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The Corporation: Democracy's Killers

The Corporations – Killers of Democracy
by Siv O'Neall
It's way too late at this moment to ask the question: Are we going to lose our democracy?  We may not all have noticed it yet, but the Big Corporations stole our democracy a long time ago.

How did they manage? They bought up everything, from the heavy to the light industry, arms, oil, chemical, to the people in Congress who are supposed to protect us from abuse of power by applying the rules set down in the Constitution.
 
But, above all, they bought up the media.

 
There is no objective source for authentic news in the U.S. any more, other than the Internet.

Rupert Murdoch and his equally power-hungry fellow media moguls have seen to it that we just get pre-cooked baby-formula infotainment. People are dumbed down by the non-stop stream of meaningless chatter and unceasing propaganda.

Two major disasters

Among all the outrageous and inhuman crimes that plague the world today, there are two all-consuming current disasters which tie into all the other dictatorial abuses of power, from the executive to the lobbies that have bought up the government in all its forms.

There is first of all world hunger and, on the same level of emergency, the phenomenon of global warming – both those enormous problems having to be seen as the disasters that must be dealt with in the most urgent way possible. And today, there is virtually no urgency displayed in the way those disasters are dealt with – or not dealt with.

And yet, those two huge problems have to be solved if the world is going to continue in a shape even vaguely like the world as we know it.

There is the planetary inequality which has caused the world hunger that finally seems to have attracted wide-spread attention. It is obviously not a recent phenomenon, but it has been enhanced by the rise in food prices, which have multiple causes – the use of food for biofuel, the rise in the price of oil for transport, the droughts in Australia and in Africa, the enormous sham of GMOs that were made out to be capable of saving the world from hunger, but instead are doing the opposite. And let's not forget about the role the speculators and the hedge funds are playing in their roulette game with heavily loaded dice.

The second enormous disaster is climate change, which we don't seem to be able to do anything much about. Or rather, governments are, at their own peril, disregarding the imminent danger of inaction in the face of global warming. It would be perfectly possible to roll back the disastrous situation where we find ourselves today. However, instead of dealing with the problem of over-consumption of oil in a rational way in order to save our lives and the life of the planet, governments are forging ahead in the same old way of splurging on oil consumption as if there was no tomorrow. Oil companies go on making bigger profits than ever before in human history, while the people are paying the price for their obscene profits at the gas pumps.

Why the lack of action?

So, why can't we deal with the two foremost disasters, poverty and climate change? Because the corporations are more interested in making big bucks than saving the planet or saving people from starvation. Once again, it's that short-term profit that outplays all true concern for realism and sound planning. Speculators drive up the prices of commodities without a second thought for the consequences of their short-sighted game of quick profit which produces nothing and benefits nobody.

So the real rulers of the world, the Big Corporations, are condemning us to a life of increased poverty and hunger in third-world countries, a general increase in insecurity and joblessness for middle class people in the western world and increased pollution in the emerging economies in Asia, where the standard of living is actually rising – for the rich. And of course, alongside all these disasters, we are seeing the lives of steadily increasing luxury for the people who are reaping the profits of the plunder. The Corporations see to it that the so-called governments, their obedient front men, cut back the taxes on the top levels of income, on capital gains and on inheritance.

Ethanol is NOT the solution

There is big talk and lots of activity for the production of ethanol, which is exactly the way we should NOT be going in the campaign to lower the rate of release of CO2 gas into the atmosphere. This use of corn, sugar cane and soybeans for biofuel makes for less food for the hungry in the third world and also in Brazil, which is now considered an emerging nation rather than a developing one, increasing food prices in the entire world. It does not make for less emission of CO2 gas since the production of ethanol gives off more CO2 than it saves as an alternative fuel. But corporations and industrial farms are taking advantage of people's ignorance and gullibility and making huge profits. (See Addendum on ethanol*) Rain forests are being cut down to make room for millions of acres of culture for the production of ethanol and biodiesel. And those rain forests are exactly the best protection on the planet against too much CO2 in the atmosphere.  [1]

The Corporations make money off ethanol production, so that's the way we are going, even though it increases world hunger and does absolutely nothing to save the world from global warming.

Production of grazing land for cattle

Land is also being taken over for production of grazing land for cattle who are the heaviest consumers of grain and who, when converted to meat offer far less nourishment than they have consumed during their growing process.  

One goal for corporations – maximum profit

In other words, the two problems of poverty and hunger and the problem of climate change are deeply intertwined. Both problems could be dealt with rationally, certainly to a somewhat satisfactory extent. But the corporations are not making money off a policy of improving the situation for the starving people in the world or on the urgent need to limit global warming and the disastrous consequences the planet will be undergoing in a near future. We have already begun to see the effects of climate change, but since the corporations own the governments, there is little chance that anything radical will get done very soon.

Renewable energy

There are several ways of producing renewable energy, but who cares? There is no money in it. There is, above all, solar and wind energy waiting to be developed, but no big-scale efforts have been made so far to save the planet using these fabulous non-polluting sources of energy. On a small scale, yes, enough to prove that it works. Even the tidal movements of ocean water can very efficiently be used to make energy. But it wouldn't make any big bucks for the Corporations. And the Corporation is King. So what happens? We have opted for the destruction of the planet.

In short, the world has been taken over by the Big Corporations hand-in-hand with the Main Stream Media and they are all busy shredding our human rights and making our planet into a sterile desert. As long as wildfire capitalism is ruling the world, we are doomed.

 
*Addendum on Ethanol:

  • Ethanol And Biodiesel From Crops Not Worth The Energy ScienceDaily (Jul. 6, 2005) – ITHACA, N.Y. – Turning plants such as corn, soybeans and sunflowers into fuel uses much more energy than the resulting ethanol or biodiesel generates, according to a new Cornell University and University of California-Berkeley study. "There is just no energy benefit to using plant biomass for liquid fuel," says David Pimentel, professor of ecology and agriculture at Cornell. "These strategies are not sustainable."
 
In terms of energy output compared with energy input for ethanol production, the study found that:

  • corn requires 29 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced;
  • switch grass requires 45 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced; and
  • wood biomass requires 57 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced.
In terms of energy output compared with the energy input for biodiesel production, the study found that:
 
  • soybean plants requires 27 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced, and
  • sunflower plants requires 118 percent more fossil energy than the fuel produced.


Footnote:

[1] "Recent research has shown that the Amazon rain forest is not a stable mature forest with growth and decay in balance but is in fact an expanding forest that is being fertilised by the excess atmospheric CO2. The trees are getting bigger and there is a net take up of 5000 kg of carbon per hectare per year ( 1 hectare = 100 x 100 metres ). The total area of forest is 400 million hectares so the whole forest could be absorbing 2 billion tons of carbon per year."


  • "If the Amazon rainforest burns and releases billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere in a short period then this will be a further boost to global warming that will result in significantly higher end of century temperatures."
 

© Copyright 2008 by AxisofLogic.com
Jun 1, 2008

 
Siv O’Neall
is an Axis of Logic columnist, based in France.  She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Read the Biography and additional articles by Axis Columnist, Siv O’Neall




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