Breaking Free From Corporate Shackled Democracy
By Nozomi Hayase
19 April, 2016
As the 2016 US presidential election approaches, the whole country has once again been transformed into a football stadium, with waves of media frenzy and people cheering for their favorite quarterback. The electoral arena in the US is infested with big money by lobbyists like Big Pharma, Monsanto and the Weapons Industry, to name a few. With the unlimited corporate financing of candidates, US politics has degraded into a charade of what amounts to a two-party duopoly, where most candidates from left to right cannot even run a campaign without in some way becoming puppets on a string for these corporate masters behind the scenes.
Corporate influence has been increasing in virtually every aspect of life. Law professor and the co-creator of the film The Corporation, Joel Bakan examined the characteristic attributes of the typical corporation and asserted how corporations are psychopathic by design, as they are “purely self-interested, incapable of concern for others, amoral, and without conscience”.
As articulated by psychiatrist Hervey M. Cleckley in The Mask of Sanity, the core of psychopathy is deception. Psychopaths feign empathy to hide their claws and teeth. With superficial charm, they cover up their lack of conscience and manipulate people. Systems of representative democracy have become a mask that is used by these ruthless individuals to gain a grip on a populace, making victims complicit in their transgression.
The Illusion of Democracy
Behind the spectacle of staged democracy and its sound bites, the psychopathic system hides its true nature. In this bipartisan theater of Kleptocrats, the underlying power structures of the corporate state and American imperialism are never challenged and the resource wars never end. This becomes apparent as retired Colonel Andrew Bacevich pointed out that no candidates in the 2016 president race are offering an alternative to the intensely militarized US foreign policy and no questions are ever asked about nuclear weapons.
Preselected candidates who masquerade as representatives of the people are often deployed like salespersons to allure citizens into this illusion of democracy. In this 2016 presidential primary, a new face appeared on the scene. Republican candidate Donald Trump joined the show business of American politics. He confidently spreads false statements to gain support. By tapping into people’s desires, he promises to make America great again.
Entrenched Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton has been calling the American people to side with her. She masks her real motives by mimicking her opponent Bernie Sanders and presenting herself as progressive. In reality, her words lack concrete ideas and are certainly not backed by real actions. For instance, a recent leak of her speech to Goldman Sachs shed light on the contradictions between her words and who she really serves. On one hand she indicates in the speech to this investment firm that she is on their side and is working for them, even telling them to ignore what she says on the campaign trail. At the same time, she tells the voters whatever they want to hear. It was also revealed through her emails that despite her pledge to promote debt-free education, she acted contrary to this public stance by actively pushing for-profit companies to participate in shaping education policy.
Cycle of Abuse
As an essential platform of psychopathic control, elections time and again have been used to divide and conquer, giving people false choices. This is a game where rules are set by psychopaths and every four years, America always ends with a victory for the oligarchic super-minority while bringing massive disappointment for everyday working people.
Veteran senator Bernie Sanders has been heroically fighting inside the belly of this predatory system, attempting to tackle corporate power. So far, he has had success in arousing many Americans, bringing up issues of economic inequality and big Wall Street banks and achieved unprecedented independence from the two party channels in financing his campaign. Yet, once again, the game is rigged in favor of the corporate masters. This is shown in the nomination process, with the system of superdelegates, where party leaders and former politicians with special interests can overrule the popular vote.
So what can we do? How can we break this abusive cycle? Citizens are entrapped in this corporate marketing of faux democracy. In this theater of the absurd, they are treated as consumers expected to buy into prescribed solutions, which in the end are a fraud. Recovery from psychopathic abuse requires us to stop participating in this monopoly game and begin playing on our own terms. As this nation falls into the madness of red and blue fever, some are now beginning to create the world they wish to see, by moving outside of the corporate occupied electoral arena.
Innovation without Permission
Where are these new initiatives happening? Tesla Motor’s Elon Musk is a good example of leading this new path. Instead of engaging in the political process, he helps progress society by simply innovating alternative systems. Tesla is based on Musk’s belief that creating sustainable and affordable vehicles would directly address the issue of rapidly increasing carbon dioxide levels and effectively combat climate change. This effort is showing to be extremely effective. After the unveiling of the Tesla Model 3 electric car, the company received over 276,000 pre-orders in the opening weekend, which is now nearly 400,000. One observer noted how this is a game changer, spearheading a revolutionary shift away from the internal combustion engine and petroleum dependency. Musk’s projects such as rechargeable batteries and Solar City are a part of changing the world by creatively breaking up monopolies of energy and transportation through innovation.
Other permissionless innovations are happening in the realm of finance at a global scale. Projects to create alternative currencies are challenging the corporate monopoly of money. Community Exchange System makes gift economies scalable at a global level. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin take the creation of money out of the secretive, undemocratic system of central banks. Using math-based currency, new citizen initiatives are emerging that aim to deliver social services without relying on governments. Group Currency is an example of a basic income project. This software enables the capacity to distribute universal dividends and funds to all participants in the network.
These new innovations have created a spark among millennials. Many are gathering to reinvent democracy itself. Iceland, a country which successfully put bankers in jail for crimes relating to the financial crisis of 2008 is leading this trend. In the wake of the recent Panama Papers leak, around 20,000 protesters took to the capital, demanding the resignation of the prime minister. As the old guard there loses power, the popularity of the Pirate Party is surging. In America, journalist Geoff Gilbert put forward the idea for a new movement toward building a viable third party upon Sanders’ accomplishments. A revolt is bubbling in Capital Hill. Organized under the banner of Democracy Awakening, in the past week more than 900 people were arrested for civil disobedience against the suppression of voting rights.
Relationships with psychopaths are like castles made of sand. Over time, they become unsustainable as their parasitic nature eventually begin to kill the host. In the end, the façade crumbles and truth reveals itself. The illusion of American democracy inevitably will dissolve, it is just a matter of when. Meanwhile, the destruction continues. Will we allow this pathological pursuit of power to destroy our world and all that we cherish and hold dear? The power to break free from this shackled democracy is in our hands. We simply have to claim it.
Nozomi Hayase, Ph.D., is a writer who has been covering issues of freedom of speech, transparency and decentralized movements. Find her on Twitter @nozomimagine.