Death Spiral of American Democracy?

Is American democracy in a death spiral? Do we now have democracy only in form – akin to the Soviet-era “People’s Democracies” where governments won every election? Will the combination of mass ignorance, lying politicians, and boundless government power be fatal to our remaining freedoms?

These are some of the questions examined in my new book, Attention Deficit Democracy, due out in January from Palgrave. The public is increasingly on automatic pilot, paying less attention to each new war, each new power grab, each new bogus presidential proclamation.

Attention Deficit Democracy lulls citizens into thinking that they have nothing to fear from the rising number of sticks and shackles that politicians and bureaucrats can use on them. Thanks to the Battered Citizen Syndrome, the more debacles government produces, the more voters cling to faith in their rulers. As a result, the U.S. government is becoming an elective dictatorship in which voters do little more than select who will violate the laws and trample the Constitution.


One Response to Death Spiral of American Democracy?

  1. Randy December 15, 2005 at 10:54 am #

    American democracy appears to have entered a purely decadent phase. While the words “freedom” & “democracy” are shouted louder and louder as a justification for torture, illegal invasions, and mass murder abroad, we butcher our freedoms at home with fanatic secrecy, propaganda, tainted elections, and the evisceration of the Bill of Rights. As you point out, we have a compliant and even enthusiastic corporate media and a “battered” apathetic public obsessed with celebrities, sports and gas bills. The Alpizar killing is an illuminating snapshot: no one seems troubled by the fact that the air marshals apparently lied to justify the shooting. After all, anything goes in the name of “security.” We are headed for a de facto police state operating within the shell of a formal democratic republic. Was it Mark Twain who first said that you cannot keep both an Empire abroad and a Republic at home? Thanks for your tireless efforts to alert the American public.