NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING

  • Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • Gore Vidal on liberty


    Pt 3 of 7. The people who wrote the constitution hated democracy -   July 11, 2007
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here

      Share to Twitter
    Share to Facebook


    Supporting TRNN is a little like having my own television station. I can watch whatever I find interesting and at any time. I also enjoy the privilege of publishing my opinions on Disqus. - Gregory
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

    Bio

    Gore Vidal is the author of twenty-two novels and has written films including the classics Ben-Hur and Suddenly, Last Summer. He is recently the author of The Last Empire and Inventing a Nation.

    Precis

    Vidal: We've always been an oligarchy of the well-to-do and are becoming even more so now. What freedoms we had have now been eliminated -- Magna Carta guaranteed us due process of law, the only good thing England left us.

    Transcript

    Gore Vidal on libertyPAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR: In this period after World War II and this sort of feeling of world supremacy, domestically we see McCarthyism.

    GORE VIDAL: Well, McCarthy kind of misread the tarot cards. You know, he thought it was a simple matter of conquest. Probably the only thing he basically cared about was Ireland, because he was an Irishman. And he liked the British Empire being kicked in the butt by Americans. So anything that would, you know, do them in or do in, you know, Dean Acheson, the secretary of state, who seemed like an Englishman. I think he did a lot of, you know, ethnic one-up-man ship. But no. Well, first of all, we were taken over by big businesses, we always have been, but this time it was pretty severe because the stakes were greater. Somebody said, oh, the kid last night who was interviewing me, Adam something, he said, you know, �Certainly the United States is basically an altruistic country. Look at the Marshall Plan.� I said, �What's altruistic about seizing control of western Europe? It seems to be very much part of an imperial plan.� Oh, he couldn't believe it. He just thought we did it out of goodness of heart. Now, he's a very bright guy, writes for The New Yorker and so on, yet he's been so misled. And he reads a lot of history; he's very intelligent. You cannot get through the density of the propaganda with which the American people, through the dreaded media, have been filled and the horrible public educational system we have for the average person. It's just grotesque.

    JAY: There's this fundamental belief, religious belief, that America's foreign policy since World War II has been a fight for freedom.

    VIDAL: Well, it never was. And the belief that we're a democracy. That means you know nothing about the Constitution. The people who made the Constitution hated democracy. Some of them put up with it better than others. Jefferson was pretty good on the subject. The others just loathed it.

    JAY: But certainly there's more democracy in the United States than there was in Hitler's Germany.

    VIDAL: Well, I suppose that if you're being tortured to death by Mao Tse-Tung, it's much better to be with Paul Revere in front of a fireplace in Concord, New Hampshire. I mean, you can sort out [crosstalk]-

    JAY: No, but there are stages of this process of democracy or lack there of.

    VIDAL: The Federalist Papers are very clear. Whenever one of the founding fathers and one of the people who was inventing the Constitution, they start to get apoplectic at the mention of Athens, the mention of Pericles, the mention of democracy. They go on and on about mobs, and we don't want this, and we don't want that. We're an oligarchy of the well to do. We were at the very beginning, when the Constitution was made, and we're even more so now.

    JAY: But within that context there is more or less right of free assembly. There is more or less right of free speech. Of course, you have more free speech if you own a television network than if you don't.

    VIDAL: Well, yes, as you'll find out with The Real News.

    JAY: But there are some constitutional rights here that you wouldn't have seen�.

    VIDAL: They've been eliminated one by one over the last four years.

    JAY: That's my question.

    VIDAL: When habeas corpus was removed, I think they attributed it to certain desires of the USA Patriot Act. When they got rid of that, they got rid of Magna Carta. When you get rid of that, you get rid of our liberties. The only good thing England ever left us was Magna Carta. Magna Carta guarantees due process of law. You cannot have your life removed, you cannot have your money removed, your freedom removed, except by a trial by jury of your peers, and you could be represented by a legal�. That's been eliminated. Sixth Amendment is gone. The speed with which it was done is sort of miraculous, because this is a screw-up administration�they can't do anything properly. There are those who keep quoting me, because I had said, well, they'd had enough warnings about 9/11 to have done something. Well, that's the CIA's warning. They did nothing. So I have to face this every now and then. �Well, you said that Bush was in favour of it. And can you prove that?� I said, �Of course I can't. How would I know?� I do know that he is so incompetent; this was a great, successful mission conducted by some crazed religious zealots.

    DISCLAIMER:

    Please note that TRNN transcripts are typed from a recording of the program; The Real News Network cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    More Info


    Comments

    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

    Comments


    Latest Stories


    Ukraine and the Right a Year After Maiden
    Almost Impossible to Indict a Cop
    Obama's Record on Defending Civil and Constitutional Rights Abysmal
    The Real News Town Hall Pt. 3 Should the community control the police?
    We Dehumanize Those We Want to Exploit - Eddie Conway on Reality Asserts Itself (9/10)
    Baltimore Erupts with Protests in Solidarity with Ferguson
    Police Brutality Towards Black People Has Historically Gone Unchecked
    The Real News Town Hall Pt. 2: Should the Community Control the Police?
    "Democracy on Fire": Protestors Respond to Grand Jury's Failure to Indict Mike Brown's Killer
    Hagel Resigns - A Look at His Record
    Is Obama's Immigration Action Too Little, Too Late?
    Baltimore Residents Demand Legislative Action to End Police Impunity
    The Real News Town Hall: Should the Community Control the Police? Pt.1
    Who Is in Charge of Development: The Elite or the Majorities? (2/2)
    Protesting GM Auto Workers Attacked by US Embassy Staff
    The Life and Times of Emory Douglas, Minister of Culture in the Black Panther Party (3/3)
    G-20 Recommits to Lifting Private Sector Activity (2/2)
    Obama Unveils Immigration Plan, But What Will It Change?
    Study Finds Racial Profiling Persists in Toronto Despite Ban
    G-20 Recommits to Lifting Private Sector Activity
    Who Is In Charge of Development: The Elite or the Majorities? (1/2)
    Swedish Court of Appeals Rule to Continue the Detention of Julian Assange
    The Power to Create Money in the Hands of the Banks
    Animal Agriculture: A Neglected Agent of Global Warming?
    Despite Senate Vote on Keystone XL, Tar Sands Oil Will Still Reach the Gulf
    Seattle Begins Police Reforms in Wake of Federal Civil Rights Investigation
    All Eyes on Ferguson as Gov. Nixon Declares State of Emergency Ahead of Grand Jury Decision
    The Life and Times of Emory Douglas, Minister of Culture in the Black Panther Party (2/3)
    G20 Summit Failed to Seriously Address Global Problems
    Who is Behind the Ousting of President Compaore in Burkina Faso?

    RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting