Realizing America is a corporatocracy is like having Mrs. Robinson for a neighbor. Secretly, we suspect her marriage might not be all that blissful. She does drink a bit too much, but we prefer to believe the cupcake image. We may even participate in spreading it.
We trust Mrs. Robinson is a wholesome, successful wife and mother. Then things go a little too far and we learn she seduced her best friend’s kid in some seedy motel.
You would think we would get pissed and do something like end the friendship. But we ignore it because her family blackmails us with trumped up accusations of rape, the kids could still get married. . .and it is all so icky.
As long as it looks good on the surface, and a strong economy and crap jobs are the result, Americans pretend that everything is just fine.
Corporatocracy slaps us in the face
Americans love to erect monuments to the noble ideas of liberty, freedom and justice for all.
We put on a mask of respectability for our global neighbors. We aren’t fooling anyone. Behind closed doors we are deeply mired in our own hidden family dysfunction. We conceal the empty bottles in the trash, then wax philosophical about plastics and join in singing a round of “‘Murica the Beautiful.”
America celebrates immigrants coming to our shores for the promise of religious freedom. We support that as long as the newcomers are white and their form of worship resembles our familiar Christianity. Although we like to promote the idea of tolerance, everyone knows that Grandpa doesn’t really like the Jews. Shhh, not really.
We spend billions on our military under the guise of lifting others out of oppression. Then we defend our history of denying equal rights for minorities. At the same time, we prevent loving homosexual couples from marrying or adopting children. Even now, we are threatening to deploy our military to shoot asylum seekers at the border — not because there is any real threat, but to “energize” Republican voters.
We wring our hands over addiction issues while denying that alcoholism is rampant. If we’re not drinking or ingesting illegal substances, we turn to other forms of escape. 20% of Americans over the age of 12 have abused prescription drugs. We allow our politicians to gut healthcare so these people have zero shot at treatment. Then we reward those same drug companies with a massive tax break after they treated pharmaceuticals like a cheap trade show giveaway.
America is the greatest. . . corporatocracy in the world
America props up the image that it is the greatest nation in the world when we know that it is far from it. We are not by the people and for the people unless corporations are “the people.”
The proof? The corporatocracy realized a generous tax break they weren’t even seeking, giving them a greater opportunity to control Washington through dark money, lobbying and influence peddling. Even though we know trickle down economics is a farce, we allowed our politicians to sell us a bridge.
Once they have Medicare and Social Security, the circle (which is beginning to resemble a noose) will be complete. “It’s a lovely necklace,” the Washington spin machine will say. All that will be left will be a way to convince us that those who want their promised payroll contributions are promoting some form of evil socialism.
The resulting truth-speak will be akin to, “Social Security is really communism. We have all these minimum wage jobs, old people should contribute.”
We will be fed propaganda thanks to corporate money.
Should we really be airing our dirty laundry like this?
It is okay that I say these things, because we are family. I am allowed to criticize America because I am white, educated and employed. If you do not wave one of these flags — if you are brown, you receive any sort of public assistance, or God forbid you are an immigrant — you are not permitted to complain. You must keep quiet about how Mom is drinking in the pantry and Dad ignores his loveless marriage.
What would the neighbors think of the Robinsons if they were to find out? I mean, everyone knows it, but we don’t talk about it.
The truth is, America is a corporatocracy and we are turning a blind eye.
The Corporatocracy has rights, you don’t
The Bill of Rights makes certain guarantees to citizens, but anymore, that is just clever PR. It is a tool for programming the public, relegated to the position of a “recommended goals” rather than founding principles. It has been hollowed out, sold piecemeal to political favorites.
Take the First Amendment.
It states Congress can make no laws that restrict the freedom of speech, religion and the press. Most Americans believe that means we are guaranteed these freedoms. It really says only our government is prohibited from passing laws, not actually doing these things.
Corporations can and do limit your free speech every time you are denied a job because of what you post on social media. Even if you are a journalist and publish a blog like I do, in America, you can be terminated for belonging to the opposing political party. This falls under the guise of “at will” employment. This is nothing more than “right to fire” laws which serve the employers more than the workers.
I can freely write about my bad experiences with Cox Cable, but if I work there, I can be assured to lose my job and possibly face a lawsuit. Again, because in a corporatocracy, businesses have more rights than individuals.
I can keep and bear arms, but not if my employer doesn’t want me to do so. I am protected from illegal search and seizure, but I abdicate that right when I take a job as my employer can search my bags, my emails, or my Internet history. “But that is only at your place of business,” some will say. Consider that drug testing is searching for legal substances consumed while off the clock.
Workers are not permitted to insist that business owners also be drug tested, their belongings searched or their Internet history revealed.
Moving away from a Corporatocracy
The first step to moving away from a corporatocracy is to stop buying into flag waving patriotism. We must accept that our nation is not only deeply flawed, but mired in crisis. Only by talking about this problem can we hope to address it.
The rule of law was meant to protect everyone. Today, laws are passed for the protection and benefit of corporations and their shareholders. We need to demand that people benefit from legislation. Not only should we do this because it is right, but because it places more power in the hands of the voters.
From there, we must overturn Citizens United, a ruling which has allowed corporations undue influence in political matters.
Until then, we can expect the corporatocracy to continue to foment a left versus right battle so that we don’t talk about the real reasons behind our dysfunction.