Subject: File No. 4-637
From: Francis Schilling

November 9, 2013

"Inverted totalitarianism, unlike classical totalitarianism, does not revolve around a demagogue or charismatic leader. It finds its expression in the anonymity of the corporate state. It purports to cherish democracy, patriotism and the Constitution while cynically manipulating internal levers to subvert and thwart democratic institutions. Political candidates are elected in popular votes by citizens, but they must raise staggering amounts of corporate funds to compete. They are beholden to armies of corporate lobbyists in Washington or state capitals who write the legislation. A corporate media controls nearly everything we read, watch or hear and imposes a bland uniformity of opinion or diverts us with trivia and celebrity gossip. In classical totalitarian regimes, such as Nazi fascism or Soviet communism, economics was subordinate to politics.  Under inverted totalitarianism the reverse is true, economics dominates politics — and with that domination comes different forms of ruthlessness."  Sheldon S. Wolin in Democracy Incorporated

The Wolin quote sums it up perfectly in my opinion. This "inverted totalitarianism" is precisely and wholly the result of a ruling corporate plutocracy which, in spite of delusions to the contrary, is what my beloved United States has devolved into.  When is my government going to start fulfilling its regulatory responsibilities and STOP acting as a rubber stamp for the corporatization of our country?!


Thus, I am writing to urge the Securities and Exchange Commission to issue a rule requiring publicly traded corporations to publicly disclose all their political spending – and to do so this year.

“Dark money” groups that accept contributions from corporations, but are not required to publicly identify their corporate donors, spent millions of dollars during the 2012 elections. It is a scandal that money from publicly traded corporations – which belongs to investors – can be secretly spent to distort our democracy.

The Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission created the loophole that enables this secret spending, but the SEC has the authority to close it.

Both shareholders and the public must be fully informed as to how much corporations spend on politics and which candidates are being promoted or attacked. Disclosures should be posted promptly on the SEC’s web site.

Thank you for considering my comment.

Francis Schilling

Vail, AZ