The Dawn of American Authoritarianism

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America is in the throes of an economic coup d’état. A masterful sleight-of-hand devised by the corporate oligarchy and perpetrated on Americans with a limited understanding of government. Through a relentless campaign of distraction, division and misinformation, Republican shills have managed to dupe ordinary Americans to hate their own government and vote against their best interests. The first step in any successful coup is to eliminate the countervailing powers. The foremost is transforming the media from public watchdogs, into corporate lapdogs who peddle infotainment as easy answers to complex problems. The next is to mischaracterize and erode organized labor. To transform unions from defenders of the middle class to socialists who poach wages. The third step is to weaken government agencies to the point they become ineffective. Then appoint people to lead the very oversight agencies they spent their entire careers opposing. The fourth, is to starve public education of adequate funding. Then undermine public schooling as “government education.” The final assault is to divide the collective vote of a disillusioned populace. Then convince the public to protect the very people who are delegitimizing their government, dismantling their democracy, and privatizing their economy. Ordinary Americans have been falling victim to the diversionary tactics of hyper-patriotism, fear and propaganda for decades. The free market zealots have sowed confusion and doubt by linking federal waste, welfare and unions to undeserving minorities. While relentlessly peddling the virtues of trickle-down economics.

The reality is, American democracy has been converted into a corporatocracy. Voters have conceded to vast amounts of unregulated dark money funneled into their politics. In turn, they have transformed their elections into auctions. The result is a people hoodwinked into believing the U.S. can have the largest military and the most expensive healthcare in the world, with the lowest corporate tax rates in history. We are now witnessing the dawn of American authoritarianism. And if all of this seems maniacal, calculated and extreme, that’s because it is. The evidence is a self-dealing demagogue elected to the Oval Office. A dime store Mussolini who makes himself appear as foolish as his supporters, so they may believe they are as shrewd as he. A tremendous amount of damage has already been done. However, we have one more chance to get this right. Hanging in the balance is; healthcare, Social Security, Medicare, voting rights, worker protections, equality, public education and the climate. If we get this wrong, it will be too late, and history will never forgive us.

 

 

 

Discussion2 Comments

  1. Dave

    While I agree with pretty much all you say I will suggest that saying the problem is a corporatocracy is a generalization that isn’t totally accurate. Yes, there are a great many giant corporations that don’t pay their fair share and subvert human values but there are many that are not in that category and are just doing business. I would say the problem lies with the ruling class, the one tenth of the one percent, the old money. These power brokers are the real culprits that are are so blinded by greed and self interest that they are in the process of destroying democracy and the planet.

    • Jstevenmedia

      I certainly don’t disagree with your assessment. I think it’s challenging to know where the ruling class ends and the corporatocracy begins. Particularly when it comes to trillions of dollars in tax cuts that benefit both the corporations and the ruling class. The same can be said for Citizens United, which allows both groups to contaminate our political process. Theres also the issue of eroding labor protections, stagnated wages, eliminating pensions, shifting the costs of healthcare. And the practice of shifting the burden of retirement from the corps to workers…. forcing the middleclass to rely on the volatility of the Wall Street capitalists who operate with very little regulation and oversight. I prefer to use the term middle-class economics to describe the issue. Perhaps oliarchs is a better overall descriptor to describe the old money ruling class, the corporations and the wall street billionaires who as you indicated, are so blind by self-interest they are destroying democracy in the process. Thanks for the outstanding feedback.

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