RUTROW.org is a political discussion blog. Please read the annoying legalese on the "About" page.

Official Warmth and Public Rage

The NYT has an article titled, “Official Warmth and Public Rage for German Leader in Athens“. It starts with the following:

With thousands of police reinforcements on duty to shield her from rowdy protesters who see her as the arch-villain of the euro crisis and their national pain, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany was greeted by the Greek prime minister as “a friend of Greece” and tried to reassure the Greek people that she was not here “as a teacher, to give grades” but rather “as a good friend and a real partner.”

Now I’m not sure if this is a prefect example of the point I’m going to try to make, as what else are the leaders of a desperate country going to do in this case, however it’s at least a good place to T-off of.

Here’s my thought:

As one pays attention over time one notices in the various Democracies that on the big things (eg: wars, massive economic bailouts, etc.) very, very, often “official” policy is at odds with “public” opinion.

For instance, in the run up the last Iraq war most western democracies had public opinion skewed either very much against or significantly against going to war. Yet, oddly enough a very large swath of those same countries ultimately participated in one way or another. Moreover the leadership generally paid little penalty. We’ve seen similar divergence with bank bailouts, austerity, and the like.

The point being is if you pay attention you start to see a regular pattern of deviation between “official policy” and “public consensus”. That in turn, on top of all the other ways the public is manipulated (ie: manufactured consent), might make you wonder if  western democracy is turning out to be a bit of a sham. That perhaps democracy is window dressing for the little people.

Something to think about, even if I’m not suggesting anything other than democracy (god no), nor can I think of a better game in town.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>