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January 28, 2010

Why political action is not working and what to do about it

By Chaz Valenza

Corporatocracy is its own animal. Once in power this perversion cannot be defeated through democratic means as it has control of the roots of government. As we have witnessed, petitions, letter writing, emails, phone calls and even our votes are worth so little they are now ineffective.


Our government is not yet Fascist. To use this term is hyperbole and counter productive.

Calling our current system of governance what it is -- a Corporatocracy -- is powerful because it is a label that precisely defines our current state of affairs.

The term Corporatocracy is simple and descriptive: a form of government controlled by powerful corporations with a veneer of democracy.

Simply put, the wall between our economic system and our form of government has been lowered to the point where money and corporations now have control of our government. We no longer have either a democracy or free markets as market rules are now created by the corporations they are meant to control.

Corporatocracy is its own animal. Once in power this perversion cannot be defeated through democratic means as it has control of the roots of government. This is an important point.

As we have witnessed, petitions, letter writing, emails, phone calls and even our votes are worth so little they are now ineffective.

Voicing opposition by blogging and moaning and commenting on opinion pieces in main stream media has become populous busy work that humors corporate powers who laugh all the way to the bank.

Our representatives barely acknowledge the will of the people, placate majority opinion with half, quarter or obfuscating measures. They cut divergent backroom deals, or overturn fairness and justice publicly with impunity.

Evidence that every branch of our Federal government has been corrupted is now cited frequently. The instances grow more egregious daily:

The Supreme Court: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision.

The Congress: Health Care Reform hijacked by mega insurance, medical and pharmaceutical corporations.

The Executive Branch: Federal Reserve and Treasury Department appointments with direct connections, and a documented history of cronyism and criminal activity, with the largest Wall Street firms.

Get used to it. Say it aloud a few times and let those "poor" and "rat" and "tock" syllables roll off your tongue. Corp-poor-rat-tock-racey. Poor, the vast majority of us. Rats, we know who they are. Tock, like tick tock, doing time not really living.

If you worked for or supported the election campaign of Barack Obama, you learned a valuable lesson. Money talks.

Labyrinth - A new strategy to get at the enemy.

This was a lesson we learned in the W. years when we saw the impact of a small lie, and a lot of cash, used effectively by the Swift Boaters.

You and millions of others like you, including me, bought the election with our small contributions.

We may have purchased Mr. Obama the Presidency; unfortunately those with real money, the mega corporate money, had already purchased him and all of the apparatus of government around him.

If the President is sincerely fighting for change, as he would have us believe in his rhetorically ingenious State of the Union Address, he faces formidable foes on both sides of the aisle.

An army of lobbyists, and an Everest of corporate money, will continue to barricade themselves in a closed marketplace, while they erect a labyrinth of laws to assure obscene profits and a workforce of serfs.

Many voices are calling for radical change. They are not mistaken in proposing drastic remedies to dismantle the Corporatocracy. These include amending the Constitution to deprive corporations of their falsely assumed personhood, impeachment efforts against members of the Supreme Court, and the abolition of the Federal Reserve.

Each voice seems to have its own pet yearning to bring down some or other major establishment pillar that will yield a balance between people and self interested organizations, between individuals and the currently "legal" criminal enterprises that rule the day.

How can we ever reach the tipping point and challenge the balance of power? Can it be done legally, without government over-throw and treason?

I believe the answer is yes, but it will not be accomplished without effort and sacrifice on the part of We the People.

Though political action should not necessarily be abandoned, the recognition that it lacks efficacy is prerequisite to accepting an alternative strategy.

The alternative is market-based protest and insurrection. Money talks; who it speaks to, and how loud, is up to us.

Each day we are bombarded with appeals from well-meaning entities that are alternatives to corporate sponsored communications and political influence. When we can afford to make them, contributions to these efforts are important, but only as a starting point.

Several movements in their infancy are means to an end that have the potential of being very effective as thousands, then millions of people take part. They include:

Move Your Money: http://moveyourmoney.info/ Yes, just move your money from a big bank to a local community bank. But don't be surprised to see your community bank fail and be taken over by Big Banking once again. If that should happen you'll be insured by the FDIC. Move your money again.

Use Cash Movement: http://UseCashMovement.org Big Bank and Big Credit Card companies make a fortune whenever you use plastic, debit and credit cards, instead of cash. Both customers and small business can turn this around, promote the use of cash and benefit while Big Banking suffers.

Sell Stocks: I don't believe any retail/small investor, those without connections to inside Wall Street, has any business investing in stock. Yes, the market has come back, the big boys say it's safe to go back in the water. Believe them at your own peril or find a safe haven for your hard earned retirement money and register your opposition by pulling your money out. A sacrifice to give Wall Street the finger, or a smart move? Maybe both.

Boycott Corporations: Everyday we all interact with corporations we hate doing business with for any number of reasons. Operating in today's world, you may not have a choice on some of these matters. But it is always worth questioning authority. Is there an alternative? Can a spend less with these corporations? Do I need their services at all?

Submitters Bio:

Chaz Valenza is writer and small business owner in New Jersey. He earned his MBA from New York University's Stern School of Business. His current feature film project is "Single Point Failure" an insider's account of how the Reagan Administration caused the greatest tragedy of the space age based on Richard C. Cook's book "Challenger Revealed." He is a former Director of Public Information for Planned Parenthood of NYC. His website is: www.WordsWillNever.com