Harvard Professor Michael Sandel says there were more private contractors in Iraq during the war than American soldiers.
This isn’t new news, but in the context of his June 2013 TEDTalk, it raises alarming questions about what’s fueling the violence in Israel and Palestine. Certainly, the private contractors who build and sell military equipment, weapons and systems to maintain the Israeli Occupation have a financial incentive to see that the occupation endures. It’s good for the bottom line.
In his TEDTalk, Sandel says the markets have changed our civic life (and I would add our political life) and it’s not good for our democracy. “Democracy doesn’t require perfect equality but it requires that we share in a civic life” which we are losing today.
In the past three decades, says Michael Sandel, the US has drifted from a market economy to a market society; it’s fair to say that an American’s experience of shared civic life depends on how much money they have. (Three key examples: access to education, access to justice, political influence.) In a talk and audience discussion, Sandel asks us to think honestly on this question: In our current democracy, is too much for sale?