Saturday, March 8, 2008

Corporate Predators

Last Friday I attended the premiere of "Burning the Future", a documentary with which an old friend is associated that provides a disturbing overview of how corporations are raping the environment of West Virginia, Kentucky and other states by cutting off the tops of entire mountains and destroying the land, killing wildlife, and poisoning the water. Here is the trailer:

This harkens back to an earlier blog entry speculating that corporations are literally the dominant life forms on the planet. That they are also predatory is no longer in question, as this film shows -- the big problem is that since they are basically etherial and virtual life forms they permit their human components to function without conscience.

Interestingly these life forms worship science and materialism as the highest value, so that their efforts induce their human components to act in a way that is pro-science, and against their conscience. The quality of conscience has atrophied in the "humans" that speak and act on behalf of these corporate monstrosities.

Unfortunately their actions also affect the livelihoods and lifestyles of millions of other humans, who must turn off their consciences in order to go along with the choices that these corporations manifest and promote through the corporately controlled mass media.

In the Q&A following the premiere the film maker made a point that in all of the CNN debates among candidates this issue was never raised, and even global warming was barely mentioned and never addressed with specificity (as a result of coal mining, for example). At the same time "Clean Coal" was a major sponsor of the debates.

Finally it is my view that the most imminent ecological disaster facing humans and all life on the planet currently has not been addressed with any sense of alarm since the days of Jacques Cousteau. The pollution and death of our oceans is almost certainly a condition from which our species will never recover and is no longer a matter of conjecture or debate. The fact that our beaches are spoiled is the least of our problems. When the reefs and sea lifeforms are dead we will starve and perhaps most profoundly higher life forms (cetaceans) will also become extinct.

Life will go on but homo sapiens may not survive. There may be some justice in that, since it is homo sapiens who triggered the evolution of the corporation -- basically a soul-less entity that is having disastrous effects on all life on this planet.

(Please see "Thoughts on the Holocaust" - February 11, 2008 in Archive)

It may well be as some have speculated that corporations and other similar institutions are harbingers of our (de)evolution into less conscious life forms like ants and bees whose identity is no longer individualized but manifest in a hive or colony.

Perhaps that is what Life has in store for us because of the threat we pose, in our corporate and institutional structures, to the totality of life on earth.

While we may see technology and the Internet, for example, as evolutionary quantum leaps forward, to the extent that they enable the continued atrophy of individual conscience and compassion, these aspects of "progress" may well result not in human empowerment, but in the control of the masses by the most venal and power hungry among us.

If that happens, we have no one to blame but ourselves.


Anonymous said...

Well, Tom - what you are describing is corporate capitalism, or rather corporate socialism, because these corporations could not succeed with such devastating destructiveness without governmental compliance. There is an alternative, and that would be a form of democratic socialism but those in power are too drugged with materialistic and hedonistic indulgence to allow the masses to catch up with their mess. anon.

Basswork said...

Democratic socialism? Is that like today's China, with its black air? History shows free market capitalist nations to be better environmental stewards.

Tom, you make your living in part with the Internet and software created by corporations. If there had been no mid-90s gold rush of corporations, where do you think the Internet would be today?

Would there be a Google if the government had been in charge of building the Internet, as Clinton and Gore planned to do? No, they would've been told there were already too many search engines.

In fact, if the government had been tasked with building the Internet it would probably resemble something akin to American Online version 1.

Corporations are not an occupying army -- they are us, organizing ourselves to create wealth. And doing a fine job of it.

That doesn't mean government shouldn't regulate.