Noam Chomsky on Government Reform
Concentration of wealth yields concentration of political power. And concentration of political power gives rise to legislation that increases and accelerates the cycle. The legislation, essentially bipartisan, drives new fiscal policies, tax changes, also rules of corporate governance, and deregulation. Alongside of this began the very sharp rise in the costs of elections, which drives the political parties even deeper than before into the pockets of the corporate sector.
What happens in our society? The candidate comes to town with his public relations agents and the rest of them. He gives some talks, and says, "Look how great I am. This is what I am going to do for you." Nobody believes a word he or she says. And then maybe people vote for him, maybe they don't. That's very different from a democratic society.
A: Getting money out of politics is a very crucial matter; it has been for a long time. It's gotten much more extreme now. Things have reached a point in the US where, even within Congress, if someone wants a position with a degree of power and authority, they literally have to buy it. It used to be that committee chairs were granted by a political party on the basis of seniority, service and other factors. Now, you literally have to pay the party to be a candidate for a chair. Well, that has an effect, too; it drives members of Congress into the same pockets if they want to get anywhere.
CHOMSKY: Take the Bible, for example--and we'll find that those who have served power have always been rewarded with respectability. The prophets of the Bible came in 2 types. The people who served power, were the ones who were later considered false prophets. There were the people, however, who, in their own time, were respected, honored and protected. There was another group of people who exposed the corruptions of power. They're the ones who were reviled, imprisoned, driven into the desert, and so on. It was only much later that they were recognized as the true prophets.
That pattern just perpetuates through history, and for perfectly good reasons. If you serve power, authority and privilege, you'll end up, by & large, with respectability. And if you undermine them, whether it's by political analysis, moral critique, or anything else, they're not going to applaud you for it.
If you go to one demonstration, and then go home, the people in power can live with that. What they canít live with is sustained pressure that keeps building, people that keep learning lessons from last time and doing it better the next time.
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George W. Bush (R,2001-2009)
Bill Clinton (D,1993-2001)
George Bush Sr. (R,1989-1993)
Ronald Reagan (R,1981-1989)
Jimmy Carter (D,1977-1981)
Gerald Ford (R,1974-1977)
Richard Nixon (R,1969-1974)
Lyndon Johnson (D,1963-1969)
John F. Kennedy (D,1961-1963)
Dwight Eisenhower (R,1953-1961)
Harry_S_TrumanHarry S Truman(D,1945-1953)