The interest and argument surrounding the Supreme Court's recent ruling on Corporate "free speech" rights has motivated me to begin working on a new book: "World, Incorporated: The History of the Supra-National Corporation and its Global Stranglehold on Freedom and Democracy". Here are the first two chapters and part of the third -- all I have finished so far. I plan to post the entire manuscript, piece by piece as it is written. I welcome any comments or criticisms. I apologize that this diary is so lengthy; subsequent ones will be one chapter at a time, and won't be so long.
It has become a trivial truism in American politics that “corporations have too much power” and that “corporate money dominates our political system”. These cries intensified in 2010, after the Supreme Court ruled that corporations have the First Amendment “free speech” right to pour virtually unlimited amounts of their vast fortunes into the political process. In concluding that “money equals speech”, the Supreme Court neglected to consider that, in our electoral system, money also equals votes. Inevitably, the effect of the Court’s ruling will be increasing domination of our national life by the corporations.
Few people understand, however, that this is just a symptom of a much larger and much more ominous trend—the vast shift in global power that has already occurred from 1990 to 2010, when corporate domination of nations reached levels it had never been able to attain before, when corporate power superceded national power, and when global economic structures gained control over democratic governmental structures.
We no longer live in a world made up of “nation-states”. Today, power and control has passed to huge multi-national mega-corporations who have no country, owe loyalty or obedience to no government, and who answer to no nation. There is no longer any such thing as an “American” corporation, or a “Japanese” corporation, or a “Chinese”, or “German”, or “British”. A tiny handful of mega-conglomerates now have global reach and global power. They all own big chunks of each other, and have become so intertwined and interlocking that it is no longer possible to differentiate them. They are larger, richer, and more powerful than “nations”. National sovereignty and national borders are irrelevant to them; national governments, even the largest, are unable to challenge or control them.