Anyone who is familiar with Disney cartoon characters, knows and loves Mickey Mouse’s pet dog, Pluto. Similarly, that tiny sphere at the outer limits of our solar system, known as Pluto, is an innocent source of ongoing astronomical intrigue and debate. Is it a planet or just an overgrown hunk of rock?
There is a third Pluto that does not hold the endearing qualities of a family pet or the scientific nuances of astronomy. This Pluto is sinister and relentless in its effort to grasp control of our government for its own selfish benefits. If this Pluto succeeds, the vast majority of citizens of our nation will be subjected to undue and unnecessary hardship.
This third Pluto is “plutocracy,” which is defined by progressiveliving.org as,
“Government by the wealthy, and is also sometimes used to refer to a wealthy class that controls a government, often from behind the scenes. More generally, a plutocracy is any form of government in which the wealthy exercise the preponderance of political power, whether directly or indirectly.”
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? It seems rather fitting that the term for a government controlled by the wealthy would be called a plutocracy, for its root wood, Pluto is the name of the Roman God of the dead and the underworld. Heaven knows far too many of the wealthy only care for themselves and nobody else, let alone those who obtained their wealth in less than altruistic means.
As the steady influx of money chokes on our political system, the influence of the wealthy expands exponentially. The plutocratic elite can choose to ascend to elective office themselves or garner control of policy through their hand-picked and money-fed puppets. The United States Supreme Court only exacerbated this problem when it removed limitations to the extent or corporate donations.
To me, the trend towards plutocracy is scary stuff. Do we really want to follow an ominous political path that history has proven is a failure by the littered carcasses of previous plutocracies? Tsarist Russia and France in the 1780′s for two examples.
It took the poor and/or oppressed rising up in unified defiance to bring about an end to plutocratic rule and achieve long overdue economic, political, and social reforms. Wouldn’t it be a much simpler solution to write, enact, and defend laws that limit campaign contributions or which require public financing now? In the public arena of ideas, philosophy, and theory, the almighty dollar should not be the determinant of who wins and who loses. Even the Bible addresses this issue in Matthew 6:24, where it states,
“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” (NIV)
If we are indeed a society that trusts in God, then let’s start acting like it. It is time to stand fast against the sinister forces of plutocratic rule, whether they be talk radio mouthpieces, televised foxes in sheep’s clothing, or puppet politicians. Each is as dangerous as the other. Those brave and ardent protesters in Wisconsin have shown us what true freedom is all about. It certainly is not about making the rich richer; it is about standing up and fighting for what is just and right. It is high time the rest of us stood shoulder to shoulder with them.
p.s. Here’s a weblink to former Labor Secretary Rober Reich’s take on our developing plutocracy.
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