|by Diane Ravitch|
When ALEC and its faithful friends in think tanks and state legislatures promote "choice," what do they really mean? When the Walton family and their family foundation attack public sector institutions and advocate choice, what do they really want? When they push the Parent Trigger and call it "empowerment," who do they want to empower?
This reader left a comment in which he sees a strategy and a goal in the laws and policies pushed by ALEC, the Waltons and others intent on privatizing the public sector.
"It is a tenet of ALEC that charter schools should be completely unregulated, unsupervised, and unaccountable. The goal is choice, not accountability or results."
"Diane, I think the real goal is the capture of democratic government by corporations--the institution of corporatism in place of democracy. Everything ALEC wants is actually well regulated--but by and for the corporations, who co-opt government police and tax collection functions to their profit; this is often referred to as "corporatism" as used by the Italian proto-Fascists at the turn of the last century, or corporate nationalism.
"The real goal is corporate power; choice is just a canard.
"From everything we've seen "choice" is not the goal of these groups, it's quite the opposite. The corporatist strategy is to convince the public to abandon traditional government services by offering a false "choice" in favor of their corporate counterparts. The choice is false, because political machinations are used to destroy the funding base for public services and the public's faith in the ability of government to provide these services in order to drive the public to "choose" the corporatist vision. By undermining the government, corporatists like ALEC can then install their vision by claiming that the public demands a "choice" between the failed "socialist" government and the "competitive, efficient, effective free market".
"But the reality is not that at all. The reality is a corporate-controlled governmental behemoth that looks and functions much like the old Soviet government, with corrupt corporate and government apparatchiks leeching the vast wealth of the nation while the public suffers without any recourse."