Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Supreme Court Threatens Democracy

The Supreme Court Ruling allowing Corporations to spend unlimited funds in Political Campaigns creates a grave danger to democracy in the near term First because it allows Corporation to blackmail elected officials by threating to spend huge amounts of money on negative advertising if the elected official does not vote their way on some particular legislation. This will be applied locally and nationally. 
They more often not do not have to actually spend the money because the elected official will cave. Survival is usually more powerful than than principle. 
But I believe the imbalance will only survive for a decade or two. Heavy handed use of power often brings its on failure . The key will be to make sure the actual voting process of democracy is protected. 
 If we can do that, I would not fear the demise of Democracy. America has grown from a Revolutionary Representative Democracy run by White Male Property owners to one run by Universal Suffrage. It is true that special interest play too big a role, but they did even in the first Congress after the Constitution was ratified. 
I am afraid it is a price to be paid for the Capitalist Economic Structure and limited Capitalism is necessary for efficiencyand innovation.
Capitalism failed under the Dictatorship of Fascist and Socialism failed under the Dictatorship of Communist Russia. Neither Capitalism or Socialism will thrive under Dictatorship in the long haul. Communist China and Autocratic Russia will both fail without the input from the people who actually make any system work. 
There will be some dark days but Democratic Capitalism combined with a Social safety net is the the model that will survive and prosper. 
The hardest part will be the adjustment to the rapid change that will be force by Science, Technology and Innovation. The greatest danger is not so much special interest as it is changing interest. 
But America has grown from Agriculture to Manufacturing to Information technology. Much more change is yet to come and we will not what it is until it is. 
 We have gone from growing things to making things to knowing things about how to make our machines to do things. We will have to make sure that our machines serve all and not just the Rich and powerful. 
But if we have faith in ourselves and find value in our fellowman, We will control the future and guide it to a better world. If we can balance competition with Cooperation, we will build a dynamic economy that will keep advancing productivity with a Society that will better  protect "the least of these" 
William Hodge.