Sunday, February 24, 2013

IRELAND The Corporation State




The Corporation State

Obey: The Routine Of Obedience

Video Documentary

"We're an animal of habit, we live, fight and ultimately die for our habits."

This is a film based on the book "Death of the Liberal Class" by journalist and Pulitzer prize winner, Chris Hedges.

It charts the rise of the Corporate State, and examines the future of obedience in a world of unfettered capitalism, globalisation, staggering inequality and environmental change.

The film predominantly focuses on US corporate capitalism, but it is my hope that the viewer can recognise the relevance of what is being expressed with regards to domestic political and corporate activity.

It was made completely of clips found on the web.
Posted February 21, 2013




definitions of Fascism and Corporatism: implications for democracy ; googled, an old debate

I came across this quote today whilst reading "Crossing the Rubicon".

"Benito Mussolini once said, “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism,since it is the merger of state and corporate power.”"

The author goes on to state "In fact, during the 1920s and
1930s “fascism” and “corporatism” were often used interchangeably in public discourse."

While googling the quote to see where it came from I found several others. Here's a selection:-

"The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in essence, is fascism - ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling power. Among us today a concentration of private power without equal in history is growing."
--President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. (One Thousand Americans, George Seldes, page 5.)

"A clique of U.S. industrialists is hell-bent to bring a fascist state to supplant our democratic government and is working closely with the fascist regime in Germany and Italy. I have had plenty of opportunity in my post in Berlin to witness how close some of our American ruling families are to the Nazi regime. ... Certain American industrialists had a great deal to do with bringing fascist regimes into being in both Germany and Italy. They extended aid to help Fascism occupy the seat of power, and they are helping to keep it there."
-- William E. Dodd, U.S. Ambassador to Germany, 1937.

"Of course, I have as much power as the President has."
-- Bill Gates, in "The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing But The Truth", Wired, November 2000.

"We can have a democratic society or we can have the concentration of great wealth in the hands of the few. We cannot have both."
-- Louis Brandeis, Supreme Court Justice from 1916-1939.
Law grinds the poor, and rich men rule the law.
-- Oliver Goldsmith


"The owners and managers of the press determine which person, which facts, which version of the facts, and which ideas shall reach the public."
-- Report by the Commission on Freedom of the Press. Quoted in Democracy for the Few, by Michael Parenti, and Don't Blame the People, by Robert Cirino.


"In many respects, we now live in a society that is only formally democratic, as the great mass of citizens have minimal say on the major public issues of the day, and such issues are scarcely debated at all in any meaningful sense in the electoral arena.
-- Robert W. McChesney, author of Rich Media, Poor Democracy and
Corporate Media and the Threat to Democracy.

"As long as I count the votes, what are you going to do about it?"
-- "Boss" Tweed

SO I pose these questions;
a) given the quotes above is the new corporatist Ireland Fascist by these definitions?
If not what are your definitions of fascism and corporatism?

b) In countries like the UK, the US and here democratic politics are conducted by/in the media and by advisers, think tanks, lobbyists and civil servants do they truly represent our views or interests?
IF not how representative is our version of democracy? Is it even democratic?



tbh people dwell too much on the actual words and rigid definitions of corporatism and fascism IMO and it leads to a horrible mundane debate on semantics.

The question you have to ask yourself is, are you comfortable with the power private corporations have in influencing politics and controlling what we see and hear via the media. There's no doubt it is only an illusion of democracy but call it what you like, someone else will call it something different.

To be really unoriginal and use the U.S. as an example, what do you think of it? Do you need to mess around with semantics to make you feel comfortable in your definition of what the US is?

IMO the president is little more than a corporate shill, acting in the interests of private corporations, willing to go to war to privatise other countries and secure private corporate contracts. Its main private media companies deliberately mislead / spin and encourage certain reporting while discouraging certain other reporting. The patriot act, homeland security, military styled police force, spying on citizens, use of patriotic symbolism / nationalism and so on............. What does all this mean? Fascism, corporatism, something else, does it really matter what it's called?

I think Roosevelt would class modern America as the fascist state by stealth he warned about but others would disagree. In Ireland we also have powerful lobby groups influencing government and also the fact that attracting corporate investment is number one priority means foreign multinationals have major influence over economic policy. Banks and estate agents are fueling property prices and lending out more and more credit while the media has remained relatively silent on the dangers and potential crippling debt people may find them selves in when the bubble bursts. Europe will soon open its doors to the new member states and a flood of newly arrived workers could move to the continent to countries such as Germany and France. This will leave a lot of empty property and a lot of people stuck with mortgages worth more than their houses. What state is our economy in. The best little performer in Europe if you believe everything you hear but take away the construction industry and the traveling circus of private multinationals and how is our economy really?

Construction companies and property speculators and banks are making huge profits while the average citizen has his / her head on the chopping board. Again is this the corporatist state in action or just the fault of an uninformed kamikaze public? How strong does the corporate link need to be for a state to be corporate? Government decisions made in private boardrooms or just an influence, a push and a nod?


A) I'd agree in steering clear of the label game, stick to the facts and let people come to their own conclusions.

B) i) What C said.

ii) David McWilliams offered an interesting prescription for the Popes children facing the perfect storm of rising energy prices and a reduced construction sector - go nuclear and get richer by playing the international grabbing game even more intensely, focussing on high-paid jobs (paraphrased).

With high property debt most Irish people will support this, we're hooked. Even if we had direct democracy with full transparency, I doubt our macro-economic policies would change much. That doesn't amount to a case not to fix the democratic deficiencies you've outlined, it's just my opinion that fixing those problems will not be a panacea.

The wider question is what is a better alternative to raising each generation to wage economic war ever more intensely with other nations?



tbh people dwell too much on the actual words and rigid definitions of corporatism and fascism IMO and it leads to a horrible mundane debate on semantics.
I'm sorry, but that really is utter horseshìt. If you turn around and define something incorrectly and someone corrects you, that's not a "horrible mundane debate on semantics", that's simply someone pointing out that you're talking through your arse.

Corporatism refers to a system of government that empowers civic groups rather than individual voters or geographical constituencies. It is not simply government by private corporations, unless it's gone horribly, horribly wrong.

The basic idea behind Corporatism is not terribly complicated; rather than basing democratic representation on geographical constituencies, it bases them upon social groups with common interests. These can be private corporations, trade unions, organized religions, professional bodies, academic colleges or even hobby clubs. One current example of Corporatism is in Ireland - the Seanad members are elected or appointed using a Corporatist system, with a certain number of senators coming from the universities, political parties and trade unions.

In itself there's nothing particularly bad about it, it is simply a rewriting of the social contract in democracy and how better for the citizen to be represented in that democracy. After all, does it really make sense for everyone to be represented on the basis of where you live (a system that favours home owners)?

Now, any one group may end up having a monopoly of power, but that would simply demonstrate a failure in an application of a Corporatist system (or even a failure in the underlying theory), not what Corporatism is designed to be.

If people want to discuss it in that context, then fair enough. But if someone wants to make some daft parallel argument Capitalism equals Corporations equals Corporatism equals Fascism equals Bad, then seriously take it to After Hours.
Quote:

/ Says hello to the Corinthian.
Sorry, it took me a while to get to this thread. I've been too busy oiling the wheels of Capitalism with the blood of the workers recently...



Quote:

I came across this quote today whilst reading "Crossing the Rubicon".

"Benito Mussolini once said, “Fascism should more properly be called corporatism,since it is the merger of state and corporate power.”"
It would appear that it is questionable that Mussolini ever even said this:

http://www.publiceye.org/fascist/corporatism.html




I agree, just like communism it was designed to be representative. unlike communism though it did not see people as equals.

i think what the person who began the thread is trying to get at is that just like the above systems, lassaiz-faire capitalism - as perhaps best embodied by the USA - has become corrupted to the core.




Quote:

Originally Posted by The Corinthian
I'm sorry, but that really is utter horseshìt. If you turn around and define something incorrectly and someone corrects you, that's not a "horrible mundane debate on semantics", that's simply someone pointing out that you're talking through your arse.
No need to apologise, I find your abruptness quite cute and charming actually. Thanks for putting me straight on those points comrade, really appreciate it. It's quite clear that the examples discussed in the thread are representative democracies based on geographical constituencies in theory and in practice in so far as the people elect the government. What happens though when those elected then promote and legislate in the interests of private vested interests while acting in the name of those geographical constituencies which elected them. Flawed geographical democracy / quasi stealth corporatism??? I'm simply saying that theory and actual practice is often contrasting and a geographical representative democracy can have all the working features of a government had it been elected directly by vested interests rather than geographical constituencies.


Quote:

But if someone wants to make some daft parallel argument Capitalism equals Corporations equals Corporatism equals Fascism equals Bad, then seriously take it to After Hours.
I don't think anyone was doing that to be honest. I replied to the OP with a genuine response to what I believe he was asking, i.e. Are some governments of representative democracies actually quite similar to corporatism in their application? He questioned who our representative democracies actually represent and how democratic the application of government is. I don't think the OP was suggesting that the electoral process which elects such governments was Corporatist ,( i.e your seanad example). With the power of media and political donations I don't think it's necessary to change the electoral process in order for private interests to exert influence / make decisions tbh.

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Corinthian
Sorry, it took me a while to get to this thread. I've been too busy oiling the wheels of Capitalism with the blood of the workers recently...
That's ok, maybe when you’re not so busy you might read the thread again and point out to me the parts that are Looney lefty anti capitalist horse****. You’re probably bored of people on this forum of that particular political persuasion but I gave the thread the respect it deserves by replying to OP’s question in the context I thought it was asked. Had I known then what I know now I would of course just posted a wiki definition of Corporatism and ranted on about tree hugging hippies of both the balding bearded aging variety and the young naive middle class variety
Last edited by Dirk Gently; 11-07-2007 at 00:38.


Quote:

It's quite clear that the examples discussed in the thread are representative democracies based on geographical constituencies in theory and in practice in so far as the people elect the government. What happens though when those elected then promote and legislate in the interests of private vested interests while acting in the name of those geographical constituencies which elected them. Flawed geographical democracy / quasi stealth corporatism??? I'm simply saying that theory and actual practice is often contrasting and a geographical representative democracy can have all the working features of a government had it been elected directly by vested interests rather than geographical constituencies.
This has absolutely nothing to do with the political philosophy known as Corporatism. What you’re describing is oligarchy.

Quote:

I don't think anyone was doing that to be honest. I replied to the OP with a genuine response to what I believe he was asking, i.e. Are some governments of representative democracies actually quite similar to corporatism in their application?
And if you’d known what Corporatism is you’d have said no.

Quote:
He questioned who our representitive democracies actually represent and how democratic the application of government is.
Actually he asked if “new corporatist Ireland Fascist by these definitions” – the answer to which is not, because while there are aspects of neo-Corporatism, it is a far cry from the classical Corporatism expounded by Fascism. He then asked for an alterative definition, which I gave.

He then asked if politics “conducted by/in the media and by advisers, think tanks, lobbyists and civil servants” could be democratic – which they’re not, but neither are they Corporatist.

Quote:

I don't think the O was suggesting that the electoral process which elects such governments was Corporatist ,( i.e your seanad example).
Of course not – he didn’t understand what Corporatism was, so how could he?
Quote:
With the power of media and political donations I don't think it's necessary to change the electoral process in order for private interests to exert influence / make decisions tbh.
Again, how is this Corporatism?

Quote:
That's ok, maybe when you’re not so busy you might read the thread again and point out to me the parts that are Looney lefty anti capitalist horse****.
I’m not really interested if it’s Loony left, right or simply Looney. My point is this thread was based upon a false definition, which in turn was supported to an unsubstantiated quote. It has nothing to do with Corporatism and the only reason I can think of outside ignorance was an attempt to equate Capitalism with Fascism.

Quote:
Had I known then what I know now I would of course just posted a wiki definition of Corporatism and ranted on about tree hugging hippies of both the balding bearded aging variety and the young naive middle class variety
Had you known anything about the subject matter you would have corrected him on his mistake. You’ll know better next time.





I don't believe I said it was? In fact what I thought I made clear was that a Corporatist electoral system wasn't necessary precisely because of the reasons I outlined.

Quote:

You’ll know better next time.
Indeed, I thank you again for your rigid correction if not your grasp on the context in which I replied to the OP. I will endeavour to kill any future threads on the subject post haste without comparing or contrasting systems whether they are classical, neo or simply similar in application even if I feel it may be relevant to what the OP wishes to discuss.

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