Abe Lincoln: when "Corporations have been enthroned" a chilling prediction coming true

I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless."

-- U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864
(letter to Col. William F. Elkins)
Ref: The Lincoln Encyclopedia, Archer H. Shaw (Macmillan, 1950, NY)

ratical.org

Bold text added by the diarist


(Note: The authenticity of this quote has been disputed, but I believe it is worthwhile to discuss nonetheless. The link I have provided is my proof of the validity of this quote, but I leave it to you, the reader, to decide.)

Almost 150 years later . . .

More below the fold

Witness our Too Big To Fail banking oligopoly in their new rigged markets and the bonuses and profits they rake in.

Witness the war profiteering of the Military Industrial Complex and the never ending wars they have created

Witness the Health Insurance Cartels and their ongoing Murder by Spreadsheet business system. We still have no non-profit single payer or public option in America.

Witness the deaths and health violations caused by the coal industry in their relentless search for greater and greater profits. Massey energy maintains their monopoly by exploiting the labor of men and the fruits of the earth.

Witness the greed and recklessness of the Oil Industry. BP is just one face of a heartless oligopoly that drives nations to war and destroys the environment for their own profit.

One could go on and on and on.

Witness the great disparity in income between the very rich and everyone else in the last few decades. Witness the attacks on Latinos, Muslims, African Americans, the LGBT community and women's rights that dominate political discourse in the right wing of American politics. Witness these statistics.

. . . this year’s annual Economic Report of the President pointed out, “in recent years nearly half of all income — including both wages and salaries and nonlabor income — has gone to 10 percent of families.” “The top 1 percent of families now receive nearly 25 percent of income, up from less than 10 percent in the 1970s,” the report said.

http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/20...

Less than 5 years after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln the Republican party became totally subservient to the powers of Big Business and the interests of the rich.

We live in a nation of Corporate Personhood, a nation where Corporations have limited liability and freedom of speech, a nation where money equals speech and Corporations have an unlimited right to both. A nation where unfettered free trade outsources our jobs, a nation where national deficits caused by wars of aggression and tax cuts for the rich can only be solved by taxing the non rich and slashing government services, a nation where our trade deficit is entirely ignored, and where anything less than free market corporatism is considered socialism by many.

And then read the words of President Abraham Lincoln one more time . . .

I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless."

-- U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 21, 1864
(letter to Col. William F. Elkins)
Ref: The Lincoln Encyclopedia, Archer H. Shaw (Macmillan, 1950, NY)

ratical.org

Bold text added by the diarist

150 years later, may God grant us the strength to survive the Corporations we have created.

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Crossposted at The Progressive Electorate.com

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MinistryOfTruth's picture

a nation of MEN and WOMEN, NOT Corporate Persons and Corporate Personhood

with Democracy for ALL, not just those who can afford enough free speech to be heard

FULL DISCLOSURE - I'm a paid employee of PeanutButterPAC, a progressive PAC founded right here on the Blogosphere!

In fact, I think that we are in a process of transition, the sort of process that is analogous to what causes alcoholics to either change or die, when they hit bottom.

I first became convinced that a such 'transitional' course of events would be likely if the GOP won the 2004 election. A country that re-elected the criminals that had captured American government in 2000 was either defective or out of control.

I envisioned the 2d Bush term would be epitomized as 'vultures stripping the carcass' and they pretty much lived up to that preconception.

But, then, when Obama took office and refused to do anything other than 'look forward', it meant -- to me -- that all of the rust and rot and wreckage that had settled in would go unexamined and would remain unrepaired.

The ancient Irish or Chinese salutation (which is it?) applies fully: we are living the most interesting of times.  

If I'm anywhere near right, well, welcome to a wild ride!  My preconceptions have not been informed as to what lies in store for such a transition except that, although interesting, I can't imagine it's going to continue to be the tons of fun it's been already.

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"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government in a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." - Thomas Jefferson