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29
30
Money > People Peope > Money
Debate Score:59
Arguments:39
Total Votes:66
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 Money > People (16)
 
 Peope > Money (23)

Debate Creator

iamdavidh(4856) pic



Corpocracy?

While we have a two party system each of whom claim to represent the people, it seems there has been a steady shift of power from the many to the few in this country for the last 200 years, and it makes little difference who is in power.

Shockingly, the Supreme Court ruled 5 - 4 to roll back laws against corporate political donations today.

Already special interests of one sort or another have a stranglehold on nearly every representative, and this makes it easier for corporate America to achieve their own agendas more times than not at the expense of the majority.

From a synical perspective one could say this is the free market in action, why shouldn't those with the most money be able to spend it however they choose? And if they can get people to vote against their own self-interest through clever ads and slogans, who is really to blame? If we elect officials willing to make back-door deals that favor corporate America, who is really to blame?

On the other hand, is the ignorance of the majority really an excuse to allow the slow destruction of rule by the people?

I'm guessing everyone from the most progressive liberal to the most delusional teabagger will vote People > Money, maybe not though,

in either case, add what you think a solution would be. Simply complaining without any thought is below you... most of you Wink

 

Money > People

Side Score: 29
VS.

Peope > Money

Side Score: 30
3 points

(I'm just posting on this side make sure this debate hits the top of the page. :)

Here's an article that goes into more detail:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100121/pl_nm/us_usa_court_politics

Basically, the court ruled that free speech applies to corporations, so corporations can use their money to directly influence politics. The argument is just ludicrous. The first amendment should only apply to individuals. This is only going to strengthen the corporate stranglehold on Washington.

I'd like to point out the following:

Voting For:

Roberts - Nominated by George W. Bush

Alito - George W. Bush

Scalia - Ronald Regan

Thomas - George H. W. Bush

Kennedy - Ronald Regan

Voting Against:

Stevens - Gerald Ford

Ginsburg - Bill Clinton

Breyer - Bill Clinton

Sotomayor - Barack Obama

The moral of the story? Vote Democrat.

Side: Money > People
lawnman(1106) Disputed
1 point

Basically, the court ruled that free speech applies to corporations, so corporations can use their money to directly influence politics. The argument is just ludicrous. The first amendment should only apply to individuals. This is only going to strengthen the corporate stranglehold on Washington.

Dude, you must start wearing a ‘tin hat’; the wireless internet has transmitted a virus into your head. You argue as though corporate America has not always directly influenced politics with their money.

Shall I bore you with examples?

(You may want to run a virus scan of your soft-drive before you reply. :)

Question: Are you angry that corporate America can now publicly endorse a political view versus advancing their political views through exorbitantly funded proxies which they own or have contracted?

Perhaps, just maybe perhaps, this supreme court decision will embolden corporate America to play their cards in the view of all Americans. If so, I suppose a revolution is nearer than further from now.

Side: Peope > Money
2 points

To be fair Lawnman, I believe he was playing the devil's advocate. You are one of the few people (I can count them on my right hand) that I regularly disagree with yet respect for your well informed opinions. This is not a left - right, progressive - conservative, or any other name you can throw out, issue.

I posted this debate before mainstream media began covering it, now I see they are even using the word "Corpocracy". It is the worse decision literally in our lifetime by the Supreme Court.

Though it is not as main stream, this decision could potentially have long term negative effects greater than anything we have seen in recent history.

This is more important to the continuation of an at least semi-democracy than Health Care, the current economy, or any of the wars we are fighting.

This is indeed the most important issue right now, and I will defend that, even that it made it to the Supreme Court is a travesty.

Please sign the petition I posted in my arguement on the other side, and up vote it so it remains "bumped" for the newbies I've been ignoring incase they get tired of arguing over American Idol or whatever. You should know I could care less about the point at this point, I just want to be sure it is easily accessible.

Thanks in advance.

Side: Peope > Money
jessald(1915) Disputed
1 point

Corporations have been meddling in politics, no doubt, but it's been illegal up until now. It's dishonest of you to suggest this isn't going to greatly exacerbate the problem.

Side: Peope > Money
2 points

Despite the Americanized view of history that we are the first and greatest representative republic, the founders based this largely on Rome during the Reneissance. That lasted around a thousand years, and while not nearly as fair and democratic as current American and Western European democracies, it is certainly the longest lasting form of government we know about outside of China.

And eventually power there consolidated itself, and as a direct result Rome fell.

It has been the attempt modern democracy to prevent this consolidation of power which is basically simply money, while at the same time encouraging people to make money.

However, like church and State, I believe money and State need to remain separate for any society to be for the good of the many, and not simply a smoke screen for the few to take and take and take.

This decision is the most recent in a series of blows to democracy, and Congress needs to do everything possible to right the Supreme Court's terrible decision.

If you agree, you can sign this petition

Side: Peope > Money
1 point

I doubt any petition in the history of the internet has led to real action.

This is a much better link to give to people: http://change-congress.org

Side: Peope > Money
2 points

This is the exact reason why our Founding Fathers feared the masses. This is why we need a Constitution; to ensure that NO ONE (majority or authority) can take away our rights.

I am not against donations. Do with your money as you please. And I am not a Liberal. I'm Progressive in a Regressive sense. I want us to go back to the ideals that we were founded on, instead of all this big government crap. I want Americans to be able to do w/e they want with their bodies or property without government getting involved. I want States to ensure that Federal government doesn't become tyrannical, and I want the Federal government to ensure that States do not oppress their citizens.

A Democracy doesn't really work, because all it ends up being is Socialist Tyranny because a shit load of people want free money and to ban things that they find immoral.

Side: Peope > Money
jessald(1915) Disputed
2 points

I don't get how bitching about government factors in to this debate. This debate is about corporations having an unfettered ability to shape society. Do you think that's right?

Side: Peope > Money
2 points

"I'm guessing everyone from the most progressive liberal to the most delusional teabagger will vote People > Money, maybe not though,"

ugh so biased ...

anyways,

While I'm not a big fan of corporations having a big say in politics, I think the free market should have the freedom. This is just another excuse for liberals to say 'look we need more government regulation'

People ~ Free Market > Big Government > iamdavidh (;

[I didn't want to put money into the equation because money isn't good or bad, it just is. The free market is of the importance here because people and free market go great together]

Side: Peope > Money
iamdavidh(4856) Disputed
2 points

Whatever, teabaggers are delusional. Conservatives are not necessarily in the classical sense, though they are a rare breed now, but teabaggers most certainly are. Still though, sign the petition, most media is ignoring this issue. It's important regardless of how biased I may be ;)

Side: Peope > Money

So...., a tea bagger is a guy who dips his balls in a liberals mouth... right? Kinda like they did in Massachusetts when they elected Brown. If so, I rather be a tea bagger than the tea cup ;)

Side: Money > People
JakeJ(3254) Disputed
1 point

So when you say teabaggers who are you talking about? and what exactly are they being delusional about?

Side: Peope > Money
2 points

I agree with most of David’s assertions and accusations. Yet much to my disappointment I must disagree with the assumption that there is a solution to the problems he’s outlined. Twenty years ago we may have been able to solve the problem of the incremental corporatization of the State. Today, in the year 2010, the application of the cure to that disease (corporatization of state) would effectively precipitate the ultimate outcome of the disease, corporate and state death.

Allow me to simplify this question by a complex question. If corporatization is a cancer, should we learn to adapt to the affects of cancer as it spreads through our bodies and when adaptation is no longer bodily viable shall we then choose to kill the cancer after it has infected the whole of the body?

My answer: No! We should kill the cancer long before the cancer has nearly killed us. Yet if we don’t and postpone treatment then it should not come as a surprise when the Doc tells us that killing the cancer will also kill us. See, cancer is a problem when you can benefit from its death, but cancer is no longer a problem when its death takes your life as well.

Is my analogy an incorrect comparison of cancer and corporatization? This is one instance I truly hope so!

However, if someone thinks that state corporatization is not now a fundamental necessity of the American way of life I would like to consider a counter explanation of how we can destroy the disease without destroying the carriers of the disease. (Remember, this disease did not infect the body yesterday, but rather has been growing in the body since 1776.)

I hope we are willing enough to kill this disease before it too consumes our coming generations. Furthermore, there may not be a solution for us, but we full well know we can be the solution for our progeny and theirs. (We can kill the disease, but that is the solution that will benefit the future generations.)

Side: Peope > Money
3 points

There are always solutions. The most prominent one in my mind is the government starts controlling and regulating all the land we currently are able to own privately... the power which is gained through capitalism is the power of land.

Private property in land has no justification except historically through the power of the sword. You may now that in early feudal times... certain men had enough strength to be able to force those whom they disliked not to live in a certain area. Those whom they chose to leave on their land became their serfs, and were forced to work for them in return for the gracious permission to stay. I believe these powerful men have similiar functions to those of our current large corporations. We are, fundamentally, their serfs and they tend to force out any small businesses which oppose them. This basically gives them permission to grow in a ruthless, fast-paced manner.

Now I'm not saying this reform idea comes without its problems... but it sure as hell would stop big business in its tracks. I'm not sure how the gov. would go about decreasing the size of some corporations... but it seems entirely necessary to me.

Side: Peope > Money
lawnman(1106) Disputed
1 point

There are always solutions.

I guess that is dependent upon your definition of what is a ‘problem’. According to my definition (not the definition itself), a problem that has no solution is no problem at all. People want to call Hurricanes a problem when they fear they will be struck by one. I on the other hand know the problem is not the Hurricane itself, for I can’t solve a Hurricane problem; I can however solve a location problem, i.e. move out of the path of the hurricane.

Question: Does anybody think that if they move that they have solved the Hurricane problem?

Corpocracy is not now a problem, but corporatization was a problem when it could have been solved prior to the maturation of a Corpocracy.

(There are always solutions, granted; but just because you want to solve something that cannot be solved does not mean what you are attempting to solve is a problem.)

The most prominent one in my mind is the government starts controlling and regulating all the land we currently are able to own privately... the power which is gained through capitalism is the power of land.

Ah, The Right of Imminent Domain!

You do realize you are promoting as a solution the problem itself? Furthermore, how can you use the Corpocracy, which you are calling the government, as a tool to govern itself?

Side: Peope > Money
jessald(1915) Disputed
1 point

Your analogy only captures the downside of corporatisation. Cancer has no benefits. Corporations provide society with a vast array of goods and services at high quality and low cost. This creates a massive improvement in overall quality of life. Of course along with these benefits comes dangers like the unjust concentration of power.

So it's not as simple as saying "just get rid of corporations".

This decision was ultimately made by the people, and the people can unmake it. By electing Bush over Gore in 2000, the people, by proxy, selected the conservative Supreme Court justices that rendered this decision. And in the people lies the only feasible solution.

Vote Democrat. I'm tellin ya. Join arms with the secular, the gays, the feminists, the environmentalists, and the poor. It's the only feasible way to stop the cancer you describe.

Side: Peope > Money
lawnman(1106) Disputed
1 point

Your analogy only captures the downside of corporatisation. Cancer has no benefits. Corporations provide society with a vast array of goods and services at high quality and low cost. This creates a massive improvement in overall quality of life. Of course along with these benefits comes dangers like the unjust concentration of power.

So it's not as simple as saying "just get rid of corporations".

Before I respond any further to your rebuttal I would like for you to argue the ‘upside of corporatization’. Or, simply tell us why corpocracy is good for us.

(You are attempting to refute an argument that I have not submitted. We are not debating the other aspects of corporate actions.)

Side: Peope > Money
1 point

Corporations don't vote, people vote. No matter how much money a candidate is given from the corporations, people are still going to vote for who they think is right.

So, why does this matter?

Side: undecided
2 points

Because big business dictates the election... and the policy. Most policies can be predicted by looking at where the campaign money is coming from. I suggest looking into Thomas Fergusons "The Golden Rule" if you don't believe me or if you want a deeper look into the relationship between money and politics.

To continue... the rate of election of incumbence is overwhelming... around 98 to 99 percent. This is happening at the same time that the public attitude towards approval of Congress is in the low teens. In short... they are outspending their opponents. Look at the last election... the core of Obamas funding came from financial institutions. They prefered him over McCain. They thought they would serve him better... and with all due respect it is probably true.. You can almost read off the policies of the administration from looking at the concentrated campaign funding. Thats why we need to take money out of politics... though I'm not saying it would solve all our problems, it would be substantial.

The ruling that the Supreme Court just approved will... in short... allow corporations to buy elections directly... as opposed to indirectly in the past (I suspect illegal actions were taken in this respect anyway). The logic of this decision is that corporations are persons. They have personal rights... so therefore they have the right to free speech. At the same time there is a battle in Congress between the Republicans and the Democrats to see who can be more brutal in denying health care to undocumented aliens... and theres a legal argument behind that too... they are not persons under the law. Courts have shaped American law so that if you're an undocumented alien you are not a person. You don't have personal rights. So on the one hand... you have corprate entities who have the rights of persons (which allows them to buy elections directly)... on the other hand you have undocumented aliens... who do in fact help our economy significantly... who are not persons. We shouldnt be allowing this to happen right before our very eyes. The facts are there, but they are hardly discussed.

Corporations have too much power.

Side: Peope > Money
1 point

God. I can't believe this is shaping up to be just another partisan issue. The conservatives in this debate have their heads so far up their asses they can't see the freight train coming right at us. We're fucked.

Side: Peope > Money
lawnman(1106) Disputed
1 point

The freight train has ran over us. There is no stopping that which has already occurred. We are suffering Corpocracy not preventing Corpocracy. (I am not pleased either!)

Partisan?

"Vote Democrat" is not making this debate a partisan issue?

Side: Peope > Money
jessald(1915) Disputed
1 point

It's not black and white. We are not a pure corpocracy and won't be one any time soon. We still have environmental regulations. Unions are still legal. We still have consumer protections. Things are bad and getting worse, but let's not lose our heads. Throwing up your hands isn't going to help.

I'm not saying "Vote Democrat" because I want to score political points. It's simply the only realistic option I see for fighting against the tide of corporate takeover. You saw the way the Supreme Court voted. If Gore had become President in 2000, this decision would not have been made.

You've mentioned revolution a few times, but I think that would be a profoundly bad idea. 1) Think of the bloody chaos that could result. We have massive stockpiles of nuclear weapons. This option is far too dangerous. 2) Incremental change is generally preferable to radical change. 3) Even if you wanted to challenge the state through violence, they have such a massive technological advantage (helicopters, kevlar, assault rifles, etc.), ordinary people would never stand a chance.

Side: Peope > Money
1 point

UNLEASH DEMOCRACY POWER

1. Know the Two “Cracies”

2. Mobilize and Unify 3. Plan for POW!

4. POW!

Know the Two “Cracies”

It is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself,

you will not be imperiled in a hundred battles; if you do

not know your enemies but do know yourself, you will win

one and lose one; if you do not know your enemies nor yourself,

you will be imperiled in every single battle.

The Art of War by Sun Tzu

6th century BC Chinese General

Being a resolute pacifist and war hater, I surprise myself a bit with this quotation (although I’m relieved to know that war was a last resort for the Chinese general). It’s not in my book. In it I hesitate to call the corpocracy an enemy, but it is absolutely an enemy of democracy and must be defeated if democracy and America are to survive. Mind you, I’m not advocating a revolutionary war to defeat the corpocracy. It would be a bloodbath and futile. One revolutionary war is enough notwithstanding Thomas Jefferson’s sentiment that “every generation needs a new revolution.”

What we desperately need is REFORM, peaceful, legal changes in our political system, our judicial system, and our economic system. The first step toward this wholesale reform is to know the two “cracies,” inside and out.

Know the Corpocracy for What it Is and Does

First, we need to know, as I explain in my Home Page of this web site, that the corpocracy is the Devil’s Marriage between powerful corporate interests and what used to be the people’s government. Second, we need to know the corpocracy’s telltale signs of its subjugation of the American people. I identify a few of them in The Corpocracy: Fact or Fiction? Third, we need to know the corpocracy’s many allies; the touts and shills, the cults small and large, foreign enemies, and indirectly the silent majority. Fourth, we need to know the corpocracy’s strategies for acquiring, keeping, and expanding its power, particularly the corporate partner’s strategies. They were first laid out in Lewis F. Powell’s “battle plan” in 1971 that I mention in my Home Page. Fifth, and most importantly, we need to know the corpocracy’s “badvantages” (i.e., advantages to bad behavior or wrongdoing, legal and illegal). Without them the corpocracy would vanish. The biggest badvantages of all are the dowries the government and its corporate partners give to each other day in, day out, year in, year out. We need to know the details of those dowries and how they are exploited by the corpocracy.

Know What True Democracy is Meant to Be

In a true democracy the people govern themselves by electing leaders among themselves to do the governing. How that governing is to be done is spelled out in our Constitution, which is meant to achieve six purposes for America; two of which are to “promote the general welfare” and to “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and to our posterity,” purposes that can never be fulfilled in a corpocracy. A true democracy also has certain very fundamental elements. I describe them in The Corpocracy: Fact or Fiction?

Mobilize and Unify Democracy’s Allies

E Pluribus Unum: The corpocracy

E Pluribus Pluribus: The corpocracy’s opposition

E Pluribus Unum, “out of many one,” was the motto adopted by Congress in 1782 to symbolize the unity between the states and the federal government. It now symbolizes the unified diversity of the many different corporations and their industries, their union with government, and their many allies. E Pluribus Pluribus, “out of many, many,” symbolizes the status of the corpocracy’s opposition. As long as this status continues so too will the corpocracy. It knows fully well that a divided opposition is a conquered opposition.

Unify the Divided Opposition of the NGOs

Because “our” government has failed so spectacularly to uphold democracy numerous non-governmental organizations or NGOs have surfaced over the last several decades (and more continue to pop up now and then) to oppose the corpocracy They pursue their objectives through a variety of initiatives such as educational programs, litigation, lobbying (miniscule compared to the corpocracy’s lobbyists), organizing protests of one form or another, organizing political campaigns, and mobilizing supporters.

In browsing the websites of many NGOs I found 150 or so that seemed to warrant a closer look (e-mail me if you would like to see the list of them). I then looked at their types and memberships, their funding sources and budgets (when published), the issues they address, their missions, their activities, and whether NGOs with similar issues, missions, and activities ever collaborate with or even talk to each other.

The NGOs vary considerably in their size. The smallest NGOs may have only a handful or more members. Some of the smallest ones don’t last very long. They come and go. The largest ones have a million or more members and supporters. One, for example, has several million. But being large doesn’t necessarily mean that the NGO’s project initiatives are enduring or successful. They also come and go.

The smallest NGOs usually have the smallest budgets but not always. One very small NGO, for instance, posted a multi-million dollar budget. Many, however, seem to be operating on shoe-string budgets. Funding for expenses comes from individual donations or dues, foundation grants, and sometimes from the sale of products such as books, promotional materials, and the like. NGOs sometimes are desperate for funds after conducting expensive campaigns. I got an e-mail solicitation from one NGO saying it was over $1 million dollars in debt.

When I looked to see if NGOs with similar objectives coordinated their efforts or even collaborated on them, I found that in many instances NGOs didn’t even acknowledge the existence of other NGOs having similar objectives. Unlike the corpocracy with its unified diversity, these NGOs are long on diversity and short on unity. There are a few exceptions where a very small number of the NGOs come together as ad hoc alliances or coalitions to achieve specific goals but generally all of the NGOs pursue their own agendas. Had General George Washington’s troops been as scattered and divided we would still be subjects of the Crown.

So the corpocracy has withstood the best shots the various and sundry NGOs have thrown at it over these many years. Moreover, as the NGOs press ahead fragmented as they are they will be ill-equipped to counteract new defensive and offensive moves the corpocracy will be certain to initiate whenever it is seriously challenged.

If the corpocracy is to be ended and systemic reforms are to be achieved, I strongly believe it is imperative that these NGOs form an umbrella coalition. In my book, The Devil’s Marriage, I propose they organize into a virtual network called the U.S. Chamber of Democracy. It would be a deliberate counterforce to one of the corpocracy’s staunchest allies, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Build the People’s “Reignbow” Coalition

When there’s a loss of political pressure,

prime the democracy pump.

The metaphor, I think, is an apt one. Pumps are primed when there is a loss of pressure. Priming takes muscle. There is pathetically little democracy muscle in America today. It has been thoroughly outmuscled by the corpocracy.

Occasionally in our history grassroots movements have fused into larger and wider movements such as the civil rights movement, the anti-Vietnam War protest movement, the women’s equal rights movement, the labor movement, the consumer movement, the anti-globalization movement, the gay rights movement, the anti-abortion movement, and the environmental movement. They arose when more people gradually realized that troubling issues either adversely affected their own lives too or were otherwise too widely consequential to be ignored. There is today no comparable social movement capable of seriously challenging today’s corpocracy.

That is why in my book I propose building the People’s “Reign”bow Coalition. It is a homophone for the Reverend Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition. He garnered over 3 million and 6 million votes respectively in his 1984 and 1988 presidential bids. While his coalition is mostly of historical significance today, I give him credit for what he did. He, like Ralph Nader, was simply up against the corpocracy.

“Reignbow” is meant to connote a peoples’ movement intent on wresting reign from the corpocracy and returning it to the American people. There are 20 or so segments of the general public that need to be brought into the coalition.

Plan for POW!

POW! is another homophone, this one for Powell and his battle plan. The POW! Plan would be sort of a mirror image of his plan. His plan was to attack the major institutions in America, the political arena, the courts, the media, and education. The POW! Plan would be to do that and more in unleashing democracy power. There would be strategic goals and slews of initiatives for eliminating the corpocracy’s many badvantages by educating the public about the corpocracy’s telltale signs; mobilizing, unifying, and organizing the corpocracy’s opposition; closing the corpocracy’s political/judicial circus (e.g., end vote peddling, lobbying, and the like); digging up the corpocracy’s legal roots (e.g., unlimited corporate liability and corporate personhood); ending hands-off corporate criminals (e.g., plug up loopholes, prosecute and severely penalize criminal corporations); ending hand-outs to the corporate welfare queen (especially warfare welfare); and ending undemocratic capitalism (e.g., ending the privatization of public education, ending financial speculation, etc.).

POW!

Democracy power in its fullest prime would be unleashed and guided by its strategic goals to carry out the many initiatives described in The Devil’s Marriage. Without POW! we will continue living and suffering under the corpocracy.

Gary Brumback

www.democracypowernow.com

Side: Peope > Money