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Colonized by Corporations

May 14, 2012

From Chris Hedges at Truthdig:

We have been, like nations on the periphery of empire, colonized. We are controlled by tiny corporate entities that have no loyalty to the nation and indeed in the language of traditional patriotism are traitors. They strip us of our resources, keep us politically passive and enrich themselves at our expense. The mechanisms of control are familiar to those whom the Martinique-born French psychiatrist and writer Frantz Fanon called “the wretched of the earth,” including African-Americans. The colonized are denied job security. Incomes are reduced to subsistence level. The poor are plunged into desperation. Mass movements, such as labor unions, are dismantled. The school system is degraded so only the elites have access to a superior education. Laws are written to legalize corporate plunder and abuse, as well as criminalize dissent. And the ensuing fear and instability—keenly felt this past weekend by the more than 200,000 Americans who lost their unemployment benefits—ensure political passivity by diverting all personal energy toward survival. It is an old, old game.

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. RBM permalink
    May 20, 2012 11:15 am

    Came across a post that I think is related to this post by George Mobus at The Oil Drum

    There are a few economists who do understand reality. Charlie Hall’s co-author (Energy and the Wealth of Nations), Kent Klitgaard, for one. Most of the ecological economists (e.g. Herman Daly) are really trying to let reality in.

    But the mainstream economists not only DON’T know about reality. They don’t WANT to know. I recently had an e-mail exchange with Robert Reich re: the futility of growth orientation. He is SO ideological it is impossible to even get close to having a reasonable conversation. Same with Paul Krugman. These are the liberal brain trust economists (so-called salt-water economists!) who, one would hope, would be concerned with reality. But that isn’t the case. They really just want to justify Kenysian economics for the benefit of the working class. A noble sentiment, perhaps, but completely divorced from the reality of resource depletion.

    Neo-classical economics is so devoid of science or reality based theory that it is absurd beyond belief. Unfortunately, all politicians, talking-heads, and the common person, believe they actually know what reality is. Oh well.

    I’ve read a bit of George’s blog, Question Everything, once upon a time for his work on biophysical economics:

    Thermoeconomics, also referred to as biophysical economics, is a school of heterodox economics that applies the laws of thermodynamics to economic theory.[1] The term “thermoeconomics” was coined in 1962 by American engineer Myron Tribus,[2][3][4] and developed by the statistician and economist Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen.[5] Thermoeconomics can be thought of as the statistical physics of economic value

    I’m a strong advocate for any effort in this direction thus why I thought the TOD comment put some significant context into the dialog.

    • May 20, 2012 11:20 am

      I’m all for better economic science, but I have to agree with Krugman that if Ireland, Greece, Hungary and Spain are any indication, austerity destabilizes governments.

      • RBM permalink
        May 20, 2012 11:32 am

        You imply that’s a bad thing ?

        It could be if destabilization allows for thinking at the lower level that caused it.

        Else, see Einstein:

        “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

        If the thinking is stuck, it means, typically the pain has to be elevated – the species, per se, is motivated to avoid pain. Individuals all have their own thresholds.

        If the ‘planners’ avoid the pain, expect the thinking to remain ‘stuck’.

  2. May 20, 2012 11:50 am

    I’m not sure having Europe take a violent lurch to the left is good for anybody.

    • RBM permalink
      May 20, 2012 12:06 pm

      That’s the nature of a pendulum.

      In fact, the extremes of that travel path and at rest, are precisely Binary.

      Only way I see to find out and drive home the point is to make those that create the structures experience the fruits of there labors. And that is anathema to those individuals.

      The solutions aren’t difficult, but they are different. Change is difficult if one isn’t capable of living gracefully with uncertainty :-)

      • May 20, 2012 12:39 pm

        What if the pendulum travels in a circle?

  3. RBM permalink
    May 20, 2012 5:33 pm

    You are getting silly, but I’ll play along.

    You got any electronics theory in your background ?

    How about basic high school geometry ?

    • May 20, 2012 7:38 pm

      I had a Radio Shack electrical science kit.

      I did pretty good in geometry, but calculus kicked my ass.

      No circular pendelums, huh?

      • RBM permalink
        May 20, 2012 8:23 pm

        You being a geek, you should be able to keep up with this; I’m going to go a bit, just a bit, abstract.

        Start with plotting the the swing of an actual pendulum; max plus, max minus and through it’s idle position of zero. Now you have 180 degrees of a plotted graph. Now mirror image that, making it 360 degrees, and you get a sinewave.

        That’s about as close to an ‘actual’ 360 degree pendulum I can come up with.

        It also leaves you at the doorway to plotting a whole boatload of phenomena as it’s a technique of Cartesian coordinate system.

        So much for Sunday afternoon games :-)

  4. May 20, 2012 8:55 pm

    It seems you’re describing the characteristics in two dimensions. Don’t we actually have three?

    • RBM permalink
      May 21, 2012 5:43 pm

      I said that was as close as I could come to 360 degrees ;-)

      But anyway, yeah.

      • May 21, 2012 7:07 pm

        With the convergence of economics, politics and social variable, I see the problem as multi-dimensional.

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