Oligarchy in the US & Canada

LiveScience: Is America Now an Oligarchy Nation?

“The only thing that matters is what the wealthiest Americans and vested business interests think — because that’s what will be debated and enacted. Which is, for those paying attention, the definition of an oligarchy, and not a democracy.” -Jeff Nesbit

Represent.Us: The U.S. is an Oligarchy? The Research, Explained

“The chart here shows how much political influence different groups have in America today. Not only do the wealthy have the most influence; ordinary voters have basically none.” – Jasper McChesney

AlterNet: We’re Losing the Last Shreds of Legal Rights to Protect Ourselves from Oligarchy

“The goals of corporate capitalism are increasingly indistinguishable from the goals of the state. The political and economic systems are subservient to corporate profit. Debate between conventional liberals and conservatives has been replaced by empty political theater and spectacle. Corporations, no matter which politicians are in office, loot the Treasury, escape taxation, push down wages, break unions, dismantle civil society, gut regulation and legal oversight, control information, prosecute endless war and dismantle public institutions and programs that include schools, welfare and Social Security. And elected officials, enriched through our form of legalized corporate bribery, have no intention of halting the process.

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It is capitalism, not government, that is the problem. The fusion of corporate and state power means that government is broken.

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Our corporate masters will not of their own volition curb their appetite for profits. Human misery and the deadly assault on the ecosystem are good for business. These masters have set in place laws that, when we rise up — and they expect us to rise up — will permit the state to herd us like sheep into military detention camps.

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The corporate state also oversees the most pervasive security and surveillance apparatus in human history. It can order the assassination of U.S. citizens. It has abolished habeas corpus. It uses secret evidence to imprison dissidents.

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A ruling elite that accrues for itself this kind of total power, history has shown, eventually uses it.” -Chris Hedges

DeSmog Canada: If the U.S. is an Oligarchy, What Does that Make Canada?

“[Stephen Harper] has spent his entire political career marching Canada down the same corporate road that leads to oligarchy.

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We haven’t got far to go; 86 families in this country, representing .002 percent of the population, have accumulated more wealth than the poorest 11.4 million Canadians.

If it can be said that Stephen Harper has a vision at all, it is to keep it that way.

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He is less the prime minister of a country, than a super-salesman of corporate interests.” -Michael Harris

Origins of Politics: The New Canadian Oligarchy

“Our oligarchy starts with a calumny of our own making—the fact that the overwhelming majority of Canada’s citizens under the age of 45 don’t vote. Thus in a country generationally fractured as perhaps never before, the national government can blithely set an agenda for itself at odds with the dominant values of much of the citizenry, certainly the younger citizenry.” -Micheal Valpy & James McKee

Turtle Island News: Canada Is Slowly But Surely Shifting To Totalitarianism

“There is no clear boundary which delineates a country’s transition from weak democracy to full blown totalitarianism, but Harper’s Canada has all of the symptoms of totalitarianism, in varying degrees. Equally disconcerting though, is that much of the mass media is still apologizing for this rogue government, and the increasingly entrenched symptoms are being subverted, or ignored.” -Mark Taliano

TPM: Scholar Behind Viral ‘Oligarchy’ Study Tells You What It Means

“People mean different things by the term ‘oligarchy.’ One reason why I shy away from it is it brings to mind this image of a very small number of very wealthy people who are pulling strings behind the scenes to determine what government does. And I think it’s more complicated than that. It’s not only Sheldon Adelson or the Koch brothers or Bill Gates or George Soros who are shaping government policy-making. So that’s my concern with what at least many people would understand oligarchy to mean. What ‘economic elite domination’ and ‘biased pluralism’ mean is that rather than average citizens of moderate means having an important role in determining policy, ability to shape outcomes is restricted to people at the top of the income distribution and to organized groups that represent primarily—although not exclusively—business.” -Martin Gilens

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