Our commercial class does perceive itself to be in competition with government (private v. public corporations) in the interest of managing and manipulating the population for fun and profit. If we don’t appreciate that, it’s largely because we don’t conceive of the manipulation of people as the primary function of government. Although some irascible and unwieldy people are in need of restraint and deterrence, the liberal expectation for government is that it address the vagaries of nature and the natural impediments to human sustenance and survival. That is, we’re into caring and sharing, rather than control.
Of course, if regulating the natural environment is to enjoy success, people have to be able to perceive it objectively — to be able to identify the trees in the forest, so to speak. Situationally unaware people aren’t able to do that. They don’t see their environment. They just feel that it suits them, or not and respond accordingly, taking what they like and rejecting what they don’t.
If, for whatever reason, they don’t like most of the people around them, their response is to undermine them. Commerce helps them do that without any cost to themselves. That’s why it’s called the “free market.” Commerce makes it possible to inflict injury and perpetrate deprivation without a negative consequence for the agent. Indeed, the agents of commerce derive a profit from distributing schlock. The lower the quality, the higher the profit.
And that’s true of politicians, when they’re marketed like Froot Loops, as well. What started out as the “selling of the President,” has morphed into an industry, a variant of human husbandry, touting the mere husks of politicians. Cardboard cutouts would have more substance and be less deceptive.
Imagine a candidate in a poke.