More on Red Amazon

While digging around for more information on Amazon.com's Republican donations, I am across this blog post that details the specific contributions. As I suspected, they have more to do with who's got their hands into decisions about taxation of Internet purchases and expansion of internet infrastructure into rural areas and that kind of thing. In other words, your basic self-interest donations.

While I'm glad that Amazon is supporting Republicans for very simple reasons of self-interest, rather than because their management supports GOP social agendas, it's still troubling. I'm reminded of the segment of the film http://www.thecorporation.com/ where the filmmakers, reasoning that since corporations now have the legal rights of individuals, it's fair to analyze them as if they were people, do a quick psychological assessment of the corporate "personality" and conclude that we'd diagnose it as psychotic, in part because of its inability to concern itself with anything but its own self interest.

So in those terms, Amazon's donations are sensible and not evil, but one has to ask, is this any way to run a democracy? Should a corporation like Amazon be empowered to act as an individual in our representative democracy?

Today I am reading Toxic Sludge is Good For You, a fascinating little book about how corporations and business groups create "astroturf" (vs "grassroots") fake citizen groups to manufacture support for their positions. The chapter on how they used this technique to kill health care reform in the 90s (even though most citizens actually liked the Clinton plan, when it was described to them without the "Clinton" label) is particularly chilling.

So again, is this any way to run a democracy, and if not, what do we do when this kind of power is easily available to those who will pay for it, and the media is completely failing us on digging beneath the surface to find out who they are really talking to?

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