Economic Power and the Corruption of the American Political System


This post is on an article called Economic Power and the Corruption of the American Political System by Jeremy Cloward which discusses the Federal government’s moral decay. The article claims that the Federal Government no longer makes moral decisions, but instead it makes decisions based on economic interests. To prove this, the article cites the Iraq war and the similarities to empire style conquest of European countries such as England France and Spain in the 18th and 19th centuries. In Iraq, the US input the Coalition Provision Authority to draft Iraq’s new constitution. Iraq’s new constitution allowed for private foreign investment in oil, a provision refused under Saddam Hussein. Under the new constitution, two major American oil companies as well as a large amount of foreign investors from countries such as Russia, France, Germany, and the UK have invested in the 15 “oil super-fields”.

It has been asked why people discuss Iraqi oil so much when this country buys most of its oil from Canada and Venezuela. This article claims that most of the US involvement in Iraq’s oil is dependent on the “servicing” of foreign contractors fields. This is made possible because it was the United States that declared war on Iraq and sent the largest amount of troops to set up military bases as well as draft the constitution. The article cites that this attack was morally wrong because it destabilized the Iraqi Government’s ability to regulate public services including education. It states that more than 500 professors have been assassinated, and, of course, without higher education the citizens lose their ability to develop properly in the modern world.

The article puts a large portion of the blame on morally improper decisions made by President George Bush and his cabinet members such as Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, and Donald Rumsfeld. The decision to attack Iraq was made by the President and his individual cabinet members benefited vastly economically. The article states that these actions were on the level of criminality reserved for verdicts of war crimes in the Nuremburg Trials for crimes against peace and crimes against humanity. This is partly because the percent of Iraq citizens slain due to American involvement is roughly equivalent to 30 million Americans. This occurred in the interest of forcing foreign extraction of Iraq’s oil and brings in a massive amount of capital through investments and “services” to the developed world.

The problem here lies in public officials having the capability to benefit from the economic prosperity of a countries major international companies. Companies that operate in foreign countries impress American culture and attitudes which gives foreign country’s citizens an impression of how Americans are. Due to our dependence on energy, much of the American economy is dedicated to oil extraction worldwide even if we are not extracting it for ourselves. Is there any way this focus could be alternated to focus on environmentally friendly alternatives such as renewable energy? According to the article, there are consequences of “rule by the rich” which impede the progress of global society because wealth is not t. My main question at the end of the article is: What should be done about it?

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2 responses to “Economic Power and the Corruption of the American Political System

  1. To answer your final question, I would say one hard but simple choice is to vastly reduce our military presence. Iraq, especially with ISIS now, is a total mess. Moreover, it is itself the creature of earlier colonialism with Iraq being created by the British to be purposefully internally riven by the combination of Kurds, Sunni, and Shia.

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