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Five hundred years ago the "corporation" was invented as a legal form to allow investors to engage in public works -- such as bridge or road building. Over the years, corporations gained the right to engage in any kind of business, but they were still nothing more than convenient "legal fictions" until 1886 when the U.S. Supreme Court declared that corporations are "persons" and gave them the same rights as living human beings -- and more. This makes it possible for corporations to make campaign contributions, for example, by claiming their right of free speech. If corporate personhood were abolished, it would be much easier for the people to control the harmful actions of corporations.
It's the Golden Rule... them with the gold makes the rules.
Capitalism is the Hallmark Card which invites fascism into any government or nation which sees money as God and it's controllers as the demigods of the state. These demigods of corporate control of the state are blind to the deprivations of the common citizen in regards the enfranchisement into the largess of capitalism of the lower classes of labor and middle management which are 9 to 5ers who struggle to make ends meet and often fail, losing their homes and lovers to the deprivations of capitalism.
It is evident, this morning, that human suffering is increasing in these United States by the day with mortgage foreclosures at record levels. The insolvency and indebtedness of the common workers is an indication that the corpofascist ideal is for the poor to suffer while the rich enjoy the fruits of the labors of these disenfranchised workers.
Workers come in many colors and all have been marginalized to the point of sitting at the kitchen table with a stack of un payable bills, and their associated fines and penalties.
We, as the little guys of the United States are punished when we pay late or cannot pay at all. Conversely corporations are bailed out of their woes by friends in high places, as seen with the Chrysler corporation's bail out with taxpayer funds and the Fed's bail out of greedy, predatory lending institutions who ravaged the middle class borrowers and then were repaid by the FED issuing more money to them as a hedge against their bankruptcy.
Meanwhile the Bankruptcy laws for consumers with credit card debt changed , also in favor of the bankers to the detriment of the workers.
These are the RESULTS of fascism regardless of the definition of this malignant parasite. The poor are getting poorer and the rich are getting richer, by design.
Let us compare the emergence of the global information economy with the two previous waves of globalization :
The first wave was after slaves, previous metals and lands for raising export crops; the second wave was after new investment acquisitions, sources of raw materials and labor, and industrial markets. The third wave is after sources of mental labor, sources of information raw materials, and markets for information products. This is why the WTO pushed very hard to conclude as soon as possible the agreements on information technology, telecommunications and financial services.
The third wave requires freer movement of information across national boundaries. This has helped erode further the power of the State. While the State itself operated corporate monopolies during the first wave, and continued to be dominant over corporations during the second wave, it is finding itself less powerful during the third wave. Global corporations are now assuming the dominant role in the State-corporate partnership, in close collaboration with supra-national institutions like the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank (WB) and the WTO.
As in the first two waves, the extraction of wealth from the rest of the world is likewise done under a mask that hides real intentions. The third wave hides behind such phrases as "information at your finger tips", "world without borders", "global village", instant access to the world's libraries", "free flow of information", or "TV with a million channels."
Behind the mask, the global information economy imposes its own global rule to facilitate the wealth transfer. The role of the nation-state shrinks, many of its functions taken over by private corporations. Global corporations continue to strengthen their political voice and clout, and directly enter into partnerships with local elites and local governments, often bypassing the host government as well as their own government. Corporate control of information, communications, and media infrastructures is strengthened through privatization and deregulation. National sovereignty is further curtailed by supra-national institutions like the IMF, WB, and the WTO.
In addition to the earlier forms of wealth extraction practised during the first and second waves, new forms emerge or old forms acquire new importance. Monopoly rents become the main form of wealth extraction. Royalties from IPRs and other income from information rents assume major significance. Because of the huge disparity in costs, trade between information economies and other economies become even more unequal. Compare, for instance, a CD ROM which might sell for three hundred dollars, but is produced for around three dollars, to a typical Philippine product like sugar, which might sell for fifteen cents per pound. Much of the three hundred dollars in the price of 2,000 pounds of sugar would barely cover production costs, while much of the three hundred dollars in the price of a CD ROM would be profit. Technology also makes possible high-speed, finely-tuned financial speculation. As the importance of the nation-state recedes and national currencies buffeted by devaluation and other woes, corporations are able to purchase State assets and public properties at bargain prices.
New technologies of exploitation are introduced. First wave technologies were designed for the immediate plunder of our natural resources and human communities. Second wave technologies were based on material exploitation and intensive energy utilization. Third wave technologies are invariably information-based, centered on extracting the highest monopoly rents from the control of information infrastructure or information content. The best example of a technology that is at the leading edge of the third wave of globalization is the Internet. Advanced information and communications technologies make possible the convergence of media, entertainment, data, and communications. The application of information technology to genetic engineering and biotechnologies has transformed these fields into fertile areas for information monopolies, best illustrated by the patenting of life forms.