The war on terror distracts us from a more crucial conflict at home: the struggle between popular democracy and corporate oligarchy.
In 1816, Thomas Jefferson wrote, “I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations that challenge our government to a trial by strength.” In 1961, Republican President Dwight Eisenhower warned us about “the unwarranted influence of the military-industrial complex.”
Now, corporate money buys Congress, manipulates legislation, pulls presidential puppet strings and packs the Supreme Court. Corporations should manufacture products, not control government.
Corporations are not persons but unconscious economic instruments programmed to maximize stockholder profits. Instruments don’t care about ravaged environments, suppressed wages, worker safety or outsourced jobs. Don’t expect them to. That is government’s task.
Military-industrial corporations need foreign scapegoats and foreign wars to distract us from their domestic coup. Thus, as we battle Third World insurgents abroad, we can’t defend our own beaches from big oil, our own pensions from big banks, our Congress from an army of lobbyists.
For we wrestle not against Third World villagers, but against BP and Massey Energy, against United Healthcare and Goldman Sachs, against the rulers of the shadow government, against corporate money in high places.
Americans who throw stones abroad should set their own glass house in order. Wiser patriots would end this war of distraction, defend democracy at home and free our government from “unwarranted influence.” Fight for public election financing. Support the “Fair Elections Now Act” (S. 752 and H.R. 1826).