making a killing?

“This country is controlled by corporations and that is the root of all our problems.” -Bill Maher, Oct. 22, 2004

Do corporations need to be ‘reined in’ or eradicated for the good of the world? It’s no secret that some view corporations as the root of all evil and profit as a cardinal sin. The problem I have with those who believe corporations are the root of our problems is that their solutions embrace more government economic control at the expense of individual freedom and that is not a prescription for something better, but something worse.

From the Gracchus brothers to Karl Marx there have always been self-proclaimed revolutionaries who use the rich as a scapegoat to advance their agenda. The truth is throughout history the rich have generally been a pretty oppressive lot. But then 'the rich' and 'the government' were mostly one and the same. Meaning that he who had the reigns of government had total control of the economy too, and guess what, they always got the largest slice of the pie. This is precisely what I am against. The more economic control is separated from government the better.

The very definition of capitalism requires a government to safeguard private property, enforce contracts, and be a fair arbiter for criminal and civil affairs. What opponents so often characterize as capitalism is just anarchy and lawlessness. Sometimes they can't even explain their opposition except in nebulous terms of feelings and reflexive opposition.

Corporations are stifling our lives. Not only economically, where they can claim, arguably, that they bring prosperity (and, frankly, I'm certainly not schooled enough in economics to argue that point pro or con), but aesthetically speaking, culturally speaking, spiritually speaking. They flatten everything. They are the Big Empty.

...The war against the corporations is profound. They are deadening human existence. That, I think, is the buried core of the outrage people feel most generally. There is, after all, a profound difference between corporations and capitalism itself, at least so long as capitalism remains small business.

...To win this war will take, at least, 50 years and a profound revolution in America. Norman Mailer

That's Norman Mailer's contribution to why corporations must be fought-- in a war no less. But what is ironic to me is that this issue of 'aesthetics' is put in such stark terms of black and white, good and evil by those who claim in all other things that there is no such thing. Then on top of it point out that the enemy who is 'endangering our moral, cultural, aesthetic, and spiritual lives' is the one following a Nazi example of demonizing its foes to lead people to 'war'.

..."Naturally, the common people don't want war, but after all, it is the leaders of a country who determine the policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag people along whether it is a democracy, or a fascist government, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country."

That was Hermann Goering speaking at the Nuremberg trials after World War II. It is one thing to be forewarned. Will we ever be forearmed?

So even though corporations arguably bring prosperity, they are at the same time 'destroying our minds, hearts, and souls'. I can't help but think that the real passion is not being fully disclosed.

"...at least so long as capitalism remains small business." So then the solution to the 'corporate problem' is to keep the business interest small and controllable. This issue is more one of rival economic control in the mind of progressives. Progressives do not want economic freedom, they want total economic control according to 'progressive' principles.

According to progressive ideology corporations should have no say in the political process. They would then be at the complete mercy of whatever arbitrary law progressives can dream up. They should not be allowed to advertise or make campaign contributions. In fact, the law giving corporations the legal right to do business and exist at all should be repealed. They should be prohibited from donating any money to anyone, including charities and schools. Should not be allowed to own stock of other corporations. Should not be able to go out of business without it and stockholders being made liable for any debts of the company, including vaguely defined 'environmental debts'.

Since they are essentially criminal by their very nature, proposing their abolition is no great stretch. Corporations like Clear Channel, Walmart, Monsanto, and McDonalds are considered some of the most criminal and in fact are the top four in this list of the most criminal corporations of the world. (American companies all. I guess Clear Channel is guilty of being conservative? Is that why it heads the list?)

As even Normal Mailer cannot argue that they've made us poorer, they are only 'spiritually' impoverishing us. I submit that they are guilty of competing with the progressive view of spirituality and therefore must be eradicated. Substitute any other spirituality for corporate and what you have is religious bigotry. If one says radical Islam must be abolished you are a religious bigot. Say corporations must be abolished, and well, you are enlightened.

In fact most us are worse terrorists than Abu Zarqawi for supporting our corporate led overconsuptive, unsustainable, culturally genocidal culture!

Most terrorists have mundane, apparently peaceful lives, but are just as cruel as those who behead for an internet audience. They are you and me, ordinary people consuming much too much, leading an unsustainable lifestyle, committing cultural genocide on the vast majority of humanity, plundering non-western economies in the name of free trade, and imposing our lifestyle and morality on the rest of humanity. Yes, terrorists r (also) us! adbusters.org

If it is wrong for corporations to have too much economic control why isn't it wrong for government, a true monopoly, to have too much economic control? Democrats and progressives rarely see any limit or principle of limitation to what kind of economic laws should be passed. In fact anything that detracts from the government from feeding the poor is by definition an attempt to starve people.

The truth is that corporations like Wal-Mart are enriching our world not destroying it. Making life easier for the masses, not more restricted. Perhaps if you wanted to get corporate money out of politics you should consider getting the politicians out of the business of meddling with business. Microsoft is a good example of a company that made no real political contributions until the government began it's shakedown. Bill gates got the message and Microsoft now contributes massive amounts of money to political causes, out of self-protection.

Posted by Eric Simonson at December 22, 2004 4:41 PM