Image by matt griffin via Flickr
We tend to associate the word “coup” with armed force and – not infrequently actual violence – but, almost certainly, the insidious power of money has even more coups to its credit.
It reduces the seizing of power to an investment decision. It is also administratively and logistically simple. No troops or tanks required; and those you need to over-power - will take plastic.
Where this country is concerned we have experienced an interesting variation on the traditional secretive coup. In our case, those who have bought power, have largely – though certainly not completely - operated in plain sight by perverting the Constitution. They have bribed their way into power; and intend to hold on to it in exactly the same way.
Politicians come cheap. Return on such invested capital is excellent; and there is a track record to prove it.
The Supreme Court has been complicit in this power grab in a whole series of pro-business judgments which first all ruled that corporations, from a legal point of view, had the same rights as people; and secondly that corporate money was the equivalent of free speech and must, therefore, go unchecked.
From then on, the decline of effective representative democracy was inevitable. Why should a politician listen to his constituency when he has been bought into office with corporate money; is maintained in office in the same way; and will similarly benefit when he or she retires? Research shows that he or she does not.
The system has now been so corrupted that even at a time of unparalleled income inequality and widespread unemployment – a consequence of a rigged taxation system and the lack of worker rights – the Republicans feel quite safe in blatantly advocating tax (and other) reforms, which will further aid the transfer of wealth to the Rich and Corporate Interests; and further advance social inequity.
Such behavior is shameless, reprehensible, and morally wrong, but the Republicans feel they can get away with it because they now control so many of the levers of power – and particularly of propaganda – that resistance will be futile; even if they fail to capture the presidency as such.
Their rationale is simple. The Rich and Corporate Interests have bought both parties (and have manipulated the Tea Party into the bargain). Bribery rocks! Well, that may be a slight exaggeration; but that it works, is certain.
Look no further than the continuing support of the financial sector by the Democrats for proof of this, plus the glaring absence of programs advancing social equity. In effect, the 99% have no representation.
Unfortunately, history shows that social inequity invariably results in social unrest and, not infrequently, violence. And where does violence lead? It has featured in our history before. The term we used to describe it was: “Revolution.”
The V for Vendetta mask may soon look less benevolent.
America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up, and shake off the existing government, and form a new one that suits them better. This is a most valuable - a most sacred right - a right, which we hope and believe, is to liberate the world.