One nation under a Corporation
As my man, the infamous hip-hop artist Immortal Technique once said about the United States, “Slave trade was the capital for capitalism.” The original sin of the United States was ensuring that corporations could sell, buy, and trade African bodies to rich plantation owners for massive profits.
This was the first foray into unchecked corporate power influencing the political and social landscape of the United States. Corporations have always sought to expand, maintain, or grow their power in this nation. We can start with the 14th Amendment.
“Originally adopted after the Civil War to protect the rights of formerly enslaved people, the 14th Amendment has exponentially expanded the protection of civil rights for all Americans over the past 150 years. It’s been cited in more litigation than any other amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and has been at the center of many of the most famous Supreme Court decisions, including school desegregation (Brown v. Board of Education), abortion (Roe v. Wade) and same-sex marriage (Obergefell v. Hodges).
Under U.S. law, these essential rights belong not only to American citizens, but also corporations—thanks to a few key Supreme Court cases and a controversial legal concept known as corporate personhood.”
Over the years we’ve seen the idea of corporate personhood rear its ugly head time and time again. The most recent and noteworthy Supreme Court case that further expanded corporate power in the name of ‘corporate personhood’ was the 2010 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (FEC). It was the most sweeping expansion of corporate rights yet, the Supreme Court cited Bellotti in its highly controversial 5-4 ruling that political speech by corporations is a form of free speech that is also covered under the First Amendment. God Bless America!
In this post, I will show you how corporations run the United States of America. Corporate power is almost absolute in swaying these four aspects of society that impact everyday lives of all of us. Corporations have massive influence and control over the media, politics, the Military-Industrial Complex, and the fossil fuel industry. Now my libertarian friends will argue it’s better than the government running things. I would disagree. The government can and will be problematic in many ways. Yet, in a so-called democracy, the government is checked by its citizens ideally. Corporations are only accountable to their shareholders, broad members, and the maximization of profits, even to the detriment of people, and nature.
In 1980, over fifty corporations, big and small, controlled ninety percent of our media. Today in 2021, that’s down to just six mega-corporations, with Comcast and Disney being the biggest power players. This means the MCU isn’t going anywhere ever! Disney really is the real-life Vought International.
This corporate media consolidation impacts journalism and creates a lack of dissent from the popular mainstream corporate-approved political opinion. Sure, they’re small independent media outlets, and the internet was supposed to democratized media as we know it. Yet, independent media outlets are brought out by big corporations, crushed, or discredited. The internet has been monopolized by Apple, Google, and Amazon. Just ask the people at Parler, who had its site remove from Google after the porkchop rebellion of January 6th, 2021. (I hear AOC is still in therapy for ‘trauma’ while her colleagues continue to support U.S. bombs being dropped on children aboard). I doubt I would agree with most users from Parler. But I think we can all agree that this could prove a slippery slope towards censorship for dissenting political opinions, points of view, and thoughts online and on television.
In a democracy, all voices should be heard, even those we highly disagree with, hence the 1st Amendment. An amendment both Democrats and Republicans claim to love until you disagree with them. It puts corporate media in bed with those in power. The most recent and blatant example of someone in power being given complete media fluff to build their brand was disgraced governor Andrew Cuomo. He was given all types of glowing airtime on CNN. His brother, CNN anchor, Chris Cuomo turned his nightly news show to Keeping Up with the Cuomos. (And thus the Cuomosexuals were born, kill me!) Softball interviews built up Gov. Cuomo as our savior at the height of the COVID pandemic. In reality, the governor was abusing his power, sexually harassing colleagues, and letting grandma die. No wonder Chris is Mama Bear’s Cuomo’s favorite son.
People will turn their nose at you if you point out that the two major political parties are completely compromised due to corporate money and influence on our politics at the local, state, and federal levels. Democrats and Republicans join hands, ensuring corporate lobbying is here to stay. Sadly too many citizens accept legalized bribery a.k.a lobbying as business as usual. And if you donate ten dollars to Joe Biden’s Campaign, but Exxon-Mobil donates 10k to President Biden’s campaign. He’s taking Exxon’s call first, ten times outta ten. Sorry voters! And it’s pretty expensive to run for office these days. The 2020 election cycle cost a whooping fourteen billion dollars! That’s why I’m for all elections being funded publicly.
During the same 2020 presidential election cycle, President Biden told his wall street buddies that if he became president, “Nothing will fundamentally change.” And boy, he was right. The rich keep on getting richer, and the poor get poorer and probably die of COVID-19. All because healthcare is too expensive according to the CNN, Fox News, and MSDNC anchors talking points. Sounds like good ol’ USA!
Here are three prime examples of corporate giveaways spearheaded by both Democrats and Republicans in recent history.
The 2008 Bank Bailouts. Thanks Obama!
“Using any of a variety of measures, the Obama administration has broken all records in the distribution of taxpayer dollars to American businesses, primarily banks, automobile manufacturers and insurance companies.”
The 2017 Trump Tax Cuts.
A select group of ultrawealthy pass-through business owners won huge deductions from the new law, reducing their taxable income and saving them millions in 2018, the first year of the tax break.
The 2020 CARES Act.
The CARES Act includes rebates to individuals and families, but it also reserves an astonishing amount of tax breaks for wealthy individuals and large businesses. One of these breaks, as noted by the Wall Street Journal’s Jesse Drucker last week, would allow married taxpayers with incomes over $500,000 to use losses to help zero out their personal income taxes. This could benefit all types of business owners, from your local florist to a real estate investor or hedge fund manager—as long as their incomes from non-business sources put them in the top 1 percent stratosphere.
The Military-Industrial Complex
The Military-Industrial Complex is something that Republican President Dwight Eisenhower warned the American People about in his farewell address at the start of 1960. Over sixty years later, the Military-Industrial Complex is still poppin’ and lockin’ to full effect thanks to the shock doctrine and its fueling of endless wars across the globe. The Nations of Iraq and Afghanistan ring a bell to many veterans, who are now seeing their children fight in the same damn wars the fought in. The United States is the Roman Empire remixed. While our infrastructure, healthcare, and handle on the COVID pandemic continues to spiral downwards. Both political parties gleefully join hands to ensure needy arms dealers and military contractors are propped up finically by never-ending military conflicts.
“There is always enough money for more weapons and jails, and never enough for education and the poor…Instead of this money going to healthcare and education for our citizens who so desperately need it, it goes toward padding the pockets of Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and the list goes on and on.” – Anthony Clark, Air Force Veteran, and Democratic Candidate for Congress, IL
Many big green environmental organizations refuse to discuss the environmental impact of the U.S. global military imperialist expansion since World War II. The U.S. will claim the wars and conflicts were all in the name of stopping communism, terrorism, providing humanitarian aide, or giving people freedom! But endless wars don’t create freedom. It only creates death and destruction. As a former U.S Navy Sailor, I can attest the Navy used the ocean as its trash can. Waging peace could be much better for humanity and the planet. But we gotta drop those bombs and send those drones. No matter how many lives are destroyed, home and aboard.
The Fossil Fuel Industry
I am all for people recycling. Hell, I recycle too, I use public transportation, and I drive a fuel-efficient car. The corporate media would have you believe that climate change and the climate crisis is just individual problem. If you go vegan (damn cow farts), drive a Hybrid, use a reusable grocery bags, and shop at the Farmers Market, you’ll lower your carbon footprint and save the planet. In the long term, the planet will be fine, but the people will be fucked, to quote great philosopher, George Carlin.
Well, that’s all fine and dandy until you realize it’s just over 100 companies responsible for 71% of all carbon emissions. This is fueled by the massive war machine and political cowardice. What’s worse is the taxpayers are subsidizing these same corporations that are making the planet more and more inhospitable to life on Earth. Sounds like corporate socialism to me. But don’t worry, Elon Musk and Jeffery Bozo are going to space, so we all win at the end, right?
BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron and Total spend a combined $200 million per year(!) on lobbying “designed to control, delay, or block binding climate-motivated policy,” says a report by InfluenceMap, a nonprofit research group. These five companies also spend $195 million annually on branding campaigns meant to portray them as energy transition champions—even as they drastically increase spending on fossil fuel extraction.
To conclude I just laid out a very bleak picture here. The question lies in how can a regular person with kids, jobs, bills, and student loan debt and no healthcare fight the corporate powers that be? On the other hand, there are some people who read this post and will say I’m jealous of the billionaire class success. And that one day they’ll be a billionaire too! Well, if you believe that I have a bridge to nowhere to sell you. No matter how many times you read Rich Dad, Poor Dad, you won’t become a billionaire. Sorry, not sorry!
The first thing to realize is corporations are not people. They are run by people. Very greedy sociopathic people to be exact. But corporations are only ideas, and their power comes from what we the people give them. History has provided a great road map to fighting corporate power, the billionaires, and monopolies.
Abolitionists stood up to the corporate power that oversaw the inhumane slave trade; countless laborers stood up to the robber barons of the industrial revolution age to demand fair wages, safe working conditions, unions, and an end to child labor. Earth justice activists and water protectors have fought tooth and nail against the oil pipelines, the fossil fuel industry, and environmental racism. The people in power might be well organized and have police and militaries under their control. But in the end, they are just people. With collective power and organizing, we can win. Another world is possible, and the fight against the Corporate States of America must be waged. The survival of humankind depends on it.