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Q. How do you go about doing that?  

[... that this country is moving very rapidly toward an oligarchic form of society, where a handful of billionaires control the economic and political life of this country ... to stop that trend and protect American democracy which from where I come from means one person, one vote.]

[Answer: ]
[There] is the need to wage a political revolution in this country which brings millions of people into the political process to stand up and fighting for their rights in a way that we have not seen right now. The ideology of the Koch brothers, who funded the Tea Party, who started the Tea Party, I would say honestly reflects maybe the interests of 10-15% of the American people. And we see that when you ask people at polls. You know, the Koch brothers and these guys want to end Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, nutrition programs -- either end them or make major cuts in them. They want to do away in a significant way with environmental protections that enable us to have clean water and clean air and safe food. That’s what they want.

But if you go to the American people, including working class members of the Tea Party and say, “Do you think we should eliminate Social Security or make cuts in Social Security?” you know what they say? “No, you shouldn’t.” The Koch brothers and their friends here in the Congress believe in more tax breaks for the rich. Do you know what the average American believes? That the wealthy should be asked to pay more in taxes because they’re doing phenomenally well. So their ideology is way out of touch with where ordinary Americans are. They are successful politically because they have endless sums of money. They have significant influence in the media. You know, 95% of talk radio is right wing stuff -- Fox Television out there, which Rupert Murdoch and his friends do a very good job pushing a point of view.

And we have got to figure out a way as progressives, as people who are trying to represent the middle class and working families in this country, to counteract that. That is not easy, but it has a lot to do with education. It has a lot to do with organization.

-- link

Q. There are billionaire Democrats, too. So why is it that the left doesn’t have this sort of activist, angry Tea Party arm? It’s a fair question, and I don’t really know the answer.
[Answer: ]
I don’t want to see a left created by liberal billionaires. That’s not my understanding of how the political process should work. I don’t want to see a right Tea Party created by the Koch brothers; I don’t want to see a left created by some liberal type billionaire. I want to see a society in which a whole lot of viewpoints are out there and people will join those movements that they want to join but don’t have the artificial creation of those movements by billionaires.
-- TIME Newsmaker Interview:  Bernie Sanders Says He’d Make a Better President Than Hillary Clinton -- by Jay Newton-Small, Washington, -- March 5, 2014

Oligarchy --

Oligarchy (from Greek ὀλιγαρχία (oligarkhía); from ὀλίγος (olígos), meaning "few", and ἄρχω (arkho), meaning "to rule or to command")[1][2][3] is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people. These people could be distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, education, corporate, or military control. Such states are often controlled by a few prominent families who typically pass their influence from one generation to the next. But inheritance is not a necessary condition for the application of this term.

Corporate oligarchy

Main articles: Corporatocracy and Crony capitalism

Corporate oligarchy is a form of power, governmental or operational, where such power effectively rests with a small, elite group of inside individuals, sometimes from a small group of educational institutions, or influential economic entities or devices, such as banks, commercial entities, lobbyists that act in complicity with, or at the whim of the oligarchy, often with little or no regard for constitutionally protected prerogative. Monopolies are sometimes granted to state-controlled entities, such as the Royal Charter granted to the East India Company. Today's multinational corporations function as corporate oligarchies with influence over democratically elected officials.

Crony capitalism --
Crony capitalism is a term describing an economy in which success in business depends on close relationships between business people and government officials. It may be exhibited by favoritism in the distribution of legal permits, government grants, special tax breaks, or other forms of state interventionism.[1] Crony capitalism is believed to arise when business cronyism and related self-serving behavior by businesses or businesspeople spills over into politics and government,[2] or when self-serving friendships and family ties between businessmen and the government influence the economy and society to the extent that it corrupts public-serving economic and political ideals.

Corporatocracy --
Corporatocracy ˌkɔrpərəˈtɒkrəsi, is a term used as an economic and political system controlled by corporations or corporate interests.[1] It is a generally pejorative term often used by critics of the current economic situation in a particular country, especially the United States.[2][3] This is different to corporatism, which is the organisation of society into groups with common interests. Corporatocracy as a term tends to be used by liberal and left-leaning critics, but also some economic libertarian critics and other political observers across the political spectrum.[2][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16] Economist Jeffrey Sachs described the United States as a corporatocracy in his book The Price of Civilization.[17] He suggested that it arose from four trends: weak national parties and strong political representation of individual districts, the large U.S. military establishment after World War II, big corporate money financing election campaigns, and globalization tilting the balance away from workers.[17]

This collective is known as what author C Wright Mills would call the Power Elite. The Power Elite are wealthy individuals who hold prominent positions in Corporatocracies. These individuals control the process of determining society's economic and political policies.[18]

The concept has been used in explanations of bank bailouts, excessive pay for CEOs, as well as complaints such as the exploitation of national treasuries, people, and natural resources.[19] It has been used by critics of globalization,[20] sometimes in conjunction with criticism of the World Bank[21] or unfair lending practices,[19] as well as criticism of "free trade agreements".[20]

Bernie Sanders --
Bernard "Bernie" Sanders (born September 8, 1941) is an American politician and the junior United States Senator from Vermont. Before serving in the Senate, he represented Vermont's at-large district in the United States House of Representatives and served as mayor of Burlington, the largest city in Vermont. Sanders is a self-described democratic socialist,[2][3] and has praised Scandinavian-style social democracy.[4][5]

Sanders caucuses with the Democratic Party and is counted as a Democrat for the purposes of committee assignments, but because he does not belong to a formal political party, he appears as an independent on the ballot. He was also the only independent member of the House during most of his service and is the longest-serving independent in U.S. Congressional history.

In an interview with The Nation on March 6, 2014, Sanders stated that he is "prepared to run for President of the United States" in 2016.[6]

We certainly need Senator Bernie Sanders' voice and views, to be expressed among those Billionaire-funded ones, that pass for political discourse -- on the wide open stage, otherwise known as American Politics.

-- in my humble opinion.    Go Bernie, Go!    Mix it up, man.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  you forgot plutocracy /nt (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, CenPhx, Eric Nelson

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 09:34:33 AM PDT

    •  I thought (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli, CenPhx, Eric Nelson, aliasalias

      we were already there.

      Plutocracy --

      Plutocracy (from Greek πλοῦτος, ploutos, meaning "wealth", and κράτος, kratos, meaning "power, dominion, rule") or plutarchy, defines a society or a system ruled and dominated by the small minority of the wealthiest citizens. The first known use of the term is 1652.[1] Unlike systems such as democracy, capitalism, socialism or anarchism, plutocracy is not rooted in an established political philosophy and has no formal advocates. The concept of plutocracy may be advocated by the wealthy classes of a society in an indirect or surreptitious fashion, though the term itself is almost always used in a pejorative sense.[2]

      The term plutocracy is generally used as a pejorative to describe or warn against an undesirable condition.[3][4] Throughout history, political thinkers such as Winston Churchill, 19th-century French sociologist and historian Alexis de Tocqueville, 19th-century Spanish monarchist Juan Donoso Cortés and today Noam Chomsky have condemned plutocrats for ignoring their social responsibilities, using their power to serve their own purposes and thereby increasing poverty and nurturing class conflict, corrupting societies with greed and hedonism.[5][6]

  •  Unfortunately (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CenPhx, Eric Nelson

    this is what passes for "political discourse"  (and often much worse):

    Gov. Rick Perry Fires Up CPAC Crowd

    And so does the slide into Corporatocracy ...

  •  DFHs gotta get real (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eric Nelson

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013 (@eState4Column5).

    by annieli on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 09:46:24 AM PDT

  •  You Go to Creation With the Powers You Have, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, oldpotsmuggler, Eric Nelson

    --not the powers you might want or wish to have at a later time.

    But first, thanks for sharing, we need to hear more from Mr. Sanders. I use the terms "democratic oligarchy" or -plutocracy for the US. We have the vote, but those we elect serve the rich not the people or the nation.

    We didn't have billionaires in the 18th century but American independence and its initial and enduring democratic governments were created by men many of whom were quite rich.

    The New Deal which created the first and only large middle class ever known in human history was created with leadership by a number of rich leaders, and with the support or at least acquiescence of some of our very rich who feared revolution in the absence of fundamental economic reforms.

    We've  needed and depended on generations of protest and pressure from workers, renters, farmers, and other power-marginalized demographics, but many of the final major strides were taken by leaders who had considerable assets.

    There are dozens of billionaires fighting to make the US an authoritarian oligarchy, but not one on earth fighting to make it a liberal society.

    JFK's net worth is pegged at an upper estimate of a billion dollars, and he and his family certainly worked hard to make the US more liberal, whether or not that constitutes serious fighting. It was Joe Kennedy who's quoted as saying of the New Deal radicalism  "in those days I felt and said I would be willing to part with half of what I had if I could be sure of keeping, under law and order, the other half."

    If the goal is a genuinely liberal society, even the modest (compared to the best of Europe) economic liberalism we knew in the mid 20th century, with subsequent demographic and cultural gains retained, I'd be just fine with a couple of handfuls of Kennedy families helping create and foster an American left.

    We have to remember how very few assets the American people have out of which to fashion a left in ways we had in the past. So many factories are gone, we don't have the past's leverage of strikes and denials of service. We don't farm our food any more nor own our town and village retailers, so there is little we can turn to for self reliance. Most news outlets have passed out of our hands, captured by a few global behemoths.

    We need all the help we can get.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Mar 09, 2014 at 09:51:53 AM PDT

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