Monday, September 12, 2011

Privileging Prominent Predators

Some persons would like to view the U.S. government as a protector of workers and the average citizen against the excesses of predatory capitalism. Predators however view the U.S. government as their employee, a potential adversary who must be constantly reminded who they work for. This element also highly covets the government, with its taxation powers and consequent bulging treasury, as a target for voracious clandestine raids – if it can just get its hands on the keys, which it usually accomplishes by forcing selective legislation, judicious interpretation of same and favorable administrative policy. In other words legislators needing huge outlays for their campaigns trade campaign contributions for access, influence over legislation and vote-casting – sometimes legislators and staff are saved the bother of having to write the desired legislation by being handed an industry-written, ready-to-go bill, all the I-s dotted, all the T-s crossed.

At the presidential level, campaign contributions accomplish much the same agenda-shaping. The judicial branch is appointed by these same beholden public officials so naturally candidates reflect the values of the chief contributors - corporations and wealthy individuals, almost always drawn in fact from their ranks. Clearly public financing of elections would shift the dynamic toward Democracy. Legislators would be beholden to the taxpayers rather than corporations. Corruption is another matter but certainly could be dealt with like any other law enforcement issue. Speaking of corruption, a closely related issue is ownership of the media. Today the mainstream media is corporate-owned thus, like the corporate-owned legislature, corporate-domination narrows perception of possible courses of action, inculcating the average citizen with one-sided propaganda, in effect marginalizing citizens and any alternative political stance.

So the task for those who prefer Democracy to Plutocracy would seem to be to democratize the three branches of government and de-person-ize corporations before the consequences of their current behavior renders the planet uninhabitable.

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