Voters of any country are not qualified to decide on complex issues, and so must be persuaded to vote for representatives to carry out general impulses such as “peace” or “fiscal restraint.” The most important thing an electorate can do is vote people out of office and bring new ones in.
But in an oligarchy, there is no chance to vote for those who are de facto in power. We only have a general sense of where power lies, and certainly have no voting power on the matter.
Even on matters of life and death … did voting Democrats into power in 2006 end the Iraq aggression? Who voted to decimate Libya and Syria, install a putsch government in Ukraine? When is public opinion ever consulted on such matters?
What about matters of finance? Who votes to ratify the head of the Federal Reserve? Who even knows its name? Control of Treasury is jostled among major Wall Street Banks no matter the party in power. The public treasury is at their disposal, but unavailable to those most affected by fiscal disasters brought about by those same Wall Street agents.
What about public policy regarding our commons, even our health care system? Major legislation, such the Affordable Care Act or the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act are written in secret by agents of private corporations. This is standard practice. The finished bills are handed to elected officers, who are told to stamp their name on the bottom.
“News” is given to us by the same private powers that start the wars and write the legislation. The public is kept in the dark and only fed information that serves power.
People are often critical of me because I do not vote. (I send in a ballot, mostly blank, in case something important comes up.) But politics is trivial, and in an oligarchy, an expression of futility.
I have no illusions about democracy, which is dangerous. But the republican form of government is long-lost to us as well.