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Is the Politician
Your Friend?

By Punkerslut

Image by Eric Drooker
Image: By Eric Drooker

Start Date: July 26, 2009
Finish Date: July 26, 2009

"For although the means of coming into power differ, still the method of ruling is practically the same; those who are elected act as if they were breaking in bullocks; those who are conquerors make the people their prey; those who are heirs plan to treat them as if they were their natural slaves."
          --Étienne de La Boétie, 1548
          "Discourse on Voluntary Servitude"

     To become elected, a politician needs to have many votes. And to get that, they need funding for their election. For all politicians, the first incentive is this: a powerful campaign that can demolish any opponent. With the right connections to media and publications, any politician can become elected. And this is not a question about connections, so much as it is a question about buying those connections.

     When a politician becomes elected, they do not see it as a victory of the people choosing them. They see it as a victory of the wealthy supporting their campaign. When this politician votes for a bill to become a law, they are not thinking about the people; they are thinking about who put them in office, their wealthy donors.

     Business elites and corporations donate millions to political campaigns. What do they expect in return? They expect laws to be passed that benefit them. They expect laws that reduce fines for violating environmental regulations. They expect laws that reduce fines for labor violations, for stock trading violations, for hiring violations, for import and export violations. What they support is activity that benefits the company, but hurts our society. This is the interest that props up our politicians and legislators.

"...the most refined politicians do not always know whither they are leading the state by their projects."
          --Adam Ferguson, 1767
          "Essay on the History of Civil Society," Part 3, Section II

     Laws that protect the environment will always be opposed by these Capitalists. That is because it is cheaper to produce without the regulations that prevent ecological devastation on Earth. Laws that protect consumers from dangerous foods and drugs, or from unhealthy products, will be opposed by the Capitalists, as well. These regulations slow their profits.

     Labor laws that protect unionizing and worker organization will be opposed, too. After attacking society at every part, the Capitalists finally support war. The wealthy will find new markets for their investment companies and new weapons contracts for their manufacturing plants. Environmental decay, worker exploitation, war -- these are the undeniable aspects of Capitalist rule.

     We live in a world where capitalists prop up a politician for their own gain. It is no different than a world where aristocrats prop up a king for their interests. Their efforts are to make the government look legitimate and useful for the people. But this is just to deceive us, and to make us that the state really considers our interests. In reality, the government only considers the interests of those who give it power.

"If, when the people, being furnished with adequate information, held its deliberations, the citizens had no communication one with another, the grand total of the small differences would always give the general will, and the decision would always be good. But when factions arise, and partial associations are formed at the expense of the great association, the will of each of these associations becomes general in relation to its members, while it remains particular in relation to the State: it may then be said that there are no longer as many votes as there are men, but only as many as there are associations. The differences become less numerous and give a less general result. Lastly, when one of these associations is so great as to prevail over all the rest, the result is no longer a sum of small differences, but a single difference; in this case there is no longer a general will, and the opinion which prevails is purely particular."
          --Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1762
          "The Social Contract, or the Principles of Right," Book 2, Chapter 3


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