Totalitarization of the American Democracy Continues after the Democratic Party’s 2008 Election Triumph

I remember how many years ago when I still lived in SRussia (Soviet Russia), an American tourist in Moscow who happened to befriend my acquaintance shared with her the following observation (that quickly became a sensation among the young Russians with dissident bubbles in their blood): “We, Americans, work in order to live, but you, Soviet citizens, live in order to work.” We were all struck by this comparison as an enlightening truth about the condition of life in Soviet Union – not to be rewarded enough for our work by the system which we didn’t believe in anyway and many of us considered as fake and fraud. But as an emigrant from SRussia and a naturalized American who has lived long enough in democracy to see its drastic deterioration (since 2000) I see the historical irony of comparing reward for work and popular believe in the system in both countries – Bush and post-Bush America and SRussia. We, Americans, today come very close to the condition of SRussians working for the Soviet system. We try to get as many as three part time jobs without benefits to build the house of cards prosperity, and many of us are without a medical insurance to care about our health and life. But the American rich decision-makers feel as stable and confident as the Soviet masters did in U.S.S.R.

How did this degradation of Democracy come about? Why we, Americans, found ourselves close to the condition of the Soviet people (with, lets say, a little more money, but with less stability and more worries, and either with more intense work or without job at all)? The main reason is, it seems, a recent totalitarization of economy – the fact that the American global economic ambitions don’t need democracy (to care about the working people contradicts the profits of the rich entrepreneurs). When profit becomes idolized it starts to behave like the Communist ideology – it implies that people belong to economy, exactly like in SRussia they belonged to the Communist idea. Idol is an idol – it doesn’t matter what conceptual mask it wears: religious ideology, secular ideology or economic profit. Idol is an authoritarian leader; it likes human victims, it is the center of the world. Idol is a cannibal, world exists for it, not another way around. U.S. has never had a formal monarchy; but today our country is a monarchy – monarchy of financial profit.

Idolization of economy (absolutization of profit) has led the American leaders to make one consideration – profit, to become the absolute ruler of life. But absolute monarchy is incompatible with democracy, even if it is monarchy of an idea, a principle and an interest. Democracy is always a combination of determinants, a pluralistic cluster of elements. American despotism of profit reduces people’s openness to any other interest that differs from just making a living and then having a compensatory entertainment (poor) or expanding/enhancing global power. To become, for example, dedicated readers of scholarly books and enthusiasts of serious fiction and/or philosophical films, to cultivate intellectual and aesthetic sensitivities, to get the ability to think about the functioning of different political and economic systems or about the alternatives to fossil fuel, or how to ennoble and make a more mature human relationships we are involved in, to sophisticate our mystical needs to feel unity with nature and universe, etc. – all these potential interests are less and less available to those who once leaved under American democracy.

Americans burdened by survival under the corporate monarchy and by their blind need in compensatory entertainment are closer and closer to SRussians who in the same way were under the burden of Communist monolithic ideology. For both of them the only basic psychological reactions available were and are: hard work, jingoism, narcissistic self-glorification, contempt (conservative version) or indifference (liberal version) toward those who are different from them, their bodily pleasures and preoccupations, and crude entertainment.

Bastardization of the American population has moral and internationally political implications. The Mass people are not psychologically capable of checking the ideas and behavior of the rich elites. They are prone to be obedient and to psychologically imitate their leaders and bosses. The more jingoistic and narcissistic the masses are the more adventurists and irresponsible the military and financial decision-makers become. Where people are living to survive instead of surviving to live, leaders are living to command, to conquer and to subdue. That’s how democratic systems become totalitarian. That’s how the democratic America becomes totalitarian Russia.