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Greatest Threat To Democracy


Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don’t know and I don’t care.–Jimmy Buffett

by Paul Balles


Yesterday I was angry. Today, I’m tired; but I refuse to be apathetic.

I’m tired of a world full of hostile maniacs who get their kicks out of slaughtering each other.

I’m tired of the power brokers whose only concern is whether or not the storms of nature and the storms of mankind will affect their outsourced pocketbooks.

I’m tired of the hundreds of members of the UN who let America and Israel get away with any self-serving decision the two giants want.

I’m tired of an ignorant America that doesn’t know what’s going on in the world and an apathetic America that doesn’t care.

Only a few very sensitive people will care whether or not I’m tired or what I’m tired of, or why. That makes me angry.

Ignorance angers me, but I refuse to let it yield to apathy.

The ancient Greek thinker Plato called “Ignorance, the root and stem of all evil.”

Herodotus, Greek Father of History, was just as strong in his belief that “The only good is knowledge, and the only evil is ignorance.”

William Shakespeare believed that “There is no darkness but ignorance.”

Addressing both warfare and knowledge, Napoleon Bonaparte said “The only victories which leave no regret are those which are gained over ignorance.”

America’s fourth president and Father of the American Constitution, James Madison, knew that “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”

American journalist, essayist, magazine editor, satirist, and critic of American life and culture, H.L. Mencken wrote “Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance.”

Speaking about the power of propaganda, John F. Kennedy said “No matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as the truth.”

In their ignorance, Americans boast a lot about “our democracy”. Israelis (mistakenly) brag about being the only democracy in the Middle East.

The soul-mate to ignorance about what constitutes a democracy is apathy. Here are Tweedledee: “I don’t know” (ignorance) and Tweedledum: “I don’t care” (apathy).

“To be apathetic is literally to be without passion,” wrote Erwin Raphael McManus in Uprising: A Revolution of the Soul.

“Voter apathy was, and will remain the greatest threat to democracy,” argued former governor of Michigan Hazen Pingree.

Though others in government know the truth in Pingree’s argument, they do their best to keep public apathy. Does it matter?

Observed French social commentator and political thinker Charles de Montesquieu “The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not as dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy.”

Montesquieu became famous for his articulation of the theory of separation of powers into sovereign and administrative (further divided into executive, legislative and judiciary).

“All over the place,” notes Noam Chomsky, “from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.”

If Americans are ignorant of political realities at home, they’re even more so, as well as apathetic, about international politics. They’re not alone!

How can two windbags (US and Israel) swagger in front of the rest of the world–195 UN member nations—who sit apathetically under the control of these two internationally dictatorial regimes?

To know and to care are the only antidotes for ignorance and apathy.

Paul J. Balles

Paul J. Balles is a retired American university professor and freelance writer who has lived in the Middle East for many years.He’s a weekly Op-Ed columnist for the GULF DAILY NEWS .Dr. Balles is also Editorial Consultant for Red House Marketing and a regular contributor to Bahrain This Month.

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6 Responses to "Greatest Threat To Democracy"

  1. Mike Kay  November 27, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Mr. Balles,
    This is a prescient piece. Apathy, and consumerism really go hand in hand. Its hard to imagine idiots beating each other over telephones and sneakers ever having the slightest clue of what forces are engineering their lives.
    The game currently is to make the people responsible for their own economic demise. In a strange way, this is true. In an honest society, wall street sickos, congressional whores, bankers, and federal reserve psychopaths would be subject to tribunals across the land. Those found guilty of treason would be dangling from lanyards, feeding the Ravens. The fact that the American people choose willingly to be groped and ripped off by perverts-the TSA-in order to boardf an airplane, bespeaks of how little America, and her people, really care for the principles that our founders held sacred.
    The good note here is that the engineered destruction will not proceed along lines determined by the destroyers. They will be hunted like rats in the cellar, and they will be dispatched with similar contempt. Just wait, we all will witness this. phenomenon

  2. Excalibur  November 27, 2012 at 4:55 am

    This is an interesting article – but it throws up the new opportunity emerging for us due to the changing modes of human communication. For centuries the jewish Messianic banking cartel has slowly got it’s way (whether in communism vehicles or so called capitalism) by obsessing over people that influence public opinion at every level and every sphere of life. Public opinion formers have always been the ones they target in EVERY field – knowing that THEY will influence the outcome that they want.

    Basically they approach all ‘opinion formers’ in one way or another and offer them a ‘deal': get with OUR programme and you will have an easy and unexpected rise to power – helped and funded by us – OR refuse us and find all sorts of terrible things happening to you and your family. It has been this way now for many years – making it now almost impossible for a good man to succeed in anything – and ensuring that the worst kinds of mercenary creatures end up running everything.

    The modus operandi of the cabal has always been to find ways to promote those opinion formers (who are such because of their general character or because of their position in society). In this way they manipulate the direction of true public opinion into whatever they require – and therefore ‘democracy’ merely becomes what ever they want it to mean at the time. Also in this way we always find that the ‘government’ always seems to be doing the exact opposite of what everybody wants them to do.

    Our current ‘democracy’ is where everyone grudgingly goes along with what they do NOT want because they think they are out-voted – whereas in reality they have had their views and hopes misused and usurped.

    More and more people are beginning to understand this now – and it has posed a terrible problem for the cabal – who are living now in times which are highly dangerous to their overall control network. The conclusion that they seem to have arrived at as a remedy is to use TV and media as a massive DISTRACTION event – and to literally divert the attention of the general populace away from those events, discoveries and news items which are truly important to them – onto CONJURING TRICKS and PAP which has no relevance or importance to their survival at all. They are using titillating and INANE DISTRACTION in order to hypnotise the population into a cul de sac and dead end as far as throwing off their chains are concerned.

    Thus all mainstream media are culpable – and all must be closed down and replaced – along with those imposters and traitors currently making decisions for us.

    • darklite  November 27, 2012 at 2:42 pm

      Just wanted to say, your response to Paul’s article was truly brilliant!

  3. Brian  November 26, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Two of the greatest threats to democracy are secretive homosexuals and pedophiles in high ranking positions in important governments and probably at the United Nations. AIPAC fills our congress, White House, Pentagon, State Department, Homeland Security and other agencies with these types of people for control via blackmail.

    The Israelis live by the notion if we can’t blackmail you we can’t trust you. The Jewish Banskters in The City of London also put these types of people in high ranking positions via the Israeli Lobby, other organizations and through direct orders to politicians.

    The Jewish Bankster controlled Great Britain government has plenty of secretive homosexuals,pedophiles and secretive homosexuals/pedophiles blackmailed to do anything asked by the Jewish Banksters in The City of London also known as the Jewish Vatican.

    From the Wayne Madsen Report:

    “In early 2003, British police began to close in on some top suspects in the Operation Ore investigation, including senior members of Blair’s government.

    Police also discovered links between British Labour government pedophile suspects and the trafficking of children for purposes of prostitution from Belgium and Portugal (including young boys from the Casa Pia orphanage in Portugal).”

    To hide the scandal, Blair issued a D-Notice, resulting in a gag order on the press from publishing any details of the investigation. This allowed his buddies to be discharged without public outcry.

    WMR has learned that the Bush administration, like that of Blair, is rife with paedophiles in top positions. The paedophile network also extends to the U.S. defense industry, particularly some of the companies that have been involved in the sexual abuse of minors at overt and covert U.S. prisons in Abu Ghraib, Iraq; Guantanamo, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Thailand, and now, at three prisons in Ethiopia.

    Brian: Apparently some members of the Illuminati are also pedophiles

    • Brian  November 26, 2012 at 2:04 pm

      Morrell John Berry is an American administrator and director of the United States Office of Personnel Management. Berry is, according to the Human Rights Campaign, the highest-ranking openly gay official to serve in the executive branch in any U.S. administration.

      Brian: Since he is open about being gay you can’t blackmail him about it. It would be interesting to ask him off the record how many secretive gay people Obama has placed in high ranking positions in the Federal government.

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