Thomas Jefferson wrote: “I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations, that already challenge our government to a trial by strength.” We didn’t.
What are the chances we’ll see the president of Goldman Sachs indicted for fraud? The president of the coal company, Massey Energy, indicted for negligent homicide? Dick Cheney indicted for slaughtering thousands of innocent Iraqis while his corporate cronies made billions from war profiteering? They will never go to jail.
American jails are too full of poor black men whose crimes pale in comparison to the crimes of the elite. American society consists of two species: corporations and humans, lords and serfs. We the people no longer govern. We the corporations rule.
Republicrats act as the lords’ constables and squires. But no party represents the serfs. A few prophetic voices like Ralph Nader, Dennis Kusinich and the Green Party’s Cynthia McKinny tried to warn us. We ignored them. Most politicians, including the president, pay homage to the masters of the military-industrial plantation.
To end this corporate feudalism and restore democracy, will Americans choose progressive change or violent upheaval?
Progress means public financing of elections, vigorous regulation of corporate power, federal judges who serve human beings instead of fictitious corporate persons, and a People’s Party that transcends the old dichotomies of left and right, balancing private enterprise with public oversight.
The alternative could be violence in the street, beginning with Wall Street.