Wednesday, June 14, 2017

This Is What I Think, I Think

From Matt Taibbi:

[American v]oters for decades were conned into thinking they were noisome minorities whose best path to influence is to make peace with the mightier "center," which inevitably turns out to support military interventionism, fewer taxes for the rich, corporate deregulation and a ban on unrealistic "giveaway" proposals like free higher education. Those are the realistic, moderate, popular ideas, we're told.

But it's a Wizard of Oz trick, just like American politics in general. There is no numerically massive center behind the curtain. What there is instead is a tiny island of wealthy donors, surrounded by a protective ring of for-sale major-party politicians (read: employees) whose job it is to castigate too-demanding voters and preach realism.

Those pols do so with the aid of a bund of dependably alarmist sycophants in the commercial media, most of whom, whether they know it or not, technically inhabit the low end of the 1 percent and tend to be amazed that people out there are pissed off about stuff. 
That's how it works these days, folks. Reading Cory Doctorow's near-future book Walkaway, with its premise of .000001 percenters living an entirely separate existence and controlling "default" society, has put this on my mind even more than usual. And then there was Taibbi's new post to remind me of it again.

It's no way to run a democracy, even if candidates aren't dropping out because of death threats.

No comments: