Many of you have asked how I feel about the Obama administration . . .
In short: the fact that we moved from a conservative Republican oilman from Texas to a liberal Democratic African American from Illinois, and yet change plods along at a snail's pace - if at all - is a confirmation of what I discuss in detail in my book Hoodwinked.
Our president has little real power.
In recent years, geopolitics have shifted; the corporatocracy rules.
Democrats and Republicans alike fall under the thumb of the multinational corporations.
We have entered a time of realignment not unlike that when city states joined together to form nations. Except this time it is global; countries are becoming less relevant. The emerging rulers are corporate CEOs, members of the corporatocracy.
Like huge clouds swirling around the globe, their conglomerates reach every continent, country, and village. They are unrestricted by national borders or any particular sets of law. Although many are headquartered in the United States and call upon the U.S. military to protect their interests, they feel no sense of loyalty to any one country. They form partnerships with the Chinese and the Taiwanese, with the Israeli and Arab nations, with Brazilians, Australians, Russians, Indonesians, Congolese--with anyone who possesses resources or offers markets they covet. As we have seen with Halliburton, they think nothing of relocating to places like Dubai, where they pay fewer taxes.
They hire a vast army of lobbyists who influence every politician in Washington and every other capital.
They either own the mainstream media or control it through their advertising budgets.
The good news: for the first time in history this new empire has been created not by military force, but through the sale of goods and services. And the marketplace is democratic--once we decide to see it as such. It is the ultimate polling booth. Corporations exist only because we vote for them in their stores, at the malls, and over the Internet.
It is up to us to decide which companies will succeed and which ones will fail.
Politicians will not change the world, because they are beholden to the big corporations. AND the corporations are dependent upon you and me.
About a hundred fifty years ago we as a nation voted for Abraham Lincoln, and then we fought a Civil War to get rid of slavery. Later our women picketed Woodrow Wilson everywhere he went over women's suffrage; they would not allow him to send troops into WWI to defend democracy in Europe "until we women enjoy democracy here at home." We held teach-ins for Richard Nixon to educate him and the country on the travesty that had become the Vietnam War. We won those struggles, because we the people forced our leaders to change. In recent decades, we forced corporations to clean up polluted rivers, do away with ozone layer destroying aerosols, and remove trans fats from our foods.
Today, we the people are called upon to speak again. When we impact bottom lines, we change stock prices and attract the attention of boards of directors. Those boards influence the decisions made in the halls of legislatures.
We must not look to President Obama to change the world. We must do it - we must force those in control to adopt a new goal for the people of our planet: creating a sustainable, just, and peaceful world for all who live on this special space-station we call home.
Perhaps President Obama's greatest gift to us will be that he taught us a lesson in democracy. We the people must take charge. We cannot look to a president to change the world. It is up to each of us to do it.