Bush’s commutation of the Libby sentence is more or less emblematic of a change in the balance of powers between groups in America that has been evolving during the past 40 years — from government playing the role of referee and protector of the public interest to rule by corporations, the super wealthy, and their lackeys — politicians and media — an American plutocracy. This is not to say that all politicians or all news sources are corrupted, but rather that the scales have been tipped away from equal justice — particularly in the distribution of resources and powers to control things and people — to the interests of the super wealthy.

When I first started exploring land planning and resource distribution and controls in the 1960s as a graduate student specializing in legal philosophy, one discovered a tripartite distribution of the legal powers that controlled the rights and duties of people and their institutions. Corporations had considerable power and responsibility for developing our resources. We were a welfare capitalist state, not a socialist one that had nationalized the operation and distribution of major social functions as seems to be developing currently in Venezuela under Hugo Chavez.

The three basic institutions that ran our show were the corporations — but in addition labor unions, and, of course, our various levels of government that made sure that the first two played fair and which also protected public interests such as safety in modes of production and of our food supplies, drugs, medical procedures, and a host of other infrastructure matters ranging from bridges and roads to energy supplies and relief from natural disasters and protection against the omnipresent threats of internal and external aggression (criminal justice and military defense). This list could go on almost indefinitely.

What unhappily has been happening during the subsequent decades has been a two pronged ideological attack on two of the 3 players necessary to achieve just communities. Our labor force has been threatened both by the weakening of its unions in numbers and competitive external sources of production and distribution which exploit their workers and reduce wages and benefits that our own were just beginning to enjoy.

The second attack was launched during the Reagan years with the spinning tactics of the new right wing think tanks which began to subvert the very instrumentalities necessary for protecting the public interests — namely our various levels of government and their wide variety of departments and agencies focused on particular areas of concern — safe work, safe food, safe medicine, affordable housing and medical care, etc., etc. Government was recharacterized as an enemy of the people rather than our protector!

The upshot is that the corporate bandits are now running unchecked — playing games with credit — large scale and down to interest rate fiddling with our ubiquitous credit cards. College students now start their work lives typically deeply indebted and prey to whatever bosses or instrumentalities hold their incomes hostage. Medical insurance operations — both profit and non-profit — play games with ill people as to what and whether they will cover medical bills that can be so massive as to bankrupt whole families and drive them from their homes. The rest of the developed nations saw quite early on that public control and funding of medicine was essential to ensure that all had fair access to it as needed. Medicine is too essential to be misused as a profit maker!!!!

The bottom line to put it bluntly is that the American blue collar worker is now competing with abused counterparts of China, Pakistan, India — wherever products can be produced cheaper at grave cost to human lives and well-being. Both medical and retirement benefits are being cut back and threatened by the redistribution of tax burdens away from corporations and the well off onto the backs of those struggling to survive.

Lest any have doubts, our media controlled by the super corporations and media moguls (Rupert Murdoch and ilk) have been converting us into an all too typical (but usually third world) form of tyranny — a plutocracy in which the wealthy runs things in their own interests only.


“A plutocracy is a form of government where the state’s power is centralized in an affluent social class. The degree of economic inequality is high while the level of social mobility is low. This can apply to a multitude of government systems, as the key elements of plutocracy transcend and often occur concurrently with the features of those systems. The word plutocracy itself is derived from the ancient Greek root ploutos, meaning wealth and kratein, meaning to rule or to govern.”

Check it out and see who those are that are running for political office these days — our billionaires or others who can garner great wealth to fund their campaigns from those to whom they then become indebted. Needless to say such types are not necessarily the wisest for running countries. Indeed, they may put nations at great risk by redirecting their resources from domestic needs to greedy grabs at the resources of others, e.g. OIL. See Cheney run and where he is driving our country today and in the interest of whom apart from Halliburton (there are others). Such are the empowered elite who need not obey the rule of law nor respect the Constitutional and human rights of others. They are above the law because they are now it. Libby is sprung. And check out the backgrounds of Justices Roberts and Alito to discover the origins of their notable disinterest in school integration among other basic rights such as life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — FOR ALL!!!


Forgive my obvious outrage expressed in this screed. I am seeing too much human suffering inflicted by our plutocrats these days with, I fear, much worse yet to come!

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent 212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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