"The Christian must discover in contemplation, and in the giving of his life, those symbolic actions which will ignite the people's faith to resist injustice with their whole lives, lives coming together as a united force of truth and thus releasing the liberating power of the God within them." - James Douglass, Contemplation and Resistance.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The Power Elite

One of the most widespread illusions propagated by media left and right is that politicians have a great deal of actual power to make changes. This illusion serves many useful purposes. It hides, however, the truth that at the very least several decades, politicians, including Presidents, have become mid-level functionaries in the power elite, essentially go-fers, not go-tos for that elite.

It's also important to understand that this is not a conspiracy theory. Conspiracy theories are a distraction from the study of the real power relations that exist in this country. Pointing out the class nature of American society is not equivalent to a "conspiracy theory." The inability to distinguish the two concepts is part of the stupidity which David Michael Green points out so ably in his recent article, "Just Gimme Some Truth.

"The rise of the elite, as we have already made clear, was not and could not have been caused by a plot; and the tenability of the conception does not rest upon the existence of any secret or any publicly known organization." - C. Wright Mills

However, mass stupidity doesn't just happen by chance. Green seems to think that if only we could get back to good old liberalism of FDR and Obama could throw a few punches like Harry Truman that we would be on the road to recovery. His astonishment at Obama's slow learning curve could be quickly overcome if he would drop the illusion of democracy and realize that we live in a managed democracy, as Sheldon Wolin put it. The sickness is much deeper than he suspects.

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