“Every American must know his past.”
Democracy in the US is treated as something immutable to their political system. It cannot be subjected to change because the people are made to believe their version is and by itself a perfection of their model. They refuse to acknowledge that their system is one rooted on slavery and not a historical drawback. American political scientists reject that their system is imbued with racist DNA manifested through various forms of discrimination.
Their system was borne out of slavery, and every American must know his past. They should look at the past with a sense of historical lesson. Without slavery, the US would not have become a powerful agricultural economy. It was not the early pioneers that explored the vast lands from the native Indians but people from Africa they kidnapped and enslaved to work on the vast cotton fields and later on for their sugar plantation to quench the thirst of the consumers.
The US represents the blood, sweat, and tears of the toiling American people. The crucible test of the young republic was the American civil war on April 12, 1861. Many say that the civil war was the emancipation of the blacks enslaved by the big landlords in the south. Others like Fredric Douglas and Howard Zinn saw their emancipation in a different perspective. The white northerners wanted free labor and demanded the emancipation of the blacks while the landlords who owned the vast plantations wanted to keep them.
To every form of conquest and oppression, there has to be some reason. For example, the emancipation of the blacks was sugarcoated with the concept of freedom. What many did not realize that in exchange, the emancipated slaves would depend on the meager wage they received from their employers for their survival.
The emancipation of the slaves by US President Abraham Lincoln saw the rapid migration of the blacks to the urban centers in search of employment. Free labor is much better than being paid as a sharecropper. It marked another historical epoch in US history and indubitably reshaped their concept of democracy.
At the turn of the 20th century, the US became an imperialist power. The industrialization of the US opened the gates to engage in conquest and imperialism. Others say, it added full weight to colonizing countries to make full use of the doctrine called “imperialism”.
As Jeffry Sachs would put it, it was a nasty form of conquest that the US chose to occupy territories of a declining imperial power like its occupation of Cuba and the Philippines from Spain. It was a deception because the US used the pretext of introducing their democracy to “widen” our freedom and elevate Christianity to higher plane to justify their colonization.
Victory in the two world wars only allowed it to control and manipulate international finance. It then stretched its control to currencies of other countries. Instead of refining their theory of democracy as a political system, the US ignored that democracy has its own postulates about literal equality as against excessive inequality. It has been proven that absolute economic equality can never create political stability. On the other hand, extreme equality can only breed mass poverty, chaos, and a complete dissatisfaction to many. Neither did it entice people to measure their free will.
Despite the symptomatic danger, American political leaders instead opted to deregulate the economy. The economic doctrine that subscribed to the privatization resulted in the eradication of the social obligation of big corporations to limit their profit without regard that they enjoy franchise and monopoly in their operations. The “neoliberal doctrine” was enunciated by the Chicago-based economic crackpot led by Professor Milton Friedman and fortunately was accepted by US President Reagan and UK’s Prime Minister Thatcher.
Earlier, there was already premonition that the US would abandon the gold standard to measure the value of its currency. The US economy was already having financial difficulty because of its involvement in the Vietnam War. It was already incurring a huge budget deficit that its only way out was to abandon the gold standard. The US was also having difficulty in balancing its huge trade deficit with Japan. In the 70s, the US stood as the biggest manufacturer and exporter in the world to lessen Japan’s trade deficit and abandoning the gold was not a bad idea.
Countries that were members of the US-controlled World Bank have to adjust their currency to the value of the US dollar. Consequent to the decoupling of the US dollar from the gold, the volatility of the currency compelled central banks to abolish interest rate, otherwise known as the “anti-usury law”. Even after the value of the currency was stabilized, restoring the fixed interest rate on loans was all but forgotten.
Public utilities have to deregulate their charges. Private corporations always boast of increased tax collection notwithstanding that the amount was the result of continuing inflation. The full implementation of the neoliberal policy resulted in a system of democracy which only the handful elite could exercise. This explains why the elite and the rich always stand out in the community like their being elected to public office as though they are the only intelligent class in a given political community.
Neoliberalism destroyed the concept of democracy as it accorded a carte blanche cheque to the US-controlled IMF and World Bank to dictate the monetary policies of the world. It was through this pipeline that caused the once mighty and formidable US empire to be buried in debt. Today, the US stands as the biggest debtor without fear of incurring further liability. Practically, all central banks, including the Philippines have to lend the US from our own reserves without the knowledge and consent of our people.
The emergence of the US as the dominant economic power during and after the Second World War exceeded 50 percent of the world’s economic output. As an international currency reserve, it was voted by the delegates from 44 nations to adopt the U.S. dollar as an official reserve currency. The decoupling of the US dollar from the gold standard practically gave it a leeway to print dollars that were backed by US treasury certificates. The increase in monetary supply went beyond the backing of gold reserves, which reduced the value of the currency reserves held by foreign countries. Today, the US ranks second to China both in exports and in manufactured goods, thus putting much doubt on the US to financially lead.
As if to grasp more dollars, the US compelled countries to pass their version of the anti-money laundering law. In essence, the law sought to control and regulate the flow of US dollars. We are made to police and monitor the flow of the US dollar although other major currencies are also favored by our misplaced generosity. We spend so much to monitor this currency, impose fines or confiscate them when in fact they should be placed under our jurisdiction. As one would put it, the AMLA is some kind of racket of consigning the collection to others and still making money out of his questionable collection.
There are numerous instances of this arbitrary policy that often affect the lives and health of people from poor countries. The latest of which is the withholding of the foreign currency deposit of Afghanistan. All this has affected the tenability and credibility of the US concept of democracy. Other countries similarly affected are Venezuela, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, and Belarus. All these countries did not violate their contractual obligation with the US.
Democracy cannot be selective or can whimsically be used to force other countries to bend to what the US wants. Worse, the US has often resorted to confiscating the gold reserves of other countries for threatening to shift to other currencies as what it did to Libya, or confiscating the Iranian oil on the high seas and selling them to buyers of hijacked products.