As democratic embers of our republic fizzle, the big question remains: what term best fits our situation, if not our degraded system? If unconscionable wealth and overbearing billionaires stratify income and wealth, funneling the best educations, life-styles, and jobs to managers of the status quo, so much for our fabled land of opportunity. Opportunity can’t knock when there’s neither front door nor ringer.
If the 2016 race ends up featuring two harnessed mules from the Party of Plutocracy, then “representative majority government” staggers again, turning the next go-round into which dynasty makes fewer folks howl. Not lesser of two evils, simply another missed opportunity to make all-important systemic change. Despite its facile currency, “fascism” borrowed from Europe four generations ago is not a great fit IMO, as our muddled, more diverse culture is not that coherent. And since freedom of speech, movement, and association (even massive gun collections) continue, we hardly qualify as full-scale, topdown tyranny, requiring an untouchable elite with authoritarian control of the courts, governments, and major military forces.
But there is one open-ended term that captures our worsening plight — and happily doesn’t rule out insurgency, even revolution. This former English colony, after a 225 year experiment with relative freedom, is morphing back into a grim colony. That term fits even when “the empire” has no king, nor permanent kingpin, nor evinces widespread controls over all sorts of majority behavior. Imperial qualities are in evidence, namely endless, if blundering militarism abroad, growing asset inequality, and elections denigrated by the vote-numbing Citizens United blitzkrieg. That last catastrophe hands great control over nominations, thus election options to a few dozen billionaires far more proficient at hoarding treasure than understanding governance, if not general welfare, demands much more free flow of goods and services. Today’s fat cats are oblivious how absurd wealth accumulations boomerang against them, especially when the angrily dispossessed take to the streets and disrupt their precious status quo.
Look how much news dramatize not just contempt for Constitutional democracy but the ongoing re-colonization machinations by the Party of Plutocracy: