From the Tea Party to Occupy Wall Street, however divergent their political views, these groups seem united by one thing: outrage over a system of power and influence that they feel has stolen their livelihoods and liberties. Increasingly, protesters on both ends of the political spectrum and the media are using the word "corrupt" to describe an elusory system of power that has shed any accountability to those it was meant to help and govern.
But what does corruption and unaccountability mean in today's world? It is far more toxic and deeply rooted than bribery. Advisors, strategists and other private contractors, which make up an ever-increasing share of the government, act in the best interests of their company, versus beholden to the tax payer. Foreign governments with a history of human rights violations, military coups, and more, hire American public relation firms to suppress reports and search results for their crimes. Investigative journalism has been replaced by "truthiness." From Super PACs pouring secret money into our election system, to companies buying better ratings from Standard & Poors, or the extreme influence of lobbyists in congress, all are embody a "new corruption" and remain unaccountable to our society's supposed watchdogs, which sit idly alongside the same groups that have brought the government, business and much of the military in to their pocket.