If we no longer have the capacity to distinguish between moral legitimacy and self-serving corruption, then we might as well eliminate the Middleman and vote directly for Pfizer or Merck.
There’s a fancy word for cutting out the Middleman: disintermediation. Removing intermediaries who take a cut but neither produce nor add value makes perfect sense, reducing costs and increasing efficiency.
Maybe it’s time to eliminate the politicians who soak up hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign contributions from corporations and the super-wealthy and just elect Pfizer, Merck, Amazon, General Dynamics, etc. directly. Since corporate lobbyists write most of the legislation anyway, why not cut out the intermediaries in the process?
The super-wealthy buy political power via Political Action Committees (PACs and Super-PACs), think tanks and philanthro-capitalist foundations (Gates Foundation, et al.). Now that it takes tens of millions of dollars to buy the conventional “winning campaign,” the political class spends much of its time fund-raising, i.e. lavishing kisses on the derrieres of corporations and the super-wealthy, implicitly promising to do their bidding better than the alternative candidates that the corporations and super-wealthy could buy.
Recall Smith’s Neofeudalism Principle #1: If the citizenry cannot replace a kleptocratic authoritarian government and/or limit the power of the financial Aristocracy at the ballot box, the nation is a democracy in name only.
The reality that our elected government doesn’t respond to voters has been well-established: Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens.
Politics has been reduced to claiming to serve the public while serving as handmaidens to a neofeudal autocracy. The public would be well-served by stripping away the obfuscating artifice and fakery and revealing just who’s in charge.
Our “democracy” is nothing but an invitation-only auction of political power cloaked with fine-sounding excuses. Politics has always been about money, so this is nothing new; I would love to serve the public interest but gosh-darn it, I need to raise $30 million pronto or I’ll lose my seat at the banquet; we’re the party of noble idealism and public service, blah blah blah….
America is nothing but a vast moral cesspool that the public is told is a pristine pond of wonderfulness. The secular religion is self-interest cloaked as caring, profiteering sold as “value,” fraud packaged as “finance” and rapacious monopolies marketed as “enterprise.”
Many wonder why the nation is fracturing, but few bother to look at the collapse of moral legitimacy as a primary factor. Does anyone ask why trust in institutions and government has collapsed? The reason is these institutions have become little more than rackets enriching insiders and middleman-grifters; they have lost moral legitimacy which is the fundamental foundation of democracy and a market-based economy.
As I explain in my new book Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States, civic virtue is the foundation of social cohesion. Once moral legitimacy and civic virtue–the obligation of elites to serve the common good–have been lost, social cohesion unravels and the nation falls.
Those waiting around for campaign finance reform to actually have any positive consequences are delusional. The system serves the Corporatocracy and the super-wealthy, period, and those in power have zero incentive to do more than present threadbare simulations of “reform” to generate a short-lived illusion that we’re not living in a neofeudal autocracy.
All we will have is a neofeudal autocracy until we stop voting for candidates who accept contributions from corporations and the shills and front organizations of the super-wealthy. Nothing will change for the better in America until only candidates who accept zero dollars from corporations and the super-wealthy win elections and every candidate who accepted corrupt money and tried to hide it loses by a landslide.
We don’t need more toothless campaign reform; we need a populace who starts voting exclusively for candidates who only accept small contributions from the public and accept absolutely zero dollars from corporations and the super-wealthy. All the tiresome political theater serves to obscure what really matters: the difference between hard-earned moral legitimacy and the self-serving corruption of the neofeudal autocracy.
If we no longer have the capacity to distinguish between moral legitimacy and self-serving corruption, then we might as well eliminate the Middleman and vote directly for Pfizer or Merck. At least the corruption, neofeudalism and autocracy would finally be transparent.
Come on, Merck: fund a new stadium for our gladiators and you’ll get my vote.
My new book is now available at a 20% discount this month: Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States (Kindle $8.95, print $20)
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Entropy intensifies (26:52 min., with Max Keiser)
Tune in (to degrowth), drop out (of hyper-consumerism and debt-serfdom) and turn on (relocalizing capital and agency)
A Grand Strategy to Address the Global Crisis (54 min., with Richard Bonugli)
XI’s GAMBIT: A Bridge Too Far? (41 min, with Gordon Long)
My recent books:
A Hacker’s Teleology: Sharing the Wealth of Our Shrinking Planet (Kindle $8.95, print $20, audiobook $17.46) Read the first section for free (PDF).
Will You Be Richer or Poorer?: Profit, Power, and AI in a Traumatized World
(Kindle $5, print $10, audiobook) Read the first section for free (PDF).
The Adventures of the Consulting Philosopher: The Disappearance of Drake $1.29 Kindle, $8.95 print); read the first chapters for free (PDF)