Thursday, November 24, 2016

Remember "Snakes and Ladders"?

Well, Americans should brace themselves, for their future holds a lot more snakes and damn few ladders.

I have long been convinced that the American public and, to a lesser extent, our own have been groomed, conditioned into a state of powerlessness. Fake news and the corporate media cartel have been instrumental in leaving Americans divided, confused and incapable of discerning their own best interests.

I cannot think of a society as riven as that of today's America. They are burdened with suspicion, anger and paranoia; divided along generational, political, ethnic, religious and economic lines among others. This has eroded their social cohesion, facilitating the theft of both their economic and political power. That step, in turn, has created the requisite conditions to permit first political capture and then regulatory capture.

Political capture was achieved when wealthy and powerful interests succeeded in insinuating themselves between the voting public and those they elected to represent them. The result has been America's "bought and paid for" Congress of the past three decades. America has long ceased being a democracy. The Gilens (Princeton) and Page (Northwestern) study released by Princeton in 2014 chronicled that.

Regulatory capture, the payoff for succeeding at political capture, was showcased during the Bush/Cheney regime years when representatives of regulated industries were appointed to run the agencies empowered with regulating those same industries on behalf of the American public.

The combined impact of, first, political and then regulatory capture is manifest in how, in the aftermath of the 2008 global meltdown, the networth of households in the top 7% rose 28% while that of the remaining 93% fell by 4%. That was the direct result of the corruption of America's political and regulatory apparatus. And it's not over yet, not even remotely over.

Lincoln warned of "a house divided." America's house today is all that and much, much more.

I have never known of a society remotely as politically illiterate as modern America's. They are truly Gullibillies, happily swallowing the diet of rich horseshit shovelled down their throats and always coming back for seconds.

 Now that political and regulatory capture have taken hold, liberal democracy has been displaced by an early form of illiberal democracy. The public still votes but their votes don't matter. This paves the way for the next step - the transition to outright oligarchy. Trump may be a catalyst.

The American people will decide their fate. They will either rise up and cast out the money lenders from the temple, i.e. the neoliberals both Republican and Democrat, to permit a restoration of progressive democracy or they must submit to an era of economic and political feudalism, 21st century style, and acquiesce to the powerlessness of serfdom. Either way they'll probably be met by state violence and lesser forms of coercion.

The future looks ugly.


Anonymous said...

I think you're absolutely right, Mound. American democracy as currently practiced is a sham.

When Trump talks about "draining the swamp," what he's really doing is replacing millionaire technocrats with billionaires. Billionaire Chicago Cubs owner Todd Ricketts named deputy secretary of commerce. Billionaire Betsy DeVoss, sister to billionaire Blackwater chief Erik Prince, named education secretary. Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross touted as commerce secretary. I'm sure there will be plenty more by the time he's done.

Now ask yourself, why would a billionaire take a job that pays so little?

John B. said...

The Coupon Lady claims she is doing it for her personal beliefs and value system.

Or it might just be a hobby pursuit that got out of control.