Thursday, May 10, 2012

For profit government?

My views on corporate america are pretty obvious. But what you might not know, is I don't actually hate corporations or want to dismantle them. Large scale operations are capable of producing some goods much more efficiently and with less environmental impact. It is the scope of their control I wish too curtail. There are significant portions of the economy that are well within the acceptable purview of corporate america. But like an expansionist empire, they foolishly believe their model works best in all situations, and this is patently false. Corporations are amoral, concerned only with the profit they can ultimately extract and distribute to a small proportion of individuals at the top of the organization.

Where does that leave most of the rest of us? Well most people my age fall into three demographics from a corporate viewpoint. A consumer base to be cajoled and manipulated. A dissonant group to be marginalized. Or labor to be disenfranchised. None of these demographic groups are seen as contributory to society in general. None; from a corporate stand point, have any value past their function to the corporate system. So where do you fall in this system? Well often it is more a ven diagram than a box, with people tending to fill multiple roles supporting the corporate hierarchy.

The consumer. What are the basic elements necessary for life? Food, water, shelter, maybe a case can be made for community and sense of purpose. But we have been led to believe that it takes more than this to "live today". On a lark, I have lived for more than five months now with out a cell phone. Twenty years ago, this was normal, but now when I say it people look at me like I am from another planet. Corporate has a keen understanding of marketing (cognitive science is heavily funded by the private sector), they create social norms via television or other mediums. In essence controlling society in a deep and profound way.

The dissonant. Some of us buck the system, or lack opportunities and are forced into three subsets. Those who strive to play within the letter of the law but fight the spirit of it. These are protesters, or anti-corporatists who resist purchasing corporate goods and services as much as possible. Secondly are those who are desperate enough to break the law. Often becoming drug addicts or gang members. And lastly those who withdraw. These are the rural poor or survivalists. Corporate america, instead of finding ways to coexist, prefer to solve this problem with bigger prisons with thicker walls (which they then can extract a profit from).

Lastly labor. I mean that literally. Labor is vital to the corporate structure. It is where goods and services provided are generated. Coincidentally, this is also where most of the consumer based gets their economy from. In order for a single corporation to be successful (in this case success is measured only by the amount of profit the highest level of management can extract) they must disenfranchise labor as much as possible. The closer they get to slavery, the better. This is accomplished in several ways; out sourcing jobs to countries with cheap labor pools for instance, or by removing required skill sets from an operation through automation, or by preventing organization of labor and collective bargaining rights.

All of this is maintained by the illusion of advancement. Corporate structure is designed to be a closed system. If there was actual room for advancement for everyone, then the model of corporate structure would break down. (see previous posts about predatory capitalism). It is no wonder that the corporate manipulators of our political system see education as an "entitlement", anything that adds value to society with out benefiting some corporate entity would be maligned.

It is time corporate america learned its place again. As equals in the political spectrum with the american people. The government is supposed to provide and control services for everyone in our nation. The undue political influence of a short sighted and amoral entity (in the form of corporate lobbyists) is the single largest threat to our national security today and to the future of our nation.

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