I’M NOT WORRIED ABOUT THE RUSSIANS—AND ONLY MILDLY ABOUT THE CHINESE
I’M WORRIED ABOUT THESE GUYS—THE MAJOR U.S CORPORATIONS (such as listed in the graphic below).
WE LIVE IN A CORPORATELY CONTROLLED OLIGOPOLISTIC (the stage just before monopoly) STATE.
CORPORATIONS NOW HAVE A LOCK ON JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING WE DO—AND MOST OF WHAT WE THINK (since they control the media)—FROM BIRTH TO DEATH.
LAND OF THE FREE!
YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING!
We should be concerned by the fact that such a small group of corporations controls so much. Such dominance makes the myth that corporations are controlled through competition into a joke.
Corporations strive for monopoly as hard as they can—and, aided by Big Finance, they normally achieve it. They buy it. They have no problem getting the money. Big banks lend to big corporations. They hate lending to small businesses—far too much work. Big is good. Bigger is better. Biggest of all is the aspiration.
Most market sectors in the U.S. are now operated by a handful of major corporations—which constitute de facto monopolies. A monopoly is the antithesis of a free market.
That is not good.
Big Food, for instance, kills Americans wholesale (millions per year). Its over-processed foods are made from nutritionally inadequate raw material (from Big Agriculture) lose even more nutrition through over-processing—and then have an excess of salt, fat, sugar, chemicals, and other unspeakable things added.
We are talking the equivalent of the negative health effects of tobacco on steroids.
Look around at the health consequences of Corporate America.
- Half of adults under 65 are on meds—and almost all over that age (and multiple at that).
- Most are overweight.
- Chronic conditions are practically the norm—and all sorts of conditions like autism are increasing..
- We die three years sooner than the citizens of other developed nations. Quite why we obsess about terrorism when our way of live is killing us off a 1,000 days before these decadent Europeans escapes me. And those damn Europeans have long vacations.
- Our political system is dominated by corporate interests and the ultra rich who own them. Is this the way representative democracy is supposed to work? No. There theory is that the people we elect are supposed to represent us—not their paymasters. According to extensive research (and common sense) who do they listen to? Their paymasters, of course.
If communism and fascism were the two great threats of the 20th century, it seems fairly clear that corporate domination is the threat of the 21st—except that it is more than a threat. It is the current reality.
Can democracy survive? Not unless corporate power is controlled and balanced. There are few signs of that happening in the U.S. The situation is somewhat better in Europe—particularly in what I tend to think of as Northern Europe (Scandinavia, Germany, Austria etc.). Incidentally, Northern Europe has a population roughly comparable to that of the U.S.—though a higher standard of living for most of its citizens.
One counter-argument re corporate control of the media is the internet. Well, I would like to believe that the internet will save the day, but experience to date suggests that:
- It is primarily used as a distraction and escape.
- In all too many cases, it absorbs, smothers, and muffles protest. Its effects are too fragmented and are dissipated.
- In that it can be monitored so effectively, it gives those with power—government and corporations—unparalleled social control.
- In the final analysis, it is controlled by corporations through the ISPs.
Personally, I don’t think corporations should be abolished. A corporation is an extremely useful and effective social legal mechanism for achieving objectives (whatever they may be). However, like pretty much everything where humans are concerned, there need to be some rules and they need to be kept in check.
That isn’t happening right now in the U.S. and, apart from all the self-evident negative consequences, our flawed system of democracy is going down the tubes. “Is going” may well be an optimistic assessment.
I don’t find that acceptable.
Is the situation recoverable? Theoretically, yes. In practice, most people don’t seem to care—or don’t believe they can do anything about it.
So is writing about the issue pointless?
I don’t think so. Just because a situation looks hopeless doesn’t mean it is—and Iive in hopes I will have some impact, even if small.
That apart, I enjoy thinking and writing about such matters. Intellectual thought—even if it accomplishes nothing other than exercising the brain—glow and warms rather like a good fire—and I like to bask in it. Besides, all action starts with thought—and many things seem impossible at the beginning. When they are achieved, we tend to take them for granted.
Is my writing corporately controlled? That’s really a philosophical question—and a whole other blog. But, I would be intellectually dishonest if I did not concede that I am dependent on corporately owned media for much of my source material—and doubtless am influenced to some extent by corporate propaganda.
All I can say is that I do my best to have an independent cast of mind.
VOR words 855.