This is in response to a column in Justia written by John Dean on the gaming of democracy in America. It appears at http://verdict.justia.com/2011/09/23/gaming-american-democracy.
He closed with a request for reactions and feedback, but suggested Twitter as a channel for such replies. There is a non-Twitter reply mechanism there, but I don't know if it goes anywhere, so I've decided to compose my response here and send the URL as the so-called Tweet. To whit:
Few significant ideas fit within a tweet, but who knows if you will see this? Notwithstanding, I will attempt to be brief on these topics of shared interest.
First, I laud your treatment of the Tea Party as a facade, but two points to note. One, their cost is nominal to the players who are financing them. Two, I believe their primary use is to help tip the scales so that what used to be the far right is now perceived as the middle of the political spectrum in America.
Second, I've concluded that one of the most significant things is that though there is widespread agreement on various major problems, there is apparently almost no agreement on THE major problem. In other words, we evidently can’t reach any consensus on the priorities of our difficulties. Now I think that perhaps the major problem is the bigness itself. What can be bigger than big? Not so much big government but big business that both requires and depends upon big government. We have seemingly reached a consensus that it is natural for one company or organization to dominate in almost every sphere. (Now I wonder if this could be a projection of our monotheism?)
Third, as a result of this analysis, I’ve concluded we need to reach a deeper understanding of the economic history of America. Though I haven’t seen it described in this form, I think that America’s economic situation can be described in three phases. (1) Wealth through cheap land. (2) Wealth through REAL competition when anti-trust laws were powerful and effective. (3) Our imminent bankruptcy or eclipse after competition disappears in America. From that perspective, what is happening to the American political system is only one aspect of a more general malaise.
Is there a solution? I think it would only be possible if American laws were rewritten NOT to favor cancerous growth as the norm of business. We need something like a requirement for successful businesses to reproduce by division, thus creating MORE choice and MORE freedom and MORE competition in the economy. Not a penalty for success in gaining market share, but a reward of fairly creating new opportunities for greatness.