Counter-Corporate Rhetoric
by Rick Hoar, Managing Producer
January 13, 2010

Let me clarify:

I’m not all about raging against the machine just for the sake of anarchy. I believe deeply that Capitalism and the Free Market are the most efficient tools for meaningful progress that humanity has ever discovered. Also, I know that the United States of America has achieved the most liberated and successful society that has ever existed on the face of the Earth.

However, simply because the USA is the best place to live in the world does not mean that it is the best possible. The nature of our social contract with our government and each other is always changing, and in the latter half of the twentieth century, it has changed at its own expense.

American groupthink during the Cold War eventually led to voter apathy followed by now irreversible corporate infiltrations into our legislative machine. So now, we must reboot the system or be trampled by its perversion.

While the founding fathers were familiar with the hazards of a Church-controlled government, the separation of Business and State was never ironed into our Bill of Rights. The very concept of a systemic corporatism has only recently been recognized – and poorly at that. Hitler’s Germany was the first instance of runaway fascism – or corporatism as Mussolini called it – but its newness combined with decades of global war diluted the significance of the real pathogen in the system.

Sixty years later, our own society is quaking under special interest lobbyists, unresponsive politicians, campaign finance corruption and shrinking personal liberties. Still, small business capitalists struggle to survive while their tax dollars are confiscated to finance the bail-outs of their super-corporation competitors. Capitalism will work, with efficiency far beyond even the self-destructive forces that work against it.

The fact of the matter though, is that the Free Market DOES NOT EXIST in the western economy. We tragically legislate not to abide by it on a consistent basis, and not surprisingly, our resultant corporatist society is now grinding to a halt as it destroys itself, as all totalitarianism eventually does.

We are consumerist slaves to a system puppeted by corporations that can’t even legally benefit the public before themselves (CEO’s that would sacrifice company profits altruistically would be violating the trust that investors place in them to maximize corporate earnings). It’s not even necessarily evil, but it is intrinsic and it cannot be stopped internally.

So, when I speak out against the inherent evils of large corporations, I won’t call it anti-corporate speech (because all corporations are born of capitalism except the Post Office). I will, however, consider it Counter-Corporatism, because at the heart of our predicament today is the reality that Big Business has too much say in the way we govern ourselves.

Companies don’t vote, but their money buys politicians. Highly efficient corporate lobbying overpowers the consent of the masses with its ability to focus resources non-democratically. And, the corrupt legislature cannot heal itself, because a change on term limits and campaign finance would not serve the interest of the existing power structure and can only be mandated by that structure in our system.

There is no shame in our system’s being defunct, as its manipulation has taken decades to manifest significantly, and with great innovation by those party to it. The replacement will no doubt be an evolution of the current model; ‘a more perfect union,’ yet again. And hopefully, our cultures will make the inevitable changes academically and without violent resistance from the usurped. That will have to be seen though.