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Do we live under corporate rule?
Examples of Corporate Rule
Corporations control our elected representatives through large donations. The corporate wealthy in the USA and elsewhere give substantial sums of money to their chosen political party. The government of the day then becomes subservient to their paymaster. The same government is then obliged to cultivate a favourable business culture above all other considerations, even when the same banks and businesses operate with little or no regard for the citizens of the state. Political candidates simply advance the interests of their investors. Capitalism prevents a meaningful participation of citizens in the affairs of the state. We simply ratify the interests of one powerful political/economic group and their set of candidates against another group. All are dependent on the financial support of big business, directly and indirectly. Politicians wave a finger of mild concern at big bankers and corporations for their huge salaries and bonuses but take no real action against their paymasters.
Corporations control workers. Major corporations rely upon a culture of wage slaves worldwide working every hour possible to pay off their debts, especially mortgages, student loans, cars and credit card bills. They will employ young citizens for weeks on trial without paying them any salary. Workers in poor nations receive a pathetically low monthly income, barely enough to support their families, and often work in conditions that are a violation of health and safety.
Corporations control legislation. Major corporations force through freedom from government interference in society through lowering taxation to get people to spend more rather than pay taxes for the welfare of the poor. Corporate world enjoys major tax breaks for the wealthy. They avoid paying tax as much as possible. They use tax havens. They mnimise legislation to enables corporations to exploit natural resources of land, forests, water, air, oil and gas regardless of the consequence for present and future generations. Theyemploy an army of lawyers to avoid paying compensation or offering minimum payment, for causing environmental destruction.
Corporations control what appears on our streets. They advertise their products in posters, billboards and neon lights. There is no permission for local communities to invite their artists to display freely their art on billboards and highways as well as our streets in villages, towns and cities. Statues on our streets primarily consist of powerful leaders, warlords, and monuments to those who faithfully served and died for their leaders. British warlords include Winston Churchill, Admiral Nelson and Oliver Cromwell. The occasional displays of graffiti reflect the small gestures of protest.
Corporate world controls the arts. Corporations largely determine the available of the arts since they control much of the funding. Advertising agencies promote the goods of their clients on the cinema screen, including alcohol, cigarettes and junk food with all of the devastating health consequences. The cartel of alcohol and tobacco companies promotes their products in cinemas worldwide. Around 90% of all films (movies) show actors in the film smoking cigarettes.
Corporations controls sport. They pay huge sums for sports stars to advertise their products. Sports stars have to sign contracts to tie them completely to the product. They are not allowed to dress or use in public similar items of another company. They have reduced sport to a marketable product. Sport stars or their teams have to refrain from expressing any political or social views, now matter how compassionate. Any political views from sport stars might affect sales as their views might turn off customers with different political views from buying their products. Billionaires buy up major sports clubs for their personal entertainment. Sportsmen and women have become modern day gladiators for wealthy CEOs.
Corporations target the young to make them into consumers. They promote their brand image to the very young to wear their designer labels, buy their junk food and watch their television programmes funded through advertising. Parents find themselves regularly tormented by their children to buy products of certain companies.
Corporations target sex to promote their products. You will find overt sexual innuendos to sell every product from cars, to food, to clothes, to just about everything. Porn is the biggest industry on the Internet. Gambling is high up there as well. Intensification of desire around sex for men and women reflects in dress, magazines and social life.
Corporations and the Media Empire control the streets. Using the law, the police ensure that street protests start and begin within times and locations agreeable to the authorities. The police regularly act with violence to provoke violence so that the newspapers the following day report the violence rather than the reasons for the protest. Media empires marginalise protest through hostile reporting thus keeping the streets clear for shoppers. Our streets do not belong to us but to the government, business and the police.
Corporations control the media who disseminate information. Aside from the occasional column, the questioning of capitalism, corporations and democracy virtually remain off limits. Why? Newspapers depend on advertising. Who from? Corporations. Newspapers cannot afford to lose their clients. So they very rarely challenge specific corporations who buy advertising space in their newspaper. The media offers a narrow debate on economic ideology and the consequences of capitalism. Those who question the ideology of economic growth remain marginalised because that would reduce profit margins. Protests against big banks, corporations and the concentration of wealth and power are tolerated in the short term and then the police move in.
Corporations control education. Schools, colleges and universities largely function to meet the needs of corporations, the media, industry and the market. Corporations monopolise television stations, journals and scientific research. Through their lobby groups, they put more and more pressure on governments to control the freedom of the InterNet to suit their terms. Children and young people spend more and more time study in schools and at home to meet corporate demands upon leaving school or university. The demands of government and business rob children and young people of their chance to play, have fun and a happy emotional life.
Corporations determine diet. Supermarkets and fast food chains have substantial influence over a nation’s diet. There is an epidemic of obesity caused more through the actual food eaten than the amount of food. Food experts appealed to the food industry to mark their products with three traffic light symbols. Red would show high levels of salt, sugar and fat. Amber would show medium levels. Green would show low levels of salt, sugar and fat. The cartel of the food industry blocked such regulations as it would reduce dramatically the consumption of fast food, even though it leads to countless ills costing billions every year to taxpayers as well as distress and anxiety to the unhealthy and their families.
Corporations control medicine. For example, corporations determine the health policies for the World Health Organisation (WHO). The WHO has determined that AIDS, smoking and birth control take priority. Although these are important health issues, it ensures that the WHO has moved away from its original vision of aid for the desperately poor and sick adults and children living in poor nations in Africa and parts of Asia. The current WHO priorities serve the interests of the West. Administrative costs take a toll on the budget.
Corporations provide all the equipment for surveillance. This includes surveillance on the streets, shopping malls, DNA database. The UK House of Lord Constitution Committee said UK citizens lie in a surveillance society. The Committee said growth in surveillance by both the private sector and the State risked threatening people’s rights. The UK’s DNA database is the “largest in the world”, the report concluded. Police in England, Wales and Northern Ireland can take DNA and fingerprints from anybody arrested on suspicion of a recordable offence and the samples can be held indefinitely whether people are charged or not. The UK has the highest numbers of cameras in public places (more than 40,000) per population in the world. Powerful sections of the media have engaged in phone hacking and illegal surveillance in Britain on certain citizens to obtain stories to create a scandal to sell newspapers..
Corporations control the economy of countries in severe debt. They welcome the immense opportunities that arise when a country finds itself in a massive debit crisis. World Bank and the International Monetary Fund ( IMF), both based near the White House, Washington DC, tell debt ridden countries to sell off to the private sector their public assets such as land, forests, reservoirs, ports, airports, railways, gas, electricity and roads. They will order debt ridden governments to cut salaries and staff in the public sector, eliminate social programmes and dramatically reduce the range of public services.
Corporations benefit from the launching of a war and seeing it continue. A war provides one of the greatest opportunities for business. It allows the so-called defence industry to create and manufacture more weapons paid for by taxation. It supports the military efforts to destroy the weapons of another country and thus create another market at the end of the war. The longer the war continues the greater the number of contracts with the government. In the so called theatre of war, it allows the use of application of new weapons on the enemy as well as providing countless jobs to private contractors. On the defeat of the enemy, it means new markets open up as the West installs obedient governments, ensures the privatisation of all resources and converts citizens into consumers. In the name of freedom and democracy, Western warlords ignore the simple principle that we need the freedom to swing our arms as long as we don’t hit somebody else on the nose.
Corporations encourage debt. They tell customers to purchase a product this year and pay for it next year. Customers are persuaded to buy two items and get one free. Customers are told of big discounts when the prices were made high in the weeks before the sale. Corporations hire psychologists, use focus groups and various strategies to get customers to buy. Advertising agencies have paid alcoholics to look at promotions of alcohol to see which photos or film make them feel most thirsty.
Previous generations of citizens have had to resist Fascism, Communism and other authoritarian regimes. We now have Corporatism, an authoritarian regime – exploitive of citizens, controlling. destructive of lives world wide and consuming natural resources at terrifying speed. Freedom is limited to a choice of consumer goods and saying what you like as long as Corporatism remains in control.
Corporate rule controls far too much of our lives at work, home and leasure.