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Corporations Versus Individuals: The End of the Left/Right Paradigm

On the political re-alignment to come.

Looks like the New World Order isn’t going to be a global Big Socialist Government (unless, perhaps, you count corporate socialism). Barry Ritholtz wrote in September of last year:

Every generation or so, a major secular shift takes place that shakes up the existing paradigm. It happens in industry, finance, literature, sports, manufacturing, technology, entertainment, travel, communication, etc.

I would like to discuss the paradigm shift that is occurring in politics.

For a long time, American politics has been defined by a Left/Right dynamic. It was Liberals versus Conservatives on a variety of issues. Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice, Tax Cuts vs. More Spending, Pro-War vs Peaceniks, Environmental Protections vs. Economic Growth, Pro-Union vs. Union-Free, Gay Marriage vs. Family Values, School Choice vs. Public Schools, Regulation vs. Free Markets.

The new dynamic, however, has moved past the old Left Right paradigm. We now live in an era defined by increasing Corporate influence and authority over the individual. These two “interest groups” – I can barely suppress snorting derisively over that phrase – have been on a headlong collision course for decades, which came to a head with the financial collapse and bailouts. Where there is massive concentrations of wealth and influence, there will be abuse of power.  The Individual has been supplanted in the political process nearly entirely by corporate money, legislative influence, campaign contributions, even free speech rights.

This may not be a brilliant insight, but it is surely an overlooked one. It is now an Individual vs. Corporate debate – and the Humans are losing.

Consider:

• Many of the regulations that govern energy and banking sector were written by Corporations;

• The biggest influence on legislative votes is often Corporate Lobbying;

• Corporate ability to extend copyright far beyond what original protections amounts to a taking of public works for private corporate usage;

• PAC and campaign finance by Corporations has supplanted individual donations to elections;

• The individuals’ right to seek redress in court has been under attack for decades, limiting their options.

• DRM and content protection undercuts the individual’s ability to use purchased content as they see fit;

• Patent protections are continually weakened. Deep pocketed corporations can usurp inventions almost at will;

• The Supreme Court has ruled that Corporations have Free Speech rights equivalent to people; (So much for original intent!)

None of these are Democrat/Republican conflicts, but rather, are corporate vs. individual issues.

For those of you who are stuck in the old Left/Right debate, you are missing the bigger picture. Consider this about the Bailouts: It was a right-winger who bailed out all of the big banks, Fannie Mae, and AIG in the first place; then his left winger successor continued to pour more money into the fire pit.

Read more hereBunglaow Bill wrote regarding Ritholtz’s article:

It didn’t take long for the light bulb to go off in my head once I got to the third paragraph to see truth in his article. The first and obvious is the recent bailouts, which included the bailouts to General Motors and Chrysler. The American people were sold on the bailouts being essential to save American jobs; perhaps there is some truth to that. However, it wasn’t long after the bailouts when GM began the talk of closing down American factories and building factories in China, Mexico, and Korea.

Left vs. Right became in government terms corporations vs. individuals. There was no guarantees in the bailouts, nothing that forced automakers to invest in our country. It was just easy money thrown their way at the expense of the taxpayer to make up for their bad corporate decisions.

We see it in the biotech business. I hate to say this, but I see the same thing developing thanks to a bad decision by our Supreme Court that allows corporations to patent life. This has led to Monsanto and other corporations taking over the nation’s food supply by forcing farmers to use genetically modified seeds thanks to pollen that contaminates farmers fields who worked hard to provide a healthy alternative to GMO foods. Innocent farmers are being taken down the river because surrounding farmers planted Monsanto seeds and the wind blew the pollen in their direction. Once the pollen mixes with a pure field, Monsanto sends it’s lawyers ready to make honest family farmers pay up for patent infringement.

Monsanto sends their Monsanto police teams onto private property spraying Round Up in non-Monstanto fields to see if the corn dies or not. If it doesn’t die, Monsanto then accuses farmers of the unauthorized use of their seeds. The problem, like I said, may revolved around the wind cross pollinating with a Monsanto GMO field.

Farmers are losing everything they have worked for all their lives over this practice. I think it’s wrong.

From 2001 on, it seems like Republicans became moderate liberal Democrats–ready to spend money and grow government. While Americans are angry at Democrats for threatening more Constitutional rights, it’s hard not to point out the Republicans set all of this up with the Patriot Act. We have known for more than a year, Obama wants to increase the power the Patriot Act gave the government to track people.

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