One thing about representative democracy is that – in as much as it’s tied to the will of the people – it has a conscience that can be effected and moved to protect those it’s meant to protect (powerless and minority cultures). When properly motivated, it can see and correct the injustice. When the soul isn’t moved and the injustice isn’t being corrected, it means that the people being represented either don’t have a soul or have allowed themselves to be disconnected from their representatives.
This is the case in the United States.
So this representative government is more interested in building and filling prisons with people of color than building and maintaining exceptional schools for people of color. It is more interested in flying deadly bombers and buying sexy jets than in securing living wages and revamping a useful infrastructure for usage by the underrepresented.
But that’s NOT – contrary to conservative outcry – because government is too big. It’s because it’s represented by a cruel, soul-less society.
A society that thinks it perfectly acceptable to be in three wars – two of which are in oil-rich lands, all of which are in Muslim-dominated countries. A society that can’t bring itself to question its racial hegemony. A society that destroys the indigenous population through sustained, systemic genocide then refuses to acknowledge and correct that murder for its remaining populations. A society that kidnapped a large part of an entire continent of people and subjugated them to an extremely repressive system, propogated for exploiting them for massive wealth-building (of which the entire country benefited); but then once that population was released from free labor, it was segregated into continual slave wagery and blamed for any perceived loss of wealth. A society that turns a blind eye towards its oppression of third world children, women, and men who find their diamonds, sew their jeans, grow their food, and manufacture their cocaine. A society that – through its agricultural business and drug consumption problems – has wrecked its southern neighbors’ economic system so poorly that families feel no option but to come to the very land that has nearly destroyed their families and work their asses off – only to turn away and hunt down those same families. A society that blames and burdens women for having children and blames and burdens women for not having children.
This is a society that government does little to protect its most vulnerable from.
But that little goes a long way.
What this society cares about first and foremost is maintaining the status quo of the White/Anglo-Saxon/Christian/Straight/Male Power Structure. And until we, the people of these United States, recognize that, people will still complain about the government and its waste and corruption.
The government, however, is not wasteful. It is no more corrupt than the people who put it in power.
I know that my conservative friends care about such things (which is why, as opposed to the Fox Nation set, they are my friends) – but I don’t think they understand that power structure. They want a smaller government. I want a truer government – one that protects. I don’t want a government with less public education – we need more funds and resources drawn into urban and poor rural districts. And less money to prison contracts. And less money to multinational corporations. And less money to war-chiefs.
Without attention to the larger patterns, we will continue to see exploitation of the most exploitable.