The Best Government Corporations Can Buy

The other day I got an actual, physical letter from CREDO wanting to know if my phone company wanted a ‘Tea Party’ president.

Now CREDO is, itself, a telecommunications wireless company based out of San Francisco. As a company it is very active in what you might call either ‘progressive’ or ‘left-wing’ politics depending upon your current leanings. According to the Wikipedia, they have raised over $65 million for “nonprofit organizations such as Greenpeace, Planned Parenthood and Democracy Now.

Their argument to me: switch my phone service to CREDO so as to put my money behind progressive political change rather than supporting AT&T or Verizon who, according to them, supportĀ  Tea Party and/or Republican candidates and such ‘dangerous views’ as ‘wives, be submissive to your husbands’, ‘intelligent design’ and ‘counseling centers that (try) to turn gay men into heterosexuals through prayer.’

When my wife read this letter to me I was filled with anger, outrage and despair. Not because of any party affiliation on my part or allegiance to either ‘progressive’ or ‘conservative’ views. In fact, I support a number of progressive ideas and ideals.

No, I was outraged because this is the next logical step in the death of the American Republic.

CREDO is simply acknowledging a more efficient way of capitalizing and monetizing democracy.

Private capital tends to become concentrated in … a few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of the smaller ones.

The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. … Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.

Albert Einstein (1949)

Einstein’s caution of fifty years ago has become today’s reality. You cannot get elected to office without a boat-load of money. The only entities who have enough cash to get politicians elected are corporations. So politicians enact laws to help pay back the corporations that get them elected (or bail them out when they should have failed like all those other businesses that were too small to have paid enough to elect anyone).

A 2003 documentary film The Corporation by Mark Achbar asserts that the corporation exhibits many of the traits found in psychopaths:

  • Callous unconcern for the feelings of others.
  • Incapacity to maintain enduring relationships;
  • Reckless disregard for the safety of others;
  • Deceitfulness: repeated lying and conning of others for profit;
  • Incapactiy to experience guilt;
  • Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behavior.

And yet, as Chris Hedges points out in his book ‘Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle’, under the American legal and political systems, corporations have the same legal rights as individuals. Worse, because they have access to vastly greater sums of money than individuals, their political contributions … which U.S. politics now demand in titan-sized numbers for the success of any candidate … corporations have vastly greater influence on which candidate you hear and see the most as well as which candidates you NEVER hear of because they have no bucks to become Buck Rogers.

One might argue that this means our government is essentially being chosen for us by psychopaths.

But now, thanks to CREDO, we no longer have to pretend. Instead of bothering to go to the voting booth to select from a field of candidates determined by which corporation gave the most money to their campaign, all we have to do is CHOOSE OUR CANDIDATE THROUGH WHICH CORPORATIONS WE SUPPORT. Then the corporations that are the most successful can chose for us the candidates that they prefer on our behalf … and buy them for us.

I believe in free enterprise. I believe corporations can and do make many aspects of our lives better … but I don’t want my government chosen by their board of directors. Corporate products need to be in stores … not in legislatures.

The best government corporations can buy … is cheap, disposable, hazardous and potentially lethal.

2 thoughts on “The Best Government Corporations Can Buy

  1. Ever play Cyberpunk? Shadowrun? Government goes broke, corporations pay off its debt. Thus owning the government. Sci-fi becomes Science Fact yet again. Raging is alright, everyone does it (and its what FoxNews makes its money off of), but do you have any solutions?

    • Actually, I do. I believe we need to remove corporations from the political process. (1) campaign reform needs to be enacted putting strict caps on the amount of money individuals may contribute to any party or individual campaign. Corporations should be banned from all contributions to either parties OR to individual candidates. (2) All campaign funds should be contributed through a buffering ‘guarantor’ entity (a bonded institution) who would be required by law to disburse all funds ONLY to legitimate campaign activities. The candidate never handles the money nor has any control over how it is spent and their campaign committee would direct the disbursements through the holding company which is accountable for the legal disbursement of the funds. This should prevent money from being ‘rerouted’ to payoffs or favors. (3) These same companies could also act as ‘campaign guarantors’ for independent candidates, securing tax-incentive funding on behalf of candidates who might otherwise not have a chance of running. It’s not complete but this is a start…

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