We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Friday, November 21, 2014

Who Rules the World? How a concentration of wealth and political power undermines democracy

Click here to access article by Benjamin Dangl posted on TeleSur (Venezuela).

I think Dangl places far too much emphasis on the Citizens United Supreme court judgement as a determining factor in the recent electoral victories of Republican candidates in Congress. The ruling capitalist class has had many weapons at its disposal and has used them to maintain their rule ever since the founding of the country in 1781. 

The Citizens United decision only made it more convenient for this class to fund its chosen candidates--which it has always done through more devious means. I actually welcomed the decision because it makes clear what has always been hidden. The Supreme Court decision was only another indication of the advanced consolidation of their rule which, in turn, reflects the growing consolidation of wealth and power by this small elite. They no longer fear us. Maybe it's time that we put back the fear of us in them. Dangl seems to think so in his concluding paragraph, and suggests that we go even further than mere fear:
We cannot depend on the 1% of the world to lead us away from disaster – they caused our global crises in the first place, continue to profit from them, and cannot bring about solutions from the top-down. It has to be the people’s movements leading the way from below, deconstructing capitalism and building a better world from the bottom-up.