No one can save us

Why democracy? Not because majorities are wise. But because the majority must check concentrated power. The holders of concentrated wealth have every incentive to protect and grow that wealth regardless of the broader consequences for the rest of life on Earth. By virtue of simple arithmetic, only by uniting enough people into collective action can we effectively oppose the influence of concentrated power, and only in a well-functioning democracy can such effective collective action take a non-violent form.

But we do not have a well-functioning democracy. We have an oligarchy in the form of a democracy. Our campaign finance system reproduces the inequalities of power in the economy. Gerrymandering, the electoral college, voter ID laws, and other voter suppression tactics further rig elections in favor of affluent or white voters interested in preserving their position of superiority in the hierarchy of concentrated power. Media dependent on profitability and public education starved of funding leave us uninformed and therefore duped into believing whatever we are told by those with concentrated power.

As a result, we are tempted to fight concentrated power with concentrated power, whether in the form of a strongman, as Trump held himself out to be, or the dream that a billionaire or technological innovator can save us. But no one can save us. Only the many can.

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