Perhaps you saw the photo. It showed Barack Obama with a group of his supporters holding signs bearing the word "change." And news analysts informed us that one reason the Clinton campaign faltered (they apparently don’t consider the possibility that the people simply didn’t want her) was that she underestimated the public’s desire for "change."

I doubt it. In the first place, the last thing any establishment-approved politician would desire is change. In the second, if the people actually wanted change, they could have picked Ron Paul, who would bring about real, not simply rhetorical, change.

For instance, what "change" has Obama proposed, which would not be likely to occur under a Clinton presidency? Can his supporters actually cite specific significant changes that he would effect when elected? Would he, for example, abolish the Federal Reserve? Would he "privatize" social security? Would he, in contrast to Clinton’s proposal to broaden Medicare, recommend its abolition? Would he do away with myriad alphabet agencies? Of course not. Neither would she.

Moreover, the idea that the people can bring about some change in government by voting is mistaken, if not downright false. Is it reasonable to believe that the largest corporation in the country, if not the world, is going to put its leadership positions up for grabs every few years? I realize that the shareholders of corporations are occasionally asked to vote for members of the board of directors, but in my (admittedly very limited) experience, the candidates are simply shown to us, with a brief biographical note. I can’t recall any instance of a candidate indicating what, if anything, he was going to change if elected. And if a newly elected CEO were to take the company in a direction that shareholders disliked, they could sell their shares. If the President takes the country in a direction that I dislike, can I sell my shares? And, of course, I became a shareholder (in the "private sector") in the first place voluntarily, and can dispose of my shares at any time.

If I vote for a candidate who promises change, but fails to provide it, can I call for a vote to oust him? If, once in office, he lies to us, and makes us think the situation vis–vis the corporation is rosier than it actually is, can we indict him, la Enron?

The only change we can expect from any new president is a continuation, perhaps at an accelerated rate, toward totalitarianism. The people who make changes in government policy and basic philosophy are behind the scenes. We are treated (if that’s the word) to the spectacle of political campaigns as part of a psychological exercise whose purpose is to provide the illusion of choice. This culminates in an election in which people pick a president, senator, etc. But the outcome is unimportant, in almost all cases, because any of the candidates is acceptable to the government’s owners and operators.

If people want change, let them stay home on election day. The outcome will be no different, but the rulers might get the message that people no longer want to participate in the charade of voting. Perhaps — and wouldn’t this be wonderful!! — they might even get the idea that the people have become fed up with the very concept of government!

Dr. Hein [send him mail] is author of All Work & No Pay, which is out of print, but may occasionally be obtained on eBay.

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