Maobama in the Forbidden House

Probably the biggest myth of our times is that in the West we live in "liberal democracies". Anyone who knows a little bit about power or who had some experience in the high echelons, would admit that this is not at all the case. And yet this is what most people content themselves with believing, to a large extent because that is what symbols of power connote. Conversely, we tend to identify the symbols of other regimes with almost opposite categories with respect to those of our "states of law", of our "democracies".

And however behind the neutrality, the formality and the correctness of our symbols, behind the suits, the ties, the haircuts and the clean-shaven faces, the truth is that the Western regime cannot envy anything to others. From state conspiracies to terrorist attacks on the own territory, from undeclared destabilizations and coup d'états to complicity with international terrorism, from medical manipulations to
scientific experiments on human guinea pigs, from manipulations of prices and indexes to money laundering from organized crime, from extraordinary renditions to torture in secret prisons...  Obviously all that is far from what is meant by "liberal democracy"; despite of what our symbols connote.

Image after Ge Xiaoguang's portrait of Mao Zedong at the Tiananmen Gate, United States Marine Band at the White House (2007) [pd-fu/fd] and Barack Obama portrait [ua].