When his Humanity awake,
And cast his Spectre into the Lake.
— William Blake
Special Contribution By Abel Tomlinson
As I was reading a fantastic book “Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex Is Destroying America,” I had to drop it. I read the first and last chapter and realized I need not continue because everything was simply reinforcing existing conclusions.
With bleeding eyes, I have grown weary of consuming fact after fact that painfully demonstrate how abundantly corrupt our government is. Active creation is the only fulfilling pursuit in the face of these dark screeching phantoms that plead for transformation into past shadow.
I have long agreed with America’s most senior president Jimmy Carter when he said “we have one of the worst election processes in the world…shot through with financial corruption. As Dollorocracy details, democracy is being corrupted by massive sums of money spent in elections for both Democrats and Republicans, and by the subservient corporate media complex that facilitates and benefits from corruption.
Democracy was comatose before the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, but restless fascists sleep not while democracy still breathes. As Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Lessig wrote, “democracy was already broken. Citizens United may have shot the body, but the body was already cold.”
People wonder why neither party seriously addresses our most pressing issues. Neither party is reducing the trillion dollars spent annually on the military and war while our national debt explodes. Neither party will criticize the fact that many of the 1,000 foreign military bases and operations are security subsidies to multinational corporations that hold no true national allegiance to any nation. Neither party will educate and inspire the public for a massive investment in a national clean energy transformation, which will render oil wars pointless and avert environmental apocalypse.
We have the most costly and inefficient healthcare system of any advanced democracy in the world, before and after Obamacare. We spend over $2.5 trillion a year on healthcare (sickcare), and an estimated 30 percent goes to private for-profit insurance corporations that need not exist. Why is the best we can get the unnecessarily complex and superficial change of Obamacare? If we had sincere democracy we could immediately have H.R. 676 not-for-profit single payer universal Medicare for All.
In debates, why do the media-declared “serious” and “top tier” Big Money candidates never talk about these issues in a more honest and meaningful way? Why do they avoid talking about ending the drug war and prison-industrial complex, which causes a higher proportion of our citizens to be imprisoned than any nation in history?
Why are Wall Street banks and other corporations still deregulated according to the toxic mythologies of Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman? Why do both parties continue the disastrous “free” trade policies of the W.T.O., N.A.F.T.A., etc?
President Franklin Roosevelt said, “The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. “
Thus the answer to the questions is simple: power concentration. Wealth equals power. Wealth inequality is at record levels. The 2012 elections cost a record $10 billion. Wealth is increasingly corrupting elections and democracy at all levels of government. Democracy is captured. How fascist are we, America?
Although the book prescribes many medicines to heal democracy, I remain transfixed with one. The single most powerful action citizens can take is overturn the Supreme Court’s antidemocratic doctrines claiming corporations are people with Constitutional Rights meant for humans, and that money equals (unregulatable) speech (Buckly v. Valeo 1976).
The notion that a corporate person has the unregulated free speech right to spend unlimited avalanches of money in elections is revolting and demands revolt. This noxious weed is the root stumbling block restraining our ability to solve most of our other problems, and must be severed with the sharp axe you hold.
Move to Amend and other groups have succeeded in passing resolutions calling for a constitutional amendment to overturn corporate personhood and the money equals speech tumor in hundreds of American cities, including the three largest cities. Sixteen states have also done so. Move to Amend Arkansas successfully passed resolutions in Fayetteville, North Little Rock, Conway, Pine Bluff and Eureka Springs.
Activists from these cities have done their civic duty. It is now time for citizens in additional Arkansas cities to step up, please. The Move to Amend website has information on how to proceed and you can contact our group on Facebook.
Yes, we can cure corporate cancer! There is a phoenix of Truth, Peace, Love, Beauty, Justice and Wisdom hidden in every heart. May these latent powers emerge from all in a consuming flame, render fascism ash, and firmly establish deep democracy.