Sometimes it looks hopeless. The corruption is so ingrained that it is institutionalized. We have a Congress operated by K Street lobbyists and a White House that is a subsidiary of Goldman Sachs. The beltway sits in a vacuum-sealed bell jar that mutes the cries of the poor and the suffering.
Corporate America had a lock on our republic and it’s not about to let the fetid fumes of democracy seep in and corrupt the heady air of pure power that is its aphrodisiac.
It is at times like this that we must remember that change, truly revolutionary change, the change that is deep and systemic, first forms in a tiny crack or seam buried so deeply in the shadows of a damp basement that neither the oppressed nor the oppressor are aware of its existence.
The sixteenth-century Roman Catholic Church was convinced it had a lock on power until, in 1517, an obscure monk by the name of Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany.
We have our own example here in America.
As World War II ended, MGM appeared to be untouchable. It was the biggest studio with the biggest stars, churning our movie after movie. Movie attendance was booming and MGM was riding the crest of the wave. Its momentum seemed unstoppable.
But even as its hits flooded the nation’s theaters, a flickering grey light in a darkened living room, probably somewhere on the east coast, was about to change all that. The light was coming from a large box topped by a tiny screen. It was one of the first televisions, and it was only a matter of time before the tube bumped the movie theater from its pedestal and MGM would never be the same.
It is when power is at its peak and seems invincible that is ready to crumble Power corrupts and rots from within until what appears to be a solid fortress is little more than a hollowed-out shell ready to collapse. We are discovering that Wall Street is not the impregnable castle we once thought it was. Its well-polished wingtips are feet of clay.
We have no way of knowing just what the catalyst of this change will be. Perhaps our empire will collapse because is bankrupt. It might be an obscure idea that gives rise to an insurrection. It might be something we can’t even comprehend at this point in time.
No matter how tight the corporate grip on power is, no matter how corrupt the system has become, it is important to remember one thing—nothing is forever. With power comes hubris and with hubris comes blindness. It is because of this blindness that power eventually stumbles off the edge of a cliff. The fall may take decades or generations, but it is inevitable.