I have been working to convince people since 2009 that the economic catastrophe brought on by the greed of an unregulated banking/finance industry was only the first of many consequences of turning control of the government to corporations that would give us the hook to help Americans get over their learned helplessness and get involved in the revolution that must take place in order to ever realize the dream of democracy in the United States.
First the Massey disaster revealed the ineffectiveness of token regulation of energy interests, then the BP spill revealed the power of an international corporation over our government and military. Next, the Fukishima disaster failed to slow plans to spend billions of taxpayer dollars to prop up an economically and environmentally indefensible private industry. Together, these events proved to anyone who didn’t know it that big Energy and the banksters control the levers of power in government.
The banksters of Goldmann Sachs who financed Obama’s campaign were rewarded with control of the Fed, Treasury and several regulatory agencies. The Democratic banking “reform” bill was as much of a sick joke as the medical insurance “reform” corporate-dependent Democratic leaders were able to eke out. The Wall Street casino that crashed the world economy was financed by the savings of investors used by banks gone wild after the removal of the barrier between investment and commercial banks erected to prevent just such an economic collapse. This eerily paralleled the stock market crash in 1929 that led to the previous Depression.
In the 1930s, people had been brought up to take care of themselves and their families. In the Roaring 20s work was plentiful and successive Republican Presidents promised that everyone could get rich if they trusted the invisible hand of Big Business to assure that the economy would be self-correcting without any messy government interference. We saw how that worked out, but a combination of the decline of the American educational system, the rise of a media that is completely devoted to advancing the corporate agenda and a jaded citizenry that has lost interest in politics produced the conditions that have until now prevented the rise of a grassroots revolution that would unite the Left and Right in the cause of ending fascism in America.
Complicating all this of course is the intensification of the use of the politics of division to keep Americans fighting each other instead of fighting together against the real threat: corporate personhood. Since 1968 the Republican Party has honed the technique to a fine art. They have systematically used the corporate media as a means of misinforming voters and keeping them angry and fearful at the prospect of creeping socialism in a society that has been sliding into fascism the entire time. In 1968, Nixon’s southern strategy used racism to split the Democratic majority of Americans in response to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
1968 was also the year of the police riot in Chicago at the Democratic National Convention, when peaceful protestors were assaulted by Mayor Richard Daley’s goon squad while many union leaders looked on in approval. Traditionally conservative police, fire and construction unions abandoned McCarthy, who had been a loyal union supporter, in favor of the candidate of the Party representing corporate power. With union leaders like this, who needs union?