Posts Tagged ‘Democracy’

The Politics of Plutocracy

I have been reading various posts attacking Obama and Clinton from the left. I too would prefer a fairer and more conscious world. But–here is the thing. We live, at this moment, in an oligarchical plutocracy. This means that the people we elect to the highest positions don’t have nearly as much power as you think. Oh–they can accomplish things on the purely social sphere–marriage rights, marijuana decriminalization, things like that. As long as they don’t put a finger on the cancerous heart of the corporatocracy.

On the one hand, it matters who you elect because the Republican thugs are in ALIGNMENT with the true rulers and will give the color of law to all manner of evil things while at the same time turning back the clock on social issues to the mid-nineteenth century.

But, the converse is not true. If you elect someone who is not a true member of the plutocracy, and is not in alignment with the ruling entities, they can only do so much. You have no idea what is going on behind the scenes, or what pressures they are being plagued with. If we hand them a Republican congress this slows whatever progress might have been made to near zero. As has been the case with both Obama and Bill Clinton. We will never know what could have been accomplished if Mr. Obama had been given a super majority in the congress.

A bad president can place wretched appointees to the agencies created to protect the public and ensure the smooth running of our society. And, when a Republican gets to pack our Supreme Court it only gets worse.

As for the charge that Obama or either of the Clintons are trojan horses or traitors to the left, two things:

What would have been the outcome if McCain had won in 2008 or Romney in 2012? Would the progressive cause have been advanced? And what about now? Does any thoughtful person really believe Hillary Clinton would have been worse than this?

I know it’s not fair–the game is rigged and the two party system is broken. But it is what we are living with right now. There is no magic pill. We lost control a long time ago.

Secondly, what do you think would happen if we were able to elect an Elizabeth Warren or any other member of the progressive wing? They would very soon become “traitors” themselves, or die. See paragraph one–We live in an Oligarchical Plutocracy. The president doesn’t have nearly the power you think, unless they are fundamentally aligned with the Plutocrats–the enemies of democracy.

So, what do we do? Ah, the impossible question. I would suggest starting with getting out of the cult of personality, stopping the ad hominem attacks on Democrats, no matter how disappointing they may seem, and looking for real points of influence. Keep voting for the best candidate that can actually win. Think strategically. Under our present system, it is about which party controls the house and senate. That may mean being OK with a blue dog in some districts.

If we are ever to change this, the change will come from the bottom up. To those who favor a frontal assault I would remind you to remember who has the heavy artillery.

That is part of why I moved to the desert. To start a sustainable low impact homestead where I have a chance of surviving the difficult days ahead.

And I am always looking for other points of influence. My goal is to be like water, which can cut a gorge through bedrock given time.
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Is America Civilized?

December 30, 2017 3 comments

The American EagleThis government is free to behave any way it wants. It’s a rough unfair world, and there are plenty of terrible governments that rule by might alone. This government is free to enforce the wants of the very rich at the expense of the poor. It is free to wage war on the world, and to spy on everyone in the name of national security. It is free to force environmental degradation on its own people in the form of fracking, GMOs and a myriad of other practices¬†that poison our land for the profit of the few. It is free to let policies stand that create an ever-widening income inequality. It is free to destroy the social safety net, and to abrogate the entire social contract.

006aBut–if is does so, it must give up the right to call itself a civilized nation. Under the present regime (going back about 30 years) we are a savage third world country pretending to be a rich and civilized country. Our very rich are as out of control as the French aristocrats just prior to the revolution. Those who want to privatize America (and a privatized world) are winning, and no one in power is putting up much of a fight.

And yet our rulers (both in the government and in the trans-national corporations) still use the story that we are the premier democracy and the light of the world. Let’s admit that this is a lie. We are an oligarchical plutocracy waging a imperial war on the world, using economics where possible, and force of arms where “necessary”. In short, we are no longer fit to sit at the table with the true civilized world.

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