Ed Harris, a real estate professional in Davidson, has created a new game, called The Long Game of Power. Perhaps you’d like to play? Here are the official game rules:
The winner of The Long Game Of Power (TLGOP) is the one who controls the political agenda (PA).
The players in this game are corporate capitalism (CC) and the common electorate (TCE).
The strategy of CC is to win the game by influencing politicians through effective use of its wealth.
The strategy of TCE is to win the game by having each individual support the politicians she believes to be most in line with her interests.
Corporate growth is the way CC thrives. In the marketplace, not to grow is to perish. Therefore, CC wants to win TLGOP in order to create new profit opportunities. CC recognizes new profit opportunities can be obtained through targeted legislation.
TCE generally has a strong sense of individuality and self-reliance. It is an optimistic, patriotic, hard-working body of people but becoming more skeptical of government and its abilities to solve problems.
For CC: politicians create legislation; winning campaigns elect politicians; media advantages create winning campaigns; money buys media advantage; CC funds (obligates/influences) politicians’ election campaigns; CC lobbies and establishes research organizations to promote its interests and influence politicians; CC promotes privatization and monetization of public institutions; CC benefits by having new opportunities for corporate earnings; CC grows: CC makes bigger contributions to politicians’ campaigns; politicians get reelected; politicians pass more legislation favorable to CC.
Meanwhile, TCE works to feed and shelter families and shrugs at the political rhetoric, rationalizing inaction by thinking, whatever I do won’t make a difference. Some vote, most don’t.
Results and Spoils
CC wins TLGOP. By controlling the PA, CC is free to work at feathering its nest more fully. It pushes for monetization of government at every opportunity, privatization of public education, destruction of unions, elimination of corporate taxes, elimination of progressive taxation, dilution of environmental protections, elimination of corporate regulations, suppression of campaign finance reform, campaign funding confidentiality and elimination of campaign contribution caps.
At one time, there was a social compact between business and TCE. It held that goals of the political agenda should include benefits to the common good as well as business interests. Those benefits to the common good included providing an economic safety net for those less privileged, a living wage for workers, a healthy environment, a minimum income for the elderly, basic civil rights for all citizens, a sound primary and secondary education for all children and universally available health care. Sadly, evidence of that compact is now nowhere to be seen.
Paradoxically, TCE has the power to change the game. TCE’s power lies in education, awareness and action. The game changes when the electorate is educated, aware of political events and organized to support and elect politicians not beholding to CC. And of course, votes!
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