Corporate Power: The Real and Present Danger to U.S. Democracy
Corporate Power - Too Big To Fail to Destroy Democracy?
The Insidiousness of Corporate Power Over American Lives
It may be difficult to believe that businesses were not a prominent part of the U.S. Government until after World II. It is also possible that when the military required mass produced weaponry the seeds of corporate power were more deeply implanted in the minds of fearful Americans who believed patriotism included designing, building and manufacturing weapons were a way of providing jobs. Corporate power may have been more subtle and less dominant in politics in those years. It surely was not so reliant on taxpayers to keep them in existence.
The reality of the difference between government and corporate power is that the former relies on all citizens, the latter only on a corporate body of executives. From this point in the diversion, lies the singular capacity to destroy democracy.
There has never been a democratic initiative in corporate power. In fact, corporate power is top down leadership. Some may say, "Well, democracy is top down because it begins with the president." Not true. For a variety of reasons, that begin with the distinct desire of the Founding Fathers to instill total equality and balance between the main branches of government: The Executive, Judicial and Legislative branches. Each of these are equal to the other.
There is nothing top down about the leadership roles. All of the actions taken by these branches are intended to filter through the will of the people. In corporate power, the will of the executives is the only operative.
Too Big To Fail To Destroy Democracy
There are enough global examples of why democracy in its purest form is the most desirable form of governance for people all over the world. We have already seen historical examples of the disasters in countries where dictatorships existed and still do.
The difference is today's dictatorships are far more covert. A dictator today can be pulling all the strings in the back room of a meeting of "YES" men who are willing to carry out the most heinous, savage acts for him. Such is the charisma of dictatorial men.
I use the term "men" because to date, the overriding number of dictators have been male, not female. There have been a few women in history who worked covertly to overthrow government in their favor. Most were fronted by men due to society's propensity to assume men are leaders, women are followers.
When corporate power begins to grow to such levels that it is inherently embedded in government, the will of the people has lost the power democracy intends. Democracy is the right of every citizen to be equal to every other citizen. That is the basic fact corporate power mongers want shoved under a rug.
If citizens have no voice, they are controllable. If they have a voice, corporate types lose theirs. And so the battle goes.
The other factor of renown in terms of pristine democracy is that when fundamental rights of all citizens are respected in the context of total equality in voting and choosing their representatives, corporate power becomes a lesser voice and an insignificant minority power.
The Private Privatization of Government
Most citizens today recognize the destructiveness of privatization of government. At its most basic foundation, privatization destroys the voice and power of the people to choose their representatives who work for them.
From the moment privatization to contractors becomes part of the mix, the covert operative, "profit" is always the bottom line objective. How can it not be? After all, when anyone is hired to do a job, they expect pay. When a business is contracted for work, they must make a profit. Does profit fit into the equality factor of democracy? Is there a price tag on democratic values?
Then, there is the other element of privatization: contractors who make all the decisions on work to be done for profit paid for by citizens as taxpayers. Where is the voice in this? Lists of government contractors are reviewed by Appropriations Committees who are legislators chosen to ensure that their states benefit from their state contractors which provide government work at a profit.
According to the General Services Administration (GSA), there is an annual spending of over $400 billion in contract spending. The state that benefits most is Virginia, with an annual $52 billion of that total $400 billion. The other states in the top ten include:
5. Washington DC
The top five federal contractors are related to defense and aerospace:
The Top 100 Contractors Report for Fiscal Year 2009 lists contracts totalling $294.6 billion, the top five comprising aerospace and defense contractors:
- Lockheed Martin ($38.5 bn)
- Boeing ($22.0 bn)
- Northrop Grumman ($19.7 bn)
- General Dynamics ($16.4 bn)
- Raytheon ($16.1 bn)
However, when you look at the connections to the states with the highest numbers of contractors and then at the five top federal contractors, the devil is in the details. Would these dollars be as high if all of the top five were not in some way related to endless wars?
Those who love to make the claim that the federal debt is the fault of citizens deliberately hide the fact that federal debt is due to the need to keep these contractors from losing profits they earn from the government's taxpayers thereby keeping these businesses in existence on tax dollars alone.
It is easy to see the corporate power that has mangled democracy by insisting private companies can do it better. In some instances that may be true. Yet, the reverse has never actually been tested. In any scientific experiment, testing is always the measure of determination of efficacy. Be reminded that each time a corporation is hired via federal contract, the ultimate goal is "profit," and grants private businesses an investment in governmental power.
Too Big To Fail - To Ruthless to Care
The biggest differences between government and business lie with the direction each of these entities take. Few businesses are "failure proof." Risk is always lurking just behind a closed door of an executive meeting. Remember, executives exist on the premise of being experts and the most intelligent.
One wonders how it was corporate power came to a dead halt in September 2008 when banks began to fail and required taxpayer assistance to bail them out of the "expert intelligence" they used to cause a global meltdown.
Unfortunately, risk attracts some of the most ruthless men like moths to a flame. Ruthless men possess dictatorial mentalities. That's the entire point of ruthlessness...to abandon law and order and to implement only that which forces dictatorial will on the masses. Can that really ever be done?
How Corporate Power Destroys Democracy
For many centuries, there has been a kind of fraternity between ruthless mentalities of corporate tycoons and their brethren dictators. In their minds, there are NO limits to what they intend to achieve, honesty, integrity and democracy be damned. Their kinship links a fraternal order of mentalities who believe only "they" know best. Only "they" make the most intelligent decisions. Pragmatism tells us that "best" is not always what is right and just. It have seemed "best" to exterminate 6 million innocent human beings to achieve Aryan purity. But, the violation to 6 million humans' rights incurs the penalty of lasting condemnation by anyone with a sound mind. That which is "best" has consequences.
These mentalities have the "best" of everything. Anything less is deemed the fault of those who could not equal their superior expertise and intelligence. Einstein would thus be considered an unintelligent inferior. If you can't become a billionaire, you don't count in their NOCD (Not Our Class Dahling) society.
Money as Corporate Power
In recent years, the ultra moneyed have virtually turned their money into a bizarre kind of power game that has become their science. No one asks how a billionaire earned those billions. Certainly, not without assistance from consumers, employees and taxpayers. But, these are ruthless individuals who believe they are "self made" and did it "all by themselves." That is what they would have you believe.
They also want their "inferiors" to believe money alone is the ultimate indication of "smart." The very same type of "smart" criminals believe they possess, no doubt. In their artful deals, wheeler dealers are fast talkers who know their targets are uninformed. They are superior minds who figure being the uninformed is "their own fault" even when these wheeler dealers are only experts at pulling off the slickest forms of extortion and fraud. Where is the equality democracy ensures in that?
Truth Prevails when Corporate Power Fails
Transparency is verboten to corporate power mongers. This is the reason their back room meetings are never made public and only tiny spurts of information is ever leaked. Usually by those these corporate power mongers call "whistleblowers." Transparency is at the root of democracy for a reason: It is only through transparency that citizens have equal rights to decide on government actions. Only in dire instances of safety and defense do citizens condone the right to secrecy. All else is a violation of their Constitutional rights. There simply is no reason for secret party meetings or secret government committee meetings.
When the Open Public Records Act was passed in NJ (Ref.https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=new+jersey+open+public+meetings+act), the first to cry foul were corporate power mongers. It is easy to figure out why. Very little of any corporate business is held to the proprietary dimension, save new product or service formulations and OPRA voids their links to government they do not want revealed.
Transparency is truth and fact. Corporate power is predicated upon secrecy, closed doors and the ability to manipulate govermental laws to avoid compliance. Yet, time and again, truth, epecially in this day and age of social media always prevails.