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The Danger of Disillusionment

Posted by MacZad
Jun 26 2012

At the end of World War One the Allies imposed draconian reparations on Germany. That financial burden made life so tough for the German people that by the early 1930s they were thoroughly disillusioned and desperately searching for who to blame and for leadership that promised better times ahead. The leader they chose was Hitler with his fascism and, persuaded by his eloquent rhetoric, part of the blame was placed on the Jews. You know how it all ended.

Recently in the middle-east, and despite the armed solders in the streets, disillusionment boiled up into revolutions in several countries and resulted in the removal of their autocratic leaders. Now with austerity being imposed in Greece we are seeing the rise of extreme political groups there.

Here in our country the stirrings of disillusionment with the current plutocracy/corporatocracy have surfaced both on the right (Tea Party) and the left (Occupy Wall Street). The two groups place the blame differently but there is much in common about their concerns. At present both are on the fringes. However, unless true democracy begins to replace the current plutocracy/corporatocracy their numbers will grow dramatically and dangerously, for in the modern world it's easy for people to see gross inequity, and they know that they can successfully rebel against those causing it. If the rich and powerful continue to resist all reforms the coming rebellion will be ugly for them and perhaps for us all, for what follows a rebellion can be much worse than what was before. As with Hitler, disillusionment and rebellions often give those at the extremes a chance to grab power. Socialism would likely be too mild, but fascism, communism and autocracy are all possibilities.

Here's a quote that echoes this thinking. It's from the article "When Did the GOP Lose Touch With Reality?" by former Bush administration staffer David Frum.

The[se] Republican billionaires are not acting cynically. They watch Fox News too, and they're gripped by the same apocalyptic fears as the Republican base. In funding the tea-party movement, they are ­actually acting against their own longer-term interests, for it is the richest who have the most interest in political stability, which depends upon broad societal agreement that the existing distribution of rewards is fair and reasonable. If the social order comes to seem unjust to large numbers of people, what happens next will make Occupy Wall Street look like a street fair. The emphasis is mine.

The rich and powerful need an "enlightenment" and perhaps there is hope. More and more Republicans are questioning the party's current stubborn dedication to the plutocrats/corporatocrats. On the Democratic Party side there needs to be a disengagement from Wall Street and a return to the party's roots as the working man's friend, but much prodding from the working man will be needed before it happens.

Twitter ( @MacZad ) has just alerted me to the excellent Truthout Op Ed article on this subject. Well worth the read. (Updated 11/01/12)

Categories: Opposing Plutocracy and Corporatocracy, Seeking Better Governance