Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I think some people might have been confused. My best friend told me that US involvement in international relations is not that simple. Nothing is black and white. So let me go back over the basics.

This is not a conspiracy theory at all. I’m not talking about any particular type of collusion or conspiring to do anything to take over the world or secure US domination. Now, some of our government documents openly use this language (where in the past I don’t think it would have been so open) so if one does the research, one must come to terms with that. But if there are any people conspiring it is not something that all people are tied into.

Companies have an uncanny ability to make employees fight for its own goals. What I mean is that the goal and the bottom line of a company is to make a profit. Companies then have a great ability to make the employees fight to make a profit. Companies do this by tying incentives of employees to the profit of the company so that every employee from the person who cleans the floors to the CEO is doing what it takes for the company to make a profit. Haven’t you seen this? Haven’t we all been in situations when dealing with an employee of an organization or company and we’re amazed at how emotional the employee gets about the work when in reality it doesn’t really matter at all, in the big scheme of things? Yes, sometimes the passion is due to the fact that the person is passionate about the work, but usually the person has incentive to do well in the job. And doing well usually means enhancing or growing the business of the company. And enhancing the business of the company usually means more profit. It’s quite amazing, actually. So everyone in the company is working to increase profit, like members of an impersonal entity, the movements of a large machine. And it works.

The lone goal of a traditional company is profit and increasing it.

Companies have disproportionate influence over our government. This is not an opinion or biased or conspiracy theory. It’s just true. We have politicians who are elected into office. They need large amounts of money to run for office. The only people that can sway them on how to vote or what to fight for are people who vote for them and people who can give them money so they can campaign for votes. Companies can give money. They hire lobbyists who go to politicians and sway them to do what they want and politicians listen. In fact, a single lobbyist is more powerful than a single citizen. DC people will tell you this is only because lobbyist know the system and how to get what they want, but as it stands, it is true. With increasing mergers of companies in today’s age, there is a decrease in the amount of corporate voices heard. Regardless, the message of a corporation is always the same: help me increase my profits and don’t pass laws that reduce my profits. Corporations have risen to a point of being given the benefits of citizens but don’t have the responsibilities of citizens (the tide is slowly changing as people are trying to hold them to more and more responsibility). The problem is that voting is not required by law. So MANY citizens do not vote. The least participative is the lower class. This is why you never see anyone campaigning for “lower class values” and “the poor” and winning a presidency. No, Clinton (both) campaigned for the middle class which is great but it doesn’t help “the least of these.” A single mother working multiple jobs to take care of multiple kids is unlikely to make it to the poll station to voice her opinion. So it has the affect of diluting the democracy to a point where it isn’t a democracy. The salient feature of a democracy is the multiplicity of voices and choices. But you never really have a choice of a candidate campaigning for the lower class. You never really have a choice of a candidate who is not supported by the top companies in the country. In other words, we tend to lack a multiplicity of voices; every voice is not heard. People are free to choose who they want. But we don’t have choices that represent all peoples. And to top it off, a single lobbyist has more potential and power in a senator’s office than a single citizen, on average. This is not new to anyone in DC. This is how the system works.

The lone goal of a traditional company is profit and increasing it.

Companies have disproportionate influence over our government.

The government therefore works, in many cases, to increase the profits of its companies. This comes from the logical progression. It ranges from subsidies for corn and strengthening of the insurance infrastructure to the favor of US companies for development and relief in war and peace and the opposing of nationalizing of resources of foreign countries.

That’s just math. But there is hope, it is true that Obama might be less beholden to corporate interests since he had the largest campaign with individual donors than I’ve ever seen, but he is still beholden to them as is the Congress with whom he works. But it does indicate that another way is possible. And I look forward to a day, however impossible it may be, when such a campaign is fully and only funded by individual donors.

Politicians used to be quite cordial in earlier times (maybe when I was kid?). In public they were political enemies, but they would share a drink and laugh after the debate was over. They knew and understood how the game works and who funded whom. But these days it seems to have increased in vitriol and personal intensity.
Africa has been ravaged by such economic imperialism. The Middle East was controlled by it. We saw last time how effects of it were felt in Latin America, but there has been a rising tide of “leftist” governments (left from our perspective) and leaders are trying to take resources into the hands of their people, rid themselves of the IMF, and keep their land free of American military bases. This is not in every Latin American country but there is a definitely a noticeable trend. Next time (because this is a little long I’ll talk about trends in Asia.

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