"The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations." — Thomas Jefferson
Corporate assault on government is close to succeeding. Locally, we have one-party rule financed by developers and other big-money shutting down any meaningful debate about the future of our Valley. In Sacramento, we have government collapsing because large corporations control the budgetary/revenue process, thus starving essential services and education. Nationally we have bankers and corporate elite still calling the shots on health care, the war, economy, climate change, environmental plunder and degradation despite a party change. Still the people sleep.
So let’s imagine what our future, or I should say, our children’s children’s future might be like when government established to protect and enhance the common good, regulate and control excess and exploitation and provide public safety no longer exists.
Will schools all be private? If so, for the masses will there be no education? Will infrastructure be only for those with enough money to be able to travel on toll roads? Will the rest have to travel down dark streets to menial jobs paying poor wages? Will there be the continual threat of assault and robbery? Will private security firms, private armies and private fire companies be paid for by the super-wealthy to protect their life and property? Will water be privatized as well?
Will we have a government owned by the wealthy? Will the laws make no pretense of justice? Will people have no say about how taxes are spent? Will they be funneled to the wealthiest with minimal expenditure on problems that do not touch those who can isolate from the rabble? Will there be no health care per se, since human life will not be valued? Will there be no public libraries, parks, colleges or universities?
Will unions that came into being because of the exploitive nature of corporations no longer exist? Will wages be dependent on the whim of the corporate masters? Will debt be rampant since people will have to borrow for basic necessities but will continue to be subjected to a constant barrage of ads to buy, buy, buy? Will debtor’s prisons be reinstated? Will there be no vacations, pensions, social security or health care? Will people again work twelve hours a day never being able to retire? Will plagues, disease and infection be rampant since there will be no public health system? Will massive death and population collapse occur frequently?
With education only for the few will crime be rampant? Will private for-profit prisons house those who violate the corporate rules? Will there be no public courts? Will the corporations create tribunals to punish those who violate the rights of the rich and their property? Will there be torture, even for minor crimes? If life is cheap, will the death penalty be used frequently? Since few people will be educated will superstition and belief in the supernatural dominate? Will scientific inquiry cease and fanatic, authoritarian religion used by the corporate elite to control the masses?
If all information is controlled by the corporations will they spew propaganda to distract and convince the masses how lucky they are and how they need to be good consumers? Will entertainment continue it’s decent to the lowest common denominator because it sells corporate products?
Will energy and resource depletion and an unsustainable environment conflict with preserving the unbridled, consumer-dependent capitalist system providing wealth to the few elite? Will the progeny of those corporate pirates who plundered the earth’s wealth during the 19th and 20th centuries have to maintain their booty through massive private armies? Will energy be rationed only to those who can afford it with the rest living in hovels and darkness? With the corporate elite comprising only 2-3% and crafts persons, doctors, clergy, teachers, etc. representing only 5-7% will 90% of the population again be surfs and peasants? Slaves?
Will this dystopia happen? Perhaps, but will it be short lived since it will be based on plunder and the exhaustion of our natural resources? Will there be a complete collapse within 4-5 generations? Will we devolve into a world of dog-eat-dog, every man for himself? Like Rome, our declining empire seems the result of the corruption of our Republic by the oligarch’s economic and environmentally unsustainable unbridled capitalist system and the steady decay of our democratic institutions.
Chair, Democratic Neighbors of the 38th AD