The late Australian social scientist Alex Carey believed the twentieth century was characterized by three developments of great political importance:
- The growth of democracy - The growth of corporate power - The growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy
If a given market has the capability to supply a never-ending array of products, ideologies, concepts, and goods, how can we ultimately make our choices? What persuades enthusiastic and willing consumers like us to select Coke or Pepsi, McDonalds or Burger King, MasterCard or Visa, Crest or Colgate, Letterman or Leno?
Bigger picture: What makes us believe we actually "need" any of these commodities in the first place? The easy answer, of course, is advertising. We see the commercials, we hum the jingles, we even pay good money to adorn our bodies with clothing bearing corporate logos. Clearly the many billions of dollars spent each year on advertising profoundly influence our lives.
Will Rogers put it simply: "Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like."
In other words, the choice is ours...
"We grow up looking at the world the way the corporations want us to perceive it. Style in cars, instead of safety. Junk food instead of nutrition. Look at the ads to the kids on kiddie-TV: Junk food. Junk drinks. We grow up thinking, 'Well, that's the way things are' ... Growing up corporate means we curtail our imagination. We don't even dream of what is possible, never mind impossible."
5 Ways to Look at a Corporation
1. Just Like a Person
Yes, thanks to a late 19th century Supreme Court decision, corporations are treated as "persons."
2. The Source of "Stuff"
As Tyler Durden sez: "Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need."
Corporation pollute on a scale that far surpasses we individuals. If every person in the US did everything An Inconvenient Truth suggested, carbon emissions would fall by only 22%. Meanwhile, Exxon-Mobil, a company with sales (more than $404 billion) that exceed the gross domestic product of 120 countries, emits 138 million tons of CO2 every year.
Meet the people who make your clothes:
If we recognize how profoundly corporations have assaulted our eco-system and work hard to expose such crimes, all that's left to commit to activism to bring down the dominant corporate culture and re-connect with nature.