Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Private Property

Americans love their stuff. We think of ourselves as a consumption based society. McMansions, fancy cars, tricked-out phones, shoes that light up, trinkets and baubles galore. We have shopping channels, and malls, and credit cards, to make sure that we can always get more stuff.

Without mention or notice, however, this is changing. Many Americans have lost their big stuff, like houses, and are reduced to hoarding the little they have left in shopping carts, or stashed under a tarp in a corner of a vacant lot. Still, the things they have left mean a lot to them, and it devastates them when cops come in and destroy or discard their possessions.

The protesters in Zucotti Park were outraged when cops came in and destroyed their encampment, trashing tents, sleeping bags, books, and whatever else they could get their hands on.

US cops confiscate four BILLION dollars a year in US citizens' cars, real estate and cash.

Americans lose their land to road widenings, and the Supreme Court has upheld the taking of private personal land for private corporate profits.

But when I bring up the idea of the corporate death penalty, people are appalled! Take away property from the rich, even if they've killed people? This is considered unthinkable by the average American.

Before the Civil War, people who advocated abolishing slavery were considered radical. The economic worth of four million slaves was a lot. To just take all that money away from slaveholders seemed outrageous to some.

But abolitionists kept on. Interestingly, there were a lot of people who were also fighting corporate power before the Civil War.

But now, most people consider slavery to be outrageous, and corporate power untouchable.

Sure, corporations are laying millions of people off, control our governments, and most other countries' governments, kill people with their processes and their products, and are destroying the planets' ecosystem.

But even aware people who realize all of this are afraid to advocate the abolition of corporations. They want to end corporate personhood, or use taxpayer moneys to fund elections (i.e., use public money to pay corporate media for attack ads), or some other wimpy solution that falls short of the needed transformation of our society.

If a corporation commits a criminal act, it should get the death penalty and its assets turned over to its workers, to be owned and controlled by the workers, with responsibility for its actions.

A country that throws citizens, (real human beings) into prison for stealing bicycles or pizza slices should not flinch at rescinding corporate charters for poisoning of water supplies or murder.

Mass hysteria is whipped up at "terrorists" who ponder the feasibility of putting arsenic in a town's water supply, but a corporation that poisons the water supply of millions is allowed to continue.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thorstein Veblen's book "The Theory of the Leisure Class" will explain it all to you.

Nothing is fair - that is why they invented religion - so you could get your "pie in the sky"