Tim Kuhner, associate professor of law at Georgia State University writes how the U.S. Supreme Court has used economic ideology to strike down limits on money in politics in his new book,  Capitalism v. Democracy. Following the trail of Supreme Court decisions from 1976 to today, Kuhner traces the steps taken all the way up to the Citizens United decision, which enabled the wealthiest minority of Americans and their corporate counterparts to control the political speech environment, “with McCutcheon granting them control over parties, candidates and officeholders directly,” he said in a press release yesterday.

“Blame it on the Supreme Court,” Kuhner says. “No other court in the world today justifies plutocracy. State and federal legislatures have acted countless times to restore democratic integrity and a minimum degree of political equality, but the Supreme Court considers civic values a threat to its free-market Constitution.”

Kuhner,  an expert on the topics of  campaign finance and the constitution, as well as democratic and economic theory, has studied the death of campaign finance reform extensively. He says it has effectively corrupted capitalism, permitting economic competition to be routed through political channels, with the emphasis that he who controls the most speech, wins.

“The Roberts Court is the ideological architect of American plutocracy and crony capitalism,” Kuhner says. “Its case law is full of bizarre free-market rhetoric that morphs democracy into a profitable market for economic expansion.”

Kuhners says that in the Supreme Court’s viewpoint was made clear in the Citizens United case; corruption is limited to bribery and doesn’t include superior access and influence for political donors and spenders.

“The Roberts Court is the ideological architect of American plutocracy and crony capitalism. Its case law is full of bizarre free-market rhetoric that morphs democracy into a profitable market for economic expansion,” Kuhner says. “Should we celebrate that political parties and candidates are becoming less and less accountable to average Americans? Should we celebrate the fact that economic competition is increasingly corrupted by political favors?”

Kuhner also says that the Supreme Court’s many attacks on campaign finance reform have turned democracy it into a system that favors the wealthy and marginalizes ordinary citizens.

“In the age of high-priced campaigns, an elite class of donors and spenders, super PACS and increasing corporate political power have become the new normal in American politics,” Kuhner says. “Capitalism has taken over democracy and wealthy interests naturally have higher purchasing power.”

You can catch a preview of the book Capitalism v. Democracy: Money in Politics and the Free Market Constitution
on Amazon.

(disclosure: affiliate link)

  • Philli

    The rhetoric is thick and so hard to get through. The challenge is to make people see past that rhetoric and look into the actual implementation of the policies.