Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ralph Nader on Corporatists - Then and Now

Two things  – both of them from Ralph Nader

This article posted today on OpEdNews - great article!

A Snip:
Nader feels that the greatest power of corporatists is to convince tens of millions of Americans that they're powerless. They're told it every day with "fine print contracts and you-can't-fight-city-hall, with being marginalized, dis-respected, defrauded, unemployed... they've internalized it." What Occupy has shown, even though it hasn't been widely articulated, is that it doesn't take that many Americans to lay down their routines and enter the public arena to start turning the country around. The bar is a lot lower than most Americans think, Nader says. It doesn't take large numbers of people to turn it around.

And more:
Occupy, this year, should continue as a "jolter" and as a channel for workers and families to band together, helping Occupy to expand its base and broaden its numbers. The two parties are brilliant at maintaining a two party system and excluding others, Nader said, pointing to his own experience.

Nader had advice regarding messaging:

  Never use the word "privatization." Use "corporatization."
  Never use "private sector." Use "corporate sector."
  Never use "white collar crime." Use "corporate crime."
  If we talk about poor people getting "entitlements,"
       let's talk about "corporate entitlements."

And a 2007 Democracy Now Video
“Ralph Nader on the Candidates, Corporate Power   
worth watching – at least until the “People Have the Power” break.

The video is an hour long and I don't know how to edit the length for my blog -
The first 10 minutes are what I wanted to bring you - but the whole hour is worth watching and/or listening to.
>>>>So here's the link to the Video<<<<<

Here’s a big snip - the main snip I wanted to bring you:
We are in the advanced stages of being a corporate state, where — as Franklin Delano Roosevelt warned Congress in 1938 that when government is controlled by private economic power, he called that fascism. And he would consider today’s control by private economic power — namely, giant corporations astride the world — as an even more advanced form of what he called fascism: control of government by corporate interests.

AMY GOODMAN: Would you call it fascism?

RALPH NADER: Yeah. The clinical definition is what he was saying. It was obviously colored in a different context in World War II, but the clinical definition of "fascism" is when private concentrated economic power takes government away from the people, turns government into a guarantor, a subsidizer, a covering of corporate power. And corporations now have their executives in high government positions. They have 35,000 full-time lobbies here, like the drug companies getting all kinds of subsidies from Congress. And they have 10,000 political action committees.

Now, if you look at the civic side, there’s very little of that, although as this conference showed, they’ve achieved an enormous amount, given their small numbers. I think, basically, if you could quantify corporate power and civic power in Washington, D.C., civic power is probably 1% of corporate power. And, yeah, look what it has achieved. And I think the hope coming out of this conference is not only that we have a lot of solutions that we don’t apply in our country, because concentration of power in the hands of the few allows the few to decide for the many, but we have a large amount of unused democratic power, unused civic power, that can be unleashed, organized, to take back our government, if people stopped believing that they were powerless, which they are inbred in ever since we entered elementary school. You know the old phrase, "You can’t fight City Hall."

But if we want a society where people have the opportunity to fulfill life’s possibilities, doesn’t that tell you what the priorities are, which is focusing on subordinating the corporate entity to the sovereignty of the American people, as implied in the Constitution, so that they are our servants, not our masters, so that they have to compete against other models of economic development, like cooperatives, like replacing the HMO insurance companies with full Medicare, like decentralized solar replacing more and more of Exxon and Peabody Coal and the nuclear industry, like a redefinition of efficiency in productivity as if people mattered, not as if corporations dominate? They actually define our economic terms, and if we defined "efficiency" as if people mattered, we would have a massive energy efficiency program, which would, of course, reduce the sales of Exxon and Peabody Coal and Commonwealth Edison and all the rest, because we would be using less electricity and less gasoline, because we would democratize technology.

Instead, we have what Andrew Kimbrell called, at the conference, these giant corporations are dictatorships. And they have enormous power without anywhere near the commensurate responsibility. They are highly autocratic dictatorships that prevent constitutional rights from being with workers when they go to the workplace. They lose their constitutional rights when they enter that corporate domain.

And because of all this, it is interesting that our political leaders don’t like to discuss it. I mean, every politician in this town knows who runs this town. They know who runs the Defense Department, the Department of Interior, Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration. And there are only a tiny handful of politicians who will raise the banner of subordinating corporate power to the sovereignty of the American people. The debates are sterile. The debates are exercises in parallel news conferences repeating ad infinitum the same words and phrases of evasion. They will not confront the corporate crime wave. They will not confront the destruction of our democracy. They will not confront the usurpation of our electoral processes, even though they can go back to Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and others, who have condemned corporate power as a perilous threat to even a modest democratic society.

2007 or 2012 -
Doesn't feel like we've made much headway
- but things are going to change.

Cause we have had enough!

They will not confront the corporate crime wave. They will not confront the destruction of our democracy  ...  corporate power as a perilous threat to even a modest democratic society.

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