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  • Writer's pictureJohn Spritzler


As most people know full well (and if you're not sure, then you should read about it at ) we are living in a fake democracy. The important decisions, by not only the private institutions but also by our government, are made by the very rich. A billionaire plutocracy has the real power. This is hardly to be unexpected because, as everybody knows, money is power in our society; billionaires have it and we don't.

Three billionaires (Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet) together own more wealth than the bottom half of the entire United States population. Anybody who still believes that our government makes decisions on the basis of "one person, one vote" is delusional.

So why, then, does hardly anybody speak publicly about the fact that we live in a fake democracy (I call it a dictatorship of the rich) and need to do whatever it takes it win genuine democracy?

Please, let's not muddy the waters with distracting talk about the difference between a "republic" and a "democracy." Yes, the Constitution makes the United States, supposedly, a "republic." The idea, as we're all taught in school, is that ordinary people elect representatives who will make decisions that reflect the values and aims of their constituents in a wise and thoughtful manner. If this were what is actually happening then fine, great! But it is not, and never has been. From the days of the Founding Fathers the U.S. government has been an instrument controlled by the very rich and used by them AGAINST the interests and values of ordinary people, as I discuss at .

Again I ask, then, how come hardly anybody speaks out publicly about the fact that we live in a fake democracy, essentially a dictatorship of the rich?

How come when Big Money developers get a green light from the Mayor to build what practically all the residents of the community object to, nobody identifies the actual problem--that we live in a dictatorship of the rich, not a genuine democracy (or even a genuine republic)? Instead, people pretend to believe that the Mayor really wants to know what we want, in order to truly represent us. People go to City-sponsored hearings and express their opinion, pretending to believe that their opinion will be truly taken into consideration, when they know it will not because, as they know, these hearings are just to let us "blow off steam."

Why do we pretend to believe what we don't really believe?

I think the explanation is that people are afraid that if they speak the truth and declare that we need to remove the rich from power to get real, not fake, democracy, that other people will think they are crazy--or worse. It's like the story of the Emperor's new clothes. Everybody could plainly see that the emperor was stark naked but they were afraid to say so, having been told that "bad" people could not see the emperor's new magic clothing. Today the mass media (controlled, obviously, by the rich) tell us that you're a "bad" person (a terrorist? a nut? an "extremist"?) if you think we live in a fake democracy. Who wants to be seen as a "bad" person; better keep quiet about the fake democracy, uh?

The first step to solve ANY problem is to identify the problem explicitly. Living in a fake democracy is a BIG PROBLEM, and it requires a BIG SOLUTION. The solution requires a very large mass movement that says explicitly it aims to remove the rich from power to have real, not fake, democracy. To build this mass movement requires that people start saying out loud what they know to be true, and stop pretending to believe what they know is false. By doing this we will learn that we are not alone in knowing the truth. How do I know we're not alone? One reason is that when I asked people in public places in Allston-Brighton to read and, if they agreed with it, sign a statement saying that their larger goal was "removing the rich from power to have real, not fake, democracy with no rich and no poor," I easily (no persuasion required!) collected 1021 signatures (as I wrote about at .)

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