Tuesday, August 3, 2010
#9: Corporate Masturbation
In light of the recent BP oil spill and the fact that I'm a bit buzzed, I can't put off writing about one of the biggest reasons Americans suck (I guess being buzzed has nothing to do with it, but I thought I'd throw that in there). Corporate masturbation (see also brand whoring, the business reach-around, Wall Street wanking, etc) is essentially the practice of excusing corporations for unethical practices unless said unethical practices are so blatantly brought to our attention that letting that shit slide won't cut it. However, even in those cases, most Americans just go back to hand-jobbing (is that a verb?) the very same corporations within a week or so (see Microsoft, Exxon, McDonald's, et al).
For some unGodly reason, Americans, most of whom are middle-class, working types, love corporations to the point of practically falling over themselves to defend these business entities to the death. It's gross. I mean, I can understand this attitude when, back in the day, American corporations actually supplied jobs to Americans, but that's not even the case anymore and even then American corporations found new and interesting ways to maim, cheat and otherwise give the shaft to their American employees. Steel mills, automakers, textile factories and similar corporations were always looking for ways to save a dime, even if that meant overworking, underpaying, and denying things like healthcare, maternity leave, or worker's comp to the people who kept their factories going. Yet, even then, in spite of the unions and class action law suits by a few, the majority of Americans were still very much ready with a handjob for these corporations because Americans are all about corporate handjobs.
And, according to these corporate prostitutes, it was the fault of the unions and worker's rights organizations that led to our current paradigm of outsourced jobs and more and more corporations moving operations overseas. It certainly wasn't the fault of the corporations. The very idea would be un-American. What's incredible is that, even with the corporate atrocities such as those we've recently witnessed with Enron, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Haliburton, Exxon, etc., Americans are still in love with corporations.
Which brings us to BP. First, I recognize that BP isn't an American company, but it does represent as aspect of corporate masturbation that really burns me up - the way that Americans practice a sort of blind faith when it comes to corporations. It's like we trust them to do the right thing; so much so that we're willing to say okay to potentially hazardous practices in regard to our resources, communities and families. Americans trust that corporations wouldn't knowingly endanger us. Americans trust that corporations have the best interests of our towns and cities at "heart." Americans trust corporations to do the best for their employees. Yet, time and time again, corporations prove that they have only one interest .... the bottom line.
No, I'm not blaming corporations for this. It's the nature of business to make money. What the hell else would it be. No, what gets my goat is how utterly stupid and naive Americans are in regard to the relationship between corporations and the rest of the world. It would be easy to say that corporations suck for doing the things they do, but that would be a logical fallacy. It would be like being pissed off at a lion for taking down a gazelle. The lion's nature is to take down the gazelle. I am disappointed in the American paradigm of just allowing corporations to get away with more and more to the detriment of our economy, ecosystem, and way of life. Americans need to stop sucking off corporations and ... well, I think that would be enough. Is it too much to ask?