There are those that govern and those who are governed. Over the years, very quietly, the corporate class has risen as a liaison between these two worlds. Corporates have, over time, acquired powers that have allowed them to place a premium on everyday requirements, dictate public choice, power political ambition and constantly project a vision for a greater good that is tainted with vested interests. It is the individuals and the working, middle class that often get caught up in a whirlwind of corporate power, building up aspirations that are not always achievable.
There were several reasons that lead to corporates being able to consolidate powers and become entities that wielded so much power. One of the earlier reasons was the Santa Clara judgment of 1886 which deemed corporates to be individual rather than non-living entities, thus giving them the same legal rights to Freedom of Speech that humans were accorded. The effect percolated down to politics, where corporate money was and is being used for campaigns, soft committees and more. Allowing corporate funding to influence elections was recognized as a legitimate means of speech in a 1976 ruling. A lot happened in the corporate world since then, strengthening their strangle-hold on the economy and the general public.
But, the momentum of the movement to break free from the shackles of corporate power is fast gathering pace. A larger number of people are recognizing the power of the “individual” and are making a move to step out on their own to try and make a difference. Every skill set is required to wrest authority from the corporates and restore citizen power to society.
Individuals with a vision for the country are working towards bringing together like-minded citizens in a bid to make a difference. The new ideology taking root is that for a democracy to survive, and an economy to flourish, there is a need to reclaim corporate power and allow it to enshrine the values of an individual community, enhance cooperation and thereby promote equality.
One of the first steps towards this is to ensure that corporates are no longer accorded the rights reserved for humans. Next, they should be completely removed from politics and have a limited spending ability for individual campaign contributions. The concentration of media power too needs to be dissolved preventing a person or corporate entity from having supreme control over what is being projected to the public.
Corporates must function just as an individual in a democracy does – pay taxes, be subject to local laws, be held liable for fair work practices, reduce consumption of fossil fuels and work towards the creation of more jobs and renewable energy sources. Individual initiatives are present today as group initiatives.
What we as individuals need to understand that this attempt to free ourselves from corporate power is a collective effort and one that is not going to come to us easily. There is a high level of commitment that is needed. Every group and community working towards this ideal will need to understand which issues they can work together on and then move towards making a difference.