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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Sad News for Mr. Lincoln

Capitalism, in some form, may be the most suitable economic system for a democracy. It is not, however, democratic. Capitalism prefers plutocracy. Anyone who needs to have that proven to them is perhaps not intellectually capable of understanding the proof. It’s self-evident. Capitalism cares nothing for people, nothing therefore for equality or justice--or for ideology of any kind. Money makes money. Money uses people to make money. If allowed, money will use whatever system if finds itself in to make money. Whenever capitalism and democracy live together, one will dominate the other. Whenever capitalism dominates democracy, democracy disappears. Democracy becomes plutocracy, as is evidenced today in the United States of America. That country fancies itself a democracy for the single simple fact of universal suffrage. (And yet today even that is subtly or not so subtly under attack under via what is euphemistically being called “voter i.d.” laws.)  I have no interest here in detailing how this depressing state of affairs has come to be. It’s not hard to trace the economic and technological “perfect storm” that has coalesced to wreak so much havoc in so short a time. But what matters is that something be done about it. Democracy must become, again, the dominant partner in this relationship or we will have to declare the experiment a failure. We will have to report to the spirit of Lincoln that a nation conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal cannot in fact endure.

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