Art & Money:
UMBILICAL CORD OF GOLD:
I was very active in the effort to elect Obama, and like many others I feel let down — duped into thinking things could change by an administration that seems completely co-opted by the corporate class. I still believe that Obama’s basic instincts are good, but somehow that doesn’t seem to matter. Why is it so much easier to take things in oligarchic directions than in democratic ones? George W. Bush profoundly changed America, but restoring the nation’s democratic values seems virtually impossible.
But I’m still not willing to accept the argument that voting is futile or that everything is predetermined by a small group at the top. And oddly, the most encouraging signs these days have come from outside our borders — from the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia (the outcomes in Libya and Bahrain seem more uncertain) and in the faith that protesters in places like Iran and the Arab world place in the ideas of democracy. Here in this country the fight to preserve collective bargaining for state employees in Wisconsin appears to have failed (though at this writing a court has issued a stay on the law passed by the Republican lawmakers pending an examination of its constitutionality). Nevertheless, it is a small sign that people may be waking up to dangerous inequality that has been allowed to permeate this country.
Which leaves me with one final question. If there is to be a fight, which side will we be on?