Category Archives: Consumerism

Why TV Keeps Almost Being Good

There was once a show called Revolution. And another called Scorpion.

Each had a great premise: a world after electricity, and what happens when you have a bunch of geniuses trying to work together on cool projects.

Each failed miserably [as art] almost immediately.

Why? Nothing new here. Network TV isn’t about high quality art. Sometimes that happens inadvertently, but usually it just has to be interesting enough to keep people watching the commercials.

Besides, people who appreciate real art may not be so enthused with all the car, fast food, sweatshop clothes and other materialism-obsessed capitalist elements.

So if you’re wondering why network TV isn’t as good as The Wire, Orange is the New Black, or other shows on HBO or Netflix, it’s because there isn’t this massive distraction of keeping people attentive for the commercials.

Which BC Corporations Would YOU Like to Euthanize?

December 2, 2001: Fall of EnronOh, what a list it would be!

Enbridge?

Kinder Morgan [the zombie child of Enron]?

Imperial Metals [fanciful producers of the Mount Polley Mine disaster]?

Other companies that treat workers badly like IKEA or Rocky Mountain Railtours?

Capitalism is all about worshiping Frankencorporations that are immortal, legally a human being, limit the liability of owners if the company screws up, taxed much lower than real humans, and are designed to maximize shareholder wealth while minimizing risk to capitalists and maximizing consequences for others. Raping and pillaging is just an added bonus.

But what if a company, in its cancerous zeal for wealth, has a tailing pond disaster, or a pipeline leak, or an oil tanker sinking, or abuses workers or is generally a blight on humanity and the planet?

It turns out, that in BC the provincial government cabinet can simply decree that a corporation ceases to exist:

423  The Lieutenant Governor in Council may cancel the incorporation of a company and declare it to be dissolved.

Business Corporations Act.

And, some person may go to court to try to dissolve some such company for some reason:

324 The court may order that the company be liquidated and dissolved if… the court…considers it just and equitable to do so.

[
emphasis is mine.]

I have never heard of a provincial government cabinet dissolve a corporation for bad behaviour or justice issues or in pursuit of societal equity. I have also never heard of some person going to court to have it dissolve a company.

Sure, I can sue a company if it violates my rights somehow. Or violates a contract, or some law. But as long as companies operate within the law [I know, I’m rolling my eyes about this too] they somehow deserve to exist.

But what if corporations, in their cancerous zeal to maximize shareholder wealth, end up being ultimately destructive to society or our symbiotic relationship with our world?

Big Macs [just because] or McDonald’s putting vinyl in chicken nuggets? High fructose corn syrup? GMOs? Hello Kitty [ok, I’m kidding here]? Cluster bombs? Automatic weapons marketed to citizens?

What would it take to present an argument in court that would win, or to the government?

Just what does a company have to do that is so heinous that a court or government would simply euthanize it?

And why aren’t we having this debate?

Read about the North River Sugar Refining Corporation and Unocal:

“The people mistakenly assume that we have to try to control these giant corporate repeat offenders one toxic spill at a time, one layoff at a time, one human rights violation at a time. But the law has always allowed the attorney general to go to court to simply dissolve a corporation for wrongdoing and sell its assets to others who will operate in the public interest.”

And read about Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County.

And even Adbusters has been getting into the charter revocation game lately. With a hashtag even: #KillCap!

So it’s time to think creatively. Think about whether as a society, we should be adding criteria to ensure that corporations deserve to exist. We should make sure that criteria is sound and well-understood and widely proclaimed. So that when we go after the first corporate charters, the low hanging fruit, then we can ensure corporations actually contribute to the public good.

And if that last phrase makes your chuckle, THAT’s how far we’ve let the corporate plutocracy rule us.

It’s our society. WE are the humans. Let’s take it back!

How Selfish Are Old People?

https://i0.wp.com/lasindias.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Sharing-generation.jpg?resize=352%2C223It’s not so cut and arid. It’s not like old people didn’t create EarthShip.

But this graphic, that’s not the only study that shows how younger people aren’t so yuppie, so individualist, so consumerist, so selfish.

If you don’t have enough under-40s in your life, work on it.

The fall of the Communist regimes of eastern Europe, with the consequent loss of influence of the parties of Marxist inspiration, gave even more relevance to anti-consumerism–and therefore to “consumerism”–in alternative discourse in a wide variety of forms and topical associations: from catastrophism and radical ecologism to the discourse of movements against climate change and a good part of the “sharing economy.”

via A brief history of contemporary “consumerism” and anti-consumerism.