Month 10, Day 28: How I Long For The Days Of “Enlightened Self-Interest”

The Washington Post runs an AP story on the corporate groups that are destroying our democracy:

Rove, who was President George W. Bush’s top political adviser, and the two Mayflower lunch partners – former GOP Chairman Ed Gillespie and Steven Law, a veteran of Capitol Hill and the Chamber of Commerce – worried that the Republican Party alone would be no match for President Barack Obama’s superb fundraising.

“Clearly there was a tremendous amount of grass-roots energy building – a grass-roots prairie fire that was building in intensity,” Law, now the Crossroads president, said in an interview. “We felt that one of the things we could do was pour gasoline on that.”

If voters seemed angry, so was corporate America. Obama led Congress into passing health care and financial regulation overhauls and pushed for climate legislation, all of which angered the business community.


The fact that corporate America was “angry” about President Obama’s calls for climate legislation reveals a lot about Corporate America (which deserves full capitalizations now that the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision has affirmed its personhood). Specifically, Corporate America is mistrustful of expertise, incapable of long-term thought, lacks any conception of the common good, and is irrationally prone to anger.

A response to proposed climate-change legislation that was not distorted by these tendencies would look very different. For example, it would recognize the overwhelming scientific consensus on the reality of global warming, and acknowledge that the catastrophic consequences of unchecked climate chaos would be (to put it mildly) bad for business. If our corporate citizens were motivated by the common good rather than their quarterly profits, we ordinary human citizens would have no reason to fear them and their devastating impact on both the political and planetary atmospheres.

Warren Senders

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