Monday, December 02, 2013

Corporatism Sinks Its Claws into Democracy's Throat

Anyone who thinks that democracy is not under attack in Canada and elsewhere is, frankly, delusional.  Anyone who thinks that we're not under attack by corporatism and its political allies is naive.  Anyone who thinks this is a war we can win without hitting back is steeped in nihilism.

A new report from the Washington-based, Center for Corporate Policy, reveals how corporate giants have partnered with private-sector spooks and government intelligence services to spy on activist groups and NGOs.  In Canada we know them as our federal government's spy agencies and the energy producers and pipeline operators they serve against opponents of the Northern Gateway pipeline.

We are strangers, outsiders to this corporate-political state.   Within it we have no place, no voice, no vote.  We've already been labelled enemies of that state.  If we don't fight back, this fascist state will supplant our democracy and we will become, essentially, stateless.

The CCP report is entitled, "Spooky Business, Corporate Espionage against Non-Profit Organizations."  It serves as an indictment against a range of corporate malefactors from Burger King to WalMart, BAE, Bank of America, McDonalds, Monsanto and Chevron, among others.

The top target of the forces of corporatism is, not surprisingly, Greenpeace.

In the US, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security have partnered with private industry via an entity called InfraGard.

But it's not just the FBI. According to the new report, "active-duty CIAoperatives are allowed to sell their expertise to the highest bidder", a policy that gives "financial firms and hedge funds access to the nation's top-level intelligence talent. Little is known about the CIA's moonlighting policy, or which corporations have hired current CIA operatives."
The report concludes that, due to an extreme lack of oversight, government effectively tends to simply "rubber stamp" such intelligence outsourcing:
"In effect, corporations are now able to replicate in miniature the services of a private CIA, employing active-duty and retired officers from intelligence and/or law enforcement. Lawlessness committed by this private intelligence and law enforcement capacity, which appears to enjoy near impunity, is a threat to democracy and the rule of law. In essence, corporations are now able to hire a private law enforcement capacity - which is barely constrained by legal and ethical norms - and use it to subvert or destroy civic groups. This greatly erodes the capacity of the civic sector to countervail the tremendous power of corporate and wealthy elites."
Gary Ruskin, author of the report, said:
"Corporate espionage against nonprofit organizations is an egregious abuse of corporate power that is subverting democracy. Who will rein in the forces of corporate lawlessness as they bear down upon nonprofit defenders of justice?"


karen said...

Hey MoS, check these out:

Deep Green Resistance

The Underminers

jump said...

Big data is big business. It is the next 'big' thing that has been around for years. Governments have got big business to do its dirty work for years and business wants its quid pro quo. First the telcos and isps. Then shopping habits. Everyone wants a piece of it. Put it all together and that is quite a profile on folks that is useful to governments and business alike. Unless you are off grid and cash only, you will be tracked. Good luck being off grid unless your savings are under your mattress. Even then, do you drive a car?
Be a hippie off grid and don't ruffle feathers you are probably good, but make noise then all bets are off.
I love democracy!

The Mound of Sound said...

Hi Karen. Thanks for the links. I was aware of DGR although I found them a bit radical for my liking. I'll follow up on the Underminers though.

One thing I've started doing is to use Buycott on my android phone. If I'm looking at a few competing products, Buycott scans their bar codes and indicates if any of them are from companies I want to boycott. It's a way to vote with your pocketbook against companies or interests you oppose and for those who deserve your support. I realize it's only a start but I think the path to effective resistance has to be approached cautiously.

karen said...

I think the Underminers are more radical yet than DGR, so it may not be your cup of tea either.

The Mound of Sound said...

Karen, I watched a couple of interviews with Underminers' Keith Farnesh and I didn't find him wildly radical or extremist. He works from the same basic premise widely shared, that our society has evolved to a point where it is no longer capable of sustaining us. Where we all differ is what is to be done about it.

I have no trouble with civil disobedience but I would draw the line at destruction. If only it didn't feel as though we've left it all much too late.