The post shares with readers John Kerry’s 1971 testimony before Congress, where he argued America’s involvement in Vietnam was never about national security, that America lost its sense of morality by bombing villages in Vietnam and most striking of all that America should stay out of internal civil wars in other nations – no matter how bad they might be – because history shows that is the right thing to do.
The post compares these comments with his comments this week vindicating military intervention in Syria. It lays bare the complete and utter u-turn Kerry has executed since becoming Secretary of State in the Obama administration and part of an establishment that is determined to undertake exactly the same actions Kerry railed against 42 years ago.
What has changed?
It can be argued that as Kerry’s immersion into the establishment has resulted in this change to his worldview. It is a consequence of iving in the unhealthy political bubble that exists, separated from the realities of life and the views of ordinary people outside the ring of steel that protects the elite. As such he and his ilk are cut off from all sources of information bar that provided by political advisers and government apparatchiks – who themselves live in the bubble and are therefore susceptible to bias confirmation and reinforcement by other narrowly focused minds. This structure exacerbates the widening disconnect between the electorate and the political class and is perhaps the reason why the interests of the establishment always seem to be so very different from our interests.
The only way this problem can be recognised, challenged by the people and ultimately corrected is to adopt properly democratic structures. Increasing frustration among voters suggests people are becoming more receptive to the idea of discussion about this otherwise dry topic. Make no mistake, being asked to vote for MPs, Mayors and councillors every 4-5 years is not the be-all and end-all of democracy. A measure of a democratic society is the degree to which voters have control and influence over their representatives after they have assumed their seat in a political chamber.
Too many people believe that the act of voting delegates authority to the elected to do what they see fit in our interest. The fatal flaw in that belief is demonstrated by the existance of the echo chamber described above and the way our interests are consistently trumped by party political interests and the wishes of highly influential individuals and groups who finance those parties.
Increasingly and even more disturbingly, we are seeing governments claim citizen involvement in the governance process because of their inclusion of membership body Non-Governmental Organisations, such as WWF and other environmental and sustainability pressure groups, as equals sitting around the table with elected politicians.
This nefarious state of affairs is highly sinister as the governments choose which NGOs they will embrace and award a seat at the table, give them funding from our pockets and allow them to dictate the rules the rest of us live under. We have no control over the leadership of these organisations and no control over which organisations are selected to be part of the establishment club. One member of Greenpeace cannot overturn a campaign direction of travel to ensure the NGO does not push government (such as the EU) to impose highly damaging and hugely costly policies on the rest of us. This is a theme that will get more prominence soon.
Closing the loop, the issue of John Kerry’s re-programming therefore is symptomatic of a much wider, much bigger and much more dangerous problem with democratic structures, one that need to be addressed if the people are to again be the masters and our representatives and public officials are to be the servants. We owe it to ourselves to bring about the necessary change. An excellent starting point are the demands of the fledgling Harrogate Agenda.