Courtesy of Earth Inc:
Most changes to ecosystems have been made to meet a dramatic growth in the demand for food, water, timber, fiber, and fuel.
Lots of folks today sense a corporate militarism, a muscular fundamentalist faith of profit at any cost, running amok on the planet today. This faith runs on market theories that profit and growth are inherently good and will balance all needs through market forces. This is a scary and dangerous faith.
It expresses itself in our lives through exploitation of third world people who work for too little pay, with no benefits, or workplace safety to create consumer goods of questionable utility and safety to be sold at the “lowest price” to first world people who are scraping to survive as they see jobs, pay, work conditions evaporate in their lives as a natural consequence of market forces that move industry production to sites with lower production costs based largely on uncontrolled environmental degradation and non-existent work place rules to protect production line workers.
First world workers, and specifically young people, who cannot find work that pays a living wage, can alwys join the “all volunteer” army and get deployed around the planet to prop up foreign governments that are under siege from people who don’t think the environmental degradation and factory exploitation of a third world nation workforce are such a good deal. It’s an ugly cycle and a natural consequence of free market globalization where the only responsibility of a corporation is to turn a profit for shareholders.
It should also be noted that an increasingly small profit goes to shareholders and a larger windfall goes to the corporate architects, the securities professionals, who are being paid obscene wages for their free market ability to suspend their consciences. It must also be noted that when one of these free market corporations falls on hard times the corporate architects can be expected to lose their jobs with a severance package that means they really never need to work again.
All of this is a little discouraging, and it is easy to conclude that we are going down the tube in a major way. That may be true, but this is not a new fear. And to illustrate the history of the shadow rulers that pull the strings on the planet:
From Thomas Jefferson, a utopian thinker:
“The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history,
whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite.” — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
From Abraham Lincoln, a pragmatist with principles:
“I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country; corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in High Places will follow, and the Money Power of the Country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the People, until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed.”
— Abraham Lincoln
“Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the U.S., in the field of commerce and manufacturing, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.”
— Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924) 28th US President
Source: In his book entitled The New Freedom (1913)
I think we have to conclude that this battle between corporate and human values is not something new under the sun. Fight the good fight and fight it in a way that is true to your convictions and principles. Keep hope alive.
I think I will post some pics and text on my recent conversion of my pickup truck from gasoline to propane. More on that in the near future.