To see who really has power, look at who benefits no matter what happens
We get told many comforting myths. One of the biggest is that we the people have the power in our society. Since we get to vote every once in a while, we are expected to believe that our leaders and those at the top “serve us” rather than “rule us.”
The truth is very different.
To see who really has the power, we must look beyond the myths and ask one question: “Who benefits no matter what happens?”
If we truly lived in a society where the people ruled, we wouldn’t have 50 per cent of our people living paycheque to paycheque and on the brink of financial crisis. We wouldn’t have half of our people only $200 more in debt payments away from bankruptcy. And we wouldn’t have the vast majority of people working harder and harder but having almost all income gains go to a tiny elite.
When the economy went into crisis who was hurt? Regular people, low income and middle class people lost jobs, lost earnings, lost job security, went more into debt, and had to struggle even harder just to stay in the same place.
Who emerged from the crisis even stronger? Bankers, Politicians, and the heads of the biggest corporations. I call this group collectively “The Corporatists.” The Corporatists have – some purposely and some by just going along with the status quo – skewed the system and concentrated power in their hands to a massive degree.
The corporatists have an ideology of control. Instead of empowering you, they want to dominate you. They want to keep you under stress, with just enough money to consume in the economy by but not enough to become financially independent and free.
That’s why we keep changing governments but the underlying economic inequality stays the same. The same people remain in power. We are changing the face of the system, not the system itself.
Look at some of the ways the scam – and it really is a scam – is given away:
- Banks get bailed out and there are no punishments for wrongdoing.
- Politicians keep raising their pay – even while telling the rest of us to sacrifice.
- Politicians get guaranteed terms in office, which means they get their money and keep their power no matter how much they lie or abuse their office.
- Corporations exploit massive tax loopholes to avoid paying taxes, and get away with it, while the rest of us would be severely punished by the politicians if we evaded taxes.
- Our “leaders” pretend to “consult” with us, but try to avoid holding referendums – which are the real way the people can make our voices heard.
All of this adds up to a disturbing realization: The people do not have the power. The corporatist elite has the power, and a few democratic rituals are used to try and blind us to that fact.
In many ways, democracy has become a lie.
It does not have to remain this way. A democratic revolution is possible. With communication and information more freely available, we no longer need to rely on all the same systems and ways of thinking that hold our potential bank.
However, the corporatist elite doesn’t want us to realize this. Instead, they want us to doubt our own ability and the ability of our fellow citizens. If we doubt and fight amongst each other, we are easier to control.
That’s why we must reclaim our belief in our own power and our own potential. That will be the first step toward turning our democratic myth into reality.