Southie Progressive Magazine

Our Common Values: Unity, Hope, Love, and Empathy

The Rise of an American Plutocracy

If corporations are people, then they should be diagnosed as sociopathic. Corporations exists for one reason only: profit. Like the typical sociopath, there are no pangs of conscience when a corporation’s actions brings forth human suffering.  

When a person is diagnosed sociopathic, society intervenes to prevent the diagnosed from harming himself or others. We feel duty bound to limit the freedoms of the sociopath in order to prevent the diagnosed from infringing on the freedoms of other citizens. The social contract–the covenant that all members of society implicitly adhere to in order to benefit from the laws that protect us from the wickedness of barbarism–requires society to protect us from those that would cause us harm–those that would threaten our pursuit of happiness. 

A sociopath is either imprisoned or hospitalized when he causes others harm or is considered a danger to others. But how can the government protect us from the sociopathic corporate citizen? A corporation cannot be imprisoned. The government–duty-bound to protect us from the harm caused by the malfeasance and wickedness of those predators who live outside of the social contract–and human beings–duty-bound to protect each other from the mercenaries who think human morality to be an obstacle to their pursuit of self-interest–must act to protect society from the corporate citizen through government oversight and the enacting of regulations. 

Those self-concerned hoarders of wealth that benefit from the unregulated corporate citizen, i.e. the Koch Brothers, have promulgated an ideology that manipulates the working class into supporting a vision for America that harks back to the days of the robber barons–a time when the working person’s labor enriched a few men whose unslakable thirst for wealth led to widespread human suffering. Men and children toiled for 12 hours a day, six days a week for a pittance. Families huddled together in American cities forming impoverished ghettos.

The only institution powerful enough to address the diabolical ramifications of unbridled, unregulated capitalism is the government. Yet the Tea Party continues to tell Americans that government is the bogey man–that we need to shrink government to the point that it can fit down the drain.  The narcissists that we refer to as “captains of industry” feel that they occupy an exalted position that places them beyond criticism and even the law. The Koch Brothers have repeatedly demonstrated that they could care less if, in their ascent to power and wealth, they harm others. They have been fined over 400 times by the Environmental Protection Agency for breaking federal laws promulgated to protect the environment–a reflection of their narcissism and lack of concern for other members of society who are harmed by their egregious negligence. 

The Koch Brothers’ sociopathic behavior has caused society great harm not only environmentally, but politically too. Their narcisccim will never allow them to be answerable to the people. So they have brilliantly promulgated a plan to create a political party that is nothing more than a façade that masks their real agenda: to weaken government to the point at which they can crush it with their heals. The Founding Fathers believed that the government is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” So when Tea Party conservatives cry for a small, ineffectual government, they are arguing to weaken the people’s  power–they are arguing against the most basic tenet of a democracy: the sovereignty of the people.

They brilliantly employ language from the American Revolution in their attempt to manipulate us into thinking that their purely selfish efforts are in fact tantamount to the principles of the Revolution. By referring to themselves as the Tea Party, they are disgracing an event that protested the corporate greed of the British East India Company  and their cronies in Parliament. They reinterpret the act as an example of the Founding Fathers’ dislike of taxes and government, when in fact their real umbrage was with their lack of a role in the process: “No taxation without representation.”

If the corporate elites and their brainwashed Tea Party followers cannot achieve a majority in the government, then they will make government ineffectual and unresponsive to the will of the people. With Citizens United, The Kochs’ were the men behind the curtain. Their own in-house attorney argued in favor of Citizens United. Citizens United is a huge blow to our democracy. It allows special interests to donate without limit to political campaigns. Now the Koch’s can get their puppets elected to high federal office by pouring unregulated, special interest money into elections. CwwsawwwwwaAithe constituents matter to a corporate-sponsored elected official. He owes his allegiance to the corporate elites that helped him buy the election.

Now that the government is beginning to fall in line with the will of the Corporate America, there is only one institution left standing in their way: the unions. After Citizens United, the Koch’s began buying gubernatorial races for politicians who promised to break the backs of unions for good. 

The unions, with the support of the government, put an end to the exploitation of the workers. Organized Labor brought about the weekend, the 8 hour workday, and child labor laws.  

The unions are a shining example of what the powerless, when united through the ideals of empathy and fraternity, can achieve for humanity, even when opposed by the corporate elite and their bottomless pits of cash. 

However, our society is self-obsessed. It’s as if we have ethical blinders on that stop us from noticing the suffering of those around us. Our society suffers from an ethical disease that has destroyed our ability to feel empathy. How can a fraternal organization like labor unions exist when people are so self-absorbed? Union membership has suffered a severe decline. 11.1% of wage workers are members of unions. The percentage is down from 20.1% in 1983 when Union membership started declining–the time period which ushered in modern-day conservatism. 

With organized labor severely weakened, it was not difficult for the Koch Brothers to get Scott Walker elected governor of  Wisconsin. And it was not too difficult for Scott Walker to get rid of the right for unions to collective bargaining: another victory for the Koch Brothers.

The Koch Brothers and their corporate elites have their greedy hands wrapped around the neck of Lady Liberty, and with each victory over the liberal guardians of America’s Goddess, they tighten their grip. American democracy is gasping for air. Will American democracy be replaced with an American plutocracy?

Leave a Reply