Monday, November 12, 2007

Congress

The USA is governed by the best politicians that money can buy. The sad thing is that few of them even realize they've been bought. It takes some deep analysis to realize how intricate a system we have, where everybody believes he's doing the right thing and collectively we do such horrid wrongs.

For starters College Economics 101 teaches that capitalism rewards ingenuity and intelligence. And too few history courses point out that it has also rewarded thieves and thugs. Thomas Paine made this point well. The accumulation of wealth has legitimized organized criminals in many instances.

But most ambitious young politicians don't have time for such analysis. They buy the popular myth that rich people deserve a better life. Obviously, part of that is access to politicians. And the perks of rubbing elbows with the wealthy are obvious.

Very few votes are bought outright in DC. It's more subtle than that. There is a huge industry based in DC and extending to every state capitol and major city hall in the country. Their job is the distortion of reality to suit the needs of their clients in corporate America.

Mainstream news has always been centrally controlled, but in recent decades the entire news industry has become much more centralized. Fortunately access to media by amateur citizens has also leapt up, but politicians don't give that much credit, except when forced by well organized citizens.

So politicians live in a different world than the rest of us. They believe their understanding of the world is superior to that of most of their constituents, especially if they have access to state secrets. Oh, any politician may resist the elite view on any particular issue, but they meanwhile buy into the big picture.

They also get distracted by "housekeeping." So while the administration was shredding the Bill of Rights, they had protracted discussions about DC cab rates. Congress is, after all, the City Council of the District of Columbia.

How do we get out of this mess? First by supporting those few brave candidates, like Dennis Kucinich, who resist all corporate influence. Then we must build a multiparty democracy from the grassroots. It starts by organizing your closest neighbors. Then we restructure local government, using tools like free media for candidates who qualify by collecting signatures.

Let's work toward living in global villages, each sustainable in locally appropriate ways and linked by a common vision of a world that works. For more big picture ideas, please read Vernon: Proposed Constitution of North America in this blog.

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