Midnight in the American Empire: How Corporations and Their Political Servants are Destroying the American Dream
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Corporate America is no longer content doing what it does best, which is making money. These business behemoths are aggressively attempting to control the entire economic, cultural and political realms of American life. They have nearly succeeded. Most Americans would agree that corporate power should be prohibited from disrupting the natural rhythm of our democratic institutions. Yet we the people are thwarted from addressing the subject of corporate power, not because we do not wish to have the conversation, but because we have nobody to address the issue. Our political representatives, hostages as they are to corporate campaign donations and government lobbyists, cannot seriously debate the question of corporate power. Indeed, their very careers depend on corporate power. Meanwhile, the media, the so-called Fourth Estate, refuses to discuss the issue of excessive corporate power because the media itself is a corporation. At the same time, the consequences of excessive corporate power are becoming acutely obvious inside of the corporate universe. Today, fewer U.S. workers are spending more time on the job to produce a greater amount of products, while not receiving fair recompense. Meanwhile, wages for American workers, adjusted for inflation, have remained stagnant for the past 30 years, while U.S. vacation time in the United States is the lowest of all the industrial economies. The blatant lack of representation in the workplace is directly responsible for these shameful statistics. Just 7 percent of the American workforce today enjoys union representation, a percentage that pales in comparison with past generations. There is also the question of corporations disrupting the fabric of cultural life. Indeed, today Main Street U.S.A. is largely unrecognizable. This can be witnessed in everything from the preponderance of fast food restaurants and hyper-stores, to Corporate America's aggressive monopoly on all forms of entertainment, which is on a downward spiral to total degeneracy. Since corporate-owned cultural venues (e.g., television, film, books) have more influence over our children than do educational institutions, it should come as no surprise that violence and unsocial behavior is on the rise. History has already proven that no nation can survive for long once its moral fabric has been shredded. Finally, the symptoms of extreme levels of corporate power in our lives are becoming increasingly conspicuous in a variety of ways. From the rise of destructive behavior at home, to the sadistic treatment prisoners of war in foreign lands (read: Guantanamo Bay), to the reckless disregard for the collapse of the natural environment, something has gone awry in the heart of America (I call it ‘corporate zombyism’). The nature of the problem suggests that the American psyche is being guided and influenced by less than respectable influences. Since it is Corporate America that is largely responsible for the degraded mental and physical content that we are now feeding the people, this institution must accept a large part of the blame for America’s fall from grace. The time has come to tame this beast of burden; the time has come to remove corporate power from the halls of power. It is time for the American people - like their proud and independent ancestors who founded this country many years ago - to regain control of their country once again.
their money, Wall Street will have no other choice but to compromise itself in extremely risky business transactions, like promoting worthless mortgages to investors. Take the Money and Run At the very same time that corporate America is depriving employees of the right to some rest and relaxation it is deporting many of our best jobs overseas. Thousands of companies once rooted firmly in the United States are taking advantage of open-door policies (which have a tendency for opening in just
Development briefing that sets out the key findings on pensions and the crisis from OECD Pensions at a Glance 2009. 88 89 CHAPTER IV Reclaiming the Commons from Corporate Power “The classical economic idea that another’s gain is at the expense of one’s own loss is replaced by the idea that enhancing the well-being of others amplifies one’s own well-being.” — Jeremy Rifkin, “The Emphatic Civilization” M ost Americans, despite the destructive dynamics of globalization, are still intimately
and Hollywood are Ruining Women,” The Hollywood Reporter, December 6, 2012. 153 Hennessey and Knutson, Norman Rockwell, 141. 154 In order to understand the real power of education, consider what quickly follows the defeat of a particular state ideology (e.g., communism under the Soviet Union, which was vanquished by the free market creed). “A real revolution,” wrote Alexander Herzen, “could only succeed after a process of education and preparation.” The new representatives of the 106
introduced the technology into US airports. “The threejudge appellate court, which is one stop from the Supreme Court, said that the Transportation Security Administration breached federal law in 2009 when it formally adopted the Advanced Imaging Technology scanners as the ‘primary’ method of screening. The judges—while allowing the scanners to be used—said the TSA violated the Administrative Procedures Act for failing to have a 90-day public comment period, and ordered the agency to undertake
incompetence” of politicians—the “special curse of democracies” that Plato complained about in the Republic—the last thing our leaders need is another source of distraction.236 We ignore at our own peril James Madison’s oft-repeated observation that “Democracies…have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.” Media Manipulation & Control There is a good reason most people have no clue as to what is happening inside their proclaimed democracy: The spoken