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The necessity and possibility of corporate reform: Part 1. Introduction

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Gary Brumback     Permalink
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Consider the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an extremely influential shill and tout. As I wrote in the December 13, 2011 issue of OpEdNews.com the USCC was instrumental in furthering the imminent US Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell's "battle" plan to revive a dormant corporate America. The USCC has been called by the authors of a Washington Post story the "goliath of the lobbying world," making Big Pharma look like a piker.


Shills that I'll lump together include: talking-head pundits and the rabble rousers shouting into a mike; "Erudites" squirreled away in think tanks authoring corporate gospel; and "front" groups, whose purpose is to mask corporate intent and consequences and call them what they are not. Then there are in varying shades of shill the business and law schools that mint the new recruits for the managerial and executive ranks throughout corporate America and supply it with lawyers paid well to argue the legality of any corporate action no matter how harmful.  

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The cultists. One of the most insidious cults is the "cult of growth," preferably fast growth, every quarter. The cultists in it generally aren't shrill shills but their views on and promotion of unbridled growth sometimes go to the extreme and the actions sometimes condoned for achieving growth go to the extreme. In this cult are mostly mainstream economists, management gurus, and speculative investors and their brokers. There is even a politically activist organization called the "Club of Growth" that is for bridled taxes and unbridled growth." This cult helps fuel corporate America's wrongdoing by reinforcing speculative investing, globalization, environmental exploitation and what author Roger Terry in his book calls a kind of "economic insanity."  


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Another cult is the conservatives who mostly occupy the right wing of the once proud Republican Party that called Abraham Lincoln its first U.S. President. This Party has become, says the Nobel laureate in economics, Paul Krugman, a strident group of malcontents "acting out of pure spite like a "bratty 13-year-old." They spew provocative and deceitful exhortations and slogans (e.g., "let's reload," "don't tread on me," "freedom works") and are against government solutions, particularly social welfare (so miserly it is dwarfed by corporate welfare).


"Anticorpocracy" NGOs. What you see is not necessarily what you get when it comes to the realm of NGOs that purport to be opposed to one or more facets of the corpocracy. In the February 23, 2012 issue of OpEdNews.com I wrote about my frustrating experience in trying to get what I call "two-fisted democracy power" organized and unleashed, and I included profiles of two financially well-endowed and large NGOs that appear to depend more for their existence on the corpocracy's continuation than on ending it and reclaiming democracy. I had been forewarned about this and so I expect I will encounter many more compromised NGOs as I continue contacting them. If they refuse to unite or at least coordinate their separate government reform initiatives then putting more emphasis on corporate reform becomes paramount.


Small business. Small business is no longer the backbone of our economy. Its backbone has been crushed. It has become both a victim of and to some extent a compromised ally of corporate America.   


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Compromised professions and sciences. Probably the most shameful of this diverse lot are people of the cloth, that is, the religious profession. It is full of "pulpiteers" who mouth scripture and generalities about sin for fear of alienating those in the pews who put profit and power before honor when not in a house of worship. Next would have to be the legal profession, especially its corporate lawyers who specialize, to take an excerpt from the title of Ralph Nader and Wesley Smith's book, in the "perversion of justice." Next might be the mainstream journalism profession that has been compromised by the media magnates. I would also not leave out most of the other professions as well as the sciences because they have been compromised in various ways such as receiving government and corporate funding. Society tends to place far too much unguarded trust in the performance of professions and sciences because of their education, training, and standards of performance.


The bystanders. This passive and amorphous lot usually known as the silent majority is the most populous of all the allies. It includes fatalistic people, cowed and fearful people; bamboozled and distracted people; and exhausted people too busy trying to eke out a living.         

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Retired organizational psychologist.

Author of The Devil's Marriage: Break Up the Corpocracy or Leave Democracy in the Lurch; America's Oldest Professions: Warring and Spying; and Corporate Reckoning Ahead.

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