One of the most important aspects of politics today, is the merging of governments with companies and corporations. We can no longer see the line between public and private business – where one ends and the other begins. It seems that where governments are falling and failing, corporations are standing, ready to take over.
In looking at this development, it is not so odd that corporations are taking the lead, as they are build on the principle of profit and financial growth, only abiding the laws of the free market, which gives them power to act in ways that seem unlimited – This is clearly seen when it comes to protecting human rights of workers and in environmental issues, as well as with regards to marketing and public relations – everything and anything goes. In democracies, the governments are bound as the voice of the people and thus answer to the people, elected to provide answers to ideological questions of how to attain and develop harmony and prosperity within our nations. It is a subject that has kept scholars busy for thousands of years. So where governments are bound by bureaucracy and borders, corporations has the freedom to move and act globally, to change at will and to follow the money, rather than the people. Where democratic governments live off votes, the corporations live off profit and these two worlds have now merged, with the introduction of the consumer-citizen as the clue that binds it all together – It is advanced survival 101.
Politics as an executive philosophy of governing reaches back in history to Plato with Socrates and the vision of ‘The Good’ and ‘The State’. The Socratic ideal of rational ruling by those who sees what’s best, is still in play in the modern democracy, however it may have been modified and modernized throughout the years – Market thinking however is commonly sourced to before the industrial revolution as ‘the new boy on the block’, where some clever men found ways to privatize land and labor and thus created the foundation for property and endless prosperity (for the few). Market thinking as an economic strategy has by those who made it a political ideology, been seen as a direct opposite to government thinking. Yet simultaneously it has been ‘The State’ that has guarded and ‘save kept’ our lives and with it various models of democracy and governments, while the market has been the playground for the private entrepreneur, the kid with the lemonade stand. The two seem to have now found a common ground where governments provides the structure for the consumption provided by the corporations – for your pleasure and entertainment.
It does however seem like market thinking is the smarter of the two, as it is coming up with solutions that are far more advanced and far more flexible than the governments, in how to maintain and develop our societies. It is in the industries of privately owned companies that bio-fuel is invented, where windmills is created, and where water purification is taken seriously, as an area of research and development (obviously as an investment opportunity towards maximum profit). It has even been said by economic thinkers of today, that when the crash really hits, the corporations will be there to pick up the pieces (that is us), from the governments that has failed to protect it’s people and thus our countries will be run by corporations, which sole purpose is to create more wealth to those already wealthy, while enslaving the rest to produce, buy and consume, justified by the idea that ‘The good life’ comes with a persistent effort to get the wheels of the economy to turn.
One could ask whether this is not already the politics that is being promulgated by our governments, and if so, do the governments not already exist as corporations or even within the corporations, only existing with the sole purpose of growing and generating profit for a select few? How is it then even relevant to talk about governments anymore from the perspective of knowing and feeling safe that: ‘it’s been taken care off’ – whether we are talking climate changes, Iraq or immigration? Who is it really that is responsible for the mess we are in?
We can see it crumbling as each government is required to take care of its own citizens, while the Global community is being neglected and overlooked, as each country is solely responsible for itself, as each man is for himself, even though the suffering of some is directly due to the exploitation by others – most often done shielded behind of corporations with no political or legal obligations and therefore with the means to do whatever is necessary to squeeze the last drop out of any oil rig or diamond mine in the world. Apparently no one is responsible – and the movement of profit is carefully orchestrated so that no one is held accountable, as each hold their piece of the puzzle and have no control over what anyone else does. This sounds like a conspiracy theory, but it is not, because there is no ‘One’ behind it, which is exactly the point – We are all participating through having our cake and eating the other’s too, and then there are those having no cake at all.
The most fascinating aspect of all of this is that obviously behind governments and corporations are people – but because the corporations have been given a life of their own, as symbols and brands, whatever is done within them is justified because it is not personal – it is business. An example where governments do the same, is with the American government’s handling of the prisoners in Guantanamo bay. The symbol of the company brand called ‘America’, allows the CEO’s to bend their own rules and laws as far as they can, to get what they want – in this case either power or oil, but certainly not justice. In the last century it was the Commies that were the villains, portrayed by 007 heroically taking them on one by one (British by all means, but none the less – it is all ‘Common Wealth’ is it not?). Now we have Ironman battling the Arabs and so the scene is set in primetime to protect our ‘assets’.
Can Governments survive without Corporations? Can we?
Some experts say that governments are only necessary as long as the fear of the people rebelling is relevant. Once the people are pacified sufficiently, they too will become expendable. Politics is no longer about creating the best possible society for everyone on Earth (which it should be), but about protecting the prosperity of the few, while keeping the masses pacified. In a country with civil war and corruption, it is easier to get away with pollution, with exploitation of children and women, with paying unacceptable wages and keeping people from forming unions. In wealthier countries the scam is more sophisticated, as people like to think they are free, that they are doing good – which is why the bubble is created through television and media to create the illusion that we know what is going on in the world, that it is being taken care of by our governments and by a united Global community (that in reality does not exist) so that the people don’t feel guilty that they have more than the rest and thus can continue consuming, while still being encouraged to fear for their survival just to make sure that everyone keeps producing and that no one bites the hand that feed them, even though that hand is not the loving parent in the form of a caring government, but in fact the people that are being exploited and abused in the name of profit in countries where ‘we are not responsible’, because our governments are not responsible, essentially because the corporations are not responsible and so the cycle is complete. No one is Here. Man is not on Earth – he I lost in space somewhere, looking for his marbles.
Can Politicians be de-corrupted – can we?
The challenge with the idea of the governments removing power from corporations is that corporations operate globally, exploiting the land, resources, animals and people of one country, while the profit is being relocated to individuals in other countries – therefore political sanctions cannot work, without a global initiative that specifically deals with the money system as well as with supporting the countries that are being exploited. God is dead and so is politics, but money is not. The consumer-citizen has only two options, to buy or not to buy – But we would be fools to call that ‘political choice’. And because the corporations are basically running the world, a change in the political systems and thus in how we are currently managing our world, cannot happen without changing the way we deal with property, value, stocks, exchange and basically with money – as money is only thing that corporations respect and abide.
Consumption and money and resources and greed and suffering – all mixed up in a mess that seems too complicated to untangle. Yet it is excruciatingly simplistic: Consumption by definition is to use something up until there is nothing left of it. That is what we are doing to this Earth, to the animals and to each other. For some reason this self-evident fact is being completely ignored by everyone that is not directly experiencing the consequences – And those that do experience it directly, have no power to change their situation.
The conclusion is that governments and corporations and consumers are equally responsible for the conditions in the World, as we each make up a piece of the puzzle that is this mess we call Earth – We are the corporations and the governments. The point is to come up with Real Solutions to the Real Problems in this world – which is right now: ourselves. It is thus the people in the top of the (self-cannibalistic) food chain that has to Stand up – because we are the ones that directly allow it to continue, feeling powerless, even though we have the power to change – through abdicating responsibility to corporations and governments as ‘The man’ or ‘The System’ – Ignoring the fact that 1 billon people are starving, that over 60 million are living as refugees and that in the end, it is up to us who that Man or that System is.