Writing at Indian Country Today, Peter d’Errico discusses the business of democracy in today’s world. Noting that the elected council system imposed by the federal government on American Indian tribes is a corporate business model, it is no surprise that this system wreaked havoc on traditional societies that already had workable governments. As a system that is meant to divide and corrupt, it has been a successful means of exploiting tribal resources and controlling reservations.
Looking at the larger world now in turmoil, d’Errico posits that imposed governments never work, and perhaps more importantly, that voting is not synonymous with self-government. Given the system is controlled by commerce, d’Errico asks if it can even be called a democracy.
Reminding us that the U.S. Constitution, as originally written, legalized slavery and limited voting to white, male property owners, d’Errico asserts that the history of American democracy has been one of a small elite seeking ways to preserve their privileges while using their power to control and steal from others. In the modern world of bank bailouts, #Occupy and Arab Spring, the power of that system to call itself a democracy is called into question.