Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

SICKO REVEALS CORPORATE CULTURE

While driving to Nevada I found it extremely difficult to find places to stop and eat/sleep that were not corporate entities. It is amazing how much Subway, McDonald's, KFC, Holiday Inn, Motel 6, and others dominate the highways and byways of the country.

A friend recently sent me this flag graphic and said when she looked at it she realized just how many of these corporate brands she could identify. She was shocked at this revelation. Even when we try hard to resist it our minds do get stamped by these corporations.

An interesting article appeared in the Washington Post this morning called Discontent Over Iraq Increasing, Poll Finds

The article talks about the growing disapproval in the nation of both Bush and the Congress and much of the reason for these sinking poll numbers has to do with Iraq. People do understand that we've been betrayed by the Democrats on Iraq. This reality gives me some hope as it is clear that people are seeing the true power dynamic. The public is really understanding that someone other than "the people" control our government. That someone is the corporate "pay masters" as Ralph Nader always says.

One issue that exposes this corporate domination is health care. Virtually everyone in the country is intimately touched by the rising cost of health care or lack of health care coverage at all. Michael Moore's new move, Sicko, takes on this corporate control of our nation's health care system. (The movie trailer can be found at the link in the headline above.)

I am convinced, more than ever, that the Achilles heel of the power elite in America is corporate domination. I'll never forget once sitting with Mary Beth in a little breakfast joint called The Sugar Shack in the middle of the Black Hills in South Dakota one October morning right before the 2000 elections. The place was empty except for one other table next to us where four elderly people were sitting. I heard one ask the others, "Who are you going to vote for in the presidential election?" Another responded, "It doesn't really matter because they are all controlled by the corporations." I turned to Mary Beth and said "We've won!" Won what, Mary Beth wondered? When the American people internalize the reality that the corporations control the government it's only a matter of time I suggested. Now we've just got to get folks to act to take the power back.

Surely that will be no easy task. But the fact is that Michael Moore is doing us a great service
by clearly naming the problem and giving people a sense of hope that something can be done in taking on the giant corporate powers. And seeing already how the health insurance corporations are scrambling to denounce Sicko indicates how precarious these corporate entities feel.

So we need to continue to tie these corporate rulers together in one bundle and keep talking about how they have taken total control of our economic system and our democracy. The bankers, the weapons corporations, insurance companies, pharmaceutical corporations, agribusiness, oil companies, and the like are ultimately one power elite. Each time we take on one of them we need to talk about how they are only one part of the larger machine with tentacles that own our government. So we don't have to work on all the issues at once. We can pick 1-2 issues to focus on but we must always articulate the links between the corporate powers.

We need to insist that corporations be broken apart, that we be allowed as citizens to be free of corporate domination because it is a new form of slavery. Just as we would resist any totalitarian fascist dictatorship, we must declare that corporate domination is inherently anti-democratic and anti-freedom and anti-liberty. We cannot have democracy coexist with corporate control of our government.

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