Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Truer Words Were Never Spoken
From Playboy - April, 2006 in an interview with Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
The present administration is the embodiment of the wise-use movement, of corporate values over human values, of the attitude that we should treat the planet as if it were a business in liqudation and convert our natural resources to cash as quickly as possible to enrich a few corporate CEO's and their shareholders. Environmental injury is deficit spending, and our children are going to pay for this joyride with denuded landscapes, poor health and huge cleanup costs.
[Crony capitalism] undermines our democracy. This happened before, in the late 1800's during the Gilded Age. But reformers like Upton Sinclair and Teddy Roosevelt fought for reforms and took democracy away from the corporations and put it back in the hands of the people. From the beginning of our national history, our leaders have railed against and warned us of domination by corporate power. Roosevelt, a Republican, said that America would never be destroyed by a foreign enemy but warned that our democratic institutions would be subverted by malefactors of great wealth who would erode them from within. In his most famous speech, Dwight Eisnehower, a Republican, warned Americans against domination by the military-industrial complex. Abraham Lincoln, the greatest Republican, said during the height of the Civil War, "I have the South in front of me and the bankers behind me, and for my country I fear the bankers most." Corporations should not be running our government. The domination of business by government is called communism. And the domination of government by business is called fascism. What we have to do is walk that narrow trail in between, which is free market capitalism and democracy - to hold excessive government power at bay with our right hand and excessive corporate power at bay with our left. To do that we need a free, independent and vigorous press willing to speak the truth. But we no longer have that here.