A campaign of, by and for the rich

January 26, 2012

BARACK OBAMA has a net worth of approximately $5 million. Newt Gingrich has a net worth of approximately $6 million. Mitt Romney has a net worth of approximately $200 million.

This coming presidential election, like all past presidential elections in the U.S., will be a contest between various members of the top 1 percent, the richest in society (those possessing more than $1 million in net wealth--i.e., the ruling class.

The plain fact is that the U.S. is not a thoroughgoing democratic society. It is a sort of democratic dictatorship of the 1 percent over the rest of society. This ruling class has an almost total monopoly on the ability to democratically debate, discuss and elect candidates that best embody their interests as against all others.

The rest of us really don't have a horse in the race. We are supposed to watch in awe as our rulers engage in the process of electing their next supreme representative. Of course, the rest of us are allowed to participate in the charade, like a bunch of little children at the racetrack given a penny each to go and bet on whichever horse we like best.

But the real social actors in this whole drama are the ones who control the preponderance of wealth, and therefore influence, in society. They are the ones who will determine the outcome of their electoral process.

The best that the rest of us who comprise the remaining 99 percent of society can do is hope that, come 2012, the 1 percent will end up coming to a consensus on a politician who we deem to be the least terrible of the options (i.e., the "lesser evil"); or, alternatively, we could decide to finally give up the ghost altogether. We could exert our own democratic aspirations by eschewing the electoral horse-race of the 1 percent and exercising our power where it lies--not in money, but in the indispensable work that each of us do as socially productive members of society.

This means taking the "Occupy" movement further. It means occupying our workplaces, schools and communities, and demanding more social services, free education, better health care, clean and safe places to study, live and work. It means striking for better wages, better benefits, more jobs, higher taxes on the rich and against war.

It means rebelling against the modern-day Pharoahs of industry and finance, and forcing them to concede to our demands.

In fact, there are a myriad of things that we, the 99 percent, can do to put our democratic imprint on this corrupt society...but very, very few of them actually have anything to do with the electoral ballot box.
Keith Rosenthal, Boston

First published at Socialism Art Nature.

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