David Stoughton of ValueKinetics writes:
Reasons to be cheerful in the middle of a recession seem just the sort of 'bright-side of life' comments that can irritate the hell out of companions and hasten your untimely end. Still, in the light of the vision in War Inc. of how power is projected in the 21st century and, more importantly, by whom it is wielded, I dare to suggest we have been permitted a breather.
I'm not advising everyone to rush out and rent this film if they haven't seen it. It likes itself a lot, and the satire is rather blunted by the ego trips. Never mind that though. Although I chose it almost at random as a piece of escapism after a long day of training, it came as a timely reminder of where we might have been headed in the Bush era. Essentially a vision of perpetual war waged by corporations to control the agenda and feather their nests, it was of course not really about the future, but an exaggeration of the very real state of affairs in Iraq at that time.
No reason to think a change of president alone reduces the ambitions of greedy corporations who are 'too big to fail' (or to control) but, coupled with a sharp kicking on the bottom line and the promise of closer scrutiny, it does slow things down. As the world order fragments and the size and power of corporations as compared the state grows, the risk of some larger ones running amuck should still not be discounted.
So, whilst we obsess about our insalubrious political representatives, let's make sure that we don't lose sight of the greed and delusions of grandeur that brought down many of our banks and are certainly detectable in other supranational businesses. We may yet see corporations 'creating realities on the ground' by intervening violently in the affairs of inconvenient countries. And it is not impossible that some of them will come to regard the state as a vehicle to command, in furtherance of their ambitions, rather than one that has any control over their actions.
When the realities of peak oil hit in the next boom - whenever that comes - there is going to be scope for some pretty unpleasant stuff that makes profiteering by acquiring property at public expense look tame. We all need to get our heads out of this entertaining side-show and look at the bigger picture while we can. Though I too welcome a a good laugh at the expense of those who have the arrogance to pretend they have the right to wield power over us, I'm a bit nervous about who is really holding the reins. It's that old trust thing again.