The Heart of the Matter...
Malignant Capitalism: "Capitalist democracy inevitably leads to a dictatorship of capital."
This seems so true, and of the moment, although, I think it has been obvious for much of my life. I think it's hard to pinpoint exactly when the malignancy started, but I'd guess in the late 1960's or early 1970's.
We thought Capitalism & Democracy went hand in hand, but we were wrong! NY Mag: "America's Version of Capitalism is Incompatible with Democracy."
"In these grisly conditions, social democrats see a textbook case of malignant capitalism. Democracies cannot survive on norms alone. When markets are left under-regulated — and workers, unorganized — the corporate sector becomes a cancerous growth, expanding until it dominates politics and civil society. An ever-greater share of economic gains concentrates in ever-fewer hands, while the barriers to converting private wealth into public power grow fewer and farther between. Politicians become unresponsive to popular preferences and needs. Voters lose faith in elections — and then, a strongman steps forward to say that he, alone, can fix it."
Of course, the Hippies were right. We need more Peace, Love and Understanding. Plus: "What’s needed is a movement that mobilizes working people in numbers large enough to demand a new deal from capital. Thus, if the liberal intelligentsia wishes to save American democracy, it should devote the lion’s share of its energies to brainstorming how such a movement can be brought into being — and what changes that movement should make to our nation’s political economy, once it takes power."