11/13/2009

Taking Sides

Every once in a while, a wingnut confronts me for my opinions of poor government management. "It seems incongruent that you are critical of the policies of a style of governance that you apparently are strongly in favor of," goes the argument. This "analysis came from a comment I made about the Faux News' bias and stupidity that led into an article about how foolish it is for a city to paper its streets with parking meters and, then, whine about the lack of business downtown. I don't see the inconsistency. Money is the source of both corruptions and idiocies. Corporations are the source of the money. I'm bitching about the same problem showing its face in more than one place.

You can't get a political office in the US unless you have corporate money behind you. The overwhelming majority news comes from conservative corporate sources and most Americans get their information from these low-brow, biased, corrupt sources. Corporations are, by design, psychopathic and short-sighted. They don't care if they kill themselves as long as the parasites within are rich when the host dies. Who is surprised when an executive turns out to be a Madoff, Petters, Lay, Skilling, Fastow, Ebbers, Sullivan, or any of the other mobsters who wore suits and took up valuable space in corporate offices? Anyone who's worked in a Fortune 500 corporation knows that scum floats to the top of most corporate structures. It's not a surprise that some of these douchebags get caught, it's the result of contaminated government that most of the nation's CE?'s aren't in jail. Corporate crooks aren't the exception, they are the rule.

As for the flaws of government, Soviet Russia and both China's demonstrated how corrupt government can get. Like corporations, their fatal flaw was arrogance. Like corporations, that fatal flaw didn't show itself quickly enough to cause the biggest criminals much pain. Societies move glacially. You can get away with a lot in one human lifetime, if you create a big enough crime. Steal a loaf of bread three times and you're in jail for life. Steal an entire nation's wealth and you get a federal bailout and pat-on-the-hand regulations and a boatload of sympathy from Faux News and parades by the Teabaggers. Seriously, go figure.

If you're a mindless freemarketer I suppose you can imagine and anticipate a world government by corporations. Piles of refuse hidden away from the rich and heaped over the working class and poor. (They deserve it, right? They are poor.) Rivers streaming with floating garbage and saturated with chemicals, but there will still be bottled water and special reservoirs to supply the rich. Mountains cut flat for their minerals. Oil fields left as poisoned fields of contaminates for future generations (if there are any) to deal with. An enforced separation of infinitely rich owners and desperately poor slaves with no civil rights or hope for the second class citizens. A justice system (like our current Supreme Court) that enforces the worst traits of humans and human organizations and represses community and individual rights for the advantage of the rich and powerful. No invention, no creativity (the idle rich don’t have the inclination, ability, energy, or time for innovation), no future, and no hope for anyone who doesn’t already possess power and wealth. Sounds like the worst of communism, to me. Which is why I can’t tell the difference between a corporatocracy and any other totalitarian state.

The only state or world I have any hope for is a democratic one. Any system, including corporations, that are not democratic are useless and corrupt. That’s where I stand. That’s where I’ll live.

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

The idea that a corporation could, in any way, be less corrupt, more competent, more responsive, more valueable to society than a democratic government is insane and completely out of touch with reality.

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