Political support for the corporate order is disintegrating

David Korten, cross-posted from YES

Public support for the corporate order is disintegrating. The three remaining presidential candidates are all running against the corporatist establishment. Of the three, Sanders is most credible in his anti-corporatist credentials and consequently does the best in national polls. He gives authentic voice to the hopes and aspirations of a nation betrayed, while Trump plays to a betrayed nation’s fear and anger.

The nonprofit advocacy organization Public Citizen recently compiled survey results demonstrating that Americans overwhelmingly favor policies that increase economic fairness, hold corporate executives accountable, strengthen environmental and consumer protection, and assure that the political system serves the interests of all. This is a decidedly anti-corporatist agenda.

Most people long for a political party that represents their interests and values rather than the interests of a corporate oligarchy. This longing may explain why more Americans self-identify as Independents than as either Democrats or Republicans and why Sanders and Trump enjoy such appeal as candidates running against their party establishments.

At a deeper level, most humans want to be part of a caring democratic community of healthy families with a healthy natural environment. We want to live in a world free from war, want, racism, sexism, and religious intolerance—none of which is possible in a world of extreme inequality and rapacious competition.

The outcome of this U.S. election is critically important. Even more significant than who is president for the next four years, however, are the power and effectiveness of the emerging democracy movement and its vision of human possibility. That movement would be the foundation for an effective Sanders presidency. It might hold Clinton to her espoused anti-corporatist agenda. It could serve as a bulwark against the dictatorial ambitions of Trump. Most of all, it will be essential to advance the political reforms required to get big money out of politics, secure the integrity of the voting process, and move us beyond the limited choice among corporatist candidates typically offered by the corporatist wings of our dominant political parties.

It is within our means to create a world that aligns with the dream of human possibility that lives in the human heart and transcends self-limiting political divisions. The necessary leadership will come only from a powerful movement organizing from outside the existing corporatist political establishment.

Dr. David Korten (livingeconomiesforum.org) is the author of Agenda for a New Economy,The Great Turning: From Empire to Earth Community, and the international best sellerWhen Corporations Rule the World. He is board chair of YES! Magazine, co-chair of the New Economy Working Group, a founding board member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, president of the Living Economies Forum, and a member of the Club of Rome. He holds MBA and PhD degrees from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business and served on the faculty of the Harvard Business School.