Democracia e Estado capturado por lóbies, transnacionais e neo-fascistas

---- o leve gemido da Democracia     (-por H. Araújo, 4/2/2017, 2dedos de conversa)

 
Traduzo (em modo rapidíssimo) um texto de opinião de Jakob Augstein no Spiegel Online:
Duas semanas de Trump      O leve gemido da Democracia  02.02.2017. - Jakob Augstein
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
  -  T.S. Eliot

         Donald Trump começou a transformar a Democracia americana numa ditadura. Já há exemplos deste processo noutros países: Hungria, Turquia, Rússia. Agora, os EUA. Um processo em avanço dissimulado.

       A Democracia morre silenciosamente, não faz barulho. Um poema famoso de T.S. Eliot, com o título "The Hollow Men - Os Homens Ocos" termina com os famosos versos: "É assim que acaba o mundo / Não com um estrondo, mas com um gemido." É do nosso mundo que fala. É a nossa Democracia que está a desaparecer - não com um estrondo, mas com um gemido.

       Os Estados Unidos da América eram o líder do mundo ocidental. Noutros tempos trouxeram aos alemães a Paz e a Democracia. Agora, foi detido nesse país um menino de cinco anos. Ou preso. Ou retido. Haverá com certeza um termo jurídico para descrever correctamente o que os serviços de segurança americanos fizeram a este menino. Durante cinco horas foi mantido longe dos pais num aeroporto. Um cidadão americano, que estava a regressar do Irão.

      E o Irão está na lista dos países que, por uma simples penada do presidente americano, faz de qualquer visitante um indesejável. Uma penada de perfeita arbitrariedade. E crueldade. O porta-voz deste presidente veio depois dizer que seria um erro concluir, baseando-se apenas na sua idade e no seu sexo, que uma pessoa não constitui uma ameaça.    Arbitrariedade e crueldade - não são essas as características de uma ditadura?

                    A Democracia a abolir-se a si própria

      Ditadura é uma palavra muito séria. Temos algumas ideias do que é. Passos pesados nas escadas às cinco da manhã. Detenções. Desaparecidos. Arbitrariedade. Ditaduras destas conhecemos nós - os alemães - bem. E os polícias armados até aos dentes, que nos aeroportos fazem cumprir as tresloucadas determinações do presidente para a entrada de pessoas no país, ainda se assemelham a essa imagem que temos da ditadura. Mas isto é apenas a superfície. Hoje em dia, o verdadeiro rosto da ditadura é diferente.

      A Democracia não morre num dia só. Ela abole-se a si própria lentamente. Trump foi eleito. Orbán foi eleito. Erdogan também. O padrão é semelhante. Um populista conquista o poder à força da mentira. Instala os seus correligionários em lugares chave, particularmente na Justiça e no aparelho de Segurança. E neutraliza os media.

      Num trabalho notável sobre a fragilidade das Democracias modernas, que foi recentemente apresentado na revista americana "Atlantic Monthly", diz-se: "A vantagem de controlar um Estado moderno reside menos em poder perseguir os inocentes que em poder poupar os culpados." Uma frase inteligente. Porque, embora existam ainda os mecanismos clássicos da ditadura - na Rússia e na Turquia -, está a desenvolver-se uma nova forma.

                   Torcer as regras, manipular as notícias

      As eleições são livres. Ninguém pode ser morto em plena rua. E quem não está satisfeito, pode sair do país quando quiser. Mas a Justiça já não é independente. Os media perdem cada vez mais a integridade. Os contratos de projectos do Estado são concedidos aos amigos políticos. As Finanças verificam com mais frequência os críticos do sistema. A corrupção torna-se normalidade. As regras são torcidas, as notícias são manipuladas, e uma parte da elite vê-se apanhada em redes de cumplicidade.

      Ao fim das duas primeiras semanas do seu mandato não pode haver mais dúvidas: Donald Trump quer instalar no seu país uma ditadura deste tipo. Começou um processo que é muito difícil de travar. A questão é: quem protege a Democracia? Não podemos confiar em nenhum partido. Para chegar ao poder, muitos são capazes de tudo. Trump mistura interesses privados e públicos? Pratica nepotismo abertamente? Chegou ao poder com a ajuda de hackers russos? Vangloria-se da sua forma indigna de tratar as mulheres? Os conservadores suportam tudo isso. Porquê? Por causa do poder.

E porque não conseguem imaginar tudo o que, a partir disto, ainda pode vir a germinar - neles, no país, no mundo.

     Quando Adolf Hitler foi nomeado Reichskanzler, Theodor Wolff, que era o chefe de redacção do jornal "Berliner Tageblatt", escreveu: "Pode ser que se force uma obediência muda, e que neste país - que tanto se orgulhava da liberdade do pensamento e da expressão - se reprima qualquer impulso franco. Há um limite a partir do qual a violência não avança."   Mas que grande (e terrível)  equívoco.

                          US political lobbying  ;  brexity ; transnacionais; oligarcas, neo-fascistas, ...

       Discreta rede de lobistas de empresas transnacionais controlam a política ... a seu favor.
Em Abril de 1938, o presidente (dos EUA) F. Roosevelt enviou ao Congresso o seguinte aviso:
A Liberdade de uma Democracia  não está segura se o povo tolera o crescimento do poder privado até ao ponto em que se torna mais forte que o próprio Estado democrático. Isso, na sua essência, é fascismo.”   Este é um aviso que fazemos bem em relembrar.
      A secretive network of business lobbyists has long held sway in US politics. Now their allies in the UK government are planning a Brexit that plays into their hands

Trump was prepared not only to promote the cause of corporations in government, but to turn government into a kind of corporation, staffed and run by executives and lobbyists. His incoherence was not a liability, but an opening: his agenda could be shaped. And the dark money network already developed by some American corporations was perfectly positioned to shape it. Dark money is the term used in the US for the funding of organisations involved in political advocacy that are not obliged to disclose where the money comes from. Few people would see a tobacco company as a credible source on public health, or a coal company as a neutral commentator on climate change. In order to advance their political interests, such companies must pay others to speak on their behalf.

Soon after the second world war, some of America’s richest people began setting up a network of thinktanks to promote their interests. These purport to offer dispassionate opinions on public affairs. But they are more like corporate lobbyists, working on behalf of those who fund them.

We have no hope of understanding what is coming until we understand how the dark money network operates. The remarkable story of a British member of parliament provides a unique insight into this network, on both sides of the Atlantic. His name is Liam Fox. Six years ago, his political career seemed to be over when he resigned as defence secretary after being caught mixing his private and official interests. But today he is back on the front bench, and with a crucial portfolio: secretary of state for international trade.

In 1997, the year the Conservatives lost office to Tony Blair, Fox, who is on the hard right of the Conservative party, founded an organisation called The Atlantic Bridge. Its patron was Margaret Thatcher. On its advisory council sat future cabinet ministers Michael Gove, George Osborne, William Hague and Chris Grayling. Fox, a leading campaigner for Brexit, described the mission of Atlantic Bridge as “to bring people together who have common interests”. It would defend these interests from “European integrationists who would like to pull Britain away from its relationship with the United States”.

Atlantic Bridge was later registered as a charity (organização sem fins lucrativos, passível de receber subsídios públicos e privados, e isentada de impostos). In fact it was part of the UK’s own dark money network: only after it collapsed did we discover the full story of who had funded it. Its main sponsor was the immensely rich Michael Hintze, who worked at Goldman Sachs (bank) before setting up the hedge fund CQS. Hintze is one of the Conservative party’s biggest donors. In 2012 he was revealed as a funder of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, which casts doubt on the science of climate change. As well as making cash grants and loans to Atlantic Bridge, he lent Fox his private jet to fly to and from Washington.

Another funder was the pharmaceutical company Pfizer. It paid for a researcher at Atlantic Bridge called Gabby Bertin. She went on to become David Cameron’s press secretary, and now sits in the House of Lords: Cameron gave her a life peerage in his resignation honours list.

In 2007, a group called the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec) set up a sister organisation, the Atlantic Bridge Project. Alec is perhaps the most controversial corporate-funded thinktank in the US. It specialises in bringing together corporate lobbyists with state and federal legislators to develop “model bills” (preparar/fazer leis para ...). The legislators and their families enjoy lavish hospitality from the group, then take the model bills home with them, to promote as if they were their own initiatives.

To run the US arm of Atlantic Bridge, Alec brought in its director of international relations, Catherine Bray. She is a British woman who had previously worked for the Conservative MEP Richard Ashworth and the Ukip MEP Roger Helmer. Bray has subsequently worked for Conservative MEP and Brexit campaigner Daniel Hannan. Her husband is Wells Griffith, the battleground states director for Trump’s presidential campaign.

Among the members of Atlantic Bridge’s US advisory council were the ultra-conservative senators James Inhofe, Jon Kyl and Jim DeMint. Inhofe is reported to have received over $2m in campaign finance from coal and oil companies. Both Koch Industries and ExxonMobil have been major donors.

Kyl, now retired, is currently acting as the “sherpa” guiding Jeff Sessions’s nomination as Trump’s attorney general through the Senate. Jim DeMint resigned his seat in the Senate to become president of the Heritage Foundation – the thinktank founded with a grant from Joseph Coors of the Coors brewing empire, and built up with money from the banking and oil billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife. Like Alec, it has been richly funded by the Koch brothers. Heritage, under DeMint’s presidency, drove the attempt to ensure that Congress blocked the federal budget, temporarily shutting down the (Obama) government in 2013. Fox’s former special adviser at the Ministry of Defence, an American called Luke Coffey, now works for the foundation.

 The Heritage Foundation is now at the heart of Trump’s administration. Its board members, fellows and staff comprise a large part of his transition team. Among them are Rebekah Mercer, who sits on Trump’s executive committee; Steven Groves and Jim Carafano (State Department); Curtis Dubay (Treasury); and Ed Meese, Paul Winfree, Russ Vought and John Gray (management and budget). CNN reports that “no other Washington institution has that kind of footprint in the transition”.

Trump’s extraordinary plan to cut federal spending by $10.5tn was drafted by the Heritage Foundation, which called it a “blueprint for a new administration”. Vought and Gray, who moved on to Trump’s team from Heritage, are now turning this blueprint into his first budget.

This will, if passed, inflict devastating cuts on healthcare, social security, legal aid, financial regulation and environmental protections; eliminate programmes to prevent violence against women, defend civil rights and fund the arts; and will privatise the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Trump, as you follow this story, begins to look less like a president and more like an intermediary, implementing an agenda that has been handed down to him.

In July last year, soon after he became trade secretary, Liam Fox flew to Washington. One of his first stops was a place he has visited often over the past 15 years: the office of the Heritage Foundation, where he spoke to, among others, Jim DeMint. A freedom of information request reveals that one of the topics raised at the meeting was the European ban on American chicken washed in chlorine: a ban that producers hope the UK will lift under a new trade agreement. Afterwards, Fox wrote to DeMint, looking forward to “working with you as the new UK government develops its trade policy priorities, including in high value areas that we discussed such as defence”.

How did Fox get to be in this position, after the scandal that brought him down in 2011? The scandal itself provides a clue: it involved a crossing of the boundaries between public and private interests. The man who ran the UK branch of Atlantic Bridge was his friend Adam Werritty, who operated out of Michael Hintze’s office building. Werritty’s work became entangled with Fox’s official business as defence secretary. Werritty, who carried a business card naming him as Fox’s adviser but was never employed by the Ministry of Defence, joined the secretary of state on numerous ministerial visits overseas, and made frequent visits to Fox’s office.

By the time details of this relationship began to leak, the charity commission had investigated Atlantic Bridge and determined that its work didn’t look very charitable. It had to pay back the tax from which it had been exempted (Hintze picked up the bill). In response, the trustees shut the organisation down. As the story about Werritty’s unauthorised involvement in government business began to grow, Fox made a number of misleading statements. He was left with no choice but to resign.

May needed someone who is unlikely to resist. She chose Fox, who has become an indispensable member of her team. The shadow diplomatic mission he developed through Atlantic Bridge plugs him straight into the Trump administration.

Long before Trump won, campaign funding in the US had systematically corrupted the political system. A new analysis by US political scientists finds an almost perfect linear relationship, across 32 years, between the money gathered by the two parties for congressional elections and their share of the vote. But there has also been a shift over these years: corporate donors have come to dominate this funding.

By tying our fortunes to those of the United States, the UK government binds us into this system. This is part of what Brexit was about: European laws protecting the public interest were portrayed by Conservative Eurosceptics as intolerable intrusions on corporate freedom. Taking back control from Europe means closer integration with the US. The transatlantic special relationship is a special relationship between political and corporate power. That power is cemented by the networks Liam Fox helped to develop.

In April 1938, President Franklin Roosevelt sent the US Congress the following warning: “The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism.” It is a warning we would do well to remember.

A fully linked version of this column will be published at monbiot.com.



Publicado por Xa2 às 08:51 de 04.02.17 | link do post | comentar |

DESTAQUE DO MÊS
14_04_botão_CUS
MARCADORES

todas as tags

CONTACTO

Email - Blogue LUMINÁRIA

ARQUIVO

Junho 2017

Março 2017

Fevereiro 2017

Janeiro 2017

Dezembro 2016

Novembro 2016

Outubro 2016

Setembro 2016

Agosto 2016

Julho 2016

Junho 2016

Maio 2016

Abril 2016

Março 2016

Fevereiro 2016

Janeiro 2016

Dezembro 2015

Novembro 2015

Outubro 2015

Setembro 2015

Agosto 2015

Julho 2015

Junho 2015

Maio 2015

Abril 2015

Março 2015

Fevereiro 2015

Janeiro 2015

Dezembro 2014

Novembro 2014

Outubro 2014

Setembro 2014

Agosto 2014

Julho 2014

Junho 2014

Maio 2014

Abril 2014

Março 2014

Fevereiro 2014

Janeiro 2014

Dezembro 2013

Novembro 2013

Outubro 2013

Setembro 2013

Agosto 2013

Julho 2013

Junho 2013

Maio 2013

Abril 2013

Março 2013

Fevereiro 2013

Janeiro 2013

Dezembro 2012

Novembro 2012

Outubro 2012

Setembro 2012

Agosto 2012

Julho 2012

Junho 2012

Maio 2012

Abril 2012

Março 2012

Fevereiro 2012

Janeiro 2012

Dezembro 2011

Novembro 2011

Outubro 2011

Setembro 2011

Agosto 2011

Julho 2011

Junho 2011

Maio 2011

Abril 2011

Março 2011

Fevereiro 2011

Janeiro 2011

Dezembro 2010

Novembro 2010

Outubro 2010

Setembro 2010

Agosto 2010

Julho 2010

Junho 2010

Maio 2010

Abril 2010

Março 2010

Fevereiro 2010

Janeiro 2010

Dezembro 2009

Novembro 2009

Outubro 2009

Setembro 2009

Agosto 2009

Julho 2009

Junho 2009

Maio 2009

Online
RSS
blogs SAPO