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Americans Agree: It’s Corporate Power That’s In Our Way


#1

Americans Agree: It’s Corporate Power That’s In Our Way

Robert Weissman

There is widespread recognition among politicians and pundits that Americans are sharply divided by party on virtually all of the big questions facing our country.

Everyone knows this is just the way things are, and it’s why we have gridlock in Congress.

But here’s one thing: That story is not true.


#2

Big money will continue to divide and conquer the masses with social sideshows and dog whistle politics as long as the public is flummoxed by them. It is far past time for "American Spring" to bloom. It is beginning to bud with Bernie, but as Mr. Weissman asserts, more people need to mobilize.


#3

The problem is the right doesn't trust the federal government and the left doesn't trust corporations. The result is one side is trying to increase size of the federal government while the other side is trying to decrease the size of the federal government. American simply do not agree on the role of the federal government and corporations or where what is at the root of our problems. One side wants to make more things public while the other wants to make more thing private. One side wants a bigger military and the other side want a smaller military. It seems each election cycle the US is more polarized than the last.


#4

Although the data presented by Robert Weissman is pleasing, why is it corresponding policies are not implemented? Weissman effectively responds, "The problem isn’t that Americans don’t agree. The problem is that the corporate class doesn’t agree with this agenda, and that class dominates our politics". Without challenge, Weissman is correct in his response.

Ever since Ronald Reagan, the "corporate class" has dominated the Republican Party. And, at least ever since William Jefferson Clinton, the "corporate class" has dominated the Democratic Party. In the candidacies of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, this dominance has come under serious assault. Effectively, the masses are rising against the "corporate class".

But, now a caveat. Reading article after article concerning current American politics, as well as comment after comment by members of the public in response to on-line articles concerning current American politics, a word check reveals something I find very disturbing. The word "democracy" occurs uncommonly. Commonly occurring is "jobs" or "the economy".

It is as if the politicians and public have abandoned the political principle of democracy for the economic principle of employment. Disturbing in this abandonment is a loss in any perceived means available to the public to implement policies in response to the data provided by Weissman. Effectively, the public perceives itself as left with little more than whining.

Focusing on the whining,

"There is widespread recognition among politicians and pundits that Americans are sharply divided by party on virtually all of the big questions facing our country.

Everyone knows this is just the way things are, and it’s why we have gridlock in Congress.

But here’s one thing: That story is not true".

What Weissman misses here is not only is there "widespread recognition among politicians and pundits that Americans are sharply divided", the public shares in this "recognition". And, why not so? Reinforced with the popular imagery of " Americans ... sharply divided by party on virtually all of the big questions facing our country", little else can be expected.

Excluded in this imagery is "our country". Democracy presupposes a communal identity, while economics presupposes an individual identity. Democratically, the individual is a communally grounded social citizen. Economically, the individual is a free floating asocial cipher.

If this be questioned, simply reflect on the once popular principle of globalization, in contrast to the nationalism and religious identity currently popular. Globalization approached the human as a productive-consumptive object. As having instrumental, not intrinsic value. Nationalism and religious identity approach the human as a rights and duty bearing subject. As having intrinsic, not instrumental value.

It is the mutual identity provided by nationalism and religion of which Hillary Clinton and the Republican competitors to Donald Trump do not understand. Lost within the last thirty years following Ronald Reagan's Presidency, Clinton and Trump's competitors still seek to serve the corporate world. This, while speaking to the public of Weissman's policies only to ameliorate the public. My suspicion is the public has caught on to the con.


#5

Voters vote with their "gut" and emotions, not based on platforms and policy. Corporations are masters of conducing campaigns for politicians to be emotionally appealing, just as they are masters of conducting advertising campaigns to sell everything from toothpaste to cars.


#6

Bullshit, you are here to promote false division and phony gridlock.


#7

"Excluded in this imagery is "our country". Democracy presupposes a communal identity, while economics presupposes an individual identity. Democratically, the individual is a communally grounded social citizen. Economically, the individual is a free floating asocial cipher."

These are observations that, in my opinion, open onto even more fruitful observations. "Our country" remits to what might be called a post-modern palimpsest of "culture". In this case I refer to culture as is imposed as the founding of political identity on a 'thou shalt not say' set of premises. These include the genocide of the original peoples, the utter and complete aggression on their societal identities and the snow ball of conflation of church and state in that process that plagues us still today. Keeping in mind that it was the 16th century church and royalty that deemed "non-christian" peoples as inferior heathens to be conquered, enslaved and dominated. Yet few actually realize that this is precisely what continues to be done today according to "class". It is a system that virtually says, "Here, have a petard and while you're at it, hoist yourself with it after your "betters" have moved out of range."

"Economically, the individual is a free floating asocial cipher.". Well put, especially seeing precisely that in the redefinition of the 'individual' as "consumer". Reading just the wikipedia entry, one can see the smoke and mirrors of the process of 'dividing' the indivisibility of an individual into divisible 'utility'. Its a stunning game of slice and dice.


#8

Thinking of recent discussions about 'worldview' on CD, we can see from the polling data quoted, that there IS a coherent worldview that is forming amongst the general public. Unfortunately, while many centrists acknowledge such widespread beliefs, it is shocking to see them continue to vote for the traditional perpetration of the corporatocracy. It is as if there is too much cognitive dissonance to tolerate acknowledging the bankruptcy and sociopathy of maintaining the status quo, so the reflex continues to be one of choosing 'mainstream', extremist dems and pubs.
That is why i believe, and it seems many commenters agree, that discussions which push for a full accounting of the dominating, pathological 'center' be right up front in our political interchange. There is no possibility of sane politics emerging from a continuation of the centrist corruption. Systemic change is needed despite the whining from nervous centrists about making waves. If your portfolio is more important than justice, equality, sustainability, saving lives,and finding democracy, then you are firmly ensconced in the corporatocracy and corruption. Yeah, i know, the truth does hurt.
Great article that further demonstrates the importance of worldview, and, acting upon that accurate worldview! When you look in the mirror, don't be afraid to acknowledge what is actually there! Dispel the pervasive social fictions we live within!


#9

Lets cut to the chase: it is not our country, that is what the corportocracy, the criminal cabal and their mercenary's the CIA, FBI and their trillion$ military wants you to believe. It is, and has been.. their country!


#10

Let's start with this:

A corporation is not a person.


#11

" Big money will continue to divide and conquer the masses."

Yes, a prime example is Trump vs. Bernie and HRC.

It will never happen, but what would really scare the economic elite? A third party coalition of Trump and Bernie where both parties are kicked out of power! Yep, divide and conquer.


#12

Great comment! There is a sense of change possible (due in great part to Bernie). The sense that enough people are concerned and committed to rolling back the corporate oligarchy and return our democracy to the people. A similar feeling is overtaking Europe. The people have awakened and once they see that other people...a lot of other people ...will also join with them then more and more people do because there's that thing about the numbers.

The 1% ends up being not that many people in a democracy. That is why oligarchy doesn't respect democracy. Democracy is there for the little guys to have a say.

It looks like the 99% wants to have a say in their own government... again!


#13

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.


#14

The poll results cited in the article indicate that it's a great myth that Republicans want a smaller government. They just don't want that government funding things they oppose (welfare, abortion etc) same as the left wants government too but doesn't want to fund what it opposes (war, fossil fuel subsidies etc).

The two parties divide the electorate on social issues and unite against it on economic ones.

Obama is more than happy to toss you a gay marriage bone so long as the TPP passes, the MIC gets a trillion dollar check for a new generation of nuclear weapons, Wall Street stays unregulated, and above all, the imperialist neoliberal project stays on track.

Now they want us to fight about men in women's bathrooms. The wedge issues never end. Nor does the theft.


#16

That 'Up All Night' movement shows that it can happen here. These people in Democracy Spring have the right idea. They will be in the news and that is what the sixties were really about. There were protests and they were visible (on TV) and people talked about them. The thing about Occupy (at least the original one in NYC) was that it was newsworthy. It just sort of happened and after a while of being in the news, it became a movement.

It was visible and because of that visibility it spread around the world and other cities and towns had an Occupy.

Back in the sixties people used the media just like in ancient Rome people would paint Graphitto - political slogans on street walls at night. Peaceful revolution will be televised otherwise no one knows that it is happening. Gil Scott Heron's famous quote about the revolution will not be televised referred to how the media was not going to publicize the message in a protest march. Photos of the march would be shown but the message was not shown.

The revolution will be online though. This time we will hear from those participating in Democracy Spring and the message will be heard. Nevertheless even back in the sixties just showing the marches on TV was enough because people are not stupid. They understood what they were seeing...lol.


#17

I think this is the viewpoint of our better-off, those still in the middle class, but certainly not of all Americans. Our situation is actually much more complicated than liberal media or the middle class seem to grasp.

From a different perspective: Every step of the way, from Reagan's deregulation mania to Clinton wiping out basic poverty relief, we got the policies our middle class demanded or accepted. They looked at the policies and programs implemented from FDR to Reagan, which took the country to its height of wealth and productivity (far from perfect, but much better), and chose to do the exact opposite. This wasn't forced on the country by corporate powers.

The middle class chose the agenda that brought us to this point. It wasn't forced on us by wealthy beasts. As far back as the 1980s, it was the middle class that railed against unions, and that supported years of massive corporate tax cuts on the theory that our grateful corporations would use this money to create that promised mass of "good, family-supporting jobs."


#18

Agreed, and we need to amend the Constitution to say: "Only natural persons have Constitutional rights."


#22

If there is 1 thing I've learned is that Democrats and Republicans

should not be examined as distinct entities- they are part of a

larger system and on EVERY issue of magnitude they come down

together on the same side of the big business interests who they

represent.

To think otherwise is beyond naive and avoids the facts of who

funds these parties and who writes the legislation that BOTH

parties rubber stamp.

The conventional framework in which politics is viewed (Dem vs

Repub, lib vs conserv, etc.) does not let people understand what's

really happening. And this is no accident, because the

"conventional framework" is itself an example of Marx's dictum that

"The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling

ideas." It serves ruling class interests to indoctrinate the public

with false & silly beliefs about our society (that "we live in a

democracy", etc) -- while in actual fact, the whole political

mechanism has long since been rigged to function as a plutocracy,

but with a thin camouflaging veneer of "democracy" on the surface.

Democrats and Republicans are without question lackeys of the

bourgeosie...

God Bless our Country !!:flag_us:


#23

True, social human beings, environment and life have been much more expansive and inclusive of naturally occurring resonant information for the greater portion of human existence. Fortunately we still have 99% of bodily life in resonance with electrobiochemical realities, though strained by economics of food and other systems.
Another aspect could be said to be how we envision being in the world. For instance the article on testing brain impact of LSD posted on CD today.
Our conversations here occur within an extremely narrow band of your, mine and others personal experiences in a format circumscribed by a phonetic alphabet, writing conventions, topic of discussion, etc. These in turn are heavily impacted by pressures configured by machinations all too often far beyond our control. In this respect there is an interesting perspective on sort of a conscious precipitation from the overarching attenuations of the artificially constructed and imposed model of being a "utility" under the construct of the 'consumer' - as cipher.

From the online etymological dictionary:
late 14c., "arithmetical symbol for zero," from Old French cifre "nought, zero," Medieval Latin cifra, with Spanish and Italian cifra, ultimately from Arabic sifr "zero," literally "empty, nothing," from safara "to be empty;" loan-translation of Sanskrit sunya-s "empty." The word came to Europe with Arabic numerals. Originally in English "zero," then "any numeral" (early 15c.), then (first in French and Italian) "secret way of writing; coded message" (a sense first attested in English 1520s) ...

Can you expand on your idea of UK / US comparison?


#24

Of course most Americans agree on these key issues. As a people we've always preferred progress over stagnancy or back sliding. No, we're certainly not the divided country that is peddled by mainstream media outlets. We have what we have due to rigged elections. I could not be more serious or emphatic. Elections are being systematically engineered to pivot a percentage of votes via the voting machine to the Republican candidate - all over the country.
It is for this unpatriotic unbridled corruption that defiles our representative government and quality of life in this country. Please, everyone, read Matrix of Deceit by Richard Charnin. He's a highly accomplished election statistician who, along with others in his field have proved via incontrovertible evidence, we are hostages to radicals whom view democracy as an enemy to their agenda for middle class annihilation.