|Money talks, government listens|
For a few examples, see The Homeland: Big Brother Plutonomy - 3, American Feudalism - 6, MOMCOM - A Mean Welfare Queen, MOMCOM: The Private Parts, When Accountability Is A Plague, The Common Good - 8, A Tale of Coup Cities - 7, Banker Jekyll Will Hyde Your Money - 10, and Follow The Immunity.
The gist of the information in these series is that control of, or excessive influence upon, government is business as usual in nations that on the surface appear to be democracies, but under the covers are actually plutocracies.
Let's look at the Oxfam Report before tying it in to the story flow of series posts here:
(Oxfam Report Preface, emphasis in original). What that means is alluded to in the report:
Wealth of half the world’s population now the same as that of tiny elite
Wealthy elites have co-opted political power to rig the rules of the economic game, undermining democracy and creating a world where the 85 richest people own the wealth of half of the world’s population, worldwide development organization Oxfam warns in a report published today.
Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population, and seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years. The World Economic Forum has identified economic inequality as a major risk to human progress, impacting social stability within countries and threatening security on a global scale.(Oxfam Report, Working For The Few, emphasis added). This dove tails with the dangers Dredd Blog has been incessantly pointing out:
This massive concentration of economic resources in the hands of fewer people presents a real threat to inclusive political and economic systems, and compounds other inequalities – such as those between women and men. Left unchecked, political institutions are undermined and governments overwhelmingly serve the interests of economic elites – to the detriment of ordinary people.
The data may be a further sign that the U.S. is becoming a Plutonomy – an economy dependent on the spending and investing of the wealthy. And Plutonomies are far less stable than economies built on more evenly distributed income and mass consumption. “I don’t think it’s healthy for the economy to be so dependent on the top 2% of the income distribution,” Mr. Zandi said. He added that, “In the near term it highlights the fragility of the recovery.”(The Graphs of Wrath, 8/9/2010, quoting WSJ, emphasis added). In this series we have pointed out that an Epigovernment is one that rules from the shadows, faking a democracy, while invoking plutocratic rule by the few.
But further than that, the members of the Epigovernment think that not only is this good, but the propaganda that covers it up is also good:
THE conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society.(Epigovernment: The New Model). Edward L. Bernays is called the Father of Spin and/or The Father of Public Relations, and is now dead, however, those who are alive now to "catapult the propaganda" and whom you watch on your TV in the present time, learned their lessons from him:
Our invisible governors are, in many cases, unaware of the identity of their fellow members in the inner cabinet.
They govern us by their qualities of natural leadership, their ability to supply needed ideas and by their key position in the social structure. Whatever attitude one chooses to take toward this condition, it remains a fact that in almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons — a trifling fraction of our hundred and twenty [now 320] million — who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind, who harness old social forces and contrive new ways to bind and guide the world.
It is the purpose of this book to explain the structure of the mechanism which controls the public mind, and to tell how it is manipulated by the special pleader who seeks to create public acceptance for a particular idea or commodity. It will attempt at the same time to find the due place in the modern democratic scheme for this new propaganda and to suggest its gradually evolving code of ethics and practice. [quoting Edward L. Bernays]
A University of Zurich study 'proves' that a small group of companies - mainly banks - wields huge power over the global economy.
The study is the first to look at all 43,060 transnational corporations and the web of ownership between them - and created a 'map' of 1,318 companies at the heart of the global economy.
The study found that 147 companies formed a 'super entity' within this, controlling 40 per cent of its wealth. All own part or all of one another. Most are banks - the top 20 includes Barclays and Goldman Sachs. [Bank of America is in the top 25]
''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''(NY Times, Suskind). That is how Karl Christian Rove sees it, and that is how the premier American Propagandists Bernays saw it.
They were and are wrong, dangerously wrong.
The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.
Money, Pink Floyd