The design of corporations are a clear and present danger to the well-being of humans.
Recently a friend posted the following prescient phrase by Dr. Joe Dispanza.
Warning: When feelings become the means of thinking, or if we cannot think greater than how we feel, we can never change. To change is to think greater than how we feel. To change is to act greater than the familiar feelings of the memorized self.
The poster posited the question, "Do you lose being authentic in the process. Isn’t this strategic thinking?"
I responded stating that living an authentic life is challenging and requires mental fortitude and a thick skin. One has to be able to go against the grain even at times at financial and social cost knowing first that you will live proud of decisions irrespective of outcome and secondly you are playing a part in the outcome you seek. This plays out in political activism, economic activism, and in many forms, others don't see as activism. IMHO, to be authentic means to always be active in what you believe in. An activist.
The poster segued the thread using corporations as examples. At that point, it gave me an opening to make a much larger point. If we are to change the scourge that the current structure of corporations is to our economy, we must use every one of those offered segues to do so. It is more palatable because it comes from the discussion organically.
The poster made a beautiful statement on getting into the door of corporations' leadership and the executive-level and using that opportunity to onboard others in a more inclusive manner. They believe they could build trust with the corporation to achieve benevolent goals. Unfortunately, that is a utopia anathema to the corporate structure.
The belief that most including middle management are more than widgets in a framework is wishful thinking. Trust and the corporate structure are mutually exclusive as their dominant tenets are:
- Whatever the market will bear which equates to total income plus accessible credit.
- Fiduciary responsibility to the shareholder and no one else.
Those corporate business tenets are antiseptic forms of letting you know one cannot be but a cog in the wheel and the deviator will be replaced.
In the upper echelons, in order to maintain the structure, one needs to know that there are special people to keep this type of system going and that is why there are golden parachutes and other options. One can try to use any logic of being a part of the corporate structure and with the trust one builds and the table being bigger one will bring others in. That is an unattainable dream designed to placate the conscience of those attempting to justify corporate unfairness with their acquiescence. There are not enough positions for those chosen to be a part of the corporate structure to give its structure a more equitable existence. Unfortunately, it is just math.
The corporate structure is designed to have an elite, a manager class that guards the doors, and then the indentured servants. It’s been done effectively for a long time and progressive policies were there to slow its eventual mathematical collapse or the acquiescence of the masses to a new form of slavery, one without the whips – own nothing, work, exist, die.
No one can be sure how Americans will react as the corporate structure destroys healthcare, the environment (very much tied to healthcare with cancer allies, etc.), and everything else. Many Americans are still gullible enough to believe these are our only options. But when folks no longer have anything to lose it’s either acquiescence or pitchforks.
There are alternatives. It is not enough to be negative. But solutions mean the unearned and undeserved income of those in the corporate structure must be eliminated. Everyone within any given corporation contributes to its success. The wage/salary disparities are responsible for income inequality and wealth disparity.
Of course, the parasites, shareholders, play a big role in being extractive passively. We compensate shareholders for risking their capital. Hell, the workers who inhale the oil fumes or coal dust risk something more valuable to create the income of the rich, their lives. The problem is that we value capital over humanity because we have been indoctrinated that way and it has become our “memorized self.”
Corporate executives who really want to make a difference to make a fairer system do no good in helping a few into an immoral structure. They would do well using those huge salaries to help support the activism to correct the system. And if they bring in other high-priced executives, make sure they are ones with a moral compass who do not believe they inherently deserve the income differential.
When one's existence is colored by an unfair system that many of us have been a part of for some time, one tries like hell to hold on to it. That is fine. But one should never try to find excuses that hold up to neither math nor any other attribute to justify it. It drives activists crazy, especially ones who have given up much to make a fairer system.
To be clear, I believe in free enterprise. That is not what we have in America. Our capitalist market is a man-made creation. It is a provable fallacy that capitalism provides the most efficient allocation of resources or assigns value appropriately. But even if that statement were true, it should not matter if the outcome for most people is a steady decline? The fact that a teacher is compensated at a much lesser salary than a stockbroker is probative. After all, teachers move knowledge forward and are ultimately responsible for being the catalyst for whatever the titans of business monetize.
After frustrating the poster about corporations and our current economic system, we had the following exchange.
Poster: I want you to be honest and name aspects of your life where you are benefiting from the offerings of a capitalistic market and what you are doing to rid yourself of those benefits.
My Response: I worked for the corporation for 5 years. I got out because I found it restrictive and unfair. I, along with many, was not rewarded commensurate with what we produced. It always went to the top. That said, I formed a software company and was well rewarded by capitalism. My products were used in just about every major corporation. I practiced real free enterprise with my company. My values prevented me from doing a few things that would have been more lucrative. Was it wise? At times it seems not. But it does give me the ability to talk more authentically. (e.g., I left $300,000+ on the table during Y2K because my software was implemented correctly taking into account our change to a new century. It wasn’t that I was so damn smart. While many other companies implemented their software correctly they still sold new versions. It was their fiduciary responsibility to the shareholder & the market could bear it. When my clients asked if our software was up to date, I simply replied, “You’re covered.” I have some Boeing and NASA examples I could give as well, but you get the point.
Poster: How do you propose I address your concerns with the hands that feed me? Are you proposing I cut off my nose to spite my face?”
My response: What I wrote was clear. People on the inside just like they did in the Civil Rights movement can help the movement to make a more equitable system without jeopardizing their employment. The problem is the environment tends to change one. I see too many who throw their hands up in the air and say. “I GOT MINE!”
Poster: I have done extensive travel in my career, familiar with the socio-political-economic structure of other countries and must say that the road gladly leads back to the US market structure for me. It’s not perfect, but where, is? Not even Africa I want to go back to - I spent a lot of time there.”
My Response: I have traveled as well. Moreover, I am from the area the Chicago Boys destroyed. That said, I hear that so often and it is a shallow narrative though it has a semblance of truth. We must understand what empires do. They ensure preeminence by ensuring other systems can’t flourish. (e.g, when any central American country attempted land management or the elimination of any of the practices that tried to give a real free enterprise a chance, they were scuttled.) You should not take my statements personally. We are all members and products of the system. That said, one must first operate from facts that are irrefutable. That is why I love numbers. That is the engineer in me. The real question is how we can make a real difference. It is not necessary for all to jeopardize their personal economies though some must and will.
The corporate structure is well designed. Its gatekeepers are found in every sector form think tanks, to media, to schools, to churches and beyond. One should take every given opportunity to get into the part of the gatekeepers' heads that has a modicum of fairness and morality.