Of corporate America and human bondage

America's workers are slaves to corporate America, worth less to CEOs and plutocrats than the dust on their shoes.

1
1894
Abe Lincoln | Image courtesy of http://www.redone.us/
Abe Lincoln | Image courtesy of http://www.redone.us/ - Items marked as free domain

WASHINGTON, June 5, 2015 — Titans of commerce and industry have always battled to be the wealthiest and most powerful of them all, with no thought to the welfare of those who toil to make them rich.

The accumulated tragedies of America’s 19th-century drive to industrialization result were compounded by the rivalries between men like John D. Rockefeller (Standard Oil), Andrew Carnegie (steel), J. P. Morgan (the financial industry), and Thomas Edison. Countless lives were lost to easily avoidable industrial accidents, debilitating work conditions and outright warfare between giant firms—lives that counted as nothing as the titans built their empires. Labor was just a raw material to them, a man no more than a replaceable shovel or a lump of coal.


Slavery and Lincoln, Immigration and Obama: How will history judge?


Little has changed. People are still enslaved to corporations; we fight the same battles today, just on different terms. Our very survival is locked in chains by modern economic systems. CEOs take home hundreds of times what their workers earn and consider it just their due, while those who do the work know that they can be flicked away like a piece of lint, their lives of no consequence to those who think of them with no regard, when they think of them at all.


America is experiencing its greatest income inequality in decades. Many are blinded by the false promise of our economic playground, where merit and talent supposedly rule and can take anyone to the top of the heap. This is an error that must be corrected if we are ever going to be set free from our self-deceptions and subservience to money.

Not only is our method of economic distribution immoral, but it allows corporate heads and some legislators to feel that they hold their positions almost by divine right; they are as arrogant as it gets.

The roots of our slavery to corporate America run deep. Steven D. Foster Jr. looks at its origins prior to the founding of the United States in his article, “What the Founding Fathers Thought About Corporations.” He traces the origin of modern corporations back to 17th century England, when Queen Elizabeth I created the East India Trading Company. At first, corporations were small, quasi-government institutions that were chartered by the crown for a specific purpose.

According to Foster, “If corporations stepped out of line, the crown did not hesitate to revoke their charters. Corporations generated so much revenue that they even began taking on increased political power. Corporations were also organized to finance large projects such as exploration, which leads us to the American colonies.”

From that beginning the development of corporations has culminated in the most egregious imposition of slavery to money we have ever seen. The 2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC set Americans on a collision with all that we once held right and validated an abuse of power.

The Supreme Court broke faith with “we the people,” who are the true government.

Citizens United influenced elections and reversed decades of progress in campaign finance laws. It declared that corporations are people and have the same rights to spend on political speech. Unprecedented amounts of money are now confidentially donated to political campaigns, and now those who control the money can control the future of our country.

They, not the people, now control the government. We have lost our rights unless we can find a way to reverse that ruling. Unless we wake up and responsibly exercise the right to vote, we will never see a level playing field again. We are now completely enslaved to corporate America.

President Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president, spoke openly against the expansion of slavery. As a result, seven southern states seceded and formed the Confederacy. Slavery was a part of the economics of wealthy white landowners and they did not want their universe tampered with.


Survivors of Slavery: New book offers global narratives on modern-day slavery


Lincoln was a visionary. He clearly perceived the evils that lurk in the unregenerate human soul, especially when it is overcome by the lust for power. He understood human frailty in the face of money.

The Civil War was a treacherous undertaking kept him up at night, but the war for the soul of America with the leaders of finance was an ever-present dagger at his heart.

His greatest fears have become a reality; today we are fighting the war of all wars. In an oft-cited letter to Col. William F. Elkins in 1864, Lincoln supposedly wrote, “We may congratulate ourselves that this cruel war is nearing its end. It has cost a vast amount of treasure and blood … It has indeed been a trying hour for the Republic; but I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless.”

The odds are that this quotation is false, but if Lincoln didn’t write it, he should have.

Either Lincoln or the quotation’s actual author is turning over in his grave at what is transpiring today. The poorest half of the world’s population—3.5 billion people—control as much wealth as the richest 85 individuals. We could truly eradicate poverty in America and across the world if we wanted to. But the sad fact is that we don’t.

Bringing economic justice would eradicate many of our current social ills

How many of our problems today stem from poverty? Sickness and disease, obesity, single mothers working two to three jobs to provide for their children, broken homes, homelessness, suicide, gang activity—the list is endless.

We should fall on our faces before God and cry out for him to crush this spirit of greed in the lives of corporate leaders everywhere. How can we move people who use wealth for destructive purposes to instead bring transformation and restitution? That is our task, and we must undertake it in the hope of balancing the scales of economic justice.

Let us look deep into the words of Mahatma Gandhi, who said, “Seek not greater wealth, but simpler pleasure; not higher fortune, but deeper felicity.”

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 Communities Digital News

• The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors or management of Communities Digital News.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities Digital News, LLC. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

Correspondingly, Communities Digital News, LLC uses its best efforts to operate in accordance with the Fair Use Doctrine under US Copyright Law and always tries to provide proper attribution. If you have reason to believe that any written material or image has been innocently infringed, please bring it to the immediate attention of CDN via the e-mail address or phone number listed on the Contact page so that it can be resolved expeditiously.

  • Корпоративное и государственное рабство набрало полную силу в России. Раб Капитала, т.е. чужой сверхличности отчужденного человека –
    это глубинная структура всякого современного рабства (нового средневековья). Те, кто захватили («прихватизировали»),
    сконцентрировали и централизовали
    общественную систему жизнеобеспечения, производства, обращения и распределения жизни, наживаются на
    противоестественной монополии и олигополии на жизнь. Система лишения
    естественного права на жизнь, система отчуждения жизни, система лишения
    жизни — вот что представляют из себя частные и государственные корпорации, захватившие
    производство и распределение энергии, воды, пищи, жилья. Слово «захватили»
    означает здесь, что мы живем в состоянии войны как продолжении и
    завершении дикого состояния, а самое состояние
    рабства,
    в котором мы вновь оказались, «представляет собой не что иное как
    продолжающееся состояние войны между победителем и пленником [см. об этом у Д.
    Локка «Второй трактат о правлении». Гл. 3. О состоянии войны, гл. 4. О рабстве]