Blogger-SMS | Déjà Vu ~ Times

Are we serfing, yet?

So many of my acquaintances are panicked by government power (with some considerable justification), yet blasé (to the extreme) regarding the corporate giants who massage the backs and egos of elected officials. Giants who supply-line election and PAC coffers; giants who demand and receive favors; giants who even write legislation.

Does it not seem strange that the top four* (and many others) of “The Power 50” profiled by Newsweek magazine (Nov. 8, 2010, pp. 34+) are the trusted voices of millions for everything pro-big-business and anti-government? With all the déjà vu of money corrupting truth, perspective, memory, and motive shouldn’t we be a little more inclined to fact-check these voices? To question the Calvanist view that accumulation of money manifests merit and God’s favor? To review what God has to say about vast accretions of money and power? To remember that the first Boston Tea Party was as much, if not more, a rebellion against the massive, powerful, corrupting, monied, monopolistic, transnational East India Company (owner of the tea)? The British government, shoulder to shoulder, with the East Indian Company was muscling this huge corporate behemoth upon new-world, small entrepreneurs, putting many out of business. Maybe if we gave as much time to factual history as to Criminal Minds and Desperate Housewives, we would encounter a wider vision than that of faux-defenders of freedom and democracy via deregulated, big business and finance. Maybe we would encounter words of warning like:

Thomas Jefferson ~ 1816: I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government in a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.**

Judge Edward G. Ryan, Wisconsin Supreme Court Judge, 1873: [There] is looming up a new and dark power … the enterprises of the country are aggregating vast corporate combinations of unexampled capital, boldly marching, not for economical conquests only, but for political power. … The question will arise and arise in your day, though perhaps not fully in mine, which shall rule—wealth or man [sic]; which shall lead—money or intellect; who shall fill public stations—educated and patriotic freemen, or the feudal serfs of corporate capital. ….**

*Top 4: 1) Rush Limbaugh, $58.7 million; 2) Glenn Beck, $33 million; 3) Sean Hannity, $22 million; and 4) Bill O’Reilly, $20 million; all right-wing voices who lament forever the massive, overwhelming power of the left. (Could that be Jon Stewart at #5!)

**As quoted in Unequal Protection by Thom Hartman pp. 103 and 94. © 2010.