was drafted by the representatives of Indian people who imagined a social revolution in India where the right to equality turns to be an agenda of social programme of oppressed and marginals. This did not happen till the black got inspired by Gandhi led movement to protest against social injustice.

C Wright Mills extended his arguments in the same line given by Beard which explains the structure of power elite. The military elite. Industrial elite and political elite may be physically separated, “but they think alike and behave the same way.” This brings out the power elite who looks at the foreign countries as the source of exploitation. The military production is in the hands of private players and they wanted to sell their hardware for which they need the political and defence elite of the developing countries. Whichever country opposed their business they destabilized the political rule and rehabilitated the military rule. Be it Chile’s Allende got over thrown by the military coup de ta. the eponymous "power elite" are those that occupy the dominant positions, in the dominant institutions (military, economic and political) of a dominant country, and their decisions (or lack of decisions) have enormous consequences, not only for the U.S. population but, "the underlying populations of .the developing countries.

In interacting with the military officials who say to me that they meet the Pakistani military officials in the same hotel and discuss the arms sellers of America for procuring the armaments. As Prof Amit Bahaduri in his study shows that South Asia is the biggest purchasers of arms from private military establishments of America. It seems that to sell their arms in foreign countries they create a political regime which is pliable to the American interests.

Prof Radhakanta Barik (retd), Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi

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Jan 16, 2021

Prof. Radhakanta Barik

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