International Man of Dignity, anthropologist, and socio-economic researcher / commentator.
The Root Cause of Human Demise
What is at the heart of all the planetary bad news and disasters we keep seeing unfold before our helpless and anxiety-ridden eyes? Is it that we are naturally violent and destructive creatures? Is it that we are too dumb to see where all this is heading?
I would argue, No. By far the most of us are not inclined towards violence and destruction. Nor are we too dumb to see where this is all heading. So what is it that’s driving us in these unnatural directions?
Put simply, the root cause of our planetary destruction is - the corporation.
It is the corporation which facilitates the exponential centralisation of wealth into the hands of fewer and fewer men. It is the corporation which places obscene profits in off-shore “banks” and shrouds their nefarious activities in complex administrative secrecy such that even national governments can no longer see them, let alone tax them. It is the corporation which buys up enormous tracts of land in third world countries, driving already impoverished millions off their only form of self-sustainment, for single purpose growing programmes which completely undermine bio-diversity and nature’s own capacity for heading off disasters. It is the corporation which dumps untold millions of tons of effluent into our rivers and oceans and into the air we breathe. And it is now the corporation which buys up huge swathes of our supposedly democratic political systems and totally dominates our supposedly just legal systems.
The Perfect Vehicle
In the corporation we, as a species, have devised the perfect vehicle for psychopathically driven humans to dance unfettered to their inner callings.
What is a psychopath?
The qualities and values of the corporation and its psychopathic drivers have nothing whatsoever to do with the qualities and values of our species as a whole. As we, over the aeons, slowly dragged ourselves out of fear and darkness into planetary dominance, the major breakthrough for us came with the development of the amygdala in the brain and the associated capacity for empathy. Language and co-operation and our ability to live and work together in large numbers arose out of this. This empathy is what set us apart from other species and generated the possibility of the kind of collective and co-operative activity at which we have come to excel.
However, there exists among us a minority of humans with dysfunctional amygdalae. These people are not hampered by this empathy and are free to focus and pursue goals without the hindrance of consideration for others. People with sufficiently dysfunctional amygdalae are diagnosed as psychopaths. There is no cure for this. It is simply an inherited physiological mutation. Many of us may have psychopathic tendencies to a greater or lesser degree depending on the extent of our own amygdalar malfunction. But those of us with the lowest functioning amygdala tend to focus and gravitate towards positions of wealth and power because lack of empathy is one of the qualities our current western economic model rewards so generously.
(See also The New Mutants)
What is a Passive Profiteer?
Because the disembodied corporation also allows for the perfect detachment of responsibility from profiteering, even good christians can invest in corporations without having to face up to the ravages they force upon eco-systems and impoverished humans. Such christians are thus free to enjoy their escalating dividends without the pangs of conscience and to look upon the psychopathic tendencies of corporate chief officers as excusable in the interests of their own "returns on investment". And such christians to whose attention corporate criminality is brought can wring their hands and say, “Gee, I honestly had no idea….”
We, in the comfortable west, see the narrow minded mutant psychopaths who gravitate to the top of these corporations because of their singular ability to focus on “the bottom line” - to the exclusion of all else. Uninhibited by conscience or empathy, these people are free to trample the planet and its inhabitants at will in the sacred pursuit of ever-increasing shareholder dividend. This includes trampling the sad attempts at democratic institutions and the sorry safeguards those democratic institutions struggle hopelessly to devise and implement. And the psychopaths are supported in all this by their silent shareholders whose only interest is watching the value of their short-term investments tick inexorably skywards.
It is corporate humanity - both the proactive psychopaths and the passive investor/shareholders - which is generating the obscene wealth with which corporate humanity itself can exploit and abuse and manipulate the rest of us. It is corporate humanity which has the free hand to gamble on how rapidly we destroy our own life support systems.
And what do we do about it?
We applaud them for it.
Carefully cultivated by the mass media they control, we, the dumbed-down masses, see these corporate leaders as swash-buckling heroes and champion "entrepreneurs”. As our air is putrefied over our heads and our planet is destroyed beneath our feet, we envy and admire them. As they streak back and forth across the globe in their private jets, they are above the law and above the pandemics. They can not only drive down our wages and further endanger our working conditions, they can also incarcerate and even kill us - with complete impunity - if we raise concerns or objections.
Have they won?
Even as some of the more courageous among us, once in a blue moon, begin to expose them, the corporates - as has been amply illustrated time and time again - can still finance the manipulation and distortion and befuddlement of opinions and legislatures and law courts.
Is the game over? Have the psychos finally won? Are they on the verge of establishing the untouchable global “master class” of humans that the rest of us will serve forever and worship from afar?
It would appear so.
If the links between the billionaires who own most of the planet, their bankers and acolytes, and the intelligence services (who we pay for but who work to protect the western “economic miracle” the psychos have created) are not soon revealed for all to see, we’ll know our last chance has come and gone.
Is there an alternative?
Is there an alternative? Of course there is. Has been for 200 years. (See There IS an Alternative.)
Is it too late to implement this (or any other) alternative?
As our over-funded mainstream media and our under-funded education systems continue to fail us, we see Ignorance raise its ugly head to heights unseen since the middle ages when the church was manipulating information. And we see that the New Ignorance, now manipulated by corporations, is sufficient to completely incapacitate our struggling democracies. Our carefully reasoned arguments (which sometimes take more than 30 seconds to absorb) are now lost amidst the ghastly cries of this New Ignorance.
© 2022 Deacon Martin