al calloway.jpgIt was America’s 34th president, the great World War II general Dwight D. Eisenhower, who warned about “the military industrial complex.” He cautioned to beware of it. Including Eisenhower’s presidency (1953-1961) and to this very day, America has been arming groups around the world, has been involved in police actions, military interventions and wars – that the citizenry knows about – almost everywhere on planet Earth.

This extraordinary wealth-producing behemoth that worried Eisenhower channels through Wall Street to Washington’s famous K Street lobbying mecca on to Congress and the rest of Capitol Hill. (The Pentagon, CIA, etc., act as both vassal and vessel.) It therefore controls much of foreign and domestic policy, international banking, finance and trade.

Behind the scenes controlling it all are the super rich and their loyal band of rich operatives. These oligarchs form a collective, bound together as a democracy that has the power to quell and control opposition; that is, the virtue of democracy as extolled by average American citizens and believers around the world.

American oligarchs have evolved into a plutocracy which is rule of an elite: “A nation ruled by the wealthy,” according to the Oxford American Dictionary. When spokespersons for the American elite speak of democracy, they are speaking of that which their group has created to exist side by side with

the average American’s learned notion of democracy. They have created a “democracy” that is, at best, in apposition to Jefferson, Lincoln, Douglass, Lippmann, King and Malcolm X.

President Barack Obama understood that he was walking into leadership of a government and an economy that had been taken over by a plutocracy. People power (a peaceful transformation) was his hope. If the people will not organize to save themselves and America from the tyranny of avarice and pseudo-democracy, then the super-rich will exacerbate their plundering of our nation.

The mistaken belief that once Obama got into the White House there would be significant change without people power stems from a backward and erroneous perception of reality buttressed by a Moses

complex: Obama will come down off the mountain and lead his people to the promised land.

It is at once odd and a shame that of all people, Americans of African descent have, thus far, remained dormant since the Bush administration. Even in light of a move across the nation to make it increasingly difficult for blacks, especially, to vote (because they primarily vote Democratic) in 2012, black elected officials, Democratic Party shills, churches, civil rights groups and other community-based organizations have yet to mobilize. Why?

While the plutocracy is feeding a totally un-American move to eliminate minority voters, blacks are waiting to be paid by the Democratic Party to counter with a get-out-the-vote campaign. They may well wait too long to be highly successful. But it’s always about a little trickle of dollars from white folks before black people in place do the right thing.

What is both perplexing and appalling is that it is going on while there are black independent churches spread throughout black communities that could educate residents and ensure that eligible voters have proper state certified identification and that they are on the proper voter rolls. Moreover, while doing that, churches can organize massive outreach campaigns that would attract residents for a multiplicity of positive change activities.

How on Earth can a democracy survive when Americans of African descent, alone, have so many organizations and elected officials but scant, if any, coordination relative to issues of national, ethnic, socio-political and economic importance?

According to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, there are more than 10,000 black elected officials at the federal, state, county and municipal levels. Would it not be powerful if that number of officials came together with an agenda for democracy? What about regional confabs to set up the annual national conference? Why no concerted action by black elected officials?

I’ll tell you why. Political campaign funds come from oligarchs and or entities controlled by them. Invariably, that controls the politician, not your vote. “He who pays the piper picks the tune.” If the majority of American people truly want democracy, then we must organize, organize, organize!

Photo: Al Calloway