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Monday, July 16, 2012

How corporations control America

Well, it is safe to say that you will not see articles like this in the mainstream (i.e., corporate) news).

This is from Alternet:
Photo Credit:
The great power struggle of the 20th century was the competition between Soviet-style communism and "free-market" corporatism for domination of the world's resources. In America, it's taken for granted that Soviet communism lost (though China's more capitalist variant seems to be doing well), and the superiority of neo-liberal economics -- as epitomized by the great multinational corporations -- was thus affirmed for all time and eternity.

There's a small problem with this, though. An old bit of wisdom says: choose your enemies carefully, because over time, you will tend to become the very thing you most strongly resist. One of the most striking things about our victorious corporations now is the degree to which they've taken on some of the most noxious and Kafkaesque attributes of the Soviet system -- too often leaving their employees, customers, and other stakeholders just as powerless over their own fates as the unhappy citizens of those old centrally planned economies of the USSR were back in the day.

It's not just that the corporations have taken control over our government (though that's awful enough). It's also that they've taken control over -- and put serious limits on -- our choices regarding what we buy, where we work, how we live, and what rights we have. Our futures are increasingly no longer our own: more and more decisions, large and small, that determine the quality of our lives are being made by Politburo apparatchiks at a Supreme Corporate Soviet somewhere far distant from us. Only now, those apparatchiks are PR and marketing executives, titans of corporate finance, lobbyists for multinationals, and bean-counting managers trying to increase profits at the expense of our freedom.

The rest of the article discusses how Americans are being controlled by large corporations, generally even as it highly pleases us because first and foremost we are consumers looking to simply buy (and have) more for less (and as little as possible). In other words, we like it.

There is information here about how it impacts shopping, health care, education, and on and on.

The only mention of crime is this:

"Our increasingly privatized and militarized law enforcement is starting to owe a lot to the brutal Soviet policing style, too. We have gulags now -- and the corporations are running them, too."

That is something that is lost on even most criminal justice majors -- the links between large corporatiosn and crime control mechanisms such as policing and especially corrections. And as long as the media are owned and controlled by corporations with the same overriding interests of making profit, they probably will not learn such lessons.

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