“The political and economic influence corporations exercise over governments interferes with commodity prices, and leads to reductions in social investment, health, education, transportation and security. … A simplified articulation is as follows: there is a small central business core that has two parts: those that compose the nucleus and those that are controlled by it. … This core is mainly comprised of large banks, who hold most of the shares in other corporations. The leading banks control 80 percent of the entire corporate network. … How much inhumanity can people stomach? … A society cannot long survive based on extreme exploitation, lies and opposition to life.”
Carta Maior, Brazil
Good wishes for a happy year are rituals, but they don’t go beyond simple wishes. They are unable to change the course of a world in which the super-powerful follow their strategy for global domination. On this topic we all need to think and even pray, because the economic, social, cultural, and spiritual consequences, as well as those for the future of the species and nature, could be catastrophic.
Many like [Nobel Prize winning economists] Joseph Stiglitzand Paul Krugman hoped that the legacy of the 2008 crisis would be a great debate about what type of society we want. They were greatly mistaken. Such a discussion hasn’t taken place. On the contrary, the logic that provoked the crisis has been taken up again with even greater enthusiasm. Richard Wilkinson, a leading expert on the topic of inequality, was more attentive, saying some time ago in an interview with Germany’s Die Zeit: “The fundamental question is this: do we or do we not want to truly live according to the principle that the strongest get almost everything, and the weakest are left behind?”
The super-rich and super-powerful decided they wanted to live according to the Darwinian principle of the strongest – and damn the weak. But Wilkinson commented: “I believe that we all have a need for greater cooperation and reciprocity, because people want more social equality.”This desire is intentionally denied by those rich men.
As a rule, capitalist logic is ferocious: one company swallows another (euphemistically called a “merger”). When it gets to the point where there are just a few large firms, their logic changes: rather than making war, they create a wolf’s alliance among themselves and mutually behave like sheep. In this way they retain more power, make profit for themselves and their shareholders with greater certainty, and completely disregard the good of society.
The political and economic influence corporations exercise over governments, the majority of which are much weaker than they, is extremely awkward, interfering with commodity prices, and leads to a reduction in social investment, health, education, transportation, and security. The thousands occupying streets around the world and in Brazil intuited this domination as that of a new form of empire, constructed under the motto: “greed is good” and “devour whatever we can consume.”
There are excellent studies on the domination of the world by large multinational corporations. One such well-known person is by David Korten, who wrote When Corporations Rule the World. But a study pulling together the loose strands was missing. That was done in 2011 by the Swiss Institute of Technology(ETH) in Zurich, one of the world’s most respected centers of research and a competitor of MIT. The document includes some big names and is short – no more than ten pages, with 26dedicated to methodology to show the complete transparency of the results. It was summarized by Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo Professor of EconomicsLadislau Dowbor. On this we will rely.
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Of the 30 million existing corporations, the Institute selected 43,000 to better study the logic of how they function. A simplified articulation is as follows: there is a small central business core that has two parts: those that compose the nucleus and those that are controlled by it. This linkage creates a network of global corporate control. This tiny core constitutes a super-entity. It is this core that controls the network, which focuses on cost cutting, protection from risk, boosting confidence, and most importantly, defining the outlines of the global economy and where they lines should be strengthened.
This tiny core is mainly comprised of large banks, who hold most of the shares in other corporations. The leading banks control 80 percent of the entire corporate network. There are only 737 players from 147 large corporations. There is Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan Chase, UBS, Santander, Goldman Sachs, BNPParibas, among several others. In the end, less than 1 percent of all companies control 40 percent of the entire network.
This fact now allows us to understand the indignation of the Occupiers and others, who accuse the 1 percent of companies of doing what they want with the hard-earned resources of 99 percent of the population. These firms contribute nothing – and produce nothing. They just make more money by way of market speculation.
It was this absurd and unlimited voracious accumulation that created the systemic crisis of 2008. This logic continually worsens inequality, and makes it more difficult to emerge from the crisis. How much inhumanity can people stomach? Everything has its limits, and the economy isn’t everything. Now, however, we see the guts of the monster. As Dowbor says: “The truth is that we have ignored the elephant in the room.” It’s breaking everything in sight: crystal, crockery – and trampling people. But for how much longer? Global ethical common sense assures us that a society cannot long survive based on extreme exploitation, lies and opposition to life.
TLB recommends you visit: www.worldmeets.us for more great/pertinent articles and information.
See Featured post (original) here: Exposing and Confronting the ‘Global Corporate Empire’