Bill Moyers on Popular Resistance to Plutocracy
Corporations are not people. It’s a fact, a mantra, and now a book, by Jeffrey Clements. The foreword, written by Bill Moyers, could itself be titled “Corporations are Not People, and It’s Up to the People to Affirm That, People!” It’s a great history of the ongoing struggle between corporate wealth and citizen rights, and a strong reminder that no one is going to save us but ourselves.
Citizens United is but the latest battle in the class war waged for thirty years from the top down by the corporate and political right. Instead of creating a fair and level playing field for all, government would become the agent of the powerful and privileged. Public institutions, laws, and regulations, as well as the ideas, norms, and beliefs that aimed to protect the common good and helped create America’s iconic middle class, would become increasingly vulnerable. The Nobel Laureate economist Robert Solow succinctly summed up the results: “The redistribution of wealth in favor of the wealthy and of power in favor of the powerful.” In the wake of Citizens United, popular resistance is all that can prevent the richest economic interests in the country from buying the democratic process lock, stock, and barrel.
Popular resistance *has* to become more popular, as Americans have had nearly two years to come to terms with the reality of Citizens United and begin to craft our own response. Voters across the country have started passing resolutions to demand a Constitutional Amendment to fix what the Supreme Court broke.
*Tonight you can join a call about one such response and hear about the national campaign to reverse Citizens United.
The idea that voters are in charge and already empowered to reverse Citizens United is quintessentially American. Well, in the America we used to know.
We might as well say farewell to the very idea of fair play. Farewell, too, to representative government “of, by, and for the people.”
Unless “We, the People” — flesh-and-blood humans, outraged at the selling off of our government — fight back.