11 January 2011

Private Interest, Public Persuaion

My Friend Easy, who has an Onion-esque blog, commented on my post about testing and politics/elections saying that it was the "representative" part of our government that is getting in the way (please correct anything I attribute to you that is wrong, Easy) and that direct democracy might serve us better.

I don't think so and I responded as much in the comments section. Elitist (Founding Father) objections relate to mob rule (which is majority rule)--we must all be aware that the majority will often trample the needs of minorities (while I guess we'd admit that the Founders also didn't want the "common" man to find a way to be equal with them!).

But argue as we will about methods of elections we will always have to confront the problem of the excessive interest of MONEY. Currently it's hard for me to tell if, say, the Koch's, who are now "exposed" as the financial engine behind much of the "Institutional" and "Fringe" Right, are simply and horribly greedy and self-serving OR if they are ideologues bent on remaking the world after a particular pattern of Xtianity. My gut says greedy and using ideology to persuade people to vote for ideology that props up their corporate interests (while undercutting the core of the ideology--or the thing that one might allow is "good" in a Xtian ideology).

(Something related but a bit on the side is this piece in the London Review of Books about judiciary recusal. Subscription is required, sorry. The gist is mostly about finding the right "test" to apply to situations where a judge might have a private interest in a particular case. Of course, one might argue a judge has all kinds of interest and we should focus on the pecuniary here as well.)

My point in the earlier post was that there has to be a way to get smaller and more focused and more honest. If the Koch's say, "our corporate interest is beneficial to X", you should be able to say "prove it" and the proof has to be factual and not market-spin concocted by think-tank ideological proof. I will argue there is zero chance of this happening. Money finds a way to infect all things.

So, Small is necessary (and beautiful!). I can't escape this conclusion. We need to shrink. We need to shut and lock the doors (and windows, and chimneys and any other opening) against the stranger representing private money. Why let money tell us what to do? Further, why let money use ideology to convince others to act against their individual interest?

Money is not speech and I'm very tired of it being allowed to bully me and beat me into submission.


  1. I was thinking about something along these lines after our conversation the other day about art, philosophy and science, specifically how science creates new worlds into existing by a shared agreement that scientific perspective is reality. Not sure if I'm doing the conversation justice, but hopefully this rings a bell.

    Anyway, I see this same concept applied to corporate America. Money has become religion for a lot of people in this country, therefore all actions are justifiable in its name. I don't think it's an Xtian agenda, I think the Xtian aspect is used to justify the greed, even though I don't think the Koch's would be able to recognize their motives are pure self-indulgence.

    I'm not quite sure exactly what I"m trying to say, and this comment isn't quite a complete thought yet. Basically just that it's easy to become so engrained in one motive that it becomes your own reality? I don't know, I need to think about this some more. This doesn't quite convey what I'm trying to say.

  2. Maybe to simplify, the massive stakes in this "game" of corporate control in collusion with the federal government (not sure how far gone states and municipalities are) require the simplification of ideology. One cannot try to explain why things should go one way or another because the explanation will have to admit of aspects that will be objectionable to those very folks that you need to agree with you in order for things to get done in a particular way. This WAY of doing things is no de facto and necessary in the world of Power which is a LARGE world order.

    Your point about perspective--possibly that since Descartes we have been stuck in one particular way to conceive of existence and that very idea of perspective "creates" and reproduces itself in a way that we cannot see or recognize (I think this has been characterized famously as a paradigm shift in thinking by Thomas Kuhn). But Power I think "shifts" with the thinking and where Power once believed that it controlled populations by sorcery know it does so by massive scale manipulations in rhetoric offered via news media.

    In many ways, the crazies are not wrong, they are just way too extreme in their thinking about manipulations (they mix their prophesies and end-of-the-world fervor with real truths about how power tells its own tales--and it can't see the truth for the ideological Myth).