By now we’ve all probably heard about what happened on United Airlines Flight 3411 and what we see is shocking on a human level. But it’s much more than that when we look closely. It is a clear and disturbing sign of the shift of power from the individual to the moneyed interests in this country. This is becoming a world that is increasingly run by a powerful handful of corporate entities. Run with impunity and the belief that they need not even apologize when their behavior is atrocious.
They have been provided unlimited political power through the supreme court but make no mistake, their progression to this point began decades before and culminated in the attitude that those with economic power should be able to take what they want from those who have little or no power at all. This video is just one of dozens showing the transfer of power from individual to institution that is ongoing in our society. Corporations who hire private security that is often unaccountable and police forces tasked with protecting property over people.
This transfer of power to corporate oligarchs really began in the ‘80s with the Reagan administration and the deregulation of business on a mass scale. The cutting of corporate tax rates and the institutionalization of trickle down economics. It has continued for the 3.5 decades since and found the endorsement of our country complete with the Citizens United decision in January of 2010.
Citizen’s United was Snowball from Orwell’s Animal Farm nailing a sign to the barn door “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”.
It was the supreme court equating votes to dollars and handing the rule of law to those who had the money for it. Imminent domain has gone from a power the government exerted constitutionally in the interest of public good to a power exerted by corporations who find individuals standing in the way of profit.
Citizens United guaranteed the solidifying of this view of corporations as having civil rights in our society and put them on the “more equal than others” footing they had been seeking. In 2017 we swore in the ultimate corporate demagogue and gave the wink and nod to corporations that they had been waiting for. In only three months the reversal of every consumer protection and the instilling of the corporate elite into positions of power has begun en-masse. Is clean air and water interfering with corporate profit? Then we don’t need it.
“To befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.” — Teddy Roosevelt
The alliance has already been solidified and the statesmen at the helm lack the will and the spine to do anything about it. Indeed, they profit greatly from it.
What is left is the return to the roots from which this great nation was formed. This is our great hope. That we will see the evil being done and rise against it. Listen to the video. Listen to the outrage of passengers who watched what was happening and watch as the consequences befall United Airlines who became convinced they were more equal than others. The mistake of the corporate oligarchy is in believing that a country raised on individualism and freedom would willingly give that up. I doubt the citizens of this country will go quietly into that cold night and I suspect we will begin seeing the truth of what happens when Citizens Unite.
“Ye that dare oppose, not only tyranny, but the tyrant, stand forth!” — Thomas Paine
The founders of this great nation warned about what has arrived. They feared the one thing that could take this country down was the movement from democracy to power being consolidated into the hands of the few again. But they also knew the power of the siren call to the individualism within us. They knew that good will win when good people stand firm. And so, in the words of Thomas Paine, “Stand Forth!”