In America we only have the pretense that the Majority Rules in a Democracy that is dedicated to empowering the will of the people. Sadly, that belief comes from a history where the populace has been mollified by this pretense, while in fact a small minority of persons of wealth have wielded power. Currently the truth of this is shown in the ongoing attempt of Republicans in Congress to destroy the Affordable Care Act, known derisively as Obamacare. Many of us have been confounded by the spectacle of a Republican Congress trying to pass Health Care legislation, that is supported by less than 20% of the American People. In each succeeding iteration of this proposed legislation, the consistent fact is that it will cause tens of millions of Americans to lose their Health Care. Beyond loss of Health Care by the most vulnerable Americans, a further subset entailing those with pre-existing conditions would find themselves un-insurable, with many others having to pay premiums beyond their means. What I have detailed is but a blatant, current example of how in America, the majority does not rule, but if we don’t….who does?
A recent article at Alternet deals with the small group of ultra-wealthy Americans who are using their money to dis-empower the ability of most Americans to influence our government through those elected ostensibly to serve us. The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan to Hijack American Democracy is an interview with historian Nancy MacLean, author of Democracy in Chains. MacLean discusses Nobel Prize winning economist James McGill Buchanan, whose work has influenced and guided many others of radical right wing snesibilities, including multi-Billionaire political contributor Charles Koch. MacLean says:
“…..that Buchanan saw a conflict between “economic freedom and political liberty”, and that he sought (in his own words) “conspiratorial secrecy” in pursuit of what George Monbiot has described as “a hidden programme for suppressing democracy on behalf of the very rich”. Monbiot’s piece also argues that Buchanan worked to impede desegregation, and assisted Augusto Pinochet‘s regime in writing the 1980 Constitution of Chile.”
The theory of this Southern economist was that the most important aim of a national government was to protect the property rights of the nations wealthiest people. In his mind he divided up the populace between the makers and the takers. To Buchanan the makers were those that created the wealth of a society and of course represented a small minority of the people. The vast majority of the people to Buchanan were the takers, who leeched off of those who actually contributed to the functioning of any society. With this in mind, Buchanan was concerned with the strategies the makers should employ to ensure that their needs and their property rights were given the highest priority. This notion of course accepted the fact that in a society such as the United States, where elections are supposed to set the government priorities, the makers would always represent a small minority of the populace. Given the fact that the makers agenda could never be popular with most of the people, Buchanan developed strategies for ensuring that the wealthiest citizens control the politicians and bend them to their will. I urge that you read The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan to Hijack American Democracy to understand its’ premise and perhaps be motivated, as I am, to then purchase and read Democracy in Chains. I believe that this will provide insight into what we who are committed to RESISTING this ongoing assault upon our freedom are up against. To defeat ones’ enemies, one needs to understand the nature and tactics of those enemies.
This returns me to my opening premise, which is that as we, the vast majority of the people, are disconcerted by the fact that our vital needs seem of little concern to our elected representatives, we are then faced with the question of how we turn this around. I think that in the ever growing RESISTANCE MOVEMENT we are finding the answer. Buchanan rightly understood that what motivated almost all politicians was the need to get elected and re-elected. With our overwhelming majority of numbers, we must coalesce to put the fear of political defeat into our politicians, enough fear to overcome their attachment to the funds being provided by the monied right wing. Most importantly though, to coalesce we must understand and counter the premise of these ultra-wealthy oligarchs, that they are the people whose wealth is the reason, that this nation thrives. Awash in their luxury and their fabulous lifestyles, these wealthy right wingers are sublimely unconcerned with the impoverished misery of many and with the daily struggles that most of us endure living our lives.
Following the canon provided by the racist James McGill Buchanan, they have developed privatized prison systems, fed by a steady stream of victims of the Racist War on Drugs, making American prisons the most populous on the planet. Our exploitative Oligarchs have plundered our public school system with for profit Charter Schools, that give a lesser education, at a greater cost. Charter Schools are also racist in that their concept was originated after the Supreme ended school segregation and they have been successful in re-segregating our country. Every aspect of normal life has been plundered and exploited by these right wing Oligarchs, reaping huge profits that add to their billions, reinforcing their sense of entitlement and their power over us all.
While in many ways these leeches who style themselves makers, have all the advantages in the struggle to control the future of our America. Our power to RESIST comes from our overwhelming numbers, via mobilizing ourselves and educating ourselves to the game being run upon us. We are locked in a struggle for nothing less than the future of our offspring and the future of our country. We have seen a little bit of the power we can wield in the Health Care struggle. These right wing Republicans controlling Congress and in the pay of the oligarchs, have so far been unable to pass the legislation that their masters have demanded for years. The RESISTANCE grows, because in this Age of Trump, our enemies are finally out in the open and we see them for the danger that they pose.