Greg Nowell GN842 at CNSVAX.Albany.Edu
Mon Dec 21 09:34:00 PST 1998

Doug my website source,, gives $43 million in lobbying in the first six months of this year; in addition to the now well-developed skew in campaign contributions. I think there is more to this than you allow.

Moreover, the big democratic recipients of tobacco money were southerners, so you total figures do not reflect an even bigger skew when the regional factor is weighed. While it is as a general rule prudent for capital to "buy both sides" it is nonetheless indicative of big movements in the way thigns work when money starts pouring into one party only.

Parliamentary democracy started as a system to represent fractious nobles. It is now a system for representing fractious capitalists. Every now and then the lower classes can take advantage and get a bone tossed their way. It's not what we were taught in high school but that's what it is. To understand epiphenomenal political developments (like impeachment) you need to understand the movements of money. Larger kinds of changes (as in the mode of production) aren't hurt byt his approach, but there are of course even larger issues at stake. In most "normal" capitalist political bickering the system's transformation is not at stake. Regardless of whether we have a tobacco congress or a non-tobacco congress we will still have capitalism. But that was true even in the struggle of the north against the slavocracy. But there could be major secondary effects, not just on the health of potential smokers, but on the ability of other elements of our society to advance their agenda.


-- Gregory P. Nowell Associate Professor Department of Political Science, Milne 100 State University of New York 135 Western Ave. Albany, New York 12222

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