Dec 8, 2010

Bernie Sanders Amazing Speech and the Plantation Mentality

Since Aristotle, it was understood that extremes of wealth and power is not good for a society--especially a society whose mission statement is to serve the people, that is, the majority of the people not the small elite.

Of course, there is a connection between wealth and power. The interests of the upper wealthy class are well represented in our government and we have an economic policy that reflects this. That's why even when the majority of the American people are against extending the very costly tax breaks to the top 2%, our government is held hostage to the narrow interests of the few.

Since, earlier this year, the Supreme Court decided that corporations can spend any amount of money on political speech, the cost of doing the business of democracy is going to go up, as if it's not in the stratosphere already. How are the voters to decide? Where do they get their information about important issues? The influence of big money could be made less of a dictator in our politics if the people had good, relevant, and timely information. But, this would also require that citizens are engaged, informed, and able to make rational decisions. We have a complicated system of government that promotes gridlock and lacks proper accountability.

Have you noticed that good journalism is diminishing? That media outlets are increasingly dominated by talking heads who blurb opinions without deference to the facts and the truth. There are few sources, like McClatchy News, and, of course, NPR and PBS. Concerned about the deficit, and believing that the truth has a liberal bias, Congressional Republicans want to completely eliminate subsidies to public media, because, they figure, who needs news organizations to inform the public....

When in comes to income inequality and distribution, we have left the company of the advanced, wealthy liberal democracies and are drifting closer to states where elites plunder their countries' resources and abuse their peoples. The plantation mentality is a way for the elites to keep the other classes from realizing their true condition. Controlling the narrative--the story telling, and the issues we discuss as a country--through the media and political leadership has been an effective method.

The video of Senator Bernie Sanders's is an eye-opener, and, I bet you, is news to most Americans. However, I don't expect it to reach the majority of our citizens. Sadly, too many people in the plantation only hear the stories that the elites have preselected for them, while others have bought into certain myths and now suffer from confirmation bias.