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As American Independence Day was celebrated on Saturday many will wryly reflect that the country freed itself from one master only to embrace a far more formidable one – the multinational corporate sector, aka “a grubby cabal of privateers”, Monbiot.
Corporate rule works to the advantage only of their hierarchy and shareholders, at the expense of those on lower incomes; successive British governments have also embraced these corporate bedfellows – regardless of the social and environmental consequences.
The Center for Responsive Politics records some of the interactions between Congress and federal agencies (1998-2015) here:
Corporate dominance skews decision-making in favour of profit maximisation, rather than the satisfaction of basic needs – leading to a high incidence of mental and physical ill-health
The US Council on Foreign Relations describes the findings of the US National Research Council (NRC) and the Institute of Medicine as “a catalog of horrors”.
Two years ago, the conclusion of a major report released by the NRC and the Institute of Medicine revealed the extent of the US’s “health disadvantage”. The report recorded:
- higher rates of disease and injury from birth to age 75 for men and women, rich and poor across all races and ethnicities,
- the rate of teen pregnancy, traffic fatalities and heart disease,
- and the rate of premature births in the US – the highest among the comparison countries and more closely resembling those of sub-Saharan Africa.
Eight people died and – according to local media – forty-one were wounded after an Independence Day shooting in Chicago on July 4th.
Why are rates of suicide and homicide so high in the United States? PCU contends that it is due to organising society in the corporate interest – the consequence of a consumption-promoting “dream world of materialism and debt and atomisation”- Monbiot.
To all this, add environmental pollution.
A few examples:
- factory farming’s pollution of soil and water, detailed in documentaries like Pig Business
- drought in California where intensive agriculture has abstracted too much groundwater
- and the problem of toxic waste dumped into water supplies by oil company fracking.
In Miami, corporate builders support politicians that deny climate change and, in low-lying south Florida, building goes on.
And above all, the total loss of moral perspective shown by drone-delivered execution without trial – the frequent killing of civilians in other countries.
Arms industries, which spend huge sums to exert influence in the American states where they are located, are the only beneficiaries of the military aggression blackening the country’s reputation.
George Monbiot says “To seek enlightenment, intellectual or spiritual; to do good; to love and be loved; to create and to teach: these are the highest purposes of humankind”. But the corporate world’s pointless and destructive jobs consume millions of the lives of the brightest students – as Monbiot says: “amputating life close to its base”.
Tags: Arms industries, Center for Responsive Politics, Climate change, Corporate world, Cuadrilla 'fracking facility', Drone strikes, Factory farming, Florida, George Monbiot, homicide, Independence Day, military aggression, suicide