Archive for March, 2008

Buck The System

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Corporations rule the earth. Not governments, not Presidents, not Prime Ministers, not the People. Corporations have the wealth to buy elections, favorable legislation, court decisions, own the media and much of the world’s resources. Political parties have been co-opted. Protests and demonstrations fill the streets but change little. It would seem we are powerless in the face of such a force. But where do corporations get such immense power? …. Profits. And where do they get those profits? You and me!

There was a time when the goal of corporations was broader than just profit. They began centuries ago as entities chartered by States to promote the public welfare. Over the years through manipulation of the courts and legislatures they have assumed their present form…. singleminded pursuers of profit.

These singleminded monsters are also the dominant engine of economic development. As of now to paraphrase William James, there is no moral equivalent to corporations. So what are we left with? The market is everything the current mantra goes. And indeed it is all encompassing. So what to do? Wake up! … We are the market.

Nothing could be more obvious than we would want to pay for the world that we desire. A world of peace, social justice and a healthy environment. And yet every day we pay for war, social injustice and environmental pollution.

Even if politicians don’t seem to care about us, corporations are very aware of how important we are. Image is the lifeblood of any corporation. They spend billions on PR to make us feel warm and fuzzy about them. Fuzzy enough not to realize that we aren’t just buying their products, we are giving them our money to support their nearsighted agenda of war, pollution and human rights abuses. We have to look behind the familiar corporate logos and catchy slogans and Madison Ave spin, and see the destructive reality that they try to keep hidden.

The upcoming election has once again made it clear we only have a choice of which face we’d like to put on the same bankrupt policies. The real vote we cast is not the one in November. In fact we cast many votes every day. Every time we take a dollar bill,a five or a twenty out of our wallets and spend it, we’re casting a vote for the kind of world we live in. And unlike the votes in November believe me these votes make a difference. They’re very carefully counted by statisticians, accountants, Wall Street analysts, financial advisors, and CEOs. Because these are the votes that really matter. Without them all the corporations in the world would just have to pack it in and go home. So we really do have the vote, we really have the power to create the world we want. It’s right there in our own wallets.

You don’t think for a minute that if millions of people stopped buying products from the corporations that supported Bush and these policies, the whole thing wouldn’t turn around tomorrow? There’d be frantic emergency meetings in boardrooms across the country. The people would have spoken. As Bob Dylan said “money doesn’t talk it swears”, and believe me the people would be swearing in a loud clear voice that would be finally heard!.

Don’t pray for peace and pay for war. Practice Pocketbook Liberation.