One would think that living in the agroeconomy of the Mississippi Delta, that we are far removed from joining the rising protest of corporate greed. However, let us recall the tragic history of the Delta. A history plagued by racial discord and injustice which resulted in the current social and economic state we have today. The Mississippi Delta shares the same distinction as most larger areas throughout the country. There is an ever-widening gap between those who have and those who have not. As a result of this socio-economic disparity, many have decided to bring change by coordinating community action, engaging the press, and strengthening in solidarity. If you’re not familiar with this call to awareness, allow me to provide additional insight and then you can decide where you stand.
My fellow Americans…
Capitalism, by definition, is an economic system in which the means of production are privately owned and operated for profit from investment, usually in competitive markets. The United States of America has been described as a money driven, capitalistic society; a country that is driven by Man’s innate greed under the guise of Christianity. The name “Evil Empire”, once used to describe the Soviet Union during the Cold War era, has now become synonymous with the United States. As a citizen of this great land, does this not bother you? Many of us travel the world and are well received on an individual level, but how are we truly viewed in the broad sense as Americans?
How did we arrive at this “Evil” state?
The United States Constitution, adopted on September 17th, 1787, created the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all other non-citizens (ie. slaves, Native Americans) within the United States at that time. The Constitution created a republic with democratically elected officials. In an effort to maintain political balance and fairness of power, the Constitution formulated a system of checks and balances for the newly created three branches of government – legislative, executive, and judicial.
Following the ratification of the Constitution, there were intense divisions in ideology. There would be a lengthy history in the evolution of this country’s two main political parties – Republican and Democratic. Through the years, each party struggled to steer the United States towards its political vision. And in this quest for political dominance, much corruption resulted.
In a Republic(an) State (of mind)
How many of us have conservative values? We believe in protecting our immediate family. We want to raise our children in safe communities and a lot them the best education. We were raised to be self-sufficient and do for ourselves. Let’s support mom-and-pop businesses, minimize government, and give the power back to the people. Sounds good? But who are those people? Many Republicans come from generations of “old money”. They have the resources and contacts to foster existing businesses or create new businesses which in turn makes more money which ultimately allow them to steer the direction of the country through the efforts of political lobbyist. Lobbyist court members of Congress in the interest of big business. Laws are derived out of the basis of economic interests versus social interests. “Old money” interest in government is the notion of conservation of “old money” power. In this thought, conservative social and family values make sense. Let’s not upset the status quo with out-of-the-box leftist thought. The historic fear is that if there were ever another Civil War, “old money” might become worthless just as Confederate currency did when the South lost. Further, there is an ultimate fear; once the status quo is no more, there is now unwanted social change. And now, since “old money” is no good; there is no political influence or control.
New money makes the world go around!
Who are the “new money” makers of today? “New money” is described best as first-generation wealth: professional athletes, entertainers, etc. Many “new money” makers have no concept of how much political power they actually have either because they aren’t used to having so much money anyway or they simply don’t care to be bothered with having that type of responsibility in shaping or steering the country. In my personal opinion, it’s probably easier to steer pop culture and create fads around your image and make money off the masses who aren’t independent thinkers. So in the mind of “new money” – Why bother (with politics)? Just make as much money as possible.
On the other side of the coin (no pun intended), there are “new money” makers who have reached political awareness. Most usually lean heavy to the left so as not to alienate their fans. Truly, I’m almost certain their accountants and lawyers are of the “old money” thought and in the interest of their position, they don’t want their client to hit rock bottom. But then again there’s always a new athlete, actor, model, comedian, pop star, or rapper ready to make the industry more money. Agents negotiate endorsements, marketing firms pay the networks/stations for face time, public relations sets the image, and everyone makes more money. God, I love America. Reminds me of…
A true democracy…
Lest we close without mentioning the Democratic party? A blanket assumption would lead one to believe that Democrats see more government as good government for all. Most favor minimum wages and progressive taxation. In this thought, “old money” is looked upon. Under Democratic leadership, there will be higher tax rates for higher income brackets in order to create more government programs to help those without. The historic appeal of the Democratic party is that those without will have some political voice. And to those elected officials, they are often looked upon as a saviour. But if they do not hold to their campaign promises; even the most beloved leader will soon become the most hated enemy. In short, the Democratic party sees ultimate responsibility to the community as a whole. If you have ‘it’ and whether you want to spare ‘it’, you will give ‘it’ freely. This parallels Robin Hood’s “steal from the rich to give to the poor” concept. Alas, let us remember, in this country there is a huge distinction between those who have and those who have not. And again, in the Mississippi Delta, the gap is ever-widening.
Free thinking in the free world
I’ve always had an Independent mind. Once I discovered the essence of the federal government and how things ran on the state and local levels, I found my position politically. U.S. history shows corruption in the two-party system though the initial architects attempted to create balance. Unfortunately, the thirst for power will always churn Man’s greed. As a result, we now have a greater enemy… Wall Street. Or is Wall Street just made the scapegoat of a larger, unseen and unspoken entity?
Capitalism is a necessary evil. Fore without Capitalism, there will be no United States of America.
I think I’ve said enough…