The Silent Battle for Control


Donald Trump screams abuse at a courtroom he can’t control. House speaker Johnson faces threats to depose him if he brings legislative order to the House. Against the ever-increasing loss of life, Ukraine continues to resist the control of Putin. Netanyahu promises annihilation of  Hamas, who seeks the destruction of Israel. The press is full to bursting with this worldwide battle for control—or revolt against the dispersal of control that is democracy. Loud, destructive, and dangerous, the battles command our attention. But at the same time, I struggle at home to retain ownership of my word processing software, and my housemate does the same with her bookkeeping program.

Though we managed to retain control for one more year, we know we are no match for Microsoft, and Intuit. We will soon be forced to rent rather than buy the software we depend on. The Internet’s and government’s struggle between free speech and the spread of hatred and falsehood gains media attention, as well it should, while the increasing intrusion of corporate giants into our lives goes unnoticed. Public utilities faced this problem generations ago, and the answer was government regulation. Though it results in an unwieldy bureaucracy, regulation gives government a power matching private enterprise—achieving the balance opposed by Reaganomics.

As I struggled to maintain ownership of my software yesterday, I kept remembering the helpless rage of the working class as unions, benefits, and jobs fell beneath the cost cutting of the Reagan years. Their rage at the “elites” who were gobbling up everything in the name of profits was largely ignored not only by the press, but by the identity-oriented Democratic Party—the traditional voice of the working class.

Democrats were justifiably focused on social justice for minorities, and viewed the white working class as prejudiced, which they were and are. Gunar Myrdal, in his classic study on race in America (The American Dilemma), found that prejudice increases in direct proportion to economic threat. For college educated (economically unthreatened) Democrats to condemn the prejudice while ignoring the economic deterioration of the working class was a mistake with gigantic consequences.

The first result was the loss of opportunity. If the Party had maintained their traditional focus on the underdog—in this case the increasing gap between rich and poor, as well as minorities, they would have created an unbeatable majority going into the 2016 election. Instead, the working class threw its weight to a man who “heard their voice.” Irrational though it might be, Donald Trump has managed to bring corporations and the working class into the same party and make government—“the system”—the enemy. That Biden has succeeded in bringing auto industry back demonstrates his skill and his clarity of vision—his strength—while Trump screeches for vengeance. This election will tell whether the nation returns to a balance of power and sanity. Government is the voice of the people.


One Response to The Silent Battle for Control

  1. Patricia Bloom May 10, 2024 at 1:46 pm #

    Outstanding analysis!

Find us on Google+