revoke bp's charter
by the Punk Patriot
After my last video on evolution and capitalism, many of you asked me:
Do you support capitalism?
Capitalism is a force of nature. You may as well ask if one supports a type of gravity. One must keep in mind, however, that markets should serve society, not the other way around.
The type of market that Ron Paul, Lew Rockwell, Rothbard, and Ayn Rand talk about, is a market that is given complete dominion over society. Society does not exist to serve markets, markets exist to serve society, and because they have the relationship backwards, their theories are destructive.
I support the mixed-market capitalism that Ralph Nader advocates for, and I support Adam Smith's 'small-businesses-only', version of capitalism, but not lassiez-faire capitalism, and not corporate oligarchical capitalism.
Corporations are a business model that Adam Smith despised. They remove accountability from the market, and allow businesses to take risks that they never would, and to act in ways that- free from concequnce, and are thus outside of the context of the morality in society.
But corporations have an achilles heel. Corporations exist because of Corporate Charter. These charters are issued by state governemnts. These charters are like contracts, saying that the business in question exists to serve the public good.
It’s clearly the case that many corporations do not exist to serve the pubic good. Citizens and Government alike should be far less shy about revoking corporate charters when a business becomes destructive to society. For instance, BP and Halliburton are both responsible for cutting corners, and doing things wrong to save money, resulting in one of the worst environmental disasters in 25 years, and potentially one of the worst environmental disasters known to modern man. They have destroyed local economies throughout the gulf coast for generations. They should have their corporate charter revoked, and BP should cease to exist as a corporation in the United States.
We the people have the power to do this. We always have. We should not be afraid to use this power. My task for YOU, my audience, is to find what state’s laws BP America is incorporated under. Then we shall organize to take action. (Stay Tuned)
The free market does not know good from evil, it only knows profits. Just the same, fire does not know useful from destructive, it only knows to burn.
A totally free market will bend towards monopoly, and at that point it ceases to function properly. If left completely to it’s own devices a free market will turn into totalitarianism. Like a fire, it needs to be tended from time to time, to keep it from smothering itself as it eats itsself alive and destroys it’s own structures in a fit of continuous consumption.
There must be restrictions placed on the market, because it does not know service from disservice, or creation from destruction. The market must be regulated to keep it from destroying society-- in the same way that we keep fire in a fireplace to keep it from consuming the entire house.
And when a particular fire gets out of control, it must be snuffed out.
Indeed some of Adam Smith's writings today, if any corporate media bothered to read them out loud, would be considered 'leftist' and 'radical' and all that. Whether one proposes we move to a democratic alternative to our current corporate 'capitalist' system or whether one advocates a small-business noncorporate capitalism, while not unimportant, makes the differences between what you propose and what I and others have advocated, smaller, admittedly.ReplyDelete
One suggestion, and I realize it's always hard to swim upstream against the current, including in language, since we want others to understand what we're saying, but I really try to avoid using the misleading and false (including by your own reasoning you have given) phrase "free" market. There is nothing "Free" about the "free" market other than corporations being more "free" to do anything they want to our environment, to the food we eat, air we breathe, etc.
So lets look for alternatives to the phrase you used (and which I know is common to use) of "a totally free market [is bad because...]" A reformist kind of alternative might say "a totally unregulated market is bad because.." but even that brushes under the rug the massively destructive nature of corporate rule we live under (and would live even more under with more deregulation).
Instead of "a totally free market is..." how about "a totally corporate-run market is..." or a "totally corporate controlled market is.." or a "totally corporate-managed market is bad because.[etc]"?
This suggests what the alternative might be: publicaly run, or publicaly managed, or democratically run or markets with public oversight and regulation. Regulation, oversight, management, should come not from anti-democratic (one dollar=one vote) institutions like corporations any more than they should be overseen and managed by anti-democtratic institutions like a Soviet type party. They should be overseen democratically. Sure abolishing slavery could have been called "I am against slaveowners' freedom because...." but would we have gotten very far if we started by conceding the positive sounding language of "Freedom" from the get go? One would probably rather argue from values (it's against democracy, human rights etc) when arguing against chattel slavery..part of me hurts when I hear our side, or folks with many common political/social/economic values, use that term, and I try hard to avoid it myself, above are a handful of alternative ways instead of calling what we're criticizing a "totally free market" which it doesn't deserve to be called.
"Bp America of Delaware Inc.ReplyDelete
Incorporated by D B Pinkert, G E Stein, K D Heulitt, P D Wessells, R J Novaria, R J Pillari, Bp America of Delaware Inc. is located at 4101 Winfield Rd Warrenville, IL 60555. Bp America of Delaware Inc. was incorporated on Wednesday, September 27, 2000 in the State of FL and is currently active. C T Corporation System represents Bp America of Delaware Inc. as their registered agent.
Source: Public Record data - Department of State - Division of Corporations"
from this source:
Let's not let ExxonMobil and other oil companies off the hook though. For that matter, this piece in grist.org, "The BP oil gusher is just the latest in a long line of assaults on the Gulf of Mexico" reminds us it's much wider than oil spills:ReplyDelete
She writes: "I'm a fourth-generation fisherwoman from the Texas Gulf Coast, on a boat since I was eight. Over the last two decades, I've become a self-appointed watchdog of the chemical, oil, and gas corporations that are decimating the Gulf.
I hate to say it, but what I'm seeing now in the Gulf ain't nothing new. The toxic releases, the lies, the cover-ups, the skimping on safety, the nonexistent documents, the "swinging door" with regulators, the deaths. Same ole same ole. What is new is the massive nature of the oil gusher and the fact that it can't be covered up because it's ongoing and being videoed"
Just one example she gives: "The oil industry dumps over a billion pounds of mercury-contaminated drilling-mud wastes into the Gulf each year. Drilling muds are used to cool and lubricate drill bits as they bore into the earth while plumbing for oil and natural gas. The mercury is present in an element called barite, the main ingredient in the muds. In l996, the EPA limited the amount of mercury that could be present in the drilling muds to one part per million, which could still allow l,000 pounds of mercury to be dumped from the Gulf platforms each year. For 50 years prior to the EPA rule, there were no limits on mercury in barite. A report published by the Society of Petroleum Engineers suggested that, in the past, barite with mercury up to 30 parts per million could have been used. Looking at information supplied by the oil industry and the EPA, hundreds of thousands of pounds of mercury have been dumped in the Gulf via drilling muds since the l960s...The bottom line is that the Gulf of Mexico dies a little every day from the tens of thousands of chemical plants, oil refineries, and oil and gas rigs that pockmark the Gulf and its coastlines. It's a death of ten thousand cuts, and many of these offenses don't get reported at all. We, the public, really have no way of knowing."
Some folks in the comments (on that other website) said it's not just corporations, it's our industrial lifestyle. There's some truth to that but not as far as the commenter was claiming that this "forces" companies to kill the Earth. First off, in Europe they are killing the Earth more slowly. No joking, they are still killing the earth but there are many more protections for workers, consumers, the environment, etc. Just today read about laws recently passed to put labels on sunscreen in some european countries to let consumers know nanoparticles are there. Lots of other examples exist. But if the Soviet Union was devastating the environment, only a communist hack would say, "oh, don't blame the system, blame only the individual persons"
(continued, last thoughts and then got to run)ReplyDelete
And only a communist hack would say, "it's only our industrial modern way of life that's forcing this, don't blame the Soviet system" It was obviously partly yes, industrilization, but to a large extent, the way in which the economy was organized, the way in which decisions were made undemocratically and behind closed doors by people not affected by it..etc..
How does our so-called 'capitalist' really, more like Corporate Feudalist system work? Same thing: decisions are made undemocratically and behind closed doors by people not affected by these decisions...When people say, "don't call for economic democracy, they tried that in the Soviet Union" I think you must be kidding, you're giving a defense of, an incorrect defense of the Soviet system which was anything BUT economic democracy, anything but decisions made in a democratic way...Examples like today's China are just one way to see how thin the grey line is between our corporatist and the "communist" ways of economics are..there is not just a third way but a hundred ways that are de-centralized...but fighting against monolithism and against centralization has been uphill battle throughout human history, it won't be easy to change..this time the new twist is, will we make enough progress before the environment is truly devasted if not destroyed?