Free Market Power of Story?

10 10 2008

There’s nothing free about our so-called “free market” because its masters control every aspect of our lives yet were never elected and don’t represent our needs and interests.

This crisis lays bare just how much power they and the institutions they lead exert over our daily lives.

Their actions have brought us to the brink of an economic crisis that threatens not only their own existence but ours. They are affecting our ability to own our homes. They are affecting our ability to find and keep gainful employment, and to retire in comfort after a lifetime of labor. They are affecting our ability to save for our children’s education, thereby influencing not only our lives but those of the next generation. They are affecting the ability of our communities to maintain our libraries, parks, and fire departments.

In a word, their actions are reducing the pursuit of happiness to the pursuit of economic survival.

This has always been the case more than we usually cared to recognize. The financial crisis has merely exposed this reality and generalized it across the population. It simply makes it impossible to avoid the question of what it means to live in a democracy when such basic aspects of our lives are affected by the actions of others in a manner so completely outside our reckoning. These are people we haven’t elected, and institutions which our elected representatives have not only failed to control but have actively aided in their folly.

It may be one of the most positive outcomes of this crisis that it compels us to ask fundamental questions about our political system, questions we may normally be too complacent or polite to ask. What is the true nature of the relationship between the market and our democracy? Do we really have a government by the people for the people? Does the government at its heart and core truly represent our interests? Again, I’m not talking here about this or that administration. Important as this election is, these issues go beyond the outcome of Obama vs McCain.

So, is our democracy worth the name?



2 responses

11 12 2008
Wonder Bread, Twinkies and My Father’s Oldsmobiles « Cocking A Snook!

[…] enough to feed our own kids. Or so we as individuals have collectively decided; each of us remains free in the so-called free market to decide what we think about Twinkies and Wonderbread, and to spend our own money as we choose, […]

22 09 2009
School Is To Food: Obama-rama Energy for Positive Change « Cocking A Snook!

[…] one especially. Neither food politics nor school politics can be thought of as “free market” power of st… — not if we want the kids to grow up healthy, that […]

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