The Black Commentator: An independent weekly internet magazine dedicated to the movement for economic justice, social justice and peace - Providing commentary, analysis and investigations on issues affecting African Americans and the African world.
October 1, 2009 - Issue 344

Corporate Power and the Myth of Democracy in ‘America’
Keeping It Real
By Larry Pinkney
B Editorial Board



Corporate power to the politicians of this nation is like dope to an addict. Their appetites are insatiable and they will do and say anything to keep getting their corporate fixes. In ‘America,’ the unending greed of a relative few has emaciated the many.

Democracy is utterly meaningless when it is selective. So it continues to be today: The people speak and the politicians sputter and ultimately ignore them / us. The Wall Street corporate vampires speak and the politicians jump right in line.

Far too many citizens of this nation have chosen to pretend to themselves that we have a people’s democracy, when in fact what we have is an insidious form of 21st century style corporate fascism. The ‘White’ House, the Congress, the judiciary, the military, and the police are in fact all subservient to the corporate, capitalist barons of Wall Street. To deny this reality is to exist in some bizarre state of dangerous mental fantasy.

I am reminded of a recent television program I watched on the corporate backed so-called Public Broadcast Service (PBS) network wherein Indigenous Native peoples on this continent were repeatedly referred to as Native ‘American’ even though it was crystal clear (even in that particular television program) that these peoples had their own names for the land and had lived on this continent thousands of years before there was even any such thing as a so-called ‘America.’ Nonetheless, the PBS program insisted on referring to them as Native ‘Americansas if their history only began with the inception of the so-called ‘American’ continents. Notwithstanding the wanton wholesale slaughter and genocide of the Indigenous Native peoples - this is living in denial, which so many in this land are so adept at practicing - denial of the obvious. This must cease.

We do not live in a people’s democracy. We live in what some call a corporate plutocracy, but what I bluntly refer to as 21st century style corporate fascism - plain and simple. While the masses of people of all colors, and most particularly people of color, increasingly suffer from unemployment, no health care, homelessness, police brutality, and judicial misconduct - the bloated Wall Street corporate elite are making a proverbial killing at the expense of every day people. To deny this would be to deny the obvious.

In ‘America’ the pretense of democracy is constantly shown to be a farce, but too many dare not break this cycle of schizophrenic denial. As ever, the corporate media continues to distract, distort, and omit; and this should be expected.

Even the U.S. Constitution is, in the 21st century, nothing more than a mockery of what might have been, as constitutional right after constitutional right has been, and is being, steadily eroded in the fake name of patriotism and national security. Meanwhile, the corporate elite are making enormous profit thanks to the unjust U.S. wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and elsewhere; even as U.S. military personnel continually serve as cannon fodder and are being returned to this country in body bags or physically and mentally maimed. Moreover, the peoples in the aforementioned regions have been, and continue to pay a most hideous price in death and destruction; all in the name of U.S. democracy which the overwhelming majority of people in this nation do not have or enjoy.

Nothing, absolutely nothing, of substance has changed, nor will it until we the people organize, demand, and relentlessly struggle for a real people’s democracy, not a 21st century style corporate fascist plutocracy.

Onward sisters and brothers. Onward! Editorial Board Member, Larry Pinkney, is a veteran of the Black Panther Party, the former Minister of Interior of the Republic of New Africa, a former political prisoner and the only American to have successfully self - authored his civil/political rights case to the United Nations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In connection with his political organizing activities in opposition to voter suppression, etc., Pinkney was interviewed in 1988 on the nationally televised PBS NewsHour, formerly known as The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. For more about Larry Pinkney see the book, Saying No to Power: Autobiography of a 20th Century Activist and Thinker, by William Mandel [Introduction by Howard Zinn]. (Click here to read excerpts from the book). Click here to contact Mr. Pinkney.


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