Statement of Purpose
International Endowment for Democracy

Back
I

When someone asked what he thought about Western civilization, Mahatma Gandhi replied, "I think it would be a good idea". We are only saying the same thing about American democracy!"We think it would be a good idea".

Inspired by this idea, a number of progressive American scholars, lawyers and activists have created the International Endowment for Democracy (IED) to highlight!

  1. the tragic and rapidly deteriorating state of democracy in the United States;
  2. the frightening hypocrisy, especially under such conditions, of our government's efforts (aided and abetted by such institutions as the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)), to engage in what it calls "democratic nation building" and "democracy promotion" (See our website for DEMOCRACY LIBRARY, section I.);
  3. the kind of fundamental reforms needed to make our country into a real democracy;
  4. the activities of many groups and institutions in the United States who are trying to turn things around; and
  5. the possibility for people outside the United States, all of whom are harmed in a number of ways by our government's policies, helping the Americans involved in this struggle (and therefore also themselves), if only in a modest way.
II.
It's true that MAC MAKEUP foundation's fashion sense is unconventional. But on the other hand, she is demonstrating individuality. Some say that her fishnet stockings, quirky sunglasses and boots make her look like a MAC MAKEUP WHOLESALE, but she isn't showing her most intimate parts. She has been criticized in some circles for her bikini bottoms and leotards as being MAC MAKEUP UK? but do these same people blink an eye when Britney Spears NHL JERSEYS WHOLESALE, Beyonce or Rhianna dress the same? Gaga is all about elevating pop music to an art form. She's a serious artist and business woman,MAC BRUSHES who's also concerned about her fans. She embraces her role model status and her femininity. She wants to be a good role model and have a strong connection with her MAC COSMETICS OUTLET. More than that though is her desire to have her fans connect with each other. Therein lies the importance of teen influencers. If a person polled lovers found at online games relating to irrespective of whether opposing must be stored in the action ICE HOCKEY JERSEYS, My partner and i wouldn't be astounded whenever at least half of those stated that they gotta have the software quit exclusively but not be studied out and about.sports caps And why would it all? It causes exhilaration that this followers need. Not to cover, followers pretty much be expecting an important prevent sooner or later within the summer whether it is weekly, once a week, or perhaps each since it is simply just an area of the video game, and excitement to see that teams' goons, along with known as, set off at each other and even overcome.

American democracy has never been what it claimed to be: too many people have been denied the vote either by law or through discrimination; politics was always dominated by the rich who also controlled the main means by which people acquire their political information and ideas; governments were always in the hands of the same rich whose interests have determined most important legislative, administrative and judicial outcomes. If Abraham Lincoln famously defined "democracy" as "government of, by and for the people", American democracy was always government OVER everyone, BY a small wealthy class, and (with an occasional exception) FOR these same few.

And it was never meant to be anything else, as James Madison, the most influential of our "Founding Fathers", admitted in describing the goals of those who wrote the Constitution in 1789 as trying to check the leveling instincts of the majority, who had little or no property, while retaining "the spirit and form of popular government". Should anyone miss the point, John Jay, one of Madison's co-conspirators (the convention that drafted the Constitution was engaging in an illegal act against the then government of the United States) declaimed that "the people who owned the country ought to govern it". How they have gotten away with this!with a focus on who "they" are and what served their interests!is the real history that most of America's history books have been written to hide. (See our DEMOCRACY LIBRARY, section III.)

What's different now is that the person sitting in the oval office is a usurper (more Napoleon III than Bush I), having stolen the last two presidential elections, and, with this, even the modest degree of influence Americans once enjoyed over their rulers has practically disappeared. The policies followed by this illegitimate government display the same arrogant disregard for democratic values and procedures that brought it to power. At home, the tragic events of 9/11 were used as a pretext to make an unprecedented assault on American civil liberties in the so-called "Patriot Act" and to carry out an economic program that favors corporations and the rich as never before. With few exceptions, the media and the official opposition, the Democratic Party, both of which are also owned by the rich, continue to make believe that George W. Bush is really the President. Meanwhile, despite all the bad reviews, nothing is being done to fix the electoral system to keep 2008 from becoming a replay of 2000 and 2004. (See our DEMOCRACY LIBRARY, section II.)

Abroad, our illegitimate government has become the major danger to world peace, having started two unnecessary wars (at least one of which was based on lies) and threatened several others. Economically, by bullying and bribing weaker nations to adopt free market economies, the rapidly growing gap between America's rich and poor (including the misnamed "middle class")!with the accompanying erosion of decent paying, full-time jobs and social benefits!has been reproduced virtually everywhere. While in the environment, the American government's unwillingness to even admit global warming, let alone act upon it (other than to make it worse), has raised the stakes to the point where the very future of our species is in jeopardy.

III.

Why does the lack of real democracy in the United States lead to a worsening economic plight as well as a fall in the quality of life and in personal security for most people throughout the globe? Because the great majority of the American people, who have no interest in pursuing the policies that produce these results, don't rule. While the small minority that does rule are willing to risk the well being of people everywhere, because this is how they increase their already considerable wealth and power. It's called "capitalism".

The solution would seem to be more and better democracy. But if big money dominates the political process at every turn (drawing up programs, nominations, campaigns, advertising, consulting, media, lobbying to say nothing of setting and administering the election rules)!as it clearly does in America!then, as a popular joke goes, "our government is the best that money can buy". And the formal right that everyone has to speak their mind and to vote, and the regular occurrence of elections, simply mask and help legitimate what is, in effect, a pre-determined outcome.

What is essential to realize is that democracy in the United States has always been two parts ideology to one part reality. And the main job of that ideology has been to teach voters how to be good losers and to treat those who bought their way to victory as the legitimate government of the country. In this, the word "democracy", whose core meaning has always been "the rule of the many", has served as the most effective disguise for "the rule of the few". Is it any wonder that the same ruling class interests, interests that punish most people outside as well as inside America, always comes out on top?

Democracy, like any other set of practices, is connected by its umbilical cord to a whole set of preconditions, which in this case involves a significant degree of social and economic equality among all its participants. It comes along with these preconditions or it doesn't come at all. Thus, any serious attempt at political reform must include equally strenuous efforts to democratize all the sectors of social life (especially the economy) that feed into the political process. Only by leveling the political playing field in this way will the United States ever have a government that is truly "of and by the people". And only such a government is likely to pass laws that are truly "for the people", because, in the last analysis, democracy is also about quality of life issues. It is also about the great majority, once in power and no longer subject to the self-interested distortions of their former rulers, taking the necessary steps to make life much better for themselves. In short, democracy quickly acquires a distinctive "for the people" content to go along with its "of and by the people" forms, but loses it, or never acquires it, if elections are dishonest or unfair, or their necessary preconditions are absent. (See our DEMOCRACY LIBRARY, section IV.)

IV.

"Democratic nation building", the declared aim of American foreign policy, therefore, is a noble cause, but it has to start in the country that needs it most, which is our own. This is not because there is less democracy in the United States than anywhere else!a few other lands are even worse off in this regard!but because the democratic deficit from which we suffer is a greater hazard to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness all across the globe than the policies followed by any other government. When America was still an English colony, a popular slogan declared, "No taxation without representation". Today, people all over the world are being "taxed" on their wealth, health, culture, freedom and chances for survival by the United States without any representation or even any voice in the bodies where the decisions on these matters are made. Is there any way this situation can be changed? We think it can.

The International Endowment for Democracy (IED) has been set up to enable people everywhere to play a part in the struggles to extend democracy here in the United States by expressing their solidarity with and giving practical aid to some of the many groups that are involved in these struggles. Where some of the most important interests of Americans and non-Americans coincide (as outlined above), we need to work together. By soliciting money outside the United States to help save/extend/develop democracy inside the United States, the International Endowment for Democracy (IED) offers a new, albeit partial, way to do this. Apart from our small operating expenses (no IED board members are paid), we will not spend any of this money. All of it will be passed on to groups and institutions in the forefront of the struggle for real democracy in America. Together with the World Social Forums and the spreading actions against the political and economic dictates of the American ruling class, we consider the International Endowment for Democracy (I.E.D.) part of the essential next step in the democratization of capitalist globalization!except this part also allows people everywhere to join in the struggle at the very heart of the world system that needs to be transformed.

The American comedian, Dick Gregory, said, "If democracy is a good thing, let's have more of it". Amen. WON'T YOU HELP US!AND\ YOURSELVES!TO WIN THIS PRIZE?

Celebrating the Constitution

*See, other sections of website on DEMOCRACY LIBRARY; FROM THEORY TO PRACTICE / MANIFESTOS AND CHARTERS; DEMOCRACY QUOTES; DEMOCRACY CARTOONS.

AND PLEASE DON'T FORGET TO FORWARD THIS PAGE TO ALL YOUR CONTACTS AND ASK THEM TO DO THE SAME.