The Bosses of Democracy

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One-hundred years ago, moguls like J.P. Morgan were among the richest one-percent of Americans who possessed a third of the nation’s wealth. In comparison, modern-day plutocrats own over 80% of today’s wealth. This historical rise of wealth concentration has created alarmingly high levels of inequality and has triggered a breakdown in social cohesion that is rapidly transforming government into to a feudal state organized by money-which is just as dangerous as government organized by mob.

William Jennings Bryan aptly surmised that “Plutocracy is abhorrent to a republic; it is more despotic than monarchy, more heartless than aristocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. It preys upon the nation in time of peace and conspires against it in the hour of its calamity. Conscienceless, compassionless and devoid of wisdom, it enervates its votaries while it impoverishes its victims. It is already sapping the strength of the nation, vulgarizing social life and making a mockery of morals. The time is ripe for the overthrow of this giant wrong.”

The undeniable truth is that wealth is a by-product of our democracy rather than its purpose. Therefore, a thriving middle-class is the source of American prosperity and not a consequence of it. We must reclaim the false notion, that the precedence and priorities of the middleclass are a threat to the privilege and power of the corporatocracy and the wealthy. If the country is to ever improve and ordinary citizens are to do better, we must adhere to these declarations and demand changes to the growing inequality in our economy- before we are confronted with an unprecedented era of civil unrest.

Discussion2 Comments

  1. David Mann

    You’ve identified the elephant in the room. It suggests many of the autocratic regimes we have vilified throughout history, but somehow managed to prop up. It’s that old Golden Rule; “He who has the gold rules”. We have seen this play out most recently in the 1930’s, as the result of income inequality, monopoly, and greed unimagined by the agrarian founders. We’ve experienced supply side economics in the 1970’s from which the median income of American working families stalled and remained stagnant for almost 50 years.

    The American people are experiencing a mountain of pain and confusion from changing technological, social, political, consumer, and environmental changes. It is possible that these pressures may serve to initiate some form of human evolutionary change, if we survive them. In the meantime, the public is left to deal with confusion, anger, anxiety and misplaced allegiances. If the success of our democracy depends on a healthy middle class, the new tax laws should be overturned. Trickle down without government largess has never proved effective. Reducing the flow of government funds and increasing the national debt is no way to deal with our critical infrastructure needs, not to mention essential human services.

    If the middle class is so numbed by striving for an American Dream of the last century that they fail to see the handwriting on the wall, then we are destined for continued military expenditures and forays, border walls, and wealthy enclaves; the “Blade Runner” image. If we are more concerned about buying stuff we really don’t need in order to appear successful than we are in improving the lives of all people, then we deserve what we reap.

    It’s time for “the people” to weigh in. Social media can get the word out, but the only thing legislators and the oligarchs who own them will respond to is massive public demonstrations and boycotts. It won’t be pretty, especially since they have militarized practically every police force in the country. The time to act is now, it will be more difficult if our current administration and dysfunctional Congress continues unabated.

    • Jstevenmedia

      Your response perfectly surmises the problems, the challenges and the choices we face. I fear we are quickly appraoching the point where we are no-longer be able to govern ourselves. The only remaining hope is that enough people will eventually realize the issues of immigration and race are red herrings. They are simply shiny objects designed to distract and divide the middle-classes while the corporatocracy and the oliarchs pilfer our rights, spill our blood and loot our wealth. Fascism depends on apathy and complacency, that is what has brought us Trump- the latest and most aggregious manifistation of our cultural laziness. Thus, the only power we have left and the one thing they fear the most, is our collective vote. They will never freely reliquish their hold, therefore, we must become involved in our own democracy and demand the change we seek. I suspect this will require a crisis to mobilize the people and I suspect you’re correct it won’t be pretty. However, I believe the first real test to see how committed citizens are will be the mid-term elections. Are they willing to overcome the voter suppression, are they willing to sacrifice a little to take back the house and Senate, are they willing to demand change…… are they willing.

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