>There is no hint of dialectics here, no sense of how
>the precious freedoms of bourgeois democracy represent literally centuries of
>struggle from below against arbitrary power.
Freedoms of bourgeois democracy are precious (if compared to feudalism, slavery, Jim Crow, etc.), but I suspect that the majority of Americans have become so browbeaten by the advocates of the wars on drug, crime, terrorism, etc. for the last several decades that they have come to prefer the sense of increased personal security to civil & political liberties. The result: "The US comprises 5% of the global population yet it is responsible for 25% of the world's prisoners. It has a higher proportion of its citizens in jail than any other country in history, according to the November Coalition, an alliance of civil rights campaigners, justice policy workers and drug law reformers...." (Ducan Campbell, ""Anger Grows as US Jails Its Two Millionth Inmate The Land of the Free Is Now home to 25% of the World's Prison Population"). And it is through freedoms of bourgeois democracy -- free speech, free election, free market of ideas -- that the consent of the governed to the wars on drug, crime, terrorism has been manufactured. As of now, while the majority of Americans may not exactly share Wojtek's opinion (see his posts on Zero Tolerance) on the war on drug, crime, terrorism, it is certainly true that they are not actively resisting it. Thus we have created the American police state freely and democratically (freedom & democracy in this post being measured by bourgeois standards). We've created unfreedom out of freedom. Dialectic, no?