Kleptocracy


kleptocrat nation (klep te krat na shen), n. 1. a body of people ruled by thieves. 2. a government characterized by the practice of transferring money and power from the many to the few. 3. a ruling class of moneyed elites that usurps liberty, justice, sovereignty, and other democratic rights from the people. 4. the USA in 2003.

"The Public Interest Research Group reports that nearly half of the people newly elected to Congress last year are millionaires. This is the personification of democracy?...

"Congress' real constituency is no longer you and me, but the people who "matter." These are your top-floor corporate executives and the moneyed elites who have full-time lobbyists and who make the $1,000-and-higher campaign donations (only 0.12 percent of Americans are in this class)...

"The Supreme Court's 1976 ruling that campaign money is "speech" effectively negates the value of your vote and electoral participation, while giving a handful of corporations and wealthy interests far more "speech" than the rest of us, and also puts the possibility of holding public office beyond the reach of ordinary Americans. Nothing has been so destructive of our nation's promise of democratic representation as has this totally un-American decree--which neither political party challenges.

"The unheralded provisions of NAFTA, the WTO, the forthcoming FTAA, and other arcane trade schemes allow global corporations to wield veto power over your local, state, and national laws, usurping our people's right to self-government--a theft of power that has been pulled off without the people knowing it, much less agreeing to it...

"George W. (and our Congress) is an enthusiastic supporter of gloabl-scale theft and thuggery" (Hightower, Jim. "Living in a Kleptocrat Nation." Texas Observer, 8/1/03, 44-45).


Colby Glass, MLIS