Rebirth Of Consumerism, Rise Of The Machines & The Great Corporate Revolution

There is no America. There is no democracy. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multi-variate, multi-national dominion of dollars. It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live to see that perfect world in which there’s no war or famine, oppression or brutality — one vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock, all necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused.

—by Paddy Chayefsky

The great fraud perpetuated by the “independent” agency, Standard & Poor’s lowering of America’s credit rating for the first time in the nation’s history should be a clarion call to those opposed to the complete capitulation of democracy to corporate whims. This is what is happening now. Believe it. There is less use in denying it as it is in stopping it. It has been happening for decades, and has come to a head this week.

The evidence of this blatant oligarchy is overwhelming.

Why do you think the same S & P, which manipulates the very structure of international stock trades and awarded triple-A ratings to what even those who had slopped them together called “horseshit” investments in 2007 now suddenly ignores a two-trillion dollar clerical error in U.S. debt to sink the markets? You think a cabal this powerful, which eagerly funneled doomed bundles of bankrupt mortgages and failed bonds through their fixed system, eventually leading to the downfall of the western hemisphere’s economic solvency, has suddenly found sanctity?

S & P laughably takes on the American political system by berating the recent debt ceiling debate as a lack of confidence in U.S. treasury, as its interest rates consequently stabilize and hundreds upon hundreds of investors ironically flock to buy what appears to be the only refuge for money today. This is the lie. The ratings shift is nothing but a smokescreen, an excuse to instigate a growing crisis of government and its lean on the industrial landscape of the nation and the world. It is a blatant corporate con with S & P as its grift.

For the federal government’s part in allowing this hoax, one only has to look at the flaccid and ineffectual Finance Reform Act heralded in late 2010 as an aid to consumers, unions and activists, which was to restructure and curtail the power of agencies such as S & P to sink the American economic system again. Not one of those provisions has been signed into law. Not one.

And before we continue, lest anyone think the following deconstruction of recent events a paranoid rant or a bow to some well-structured conspiracy, let me remind you that nothing in modern civilization, from fascism to communism to capitalism, happens on the shoulders of one giant. It takes a slow erosion of disparate measures that becomes ever clearer as it unfolds.

To wit: The current economic crisis—bubble-burst correction, recession, double-dip or otherwise—is merely a grand chess game played by those who have the money and thus the influence to massage outcomes. This is nothing new in the lore of American capitalism, from the manufacturing rich north crushing the agricultural south to the industrial revolution, trust busting, The Great Depression to The Great Society.

Most recently, it is massive energy concerns pushing oil men into high executive positions to wage wars in significant business locales, while coincidentally partnering with weapons manufacturers that cash in on the proceedings quietly. It is also omnipotent prescription drug cartels and insurance monopolies that turn what appears to the media and the political landscape as a socialist health care push for the people into a 20,000-page hall pass to seize the entire system.

So then let’s talk about the power of politics here.

Two of the main political players that have emerged since the 2007 economic meltdown are President Barack Obama and the “new” Tea Party legislators, both of whom have overtly expanded the vacuum slowly but surely filled by the corporate power structure.

The obvious is the Tea Party, which has gone beyond the 1980s “smaller government” fiscal conservatism to a more anarchical anti-government stance. They have succeeded in hijacking the Republican elite to repeat the tired mantra of “job creators,” while the nation’s largest corporations sit on record profits but maintain hiring freezes, thus keeping the unemployment rate higher. The less obvious and so more insidious is Obama, a purported progressive with a long record of liberal legislation, who has presided over the most corporate friendly tax rates in U.S. history and continues to expand a military industrial complex which has quadrupled in a decade of war mongering.

There is a reason why certain men become President and then appear to take on cross-ideology. Take for instance military hero Dwight Eisenhower cutting the defense budget to its lowest number ever or communist combatant Richard Nixon opening relations with Red China. Now we have the outward appearance of a “class-warfare” President kowtowing to the top two percent of the nation’s economic scale. The speeches the Right repeatedly mock Obama for have actually been an effective ruse, as the President continues to say one thing and do another, like extending the Bush tax cuts, failing to have a single-payer option in the Health Care law and lately signing a debt-cutting bill without raising tax revenues. Each and every time Obama caves and then feigns anger, which ostensibly paints him as a corporate enemy when in fact he is its most effective ally.

Just as it would be too obvious for a liberal President to cut defense budgets and/or open relations with a communist aggressor, so too would it be too obvious for a conservative chief executive to allow the kind of corporate tax loop holes that has the largest conglomerates paying no taxes at all. Even the wildly criticized bank bailouts and auto industry loans begun by George W. Bush and taken up by the President, have been profitable.

Profits. Ah, now we’re getting somewhere.

This is a power structure, politically, legally and ideologically run by business.

Republican frontrunner to challenge Obama for the Presidency, Mitt Romney, a shameless plutocrat (this week), understands well who his daddy is. What did he say in a candid moment as he was being heckled as just another tool of big business in Iowa this week? “Corporations are people, my friend.”

The S & P dodge and its resultant implosion of the stock market it influences is the latest in this grand shift in the economic framework of the United States. Many of the jobs lost in the 2007 disaster are gone forever, as is the place it came from; a manufacturing rich, agriculturally sound super power long lost to international trade, fixed export/import restraints, and mass consumer-rich chains selling everything under one roof from sneakers to smart phones to fruit to shotguns.

When Paddy Chayefsky’s blustery corporate chairman Arthur Jensen delivers his impassioned speech at the denouement of his brilliant film, Network, written and produced in the mid-‘70s, it appeared then as an absurdly dark satire with the kind of dizzying paranoia of Orwell’s 1984.

Who’s laughing now?

 

James Campion is the Managing Editor of The Reality Check News & Information Desk and the author of Deep Tank Jersey, Fear No Art, Trailing Jesus and Midnight For Cinderella.

 

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