3/01/2012

Conform or Perish: Life Under Coporate Rule

In the early 21st century, things are markedly different than they were in the late 20th century. A person with a rebellious bent can no longer easily defy the mainstream and go their own way in life. The malign reach of corporate power has now extended into every part of our world, and into every part of our lives, leaving few choices that permit us to maintain a reserve of integrity, and few opportunities to be ourselves. The huge corporations that currently rule us demand that we obey their sovereign will, meekly and without question. If we refuse to obey, if we decline to do what they want us to do, we will be excluded from their game, and in the worst case, are likely to be excluded from life itself. In other words, if you want to have food to eat and a roof over your head, you must accept the necessity of selling yourself into corporate slavery.

While many people, particularly muddle-headed citizens of a right-wing persuasion, have been loudly objecting to the supposed growth in the size of government during the past few decades, they have completely lost sight of the actual danger, which is that corporations have taken over nearly everything. Nowadays, governments generally are weak and false and useless, having surrendered most of their authority to the iniquitous realm of business, and they continue mainly as willing fronts for the rampant evildoing of huge corporations. Our leaders are nothing more than puppets, answerable only to the corporate figures who direct their actions, and our elections are a mere sideshow. Big Brother, the inescapable dictator who was famously depicted in George Orwell's novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four, has turned out to be a CEO.

A person who is unwilling to engage in some degree of moral compromise has little chance of earning a living today, even in a menial context. Most workers are required to serve the base, greedy, and inhuman interests of the corporation that employs them, even it means abandoning the last remnants of their honesty. Being honest is viewed as a distinct problem within the corporate outlook. Any worker who is bold enough (or foolhardy enough) to straightforwardly express doubt in regard to the righteousness of the corporate prerogative, or who dares to speak an unwanted truth to a thickheaded overseer, is certain to be singled out as a troublemaker. Only craven workers who show themselves to be blindly compliant and happily servile at all times can have any hope of being retained. All others are subject to being rooted out, summarily removed, and cast into the wilderness.

The widespread rise of digital technology, and the relentless manner in which it has stealthily forced itself into the pattern of our thoughts and the structure of our daily lives, has allowed corporations to gain command of our fate to an extent that is frightful and sickening. No army, regardless of its numbers or its might, could have been as effective, or as ruthless, in conquering the obliging citizens of one nation after another. For the unknowing mass of humanity, the pliable, subordinate billions who do not understand and do not care, the primary battle already is lost: all that remains for those who count themselves as incorrigible rebels is to decide, whether alone or together, how best to offer a measure of principled resistance. The corporate monster cannot be defeated by the use of violence, but its wicked actions can be opposed and hindered through means that are open and peaceful, until it finally breaks down under the loathsome burden of its own manifest rottenness.

In the capitalist nightmare that human life has become in the 21st century, we are constantly being oppressed and molded, at every turn and in countless ways, by the reprehensible figures who are in control. Our corporate masters, madly driven by their unashamed cupidity and recklessly determined to maintain their unwieldy empires of unrestrained selfishness, provide us with only one choice: conform or perish. It must be acknowledged that most people usually choose to conform. They do so without pause or compunction, because they have been purposely conditioned to believe that doing otherwise is unthinkable. Only those whose courage outweighs their fear, and whose need for freedom and honor is greater than their desire for the illusory benefits of mindless consent, will be able to find the strength to take an open stand against the dictatorship of the corporations.