Vicki Robin, host of the podcast “What Could Possibly Go Right?” asks her interviewees to explore and examine the avenues towards a better future. Robin begins her interview with ILSR Co-Director Stacy Mitchell by asking, “In this moment of great turmoil what promise do you see on the horizon?” In other words, what could possibly go right?
“We are in the midst of an extraordinary shift in how people think about the problem of monopoly power,” Stacy answers. The very ideologies that contributed to a devastating forty-year period of unbridled corporate power are finally being discredited. At various points in our history, corporate power has reared its head. But we have retaliated and taken advantage of that moment to reinstate antitrust policies. We are at a critical juncture, a key marker in our history where we can reinvigorate our antitrust laws.
The rise of corporate consolidation coincided with the rise of an identity shift, Stacy explained. Powerful leaders branded Americans as “consumers” instead of “citizens,” transitioning power that was more decentralized to economic and political power in the hands of a select few. As Stacy tells it, “Our power as consumers is incredibly limited but our muscle as citizens is very powerful.” If we are going to build a democratic economy, we must restore our power as citizens.
Amidst the whirlwind of a fractured economic system, the “potential of revolution is recognizing that we are all experts in this because we all experience it.” She reminds listeners that our experiences as citizens are what we can use to incite change. Robin asks Stacy to leave one question with the audience for them to ponder as part of their commitment to change the world. She asks, “What do you know in your own experience about how economic power is exercised in ways that are fundamentally undemocratic?”
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