Friday, November 18, 2011

Corporations and the F word

Oh my, what could I be talking about?  Do I dare mention it?  Could it be happening in this country?  No, it only happened in Germany, Italy, Spain, and elsewhere.  It could never happen here.  Corporations could never exert so much power in this country.  But...


Ah yes, the dreaded F word.  Up until now, most of the talk has been in this country of an oligarchy or a plutocracy.  Here is a perfect example of what I'm talking about from Bill Moyers.

It would seem that wealthy corporate interests and democracy don't mix too well.  Democracy is a system of government that looks out for the needs of the majority of its people and the benefits of all.  It is also a system of government that is run by the people.  A plutocracy is where the corporate interests run the show, where the wealthy make the decisions that help only the wealthy, not the people.  So it would seem pretty easy to see where these two don't mix.

But Fascism?  The slow erosion of our rights have made me think of this.  It's the slow erosion of our rights all to protect the corporate interests.

As the Occupy protests continue around the United States, it has been the police who have been cracking down on the people's right to freedom of speech under the first amendment.  With arrests at the protests surpassing 4000, what have these people done other than exercise their freedom of speech?  As far as I'm concerned, the Constitution doesn't say that freedom of speech ends when the sun goes down.

What other right has been suppressed?  The right to the freedom of the press.  Mayor Bloomberg blocked reporters from covering the crackdown on Zucotti park and when reporters tried to cover it, they were arrested.  Reporters all across America have been arrested for covering these protests.

“Sometimes they are arrested and then set free almost immediately. Sometimes they are arrested and, before being released, are charged with unlawful assembly, disorderly conduct or lack of press credentials.

Journalists covering the Occupy Wall Street movement’s protests and marches are not only exposed to police brutality but also to a sort of judicial lottery when detained. The situation varies from state to state, according to local laws, but the freedom to report news and information is being violated almost everywhere, not only for professional journalists but also for bloggers and for activists who want to cover the protests themselves."
What is the role of the police?  To protect the rights of the people?  Or to protect the rights of the corporation? 

That's why I bring up the dreaded F word.  Fascism.  In a 2003 study of fascist regimes around the world and in history, fourteen defining characteristics of fascism were found.  The following is one of them.

"Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite."
Sound like something that might be happening here?  Even in NYC, Mayor Bloomberg is the 12 richest man in America with a net worth of 19.5 BILLION dollars.  It would seem that he has interests that need to be protected.

Or how about the fact that one of the largest multinational banking and investment firms in the world, also located on Wall St., gave a private donation of $4.6 million to the NYPD, the largest donation to a public police force ever?  Whose interests do you think they were looking out for?  The people?  Think they made this donation so that our first amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of the press could be protected?

I will close with the following words from a fellow blogger of mine TeacherKen:

"The use of sonic weapons, the use of massive police, the changing of the rules of access to the park after the fact in violation of the agreement by which the park was created, the refusal of the authorities to allow access to the press, the arresting of journalists, the continued incarceration of people including a city councilman without bringing them to the courts  -  all of these are indicators that basic rights apparently no longer matter to those in control of power.

How the people as a whole respond to what has happened, including the coordination across multiple cities and the inappropriate intervention of the Department of Homeland Security into this situation, may represent the last chance to prevent this nation from slipping into fascism -  corporate domination of the system without regard to the rights of persons ostensibly guaranteed by the Constitutions of the United States and the several states."
Don't think this can't happen here.  Don't think that fascism and corporate interests can't dominate the interests of the people.  We can either keep ignoring what's happening here, or speak out against it and act out against the corporate interests.


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