Commentry, Politics

Electoral Hacking: Creating ‘Despots’

Electronic Voting Machines (EVM)

Rise of the ideological ‘Right’ has been a discernible phenomenon world over. The rise and popularity  of ideologically conservative and nationalist figures such as Donald Trump in America, Nigel Farage in Britain, Marine Le Pen in France or Narendra Modi in India are all cases in point. The nationalist ideology that underlies the success of these leaders is based on real concerns, anxieties and expectations of the respective populations.

The nationalist/ ‘nation first’ leaders invoke strong reactions from the international globalists. For the globalists nation state are artificial entities to be dismantled to pave the way for a interconnected ‘globalised’ world where every one prospers. However the claim that with the march of economic globalisation every one benefits is rather shallow. Electoral rise of ‘right-wing’ parties clearly shows that to a substantial  section of population the ‘terms of trade’ brought in by open border globalised world has been disadvantageous and their grievances real.

Two approaches have been adopted by the globalists and their media mouths to counter this rise of the conservative nationalist politics. The first approach is through shaming the ‘majoritarian’  tendency of the population that supports the nationalist leaders and building up the victimisation narrative. This ultimately leads to total disengagement by the ‘victim group’ with rational public polices discussions. Name calling and emotional appeals drive the ‘victim’ towards a complete, continuous and total opposition with the elected leaders of  nationalist-conservative hue who are presented as despots. Of course the aim of the “open border”  market globalists remains to be able to influence a nations public policies and ultimately the sovereignty of individual nation-states.

Secrets and hacks: Russia’s role in the US election has been the flavor of the season in American Media (Credit: Al Jazeera English)

At the same time, questioning the legitimacy of the nationalist  movement’s rise through constant allegations of voter frauds, election system hacking and cyber attacks are being increasingly adopted by the globalist agenda setters. The aim is to saturate the mainstream media with enough ‘nagging’ doubts about the legitimacy of the democratically elected leaders. So the  a despotic regime having risen through cheat and fraud could be opposed tooth and nail by the revolutionary people.

So are these conservative leaders really despots? Despotism is a system of order created by conquest, resting on fear, and issuing in caprice. So a despot today  rises to power undemocratic-ally, maintains grasp over the population through a police state apparatus and has a disposition to do things impulsively.  In a despotic system of government. the ultimate principle of order issues from the inclination of the despot himself.

In geopolitics and international relations ideological superpower like communist USSR of yesteryear  to today’s  lone superpower America have all attempted to install ‘puppet’ governments all over the globe.

Trump is  projected as a Russian puppet

So for example, the American strategy   post second world war has been thus. A unfavourable leader in say Asia or Africa or Latin America is branded as a a coercive, undemocratic  ‘despot’. The despotic regime is presented to the world as cruel, xenophobic,  genocidal, maniac or lately as intolerant.  Aided by the progressive civil society and NGO groups the population mainly the youth  rises in revolution to bring about change. The ‘despot’ is thrown off and a favourable ‘democratic’ leader is elected through a free and fair election.

In the post-truth times, cyberspace in a highly contested space.  The emerging cyberspace security  is challenging   the conventional rules of democracy and electoral politics. On the one hand, the global agenda setters benefits through the enhanced ability to mobilise public opinion in the target country. On the other hand, the globalists always fear that a nations’ political and economic ‘regimes’ could use the same cyberspace to consolidate their own power.

Below we site two examples which point to this phenomenon- one in USA and the other in India

Cover of US intelligence report on alleged Russian hacking to influence the US election (Source BBC)

Democratic leader as a despot in America . A large section of the conventional media in America has had a hostility towards Donald Trump.  A section of Americans see  Trump as a ‘neo- Nazi’ whimsical despot. Total opposition to the despot is being propagated as a means of enlightened citizenry. To delegimitize i.e. to discredit the public or political recognition or support of Mr Trump’s presidency is the goal. Hacking of the American electoral system by Russians is the culprit through which Trump stole the election. Despite  several claims there is still no definitive evidence in the public domain to prove the  hacking of American elections by any country.

When elites mock the demos in India. Social Media has been buzzing with tweets of electronic voting machine tempering in India. Over the last several weeks electoral hacking has become a major public discourse and social media buzz in India.  Ms Mayawati who heads a regional political party alleged hacking of electronic voting machines in crucial elections to provincial legislatures held earlier.  In India voting for federal and state legislative elections are done through voting machines called EVMs rather than through paper ballots. Each EVM operates as a separate offline unit with an in-build microprocessor. Hence hacking through an internet based cyber attack or malware is not possible. The claims of systemic electoral hacking is yet to be backed by any credible evidence.

Of course the citizens always need to remain vigilant. That democracy (Swa’raj) and sovereignty of individual nation states are assets to be protected and never taken for granted forms the bedrock of any republic.

No technology is fool proof. Electronic systems can be hacked. Ballot boxes can be stuffed with votes. Final voter tally can be switched. But, rather than being theoretical and speculative, if one were to thoroughly analyse the evidence to back recent claims of ‘election hacking’, honestly there aren’t any substantive. However for reputed media institutions to deliberately mislead the public and to play on their anxieties  is an act of irresponsibility and perhaps thuggery.

Rather than rational and logic driven discussions on the underlying reasons for clearly evident phenomenal raise of nationalist right wing parties, the media buzz around unsubstantiated conspiracy theories is a cause of concern. Media is said to be a strong pillar of democracy. That it leads in creating an informed citizenry rather than be reduced to partisan meddling would be more enlightening, befitting and worthy.

Link 1: Bahujan Samaj Party’s complaint to the Chief Election Commissioner of India

Link 2: Election Commission of India’s reply to allegations of EVM tempering 

(Research desk, Uncolumn)

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