Black Robes, Black Shirts

Ravensbruck slave labor

Historically speaking, very bad things happen to a people who acquiesce in the corporate takeover of their government. In the first half of the 20th Century we learned that Trusts couldn’t be trusted and that Fiat, Krupps, and I.G. Farben made very bad public policy in Italy and Germany. We just suffered through eight years where corporations pretty much ran the country — Straight into the ground. And it’s about to get much, much worse.

In Germany there was a textile company, documented by the British in April 1945, which specialized in producing striped livery for prisoners inside the archipelago of concentration camps. The privately owned corporation used slave labor to mend the garments and then sold them back to the prison system for profit. The whole time millions of people were being gassed, their bodies cremated, and the clothes recycled for another round of corporate profits produced by slave labor. There were even a few S.S. officers on the board of directors. I bring up this uncomfortable bit of history simply to illustrate the sociopathic nature of corporations and the level of evil they potentially possess.

With the latest Supreme Court ruling by the “fabulous five,” Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a single corporation will be able to disfranchise a million citizens. What’s to stop these conglomerates from implanting their servants at every level of municipal, state, and federal government?

Was “Citizens United” in the fight to give more control over our politics to huge corporations? Even the 1886 “ruling” that established a corporation as “a person” was fraudulent. The next ten to twelve years promise to be a turning point in American democracy unless some drastic civic action is taken.

Today we have levels of inequality that are worse than the Gilded Age and the “trusts” are bigger, more powerful, and their global reach is greater than ever. The corporations have already given the country disastrous public policy. The health care fiasco shows their power to pull the strings in Congress. And George W. Bush’s Supreme Court overreaches to drop enormous new political powers in the laps of these corporate behemoths? And they do it in the name of “free speech?” So much for stare decisis. Just when you think our politics couldn’t get worse you get surprised again.

So the Supreme Court (in its infinite wisdom) grants commercial legal fictions called “corporations” all of the free speech rights as a flesh and blood American citizen. These corporations are immortal. They’re global in scope. They don’t need health care, or minimum wages, or pensions, or food stamps. They don’t raise children and have families. They have no morality or ethics other than maximizing their profits. But their free speech rights are enshrined in our Constitution?

It will take about ten years but if this fascistic Supreme Court ruling is allowed to stand unadulterated and unchallenged there will be ultimately a terrible cost to pay by the American people. In the short term the propaganda function of the corporations will be greatly enhanced. Germany, Italy, and Japan ended up being bombed into dust after their corporatist systems produced a world war that left behind 60 million corpses. Is that really the direction we want to take as a nation? This horrific miscarriage of justice is more evidence that the shortsighted pursuit of partisan gain from the Far Right is moving the country into very dangerous terrain.

Joseph Palermo

Originally published by the Huffington Post. Reprinted with permission from the author

Comments

  1. in_awe says

    Joseph, please be serious. Are you actually claiming:

    1. That unions have no record of internal corruption?
    2. That unions have no record of political corruption?
    3. That unions lack influence in elections and on-going government affairs? Do you care to check the list of largest contributors to Democrat candidates? Are you suggesting that these candidates and officials actually ignore the wishes of their largest donors?
    4. That the most frequent visitor to the Oval Office in 2009 wasn’t the head SEIU?
    5. That union cash and in-kind campaign contributions aren’t influential? (e.g. SEIU spending $60.7MM on the Obama campaign – do you see any correlation with point 4 above?)

    Can you name any prominent CA or national Democrat who has taken on a union in a substantive way and survived the next election? Unions wield disproportionate power in Democrat political circles – as you well know.

    Joseph, all I am asking is that you be honest when talking about both corporations and unions. That’s all.

    I am afraid that your ad hominem attacks are really saying more about you than me. Actually I have somewhere over 6000 books in my home and none of them were written by Michelle Malkin. Have you read anything that wasn’t on a Marxist approved reading list?

  2. Joseph Palermo says

    Also, unions are about 6 percent of the nation’s workforce (removing the 7 or so percent of public sector workers) — their power is miniscule compared to ExxonMobil, Goldman Sachs and the Boys — this is not 1955 when we had strong unions in this country — about 35 percent and a booming economy too — we’ve had Reagan-Bush-Clinton-Bush policies that have killed labor unions — PATCO, remember? Or were you guys out of the country or off the planet from about 1981 to 2009?

    • in_awe says

      Of course the only area where union membership has grown in real numbers and percent has been in local, state and federal government. The Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms that in 2009 for the first time in US history, the majority (52%)of union workers are public employees. This resulted from a confluence of loss of private sector union jobs at the same time that government continued to grow the union worker ranks. As of now 37.4% of government workers are union members. These government union members earn a substantial premium over comparable private sector workers, and have far richer benefits and retirement programs than the average American worker.

      The unions increasingly have actively supported expansion of government programs and increased taxes to pay for more union workers. In states like CA, unions wield exception political clout and persuade legislators (and Governors) to enact government activities that directly benefit public union employees. (In CA as I recall, over the past decade the state has been hiring on average 10 employees a day – every day – non-stop despite the state’s financial crisis. Union pay has ratcheted up when it wasn’t leaping as with prison guard compensation boosts.)

      One only needs to review campaign contribution records from the past presidential campaigns down to county and city elections to see the active role unions have been playing in funding candidates and causes (Props in CA).

      Look, you can howl all you want about the corrupting influence of corporate contributions in our elections; but please be honest enough to acknowledge the matching corruption from union influences and contributions as well. We are all screwed if the back scratching isn’t stopped on both sides.

      — and I actually do know the difference between Left and Right as well as Right and Wrong, Truths and Half-Truths. Thanks for asking.

      Regards

      • Joseph Palermo says

        “matching” corruption? who do unions represent? who do corporations represent? Are you people really seriously implying that unions are as POWERFUL as corporations? Because if you are you should read a book about this topic that isn’t written by Michelle Malkin.

  3. in_awe says

    In Germany China/Soviet Union there was a textile company, documented by the British in April 1945, which specialized in producing striped livery for prisoners inside the archipelago of concentration camps. The privately party owned corporation used slave labor to mend the garments and then sold them back to the prison system for profit. The whole time millions of people were being gassed, their bodies cremated, and the clothes recycled for another round of corporate state profits produced by slave labor. There were even a few S.S. officers only party apparatchiks on the board of directors. I bring up this uncomfortable bit of history simply to illustrate the sociopathic nature of corporations communist regimes and the level of evil they potentially demonstrated for decades.

    Seriously now, re-affirming freedom of political speech will lead to gulags, concentration camps, and corporate takeover of every level of government? Yikes! Thanks for the heads up.
    Fixed it for you.

  4. in_awe says

    What’s to stop these conglomerates from implanting their servants at every level of municipal, state, and federal government?

    Heh. What has been able to stop the unions from implanting their servants at every level of municipal, state and federal government?

    A pox upon both their houses!

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