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Corporations and hyperconsumerism.   Share:  
Thrust of argument: Jeremy Lent writes 'Corporations, just like a potential runaway AI, have no intrinsic interest in human welfare. They are legal constructions: abstract entities designed with the ultimate goal of maximizing financial returns for their investors above all else. If corporations were in fact real persons, they would be sociopaths, completely lacking the ability for empathy that is a crucial element of normal human behavior. Unlike humans, however, corporations are theoretically immortal, cannot be put in prison, and the larger multinationals are not constrained by the laws of any individual country.

With the incalculable advantage of their superhuman powers, corporations have literally taken over the world. They have grown so massive that an astonishing sixty-nine of the largest hundred economies in the world are not nation states but corporate entities.

Corporations have been able to use their transnational powers to dictate their own terms to virtually any country in the world. As a result of decades of globalization, corporations can exploit the free movement of capital to build factories in nations with the weakest labor unions, or locate polluting plants in countries with lax environmental laws, basing their decisions solely on maximizing returns for their shareholders. Governments compete with each other to make their nations the most attractive for corporate investment.

Corporations wield their vast powers to control the minds of consumers, enthralling them into a state of perpetual consumption. In the early twentieth century, Paul Bernays, a mastermind of corporate empowerment, boldly stated his game plan as 'the conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses.' He declared ominously that 'those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government that is the true ruling power of this country.' The sinister words of Wayne Chilicki, chief executive of General Mills, show how Bernays' vision has been perpetuated: 'When it comes to targeting kid consumers, we at General Mills.. believe in getting them early and having them for life.''.
Direction of resistance / implied resistance: The aberration which corporations represent is something one hopes we will manage to overpower, the same way many states have, to various extents, overthrown feudal rule in the past.


bp AT APPROX 468.90 bt AT APPROX 231.65 capita (at half strength)
AT APPROX 170.25 hammerson (at half strength)
AT APPROX 465.60 icag (at half strength)
AT APPROX 612.40 m&s AT APPROX 297.50 pearson (at half strength)
AT APPROX 696.20 sage (at half strength)
AT APPROX 701.20 standardlife AT APPROX 380.60 taylorwimpey AT APPROX 189.90 vodafone AT APPROX 200.90



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Removal of resistance: In which case history will look back at these things and consider them to be very backward and very warped. Unification: That is a very different perception of them to that which is fostered in the average and indeed mediocre human in our society today.
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