The concept was simple. It was fair, equitable and designed to bring all of its citizens into the process. One man, one vote...majority rules...what concepts....that every citizen would have an equal vote, an equal voice and an equal choice in the leaders that govern FOR them.
This grand experiment..."democracy," was the pride of an emerging nation, and the envy of the world. A grand experiment which, while admittedly not pretty at times, extolled freedom and quality of representation as the tenets of the land.
Alas, that form of government, at least in the United States of America...has died. Stolen really. Stolen by the rich and affluent. Bought and paid for by powerful entities, empowered and enabled by the legislative and judicial branches of the country they bought with their power, their money and their gluttony.
According to a new study by Princeton University, we can no longer call ourselves a democracy. The scales of freedom and justice for all...is now officially an oligarchy. An oligarchic form of government for the rich and powerful to seize and run. The less rich, the less powerful now have very little say in the day to day running of the country. They have gone from having a voice and a vote, albeit watered down as the country grew...to having everything dictated to them. And for the most part, every effort, every initiative takes the benefit of the rich and the powerful corporations first and foremost into consideration, and the average Joe's welfare last, if at all.
Quoting from the study, please consider the following...
"The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence."
"Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association, and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But we believe that if policy making is dominated by powerful business organizations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened."
"In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule — at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes. When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover, because of the strong status quo bias built into the U.S. political system, even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it."
As someone who was born in the 1950's I have witnessed many incredible feats and events in America's history....civil rights initiatives adopted for many classes, putting a man on the moon, the tear down of the Berlin wall and on and on....unfortunately I can now add another event to the list...our country is now run by the ultra rich.
They control the government, they control the Supreme Court (how else can you explain the Citizen's Unite ruling?) and they control the election process (and the continuing initiatives to take away votes from the former electorate...voter ID initiatives and gerrymandering election districts to insure political outcomes).
This is a sad day confirmed by the Princeton study...a study that merely confirms what intelligent, aware political minds have known all the long...we have lost our country for the most part. Eroded away with each court ruling, with each legislative initiative, and eroded away with each Americans intellectual sloth and apathy.
We have watched the countries balance of power slip away from one man one vote, to a for sale sign. And the purchase has been made. The country was put in escrow and the new owners have taken over.
The grand experiment is over. It failed and there is no going back now. The 1% have won, and while our lives will, in all meaningful ways to most, be the same...we will never be the same.
Oh sure, the government will occasionally throw us a bone to keep us relatively satisfied, relatively peaceful and relatively happy. The country has now been taken away from us. It is no longer within our reach. The powerful oligarchs no longer have to pretend to care for us, or even care about us.
Through this slowly eroding of our democracy, this slow eroding of our consciousness and our mean intelligence as a nation, this slow eroding of our collective ability to give a shit....has given them victory...and the control of a once great nation.
And that is the world...the "World According to Kimba."
Thanks for reading.