I consider myself a poet. Obviously there are some poetry publications, both online and in hard cover, who agree with me to some extent. I’ve had some of my poetry published and have even gotten small monetary stipends.
I’ve been writing poetry since 1964 and most of you have never heard of me. So, obviously, I spent my life working a so called “middle class” job within a middle class life story. I worked for a Fortune 500 multinational corporation for twenty-five years. After receiving bonus after bonus after bonus for exemplary work, I was “delayered” (Orwell was a genius) in 1997. This was three years before I could have officially retired and enjoyed the health benefits of an “official” retiree.
During my working years, I took a sabbatical from writing. In fact, I was treated so well, and deservedly so, by the corporation, that I lost touch with what was important in the world. Believe it or not, I was so disinterested in this “thing called NAFTA”, that I didn’t even know what it really was, let alone what it meant sociologically.
When I found I had some time on my hands, I began writing again. This may be more a critique of my writing than anything else, but, for me, when I found the right inspiration, writing poetry (and music) was like getting right back on the horse or bike after taking a spill. I didn’t seem to notice the huge gap.
I was a disgruntled ex-employee, but, after I left the corporation, I became aware of a crime which it had committed. I tried to pass this on to the local newspapers both in Connecticut, where I was raised and born (not necessarily in that order) and in California, where I moved in 2001. I started this paragraph by saying I was a disgruntled ex-employee and that’s exactly how the newspapers accepted my “gossip”. Unfortunately for them and for citizens in a specific part of the nation, they missed out on breaking what would have been a huge story about a corporation, who, in cahoots with Connecticut’s Department of Environmental Protection, covered up a crime of significant importance. Criminals-1, the rest of us-0.
As reporting that crime got me nowhere, I turned to the internet to find forums which focused on writing and, more specifically, poetry.
The first community I found was a wonderful place called the Arcanum Café. What I learned at AC augmented what I already knew about writing and poetry. The people were, and still are, talented and helpful.
Most of the forums dealt with different subject matter to which poems were posted. However, there were a couple of forums that didn’t concentrate as much on poetry.
There was a Short Story forum in which people could obviously post their attempts at writing short stories.
There was also the inevitable Open Discussion forum. I became more involved in this forum as time went on. A lot of the posting to the Open Discussion forum was political and it helped me catch up on what I didn’t pay much attention to for twenty-five years. I became outspoken and even touched off some fairly heated debates.
It was in the AC Open Discussion forum that I first used the word Corporacracy, a word that, at the time, I thought that I’d coined. I found later on that Ralph Nader and others had been using the word for many years. So much for ingenuity.
The web master of another poetry site called Studio Eight seemed to enjoy my Open Discussion rants enough to offer me my own forum. She named it Open Mike – Soundoff. At this point, I’d rather have not been referred to as Mike. I like Michael much more these days. But Open Michael – Soundoff just didn’t make much sense.
Let me be clear. I didn’t begin to see that The Former United States of America was basically being governed by huge multination corporations when I was “delayered” in 1997. That epiphany was not part of my being a disgruntled ex-employee. It became obvious to me over time.
One only need to ask, “Why would a president stand before the nation blaming Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden for the tragedy of September 11, 2001 and then, almost on a dime, turn around and say that the most import thing that this country had to do was to invade Iraq?”
One could also question how a man like Bill Clinton could run a presidential campaign all but promising to be the next FDR and then sign a bill like NAFTA (I’d learned what NAFTA was and what its consequences would be by this time).
I took a surf down memory lane last night and found the following which I had posted to my Open Mike forum in 2004:
You’ll see the word “corporacracy” in a lot of my posts. As I’ve never seen this word, I’m under the impression that I coined it.
I’ve created a dictionary type of definition for the word (I actually added it to my MS Word personal dictionary so that it isn’t underlined in red when I use it).
n. pl. co•por•ac-racies
We have ceased to be a democracy. Global corporations have turned the entire world into a Corporacracy.
- A word combining "corporation" and "aristocracy".
- Government by CEOs and top executives of global corporations.
- Global corporations, considered the primary source of political power.
- Wealth rules
- The principles of gross financial inequality and fear of global corporations.
- The reason the top 5% of the population control over 40% of the wealth.
- A government that, by blatant disregard for humanity and the environment, is causing the American "middle class" to shrink, fading into an almost poverty level existence. They do this by taking advantage of the "middle class’s" apathy and its addiction to fossil fuels.
- A government that buys figure head leaders, known as "presidents". These "leaders" are called Republicans and Democrats. Members of the shrinking "middle class" still embrace a fantasy which leads them to write editorial letters debating the differences between the two "parties". They are still under the false impression that there are only two "political" parties existing in the US.
- The Corporacracy controls colonies in North America, Western and Eastern Europe, Central and South America, Asia, Africa and Australia. Its sole rule of governance is to create money which creates more money.
The US has the highest CEO to worker income ratio in the world. The ratio is over 475 to 1.
Have we gone too far? Is this still just plain old free enterprise, fair capitalism or is it becoming more like Bourgeoisie vs. Proletariat.
What perpetuates this situation is that we "elect" presidents and legislators, Democrats, Republicans, it doesn't matter, who owe The Corporacracy big time for the $$$$ they received during the so called election campaigns. So, our vote doesn't count because we are not voting for the liar who is running, we are voting for the special interests to which they are bound.
Again, have we gone too far? Can you still call what is happening free enterprise/capitalism or is it just plain greed? Are we shooting ourselves in the foot for a select few? And, if so, how do we get the word to the American people that the Democratic and Republican parties are owned by The Corporacracy? And, if we get them to understand that, how do we, the working class, change it?
By ignoring the Democrats and Republicans in 2008, if not sooner!
A few nights ago, House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn of South Carolina told Keith Olbermann that he’d begun to use the word “corpocray” after the recent Supreme Court give away of our democracy. He told Olbermann that it’s a word one wouldn’t find in a dictionary, but, if one googled it, one would get a lot of hits.
Well, if one googles “corpocracy” or even corporacracy, one will be asked if the intended word is corporotacracy. Corporatocracy, I believe, may have even been used by Mussolini in describing the fascist state he envisioned for Italy.
It’s true that corporacracy, a word I began to use and will continue to use, “corpocracy” or corporotacracy won’t be found in a dictionary.
Earlier in this article, I mentioned, parenthetically, that Orwell was a genius. This is a characteristic which I’m certain that the aforementioned Eric Arthur Blair and I do not have in common. However, as I read my 2004 post, I couldn’t help wishing that, instead of writing for a small and obscure poetry message board at the time, I was writing oped pieces for The New York Times or The Washington Post. It would have been easier to answer the question “…how do we get the word to the American people that the Democratic and Republican parties are owned by The Corporacracy? And, if we get them to understand that, how do we, the working class, change it?”
If more people were aware of The Corporacracy in 2004, would The Supreme Court have made such an egregious decision on Thursday, January 21, 2010?
By the way, I voted for a Democrat in 2008. This is either akin to the definition of irony or the definition of insanity. I’ll let you decide that.
“Lies can only be effective if people believe them.” – Michael Bonanno
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Flowers (Painted On The Wall)