#118 A Corporate Republic (2004)

All Rights Reserved © 2004 Thomas W. Day

For the last few days, I've been considering the results of this last election.  I've wondered why the results, from the beginning of the Presidential campaign two years ago to Tuesday, needed to be as destructive as they were.  I've wondered why Florida, New Mexico, and Ohio's elections so desperately needed to be thrown to George Bush, regardless of the choices made by individual voters.  I've worried that my country no longer counts individual votes for some secret, evil reason and I've tried to understand that reason. 

I think I do understand.  It's all been there for me to see for my entire life.  As President Rutherford Hayes said a few decades back, the United States is a republic "of the corporation, by the corporation, and for the corporation."  We all know this, even if we still hope that it isn't true.  In the US, Corporations have more power, rights, and freedom than individual humans.  Corporate execs can even contract or mass-produce murder with little fear of prosecution.  The politically correct term is "the defense industry," but after Iraq and G.W. Bush nobody outside of this country will ever call it that again.  The United States is clearly an aggressor and we have stepped past "offense" well into offensive.  Corporations making medical products do it all the time.  The military-industrial complex bases its output on murder.  Companies that abuse the nation's natural resources and spew toxic pollution into the air and water have happily murdered children and adults for decades.  Our current system of government has been specially designed to allow corporations to prosper from the death, dismemberment, and illness of individual citizens. 

We are a corporate republic, not a representative democracy.  Individuals no longer matter to the government we have allowed to exist.  Even worse, we are now trying to export this awful form of government to the rest of the world.  Our experiment in "nation building" in Iraq is just an extension of the nation building we've attempted all over the world.  All of the "freedom" drivel aside, the purpose of the Iraq invasion was to assume power over their oil assets.  It's no more sophisticated than that.  South America has suffered, for nearly 100 years, from our attempts to build corporate-oriented nations. We've tossed off South American elected governments when they tried to restrict the "rights" of US agribusiness and dope peddlers. 

In the last two decades, Europe and, especially, Asia have succumbed to the US corporate-oriented form of government.  In many of those countries, individual humans have become nothing more than slaves to their corporate manufacturing masters.  Those same countries are where the United States has shown that it values economic relationships far above human rights. 

The Corporation, a film that studied corporate behavior as if it were an individual human, found those organizations to be functionally sociopathic.  As its reference, the film used the DSM-IV-TR, the manual psychiatry designed for use in the diagnosis of mental disorders.  The characteristics of anti-social personality disorder (aka: sociopathic and psychopathic behaviors) are determined from consistent behavior described in the following:

  1. failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest
  2. deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure
  3. impulsivity or failure to plan ahead
  4. irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults
  5. reckless disregard for safety of self or others
  6. consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations
  7. lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another

Anyone who spent a moment of time in the belly of a corporation, especially a Fortune 500 corporation knows that most of this list constitutes "performance standards" within those organizations.  Personally, I witnessed those exact behaviors within two medical devices corporations, repeatedly, from corporate execs and the actions of the corporation.  In fact, any corporation that does not act psychopathically is violating US law by not protecting the interests of its investors above all other considerations.  Corporate ethics are very different from human ethics.

Robert Pirsig, in his book Lila, wrote about society being the higher animal: the entity that is the next, massive, step up the food chain from individual humans.  One piece of critical information that he missed is that the individual members of US society are corporations, not humans.  Individual humans are nothing more than cogs in the wheels of corporations.  The society we serve is populated by corporations, not humans.  Humans are two steps removed from being at the top of the world's food chain.  If individual humans decide to act in their own interests, which will usually be opposed to the interests of corporations, the corporations simply force their governments to ignore that human intervention.  That is what happened in this election.

Currently (and for the last 100 years), Republicans are the purest corporate political party, but they are followed closely by the Democrats.  Both parties are sponsored and directed by their corporate masters and neither offer a hopeful choice to individual citizens.  Without the sponsorship of corporations and their executives, neither party would attract much attention or loyalty from individual citizens.  The only intelligent citizens who do pay serious attention to the major parties are CEOs and wanna-be-CEOs.

CEOs are not necessarily evil folks, although they are certainly not the kind of people that you'd invite to your home for dinner with your family.  However, acting to serve the needs of the institutions of which they are barely a vital organ, they regularly do evil deeds.  The gigantic salaries they receive induce them to do whatever evil tasks their corporate group-mind needs done, even when those acts are obviously harmful to the world, the nation, and their communities.  With the assets of the corporation, CEOs have caused an amazing amount of damage to our democracy and the nation.

The politicians who write laws to benefit corporations, at the expense of the lives of the individuals and communities they pretend to represent, are probably not evil.  But, the organizations that put them in their offices are absolutely evil by design.  So, the laws the politicians write and promote have harmful intent and effect.  In this case, the ends and the means are identical. 

The corporation has not been a successful organization, from an evolutionary standpoint.  Corporations have served to promote overpopulation, world-climate-altering pollution, vanishing natural resources, and heartless social injustice.  The corporate social model is self-destructive and it may destroy the species that serves it.  It has already destroyed our representative democracy.  If the US continues to export this form of government to the world, most of us may live to reap the "rewards."  A psychopath, in any form, is a dangerous, irrational being.  Allowing psychopathic institutions to direct the nation's political system is suicidal. 

No comments:

Post a Comment