Sunday, August 31, 2008

Company Towns

A guest posting from Engineer of Knowledge

I want to start off my posting with a poem by Carl Sandburg to set up the balance of my article in honoring this Labor Day Weekend. I think too many people have forgotten the battles of our grandfathers for the working class rights,’ breaking the economic yoke of dominant corporations of their times.

One of my favorite quotes of Thomas Jefferson is, “Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.”

Company Towns
By Carl Sandburg

You live in a company house
You go to a company school
You work for this company,
according to the company rules.

You all drink company water
and all use company lights,
The company preacher teaches us
What the company thinks is right.

This poem written decades ago still speaks true today. With the consolidation of the dying newspaper industry by the one voice of Rupert Murdock, and talk radio under the guise of religious, conservative programming; one has to ask themselves, who is purchasing the advertising keeping these program and papers going. Is it the trade unions, the voice of the working class, the masses who pay the bulk of the tax base burden, or is it the same corporations that have recently participated in more and more labor abuses and environmental crimes that are now evermore going unpunished even though the laws are still on the books. Should one of these media venues report negative facts about one of these companies, they will quickly pull the advertisement funding, economically shutting down the programming and reporting from the source. Even in the late 15th century, Niccolo Machiavelli noted that, “Absolute power corrupts, absolutely.” Have we produced a whole generation that only repeats these corporate sound bites without giving any thoughts behind them?

Case in point:

Many are old enough to remember the worst thing to be called or labeled with was the name of Communist or Communist sympathizer. In the 1950’s you would be called before the McCarthy senate hearings for Crimes Against American Activities and have your life ruined from a mere accusation. It was at this same time that we added to the Pledge of Allegiance the line, “One Nation Under God” to make sure that this distinguished ourselves from Communism. I often wonder what his supporters, those good Christian Conservatives of the time, would think of the recent massive manufacturing job losses pro-actively sent to Communist China by American Corporations. The American population was so afraid that they were sure of nuclear ICBMs from Godless Communist Nations would be sent to destroy the Christian American way of life. People were building bomb shelters and stocking them to survive for months under their own back yards.

But now these same Medias broadcasting as the voice of Christian Conservatism have people convinced that it is a good thing to send the manufacturing jobs to low paying Communistic labor force along with our latest cutting edge technological trends and knowledge, only to have the goods returned and sold at the local Wal-Marts. Well the comments are from these corporate sponsored talk show media’s drones are, “That’s like getting a pay raise in you own check because you can buy things cheaper!”

In the 1960’s this country sent hundreds of thousands of our young men to Viet Nam because we had to stop the progress of Communism. When that failed then we turned our attention to South America because we HAD to stop Communism in our own hemisphere! This just could not be tolerated because Communism would be knocking at our own back door. So our Christian Conservatives of that time put Pinochet in charge of Chile and the Military Junta in control of Argentina. As we all know that worked out well representing the American Christian value way of life.

Now McCain has announced that his choice for Vice President Candidate is a bought and sold Oil Cartel mouth piece. Her views that there is no global warming and the dire need to drill in every point in Alaska and off-shore sites needs to have the counter point that all of the Alaskan oil being pumped for the last 25 years has been going to Japan and the oil industry is really just interested in processing the paperwork giving them the all oil rites to off-shore sites. Without investing another dime to develop these sites, the oil industry can then sell these rites to foreign interests at a large profit. Of course the “Company Line” is that we need these oil rite sites awarded to the oil industry to make the U.S. energy independent.

The Alaskan oil has all been going to Japan since the Regan years. In the early 1980’s Regan wanted to place sanctions on Iran to punish them but Japan was getting all of its oil from Iran. For Japan be able to go along with the sanctions, the U.S. guaranteed to supply all of Japan’s oil energy needs with the newly developed Alaskan pipe line oil. Since then all Alaskan oil in one form or another has been going to Japan and not a drop to the U.S. markets. In a Houston newspaper article eight months ago, they reported that Chevron sold 10 of their awarded off-shore gulf coast region oil sites and rigs to Japan. Those rigs now have Japanese crews working on the rigs and they are pumping the oil into Japanese tankers taking the crude oil to Japan to be processed. The oil industry right now has seven million square miles of off-shore sites awarded to them but have not invested any significance to develop these sites. I am convinced oil corporation lawyers are actively marketing these sites to the highest bidders right now with deals to be signed after the anticipated Republican win of the White House again for four more years.

In summation I ask, when will the good meaning, but naive citizens of the U.S. wake up and quit being led by the rebirth of the “Company Coal Mine Economic Enslavement” mentality of living in the company housing, hearing the company viewpoint news line, and SELLING their souls (and their grandchildren’s futures) to the Company Store.

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