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writing for godot

Grand Theft Monopoly: The Destructive Legacy Of Zero-Sum Politics

Written by George Monroe   
Tuesday, 30 March 2021 04:43

We are quickly discovering some very important and previously hidden things designed to steal our democracy and snuff out our personal power. Well qualified researchers are uncovering the truth and speaking out despite the risk of attack by dangerous forces. Oligarchs in our midst are working covertly to keep us down and away from the wealth/power they have accumulated. Bringing ourselves to a deeper understanding of such actions is difficult, even when there is access to vital information. It can be quite disturbing but doesn’t automatically rise to the level of concern that spurs action. Sharing such information with other well-informed observers can help to bring the information to a level above the fog of everyday hustle and bustle to generate new perspectives that create personal power.

Capitalism per se is a human creation with many potential benefits. There are positive aspects to capitalism that are of great value. It motivates. It spurs innovation. It induces commitment. It rewards creative and productive behavior. However, capitalism that follows a course of profits above all is ultimately destructive. Without reasonable limits guided by research and constructive moral imperatives, it can cause an otherwise promising democracy to diminish and slowly die a painful death. Monopoly capitalism inevitably leads to hostility.  It is toxic to peace because it is exclusive and leads to angry dissent, which can result in revolution or even war. The human, technological, and spiritual resources needed for supporting the good life and human progress are thereby destroyed.

One way or another, a few people within a society are able to acquire enough money and power to evade the restrictions of established rules of law. They may attract other anti-social acquisitors who are willing to join them in an organized quest for even more money and power, with the goal of monopoly control and themselves as the prevailing overlords. Once that goal is reached, subjugation of the great majority of the society (who might resist) takes priority to be enforced by whatever means is necessary. This is the frightening situation in The United States today. Although twice impeached and voted out of office, Donald Trump continues to spearhead the burning down of our democracy and its replacement with a monopoly backed by the collective power of an elite group of mega-wealthy oligarchs. They are led by Charles Koch with flames of insurrection fanned by Rupert Murdoch and his deliberately misleading Fox News Organization. For more about the Faustian deal these powerful oligarchs have made to eliminate our democracy read my article entitled, Robber Barons Redux: Powerful Oligarchs Team Up To Usurp American democracy, published by Reader Supported News Tuesday, 07 May 2019 10:17.

Although it appears that a growing majority of U.S. citizens are now awakened and have succeeded in claiming a victory with President Joe Biden leading a successful revival of our democracy, there are some troublesome realities still festering. As baseball legend Yogi Berra wisely once said, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” Trump continues to rally and arouse extremist groups that are committed to him as their President. A recent publication of the Southern Poverty Law Center lists more than 800 active hate groups that are primed for violent actions outside the rules of established law. The repurposed National Rifle Association has enabled its members to bring thousands of military-grade weapons into the country that are available to very angry Trump supporters. Members of ICE chosen by Trump are fully armed and operating as if they are still employed by him. There is a private mercenary army that is battle-ready and commanded by Trump’s erstwhile military advisor, Eric Prince, organized and available for hire to provide oligarchs with military solutions to resistance problems almost anytime or anyplace in the world. Trump supporters within established police departments have easy access to surplus military weapons and equipment. The storming of the Capitol Building by a cadre of members from such groups offers a disturbing picture of what could be next on the horizon. There is no question about what Trump and his elite supporters want, only whether the rest of us can hold them back.

Most Americans today are already subject to rule by a government that has been reshaped to meet the aspirations and whims of less than 700 very wealthy oligarchs. They and their minions are strategically placed near the buttons that control every aspect of our lives. Their stealthy plan for incremental destruction of our democracy and its replacement with a faulty scheme they called an economic free-market was discovered by Duke University Professor of Public Policy  Nancy MacLean and exposed in her book, Democracy In Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America. Her book opened the door by sharing the exact written words of their takeover plan based on zero-sum politics.

Robert Reich’s new book entitled, The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It, explains that “the real divide in America isn’t between right and left – it’s oligarchy versus democracy.”  In the book he illustrates how this is playing out in the current scenarios of us versus them. It is validated by many years of distinguished service within three national administrations. He names the players, describes their actions, and speculates on the results.  A quote from Reich’s book exposes a core truth about the stealthy game that American oligarchs are playing: [The power they seek] “is necessarily a zero-sum game. Certain people possess it only to the extent that others don’t. Some people gain it only when others lose it. The connection between the economy and power is critical. As power has concentrated in the hands of a few, those few have grabbed nearly all of the economic gains for themselves.”

Contemporary American political commentator and strategist Heather McGhee’s revealing and timely book, The Sum Of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together, takes readers though a tour of the ugly realities of racism in a way that exposes historical wrongs in a new framework and illustrates how zero-sum politics in America hurts everyone, white supremacists included. She proposes that a deeper understanding of the issues and goals being pursued can actually be the key to greatly improved living situations for all of us, blessed as we are with the inherent creative and positive power of our diversity.

It is now clear that the over-riding aim of the real game that oligarchs are skillfully playing with their zero-sum politics is creation of unfettered monopoly with themselves in charge and most everyday Americans with greatly diminished economic and political power. Trustworthy evidence of how oligarchs are abusing capitalism to advance this illicit cause outside the law is soundly detailed in these three books. They also offer wise counsel on how to stop the use of zero-sum politics to devise such hurtful monopolies and turn our energies instead toward working with each other to create what we all need: improvement of our democratic government and cooperative stewardship for the care of our home planet. your social media marketing partner
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