“The abuse of buying and selling votes crept in and money began to play an important part in determining elections. Later on, this process of corruption spread in the law courts and to the army, and finally, when even the sword became enslaved by the power of gold, the republic was subjected to the rule of emperors.” -Plutarch (AD 46 – AD 120) Greek and Roman citizen, author of Parallel Lives:
"As he explains in the first paragraph of his Life of Alexander, Plutarch was not concerned with writing histories, but with exploring the influence of character, good or bad, on the lives and destinies of famous men. He wished to prove that the more remote past of Greece could show its men of action and achievement as well as the nearer, and therefore more impressive, past of Rome. His interest was primarily ethical, although the lives have significant historical value as well. The Lives was published by Plutarch late in his life after his return to Chaeronea and, if one may judge from the long lists of authorities given, it must have taken many years to compile."
And from The Great American Class War: Plutocracy Versus Democracy by Bill Moyers:
"Listen! That sound you hear is the shredding of the social contract.
Ten years ago the Economist magazine — no friend of Marxism — warned: “The United States risks calcifying into a European-style class-based society.” And as a recent headline in the Columbia Journalism Review put it: “The line between democracy and a darker social order is thinner than you think.”
We are this close — this close! — to losing our democracy to the mercenary class. So close it’s as if we’re leaning way over the rim of the Grand Canyon waiting for a swift kick in the pants."
Yes, I know Bill Moyers is an unabashed liberal but then so am I but listen my conservative friends: Isn't this the very same thing you call Agenda 21? Even I wrote of the fears of one world government in my book, Carrot On A Stick published in 2000. And this from Moyers:
"Although a liberal, he worried about the looming size of government. When he mentioned that modern science might be creating “a Frankenstein,” I asked, “How so?” He looked around his chambers and replied, “The very conversation we’re now having can be overheard. Science has done things that, as I understand it, makes it possible through these drapes and those windows to get something in here that takes down what we’re talking about.”
That was long before the era of cyberspace and the maximum surveillance state that grows topsy-turvy with every administration. How I wish he were here now — and still on the Court!"
Aren't those the very same issues conservatives worry about today coming from a liberal journalist talking to a liberal judge in a 1987 interview? You're damned straight they are!
And while my conservative readers aren't going to like everything you read in the Bill Moyers article I beg you to look past the little things at take with you what the left and the right shares in common:
" We don’t have emperors yet, but one of our two major parties is now dominated by radicals engaged in a crusade of voter suppression aimed at the elderly, the young, minorities and the poor; while the other party, once the champion of everyday working people, has been so enfeebled by its own collaboration with the donor class that it offers only token resistance to the forces that have demoralized everyday Americans."
It's true, the Republican and Democratic Parties, just like the Greensboro City Council, are controlled by big money. Being nonpartisan makes no difference as long as money influences votes.
And while Susan Ladd of the News & Record and Brian Clarey of Triad City Beat blame the voters for not showing up at the polls here's what we glean from Bill Moyers' article:
Writing in the Guardian recently, the social critic George Monbiot commented,
“So I don’t blame people for giving up on politics… When a state-corporate nexus of power has bypassed democracy and made a mockery of the voting process, when an unreformed political system ensures that parties can be bought and sold, when politicians [of the main parties] stand and watch as public services are divvied up by a grubby cabal of privateers, what is left of this system that inspires us to participate?”
It's true, you know. I've written before, these united states have a long record of voter suppression aimed at minorities, the poor and the disenfranchised. Voter IDs, poll taxes, requirements for employment, requirements that voters own land and literacy tests have all been used against minorities and poor people all over this nation to prevent the poor from voting. By both parties. If 90% of the population showed up to vote the system would fail-- people would be standing in line waiting the next day. They really don't want us to vote or they would make it easier for us to do so.
The fact is: they're blaming us for their planned failings and you are falling for it-- again.
No one can doubt Bill Moyers liberal credentials have been earned whether you like him or not-- Ladd and Clarey, they seem to be selling their liberal credentials to the highest bidder.
Here in Greensboro we can't change an entire nation but we have to look at reality. Campaign finance reports indicate that a handful of very wealthy developers are financing the campaigns of every incumbent on the Greensboro City Council. It's not quite the dark money that Moyers talks about in his article but the results are the same in that future votes by Council have already been bought and paid for by Greensboro's mercenary class Democrats and Republicans alike.
And while there's nothing we can do about it at the national level there is something we can do at the local level: show up at the polls and vote the incumbents out.
By the way, while preparing this post I was informed by a very good source that certain residents near downtown in District 2 are very angry that Jamal Fox signs appeared in their front yards without their permission. Seems some of that money given to Mr Fox by Marty Kotis went to waste as the signs were quickly pulled up.
Please share this post with everyone you know. Your very way of life may depend on it. Their way of life depends on your not sharing it.