Our country is no longer controlled by, and for, We the People, but instead by, and on behalf of, international banking and multinational corporate interests. While the gradual, almost imperceptible takeover of our government by this corporate fascism has been evolving by design for many decades, it is a coup d'etat nonetheless and has been disastrous for the vast majority of Americans. This blog is an exploration and discussion of how this occurred, and the damage it has done to our democratic processes.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Biggest Challenge of Our Time

Protester's sign at Occupy the Courts in Washington D.C.
Why the courts? Because frankly folks, that’s the scene of the crime. Corporate personhood and money equals political speech are court-created doctrines. We the people never decided it; our elected representatives didn’t decide it; ordinary people like me and you never decided it. The court created these doctrines and it’s going to take a movement to overturn it.” --- David Cobb, Move to Amend and an organizer of Friday’s Occupy the Courts protests.
In September a couple of years ago, I explored in a post how the Roberts Court obliterated the Constitution through corporate favoritism. I predicted -- which wasn't really that difficult -- how "big money in politics already subverted our democratic processes before [that election] year, but that [it would] seem like pennies-in-a-bucket when the steamroller of millions of corporate dollars start inundating the media with attack ads and influence peddling -- all designed to adversely influence your opinion to support their views and their candidates." Today's two-year anniversary of that inane and horrible Supreme Court decision, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, was the focus of yesterday's nation-wide network of protests called, collectively, Occupy the Courts. I was a part of the demonstration in Washington D.C., and although it was not as cold as last year's rally that observed the even colder and callous reasoning of that treasonous decision, it was still a brisk and windy day. 
Thom Hartmann speaking at Occupy the Courts
The D.C. event included many skits, street theater, and speeches by David Cobb, former presidential aspirant for the Green Party, along with Thom Hartmann, who initiated my journey of realizing the destabilizing and destructive nature of corporate personhood and the resultant corporatocracy we live under today due to this. 
The crowd was slightly larger than last year's event, but unlike a year ago the Capitol Police and Park Police were prominent and very visible. I interpret this to be a positive sign; the Occupy movement has created 
awareness and fear within those corporatists who have overtaken our government over the last thirty years, and especially within this century.  
I follow a friend's blog, aptly called "The Rant" by Tom Degan, and even before the realization of the near-collapse of the investment banking sector I expressed my doubts and frustrations about our country's burgeoning corporatocracy. The following reprint of a comment I posted on Mr. Degan's blog on September 9, 2008, which I highlighted in my very first post on No Corporate Rule, is worth repeating: 
"Tom, like you, I used to be firmly in the Democratic camp each and every election cycle, just knowing that if only the Democrats could retain power, all our social and political problems would be worked on, and would finally get solved. But, decade-after-decade, the same problems continued to persist. They actually got worse, not better. Aside from a Republican revolution that oversaw a dismantling of much of the New Deal era's strides to put society on a more equal footing, even when Democratic control was firmly in place the slide continued towards further degradation of human rights, and citizen needs, in favor of corporate and moneyed interests.

I, too, sincerely hope I'm wrong in my opinion about Senator Obama. I truly do. But the evidence is irrefutable. Thankfully, in 2002, which is the year Thom Hartmann's remarkable Unequal Protection came out, I picked it off the bookstore shelf and only intended to take a quick glance, but then couldn't put it down. I immediately bought it, and read it - more like absorbed it. Since, I've done extensive reading and research concerning corporate personhood through other areas, such as POCLAD.

That day things really started to crystallize for me. I understood that our problems weren't unsolvable through democratic action; they were only resisted by corporate entities that held far more power and influence than I did as a voter, and an agenda that was antithetical to mine, and most Americans. I learned that although I had the protections and rights granted to me through the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, so did, underhandedly, multinational corporate and banking interests. Just as important, it became apparent that our elected officials, from both parties, were in the corner of their corporate benefactors; not mine, or yours, or any of the other millions of middle or working class people in this country. When I made that connection, I mean when it finally hit me like a ton of bricks, I understood that a slow-motion coup d’état had taken place right under our noses. It didn't take troops and tanks rolling through the streets; all it took was time and incremental steps. It worked, and sadly, most of America is oblivious to the fact that it happened. They know 'something's wrong' but they haven't figured it out. It was the most covert takeover of a people in history.

I'll probably never return to the Democratic Party, but it could happen. If, through some miracle, they adopted the same stance in their official party platform that the Green Party has regarding the elimination of corporate personhood, then I'll come back. The 'Greens' unabashedly call for 'legislation or constitutional amendment to end the legal fiction of corporate personhood.' This, Tom, would be the real panacea to true reform, and the return of our country to We the People. Without this, we're just pissin' in the wind."
I feel even more passionately about what I wrote that day then ever before. The benefit of hindsight has allowed me to know that the corporatists continue to whittle away at the rights only natural persons were granted through our Bill of Rights; only natural persons, those made of real flesh and blood, deserve the protections our forebearers recognized as natural law. The infusion of corporate money is shattering records this primary season, and we're already experiencing how Citizens United has effectively allowed corporations, domestic and foreign, to leapfrog over our democratic ideals and to the forefront of our constitutional protections. As these transgressions against democratic ideals continue; as each passing year brings us precariously closer to entering the throes of a fascist authoritarian regime, the stakes become higher and the threats loom larger.
Until corporate personhood dies and is buried, preferably through a constitutional amendment, we're only fooling ourselves if we think the normal recourse for democratic change will solve the problem. It won't. The last four years have shown us this, and if history is a reliable teacher, the next four years -- no matter who is in office -- will certainly prove this. It's time to think real change. Otherwise, as I said almost four years ago, we're certainly just pissin' in the wind -- and we'll deserve everything that blows our way.