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America’s ‘corporatocracy’ not what forefathers had in mind

May 28, 2010

BP disaster

Workers at a decontamination site in Venice, La.

What do you make of the BP disaster? Steve Werely, a Purdue Mechanical Engineering professor, estimates that 70,000-100,000 barrels or 2.94 million to 4.2 million gallons of oil are spewing into the Gulf of Mexico every day: Why is the media only now reporting 20,000 barrels or 840,000 gallons? Indeed, why are they reporting such a low figure when scientists assert such a radically different number? Why does BP feel it has the right to refuse the EPA’s request to STOP using the dispersant corexit, a substance banned in British waters?

This is just tragic …

Entire communities and their accompanying ways of life are being destroyed. Only Heaven knows the damage done to the ecosystem

This is not the time to view the president punitively; this goes far beyond him. We must grow and mature in our politics and distinguish between the president and the institution of the presidency. The institution has morphed into its present shape and now we should all take the time to look at the state of our union. This disaster demonstrates the profound institutional crisis in which our government and our society finds itself.

Clearly, our country does not belong to us any more…

Today, we see our republic has not evolved into the democracy for which we proclaim that we are ambitious. America, and much of the world, has evolved into a corporatocracy. What is a corporatocracy? According to Wikipedia, a or corpocracy is a form of government where corporations, conglomerates, and/or government entities with private components, control the direction and governance of a country.

In his valedictory address, President Dwight Eisenhower forewarned us the dangers of private industry overtaking our public trust, our government. When you think about it, this was an interesting turn for this war hero. He dearly believed in the preservation of our republic, even refusing to salute the troops. He felt the integrity of our civilian form of government had to be reinforced and protected. And, it was in this context that on January 17, 1961, just prior to the inauguration of President Kennedy, he said the following:

“A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction…

“Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry…But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense. We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions…

“Now this conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, “political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved. So is the very structure of our society.

“In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

We must be vigilant. In an interview with the London Financial Times, BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg, said the following:

BP head Carl Svanberg

“The U.S. is a big and important market for BP, and BP is also a big and important company for the US, with its contribution to drilling and oil and gas production. So the position goes both ways.

“This is not the first time something has gone wrong in this industry, but the industry has moved on. Of course our reputation will be tarnished, but let’s wait and see how we do with plugging the well and cleaning up the spill.”

When did BP gain equal standing with the United States government? Clearly, in the mind and actions of Mr. Svanberg — you did see BP with the assistance of the U.S. Coast Guard order a CBS News crew to stop filming the oil spew — BP has equivalency with the U.S. government. This is not how things are supposed to work.

The preamble to our Constitution put it this way:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

This is our government — of, for and by us. And no private entity, domestic or foreign, should trump the rights and override the “general welfare” of the “We, the (American) people.”

What do you think?

Love and blessings,

Santita

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