The Privatization of Power

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tonight, Colonel Lawrence B Wilkerson is the featured speaker at a gathering in Williamsburg. The subject: the privatization of power. His recent opinion piece in the Huffington Post focused on this feature of waging "modern" war, but there are areas beyond that sector that are as alarming. If anywhere near, this is a must attend event.

This trend away from using public power to balance private power accelerated during the years from Ronald Reagan’s administration on. But nothing will catalyze this tragic erosion of individual rights than the recent Supreme Court decision that gives the same protected rights to corporations and other private entities that should only be reserved to citizens. When a corporation can go to war in defense of our nation and make the ultimate sacrifice on the battlefield, that might justify such reasoning. But that is not why a corporation goes to war and it cannot lose its life. In fact, it can profiteer while failing to positively contribute to the effort; doing damage to the security of our nation and surviving handsomely by changing its name to avoid close scrutiny. It is a war profiteer’s version of the witness protection program, except it is done in plain sight. No shame at all except for the elected members of Congress who either haven’t the fortitude to take them on or the wherewithal to comprehend the tragic consequences.
“No aspect of this phenomenon more vividly demonstrates this point than the privatization of war. Killing people for state purposes--and risking the lives of one's own citizens for those same purposes--should be the ultimate public power in a democratic federal republic such as ours. Yet war's privatization proceeds at an alarming pace.” -- Colonel Wilkerson
Understanding this approach to governance, among the multitude of disingenuous actions to emasculate government’s power and authority, is essential to preserve our freedom. We should scrutinize every “public-private partnership.” All of them: from faith-based initiatives to charter schools to toll roads built by Spanish conglomerates to mercenaries unfettered by the moral constraints of Saint Augustine. My Tea Party friends are the libertarian cafeteria faithful. A market regulated only by the goodwill of those whose “successes” have accumulated wealth will never be a level playing field. Yet they would claim to embrace the principles of our forefathers while forgetting those fellows were all about removing power from those who cannot be held to account. And tonight is a wonderful opportunity to hear the story straight from one former horse holder's mouth.