Since the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations are people, it’s time for the American living beings (aka, the real people) to recognize the toxic impact of granting what amounts to sociopathic monsters in the human realm control over the government.
Corporations have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders to make a profit, to put their economic and profit interests first above all else. Clearly, civilization and democracies are not built on the premise that money takes precedent over all else.
In the movie “The Corporation” they use the personality diagnostic checklist DSM-IV to test corporations for pathological symptoms:
Callous disregard for the feelings of others. Check.
Incapacity to maintain enduring relationships. Check.
Reckless disregard for the safety of others. Check.
Deceitfulness: repeated lying and conniving others for profit. Check.
Incapacity to experience guilt. Check.
Failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors. Check.
Result? Corporations are Psychopaths.
Watch the trailer here:
Watch the first chapter of the film, “What is a corporation?” here:
This brings up Colbert’s joke that if corporations are people, than Mitt Romney is a serial killer. It’s funny, but it’s not. Because in reality, modern day corporations are monsters killing human beings in the name of profit.
The “conservatives” who advance the corporate agenda will straw man their way out of having a real discussion about the inevitable result of granting legislative power to entities whose sole purpose is to make a profit by taking refuge in faux capitalism, America-is-great cheers.
But capitalism is an economic system, and does not equate to fascism (and I do not use this word lightly or hyperbolically, but rather literally) or giving corporations the right to govern the people, influence elections, and buy access to legislators in order to advance their agenda.
Capitalism can exist and has existed within the framework of a democratic republic; it’s just not happening right now. Capitalism and corporatism are not the same systems, contrary to the convenient leap made by those desperate to sell corporatism as patriotism.
In America, we have an entire party devoted to turning the government over to corporations, and another party barely able to maintain even the smallest of struggles against this push. In a system where money can buy elections and the people aren’t awake enough to look past the corporate memes being sold under the auspices of religion and entertainment “news”, a politician has to play along to some degree or be rendered impotent.
But here’s where it gets interesting. The Occupy movement is the one movement that really took hold and gave the people some power. In order to distract from the Occupy movement, and with the luck of a cold winter dimming the Occupy voice, corporations have had their puppets assail the American people with shock and awe courtesy of a mountain of legislation meant to attack assumed rights.
Political fascism is defined as “a nationalistic, authoritarian, anti-communist movement founded by Benito Mussolini in Italy in 1919. Fascism was a response to the economic hardship and social disorder that ensued after the end of World War I. The main elements of fascism were pride in the nation, anti-Marxism, the complete rejection of parliamentary democracy, the cultivation of military virtues, strong government, and loyalty to a strong leader.”
It’s important to distinguish that just because the Nazis were a form of Fascism by no means suggests that I am calling Republicans Nazis. That’s quite a stretch, but I guarantee that readers who aren’t paying attention will scream Godwin’s Law in order to avoid having a necessary discussion about the direction of this country under Republican rule.
I am not accusing Republicans of genocide. I am accusing them of ruthlessly promoting social Darwinism via policies of inequality (the view that natural selection applies as much to human society as it does to biological organisms) and corporatism, traits that indicate their push for economic Fascism.
We are discussing the political and economic systems advanced by the party, not the tragic, unthinkable results of Fascism as employed by the Nazis. Although it can hardly go unsaid that fostering psychopathy as nationalism won’t likely end well, and we already see the results in less dramatic fashion as quietly, the poor and disabled are cut off from resources, the elderly left to die while waiting for services, public education for all being privatized for the few, and of course, using corporations as paid for profit military police accountable to no one with billions of taxpayer dollars overseas.
The economics of Fascism reveal how closely Republicans defending corporatist plutocracy as “free market capitalism” are simulating Fascism in this respect. According to Alexander J. De Grand in his book Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany, (pp. 47-51), Fascism operated from a Social Darwinist view of human relations. Their aim was to promote superior individuals and weed out the weak. As applied to economics, this meant killing trade unions and other voices for the working class while promoting the interests of the businessman.
Fascism socializes business losses while privatizing profit (bail outs that aren’t paid back, federal subsidizes for oil companies that are making record profits, etc.). Private enterprise is valued more than the people. In this vein, it could be argued that tax rules set up to benefit the wealthy and corporations at the expense of the middle class and poor as pushed by Republicans is just another form of socializing losses, funding corporations on the backs of the working class.
Fascism is highly militaristic and we see that Republicans are so unwilling to cut military funding that they gave up on the Debt Super Committee after trying to run an end game around the automatic kick in of military cuts, which came as a result of their pushing our country into a lowered credit rating over the deficit. Republicans want to cut everything for the people, while increasing military contracts and spending.
A straw man would now insert an argument about how we are under attack, and insert nationalism here spiced up with requisite fear. But as a fiscal conservative, allow me to point out that the military wastes money just like any government agency, and it wastes even more money when it privatizes services to known abusers like Academi (formerly infamous as Blackwater and formerly also known as XE), DynCorp, and others. On top of wasting money, when we privatize, we lose accountability and oversight, which naturally result in the loss of even more money for the payor (the government; i.e., the taxpayers).
If nothing else, government contractors like Halliburton et al demonstrate exactly what kind of monsters corporations are and why some services were designed to be kept out of the profit industry. A true fiscal conservative would never argue that unregulated, for profit corporations should be given unlimited access to government money with no accountability under the guise of “small government”. That is, in essence, economic Fascism. It socializes losses and privatizes profits, and it also gives corporations the power to police citizens in other countries, with immunity and zero oversight, with their singular purpose being to make a profit.
If that isn’t psychopathic, what is?
Citizens United opened the door for the Republican vision of America as social Darwinism grants ungodly profits to corporations and public money props the corporations up for the good of the Republican Party. That is one way Republicans differ from economic Fascism; the Fascists demanded that the economic activities of the corporations served the public interest, as defined of course by the party/leaders in charge.
Economic Fascists often don’t even have an ideology, and Republicans often appear as if they no longer subscribe to their own ideology of limited government, but rather to political expediency. Their agenda is purely driven by the endless needs and hunger of the Corporation.
They can change the dogma to fit the situation, easily adapting and redefining the party line to fit the latest agenda of the Corporation. In order to achieve this, they sell the narrative with emotional and often religious dogma, which serves to distort how the fundamental values are being betrayed or don’t even exist.
Thus, it’s disingenuous to point out how Republican economic “theory” or “values” differ from other infamous Fascist regimes. The objective is promoting social Darwinism for the purpose of those in power; however this is achieved, disguised or justified is not the point. In fact, the relative “ideas” of the movement are often only pushed for the real agenda, and as such, are irrelevant to the larger issue.
This isn’t conservatism, it’s not Republicanism, and it’s not small government. It is economic Fascism, or corporatism.
If corporations are people, then they are serial killing psychopaths who should never be granted the right to govern the people. Corporations are predators plundering the people and Republicans want to give them full control over our government. Corporatism is not patriotic and it’s not a necessary part of Capitalism or free market ideology.
In a bitter twist of irony, corporatism is the monster Republicans keep telling their base about. Our freedom is at stake. But it’s not Marxists who are hiding under the bed.
Under the collective beds of Americans, greedy corporate monsters without a conscience lie in wait while Republicans sell social Darwinism as the path to economic success, as if the profits of the few were all that this proud country represents.
This pathological pursuit of political power at the expense of the people must stop. This is not capitalism, it’s corporatism.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.