Inflation is largely attributable to the enormous concentration of power and wealth in the hands of four or five corporations, Michael Ansara, '68, staff director for Mass. Fair Share, a community organizing group, said yesterday.
In a talk at Leverett House, Ansara said that "this concentration is the determining factor in the politics of the period, including the upcoming election, and the recent "tax revolt."
The business community has undertaken an "ideological mobilization" to convince the American public that all economic troubles stem from government red tape, government spending, unions, and other factors besides business, Ansara said.
An upsurge in the right-wing populist movement is related to this, Ansara said, adding that in almost any period of great change, "there is a tremendous longing for the mythic past...a past that leaves out the realities of depression, unemployment, war, and the misery of Blacks. This idea has a tremendous hold on people whose institutions have crumbled around them" he said.
Longing for the past is reinforced by the corporate message that all would be well if we would just go back to the values that characterized American capitalism in its heyday of 100 to 150 years ago, Ansara said.
"Most of us in American have grown up taught to take orders, with the feeling that ordinary people cannot shape destiny," Ansara said, adding that "in order to start a serious movement for the redistribution of wealth, we must start by teaching people that they can make history."