Thursday, November 04, 2010

The Gutting of a Democracy

In a people's democracy the ideal is that the people, if informed and motivated, can affect the outcome of their own destinies- if they get involved.. We really don't do this enough anymore on a large enough scale to effect real change. Recently, this populist ideal of self determination has become more threatened by massive though narrow corporate interests that have undermined this ideal with a series of covert and insidious buying and control coups- the most recent being the massive frauds in the financial sector. These are purposely structured “legal” ways of gaining control of a democratic system while still pandering to the label "democracy." It's like engineering a designer brand of democracy that can be bought and sold like ideologic commodities. They are essentially buying the democracy w/ huge financial incentives that are really no more than legal bribes presented to legislators to weaken controls and de-teeth governmental regulation. This is not new. It has been around almost since the founding of the country reaching its first climax around the beginning of the 20'th century with the robber barons and the first real attempts at regulation with Theodore Roosevelt's trust busting.

The irony of the American character and perhaps the philosophical license that allows this quasi ethic to continue, is that it has always championed individual initiative to rise above the Madding Crowd. For this, and rightly so, many people have been conditioned to admire those who have learned how to rise above in the hopes that one day they too will be able to rise above the rest. In the past, most of the people who have risen have done so through legitimate enterprise that have contributed to vibrant economies and increased in real ways the GNP .

The modern day CEO, however, and the huge corporation with fraudulent accountants is a whole new predatory animal that has subverted this traditional method of wealth gaining.It is creating wealth on bogus grounds through immoral and fraudulent means. Yet this American character still lionizes those who “get ahead,” not distinguishing between the traditional means and these new insidious means. The sad miscalculation is that any movements to regulate these huge financial and corporate entities that are buying the democracy are seen as “socialists” movements. The humanistic qualities of any of the presidents who have moved to address these serious flaws are seen as weak and leftward leaning movements to quash and socialize free enterprise. It’s happening again with Obama as it did with FDR, Carter, LBJ, etc. Any president who attempts to liberalize wealth through programs that socialize gross national product( humanistic approaches) has been seen as weak and socialist leaning.

Until this scam is realized on a massive scale, the democracy will continue to be bought by these behemoth and fraudulent corporate interests until they have hollowed out the democracy leaving only the facade gutted of its founding principles.