Letter: From democracy to econocracy

Friday, May 18, 2018

Because I am a passionate believer in democracy, I lately find myself in a mood of daily despair. My despair is less political and increasingly economic, as I believe that it is not the conflict between Republicans and Democrats that is dividing the nation. We are being divided by our allegiance to corporate interests over our allegiance to the principles of representative government.

I am an American who strongly believes in the words “and liberty and justice for all.” The Supreme Court in its 2010 Citizens United decision, however, granted corporations the rights of individual citizens and increased their power to elect legislators who would favor corporate interests over the interests of either the people or the environment. I fear our democracy is becoming an econocracy.

The majority of Americans believe that the country is divided ideologically between Republicans and Democrats. The current Uncivil War, however, is not between Republicans and Democrats; the current Uncivil War is between the government and the corporations, between the wealthy elite and the rest of us, between democracy and econocracy.

Representative democracy is the promise to distribute power equally among the people; econocracy returns power to a wealthy few.

Feudalism returns as “Fewdalism”, i.e., the reign of the wealthy few over the impoverished many.

I remain a lifelong optimist and I remain a believer in the integrity of American democracy; but none of us can remain free citizens if we are imprisoned by an economic order that favors the wealthy few.