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Corporations über alles

by on February 10, 2014

In WWII, we all got together to defeat fascism. Specifically the USA stepped in to avert the downfall of man.

But wait a minute:
Didn’t someone once say “Germany lost the war, fascism won it” ?
Sure, but he was a comedian. Go back to believing what they taught you at school.

No wait… strike that:
Clowns often have a licence to tell the truth where others can not.
So let’s examine it. Maybe George Carlin was on to something.

After the war, we watched the rise of an “evil empire”: communism. There were proxy wars, e.g. Afghanistan I, Vietnam, not to mention places like Nicaragua that were actively nudged towards USSR, which gave US an excuse to rape and pillage. So much for “evil”! Violence is still an all-to-present solution to problems of the world. Like the guy who didn’t like what his daughter blogged about him, so he just shot her computer. Some primordial, reptilian part of our brains still lets us give money to arms manufacturers, and power to warmongers. Sadly, this basic part of our nature is also the part least likely to respond to systematic, rational dissection of the problem. The more civilised part lets us kid ourselves that it’s all for some greater good. Interesting word that: to “kid”. The kid in us believes now that Putin is Bad Guy, much like when it believed that Reagan saved civilisation by politely asking Gorbachev to “tear down this wall”. Time to join hands and Sochi into the sunset.

And again, wait a minute: the CIA was targeting communism even before WWII ended. One of the very first things it ever did was destroy the wonderful fact that northern Italy had in fact liberated itself from the Nazis before US-troops arrived. They had instated workers’ control! The CIA fixed that, and basically re-instated fascist structures. It didn’t stop there. For those who care to look, there’s plenty of information on the despicable means used in the ensuing pre-emptive war on communism. Poisoning cows, putting soap in milk, and making false-flag threats to kill the pope.

We could avoid this in future with better public control over the monetary system – secret wars need secret money* – and by carefully dismantling all the institutions involved, including in particular the corporations that build all the weapons. Take them apart like you would diffuse the bombs themselves, as Angelina Jolie did when she purchased land in Cambodia. It’s possible you do not yet know, Dear Reader, that the bombs only landed in Cambodia and Laos because the bombers had nothing better to do during a Vietnam ceasefire. Hence the need to curtail the war-machine.
(* that is, secret wars and mission work, apparently…)

So secret organisations beyond democratic control gained even more power: On the one hand, you had the secret armies, set up from London (Nato) to Switzerland (P26) and elsewhere. They recruited some of the worst Nazi killers right from under Nuremberg’s noses. No one really knows how much of this is still operational. We’re only sure this still hasn’t entered into the debate over links between Germany’s radical right and Verfassungsschutz, the government branch that’s supposed to prevent history repeating.

On the other hand, the most undemocratic powergrab ever continued unabated: the rise of corporations, the real beneficiaries of human conflict. Perfectly happy to fund both sides; there’s a huge history to this. I live in Switzerland, where the major banks routinely sponsor Republicrats and Demo(n)icans in any given US-election. We like them all, as long as they cater to private power. It’s a continuation of the fine Swiss mercenary tradition to fight on both sides of violent conflicts, as long as we are not fighting against ourselves. Alas, we’re now doing just that, because as I’ll explain in a minute, corporations came in under the radar. Very few people really understand how a company one invests in can act out interests that are diametrically opposed to what one really wants: happiness, health and harmony. We were a poor nation until we started bunkering other people’s money, by the way. Now we’re rich on paper, and in our supermarkets, but must also consider this saying attributed to Artistotle Onassis: “A rich man, is often just a poor man with lots of money.”

In Germany, corporations helped set up the Nazis in the first place, and helped coordinate the carnage right until the bitter end. And when things changed around them, they didn’t miss a beat. Basically, they’re Clint Eastwood in Fistful of Dollars. Isn’t it amazing that when Switzerland was confronted with its own past in conjunction with WWII and dormant accounts, this monstrous connection was not explored? That’s a real propaganda achievement, the hidden message being “Get the money, leave structures intact!” Forced labour is ok, as long as they’re (still) working for us.

When cowboy Ronnie read his famous cue-card, East-Germany tore down the wall ok, but another (invisible) wall remained resplendent. You’re not supposed to talk about it, because it has ugly names: “class”, “poverty line”, or the “3rd world” – coming soon to a neighbourhood near you! Did Reagan’s triumph over the Beast in the East really bring a victory of free-market economy over communism? If that were true, how come the whole thing started with one of the largest acts of expropriation ever? We’re supposed to think that theft was a communist thing. Yet when the former owners of small and medium-sized businesses that had flourished in former Eastern Germany were looking forward to re-opening their factories, the Corporate World Order just said No! Even the employees would have been happy to return, but Kohl had swallowed it all. To this day, most Germans remain blissfully ignorant of this. Helmut Kohl’s crimes are only on the agenda when it helps the “courtesan of Europe’s wealthy“, Angela Merkel.

So the race to the bottom continues: who can be the most effective petri dish for illegitimate private tyrannies. Markets are free only for those already at the top, and even then it’s only when things are going well. When things go pear-shaped, the state must intervene: bail-out time!The basic principle of our economy is that the public pays the costs and takes the risks, and profit is privatized.” (Chomsky, see preceding post.) Anything to rob the poor, bleed small business, and sabotage democracy.

What’s going on now in Germany is the mass 3rd-word-ization of “useless eaters” (Hartz IV), and continued looting of public coffers. Similar to the States, where you just throw them into prison for this or that, e.g. pot, which was a lie from day one. This has the added benefit of keeping the rest of the rabble in line. I noticed this recently when riding a tram with no ticket. It’s not the fine that scares one, it’s the social stigma when the other passenger see it. Like with chimpanzees, everything has two meanings: a direct one, and its relevance to power structures. That’s how we evolved. Sometimes it makes sense: “X didn’t wash his hands after going to the bathroom” can help us all stay healthy. It also explains why corporations are such a blind spot: they call themselves persons (‘legal persons’) to claim certain rights, but never existed in the history of the planet. Corporations are new to evolution! So our natural instinct to seek out a culprit, e.g. for an oil spill, is satisfied when the company designates a fall guy. We’re simply not wired to detect faults in the system as a whole. The very best the green movement can do is to single out individual corporations. Hence re-branding, green-washing, or just creating a new corporation that handles the same job for the same investors, e.g. via private equity.

(The fact that friendships ends when money is involved has similar reasons. It’s new in evolution: a resource that seems to grow automatically just by hoarding is bound to drive us crazy. Tests were performed with this on kids. They’ll share sweets, but not money. See also Can money work.)

‘natural persons’
(human beings)
have certain rights

‘legal persons’
(corporations, etc.)
need popular control

Racist hate-groups haven’t picked up on that one either. Easier to target foreigners, hard to find out who the real aliens are. Switzerland is getting ready to build a wall (yesterday’s vote on Masseneinwanderungsinitiative). But we let the worst criminals right in and give them a big tax break. As a resident of this beautiful, neutral country, I have been secretly campaigning for years to have a wall built around Canton Zug (the Swiss Delaware, if you will), because it grants the lowest flat-tax to fat cats (corporations and humans). Response: zero. That’s how far out of the public arena this whole discussion is. This is a long shot from the common sense of Factory Girls, but no coincidence when you look at the extent of conditioning we are subject to, and in fact pay for.

If we could raise the IQ of the debate just a little, we might be less worried about people emigrating from Germany to Switzerland, and gain the ability to start talking about our common enemy, the enemy within! As if to prove that it’s a giant Tower of Babel, huge infrastructure projects are falling apart before they’re even completed. Elbe Philharmonic Hall (star architect says “We won’t make a profit”), Stuttgart 21 and Berlin airport.

One of the worst crimes, which also hit the Austrian capital Vienna, is PPP: public-private “partnerships”. The toll system that was supposed to pay for the upkeep of German roads was delayed for several years, while privately owned lorries “quietly” eroded the roads paid for by everyone. The corporations that should compensate the lost revenue are home free, because the 17,000-page secret contract apparently didn’t include the 3 words “it must work”. A lawsuit over 7 billion Euros is going nowhere. Chancellor Merkel would have he political power to fix this. She heads a majority coalition with negligible opposition. Instead she does what she does best: nothing, while others become entangled with the scandals, which has the added side benefit of eliminating any competition that might challenge her for top-slot. Also, it simply wouldn’t do to shed a bad light on the two main corporations involved with Toll Collect. Yet until recently, one of them was publicly owned!

A comedic touch was added to this shambles when one guy who was fed up with a giant hole in the road outside his house wanted to fix it himself. He would do it for free, and all he asked for was permission. Denied. So much for public involvement in the new baby-lonia (alone? – Ja!)
Pure corporate totalitarianism (no state at all) is a nightmare future. (But people who own a lot of gold love the idea!) Still, one aspect would be better than today: at least we’d eliminate confusion over who’s in charge. That’s why corporations love the state. It saves them when needed, and absorbs all the criticism. The public direct its anger at the shadow, not at the substance (“As long as politics is the shadow cast on society by big business, the attenuation of the shadow will not change the substance.” John Dewey). People feel something’s wrong, but can’t quite put their finger on it: corporations walk off with the loot, while politicians take the blame. But changing the politicians does nothing, unless we start voting more intelligently. Corporations don’t want that.

Sources:
Killing Hope by William Blum
“Dirty Wars” interview on Democracy Now
Dunkle Seite des Westens” with Daniele Ganser
(who also did some of the best work on 9/11)
Constanze Paffrath (German news segment) – Wiki
(her doctoral thesis was awarded summa cum laude)
3Sat “Staatsgeheimnis LKW-Maut”
===
p.s. I posted this as a “side issue” because, on the surface, it has nothing to do with Banks need Boundaries! at least not with the current petition. However, in my spare time (haha) I’m currently tinkering with a draft based on the Austrian popular initiative (banken-in-die-schranken.org) for community-created currency which I feel would neatly tackle the issue of ‘legal persons’, not to mention a more efficient way to guarantee everyone “Human rights, not banking plights” by basic income!  (Latest draft in German temporarily posted at vollgeldspiegel – click here.)

In case you yourself are interested in activism, you might be interested to learn that I’ve never met the folks at Banks need Boundaries! (Banken in die Schranken!) in person. It all started when someone at Positive Money relayed a translation question, and I started blogging. Now I have three blogs, a twitter channel, and several youtube channels. Nothing that’s caused a huge stir, but it’s more readers than the mails I used to send out, which was less than zero, i.e. negative. This is my 100th post, and I feel I said everything. Then again I already felt that way after the first post. Famous last words, I know, but on the off-chance that I soon find something better to do: thanks for reading, it’s been a pleasure. Take it easy, PEACE!

-updated Feb 11, 2014, 00:30 Swiss time

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From → Side issues

3 Comments
  1. Mike,
    What are the names of your YT channels? Good writing here, by the way.
    Thanks,
    Jerry

    • Glad you like the post, I’ll probably turn it upside down and shorten it in due course. Itchy blogger fingers. Hate long posts, never read them myself.

      http://www.youtube.com/user/MikeYavelly has a few vids in English – enjoy.
      MikeYavelly is of course a play-on-words, get it?

      And this one is fascinating, with a little comic relief thrown in
      – say “household” 3 times with a French accent…childish, but it gives me the giggles.

      Seriously: isn’t it a scandal we can’t seem to tax the rich more heavily, even if most of us want to?
      This post mentions Helmut Kohl – a crook, who got fat* eating at Auberge de Lille (3 Michelin stars) on our ticket, but at least he taxed the rich at 53%! Credit where credit is due…
      * his nick-name was “Birne” because he was pear-shaped.
      (doubly fitting because pear-shaped is what the country is going!)

      You take it easy, thanks for reading 🙂

  2. Yeh, all the hours of discussion/news on TV and nobody mentions raising taxes on the high earners… Forgot who said it “the only way to have a free press is to own one”. Best regards / hit a lot of homeruns.

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