Sunday, May 2, 2010

Increasingly, we live in a Plutarchy

As a young adult I read a 1300+/- page book called Tragedy and Hope by Caroll Quigley.  It was about the ultimate conquest of global society by the wealthy.  Later I read W. Cleon Skousen's book about the same thing.  It was called The Naked Capitalist (same story only much shorter).  I was pretty skeptical at the time, but since I've watched Quigley's predictions unfold before my very eyes.  So, here we are enveloped in the Plutarchy Quigley envisioned.

Here we are in a society controlled by the wealthy.  We can hardly call it otherwise.  Our very lives are under the deliberate thumb of Wall Street.  Our government leaders are literally owned by them.  A year ago I abandonned the Republican Party.  Or rather, I discovered that the Republican Party had abandonned me.  Don't panic, I didn't become a Democrat. 

I've spent the year wondering what I am, wondering where I fit, wondering if anyone is like minded out there.

The other night I heard Bill Moyers interview Populist Jim Hightower and thought I was hearing the most refreshing views I'd heard in a long time.  Still, I hesitate, Populists tend to favor unions, I don't.  Well, that's not true either.  I favor unions in the original or pure sense.  But the big unions have become as Plutocratic as the Government has.

Goldman Sachs has been on the carpet this week for their power mongering antics.  Clearly theirs is not a matter of guilt, but rather a question of legality.  They are guilty, but was it legal?  Congress will ultimately create bigger government to resolve the issue, which will fail.  The result will be more taxation and less control, both of which benefit the plutarchs and harm the rest of us.  The Securities and Exchange Commission will continue to sit in their Ivory Tower and view pornography while we assume they're spending our money looking after our best interests.

Moyers, in his program Bill Moyers Journal drew my attention to a policy statement from Citigroup that made big business' position and strategy plain:

Citigroup Mar 5 2006 Plutonomy Report Part 2

Is it any wonder that the economy is struggling.  Not the economy of the rich, but that of the average American.  I've long struggled with my feelings about Sean Hanity and his version of Conservativism.  In light of what I'm presently learning, Hannity appears to be the Plutarch's Poster Boy.  I don't struggle any more, Hannity is out, my mind's made up.  Don't suppose by this that I am opposed to Capitalism.  On the contrary I am in full favor of Capitalism.  Greed has turned Captialism in to Plutarchy in the hearts and minds of far too many.  It is to be expected; with money comes power and power corrupts - at least sometimes.  Contrast that with Capitalism as described in the book The Mormon Way of Doing Business and you'll understand what I mean.  The distinction between Captitalism and Plutonomy (a term coined by Citigroup) is an important one and as long as we fail to make that distinction we will fail to treat Plutarchy as the demon it is.
Hannity is often heard defending big corporations by saying that no one was ever employed by a poor man.  This may be true, but Plutarchs are not about employing people but rather about exploiting them and then laying them off while cleaning out the coffers the workers filled. Plutarchs are not hard to recognize.

It is going to be thus.  At least as long as we depend on the Republicans and Democrats to managage our economic lives. 

I wrote this morning on The Book of Mormon Today that I think the solution is not governmental but personal.  I do think we need to be politically active and to stand up and be counted.  But on a personal level there will always be Plutarchs trying to control our lives.  The answers, at a personal, individual level, lie inside us, not outside in the polical and public arena.  We may never see an end to Plutarchy in our life time, but if we focus too much on the problems Plutarchy creates we will miss the blessings that are ever present in our lives.  Blessings that difficulty and hardship, even Plutarcy assure us.

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