something I posted in June 05 as a thinking out loud after watching dvd ‘The Corporation”.
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Troubled; Ownership Society; dvd The Corporation
Watched dvd ‘The Corporation’ last night. It was troublesome contemplating what’s ahead and in store for not only our country but on the global scale. As I watched it and let the fullness of the implications wash over me; the words Ownership Society kept coming into my thoughts. This is a phrase that president bush uses which I’ve construed to mean something closer to what I think I understand. But in watching The Corporation last night, I think the light bulb came on for me in grasping a larger and sadly, a more sinister meaning.
Ownership of what is now considered public domain; commons; free as provided by nature; ie, water, sky, land, trees, lifeforms. An example of water being owned by privatization in Bolivia where residents must actually pay for use of water that was formerly freely available; rivers and the trade off in spending their meager income for either water or food or shelter. Yeah, so, that is already true in our own country. But somehow the immensity of the concept came flooding through for me last night in seeing the beginnings of a much different global concept than I could have begun to imagine.
The Corporation demonstrated with side by side interviews of corporate executives along with people who have reflected on the implications along with some activist movements efforts. It demonstrated the origins of ‘corporation’ back to the Civil War times and the addition of the 14th amendment intended to honor the newly freed black population. Attorneys at the time read the life, liberty, pursuit of happiness of a person as an opportunity on which they might capitalize by submitting that a corporation was a ‘person’. It was recognized as such by judicial review and has been so ever since.
The Corporation showed a bit about the progression of ‘corporations’ as formed in the earlier days and how different was a corporation in the 1950s (my era) as compared to today’s predatory practices. It hasn’t been on my radar screen to pay close enough attention other than recognition that big business and corporations seems to have taken center stage in the workings of our country. And of course, Halliburton and Iraq, give a strong clue that something has shifted extremely as the decades have passed.
I can describe a feeling level I’ve had more on intuitive level than knowledgeable from having information to make discerning judgment. A registering in the not so conscious areas that kick up the sense of survival instincts without knowing what it is exactly I’m trying to outdistance to survive.
1980s is where I began to feel the shift, I think. A time when my own children were coming into their pre-teen and teen years. It seemed to me that suddenly ‘labels’ on clothing and shoes took on a much elevated importance than I could begin to comprehend. I didn’t buy into it and didn’t promote it for my children; rather I resisted it as a fad that would pass and began in earnest to try to train my children that the uniting self-identity and self-esteem to outward clothing symbols was superficial and created a vulnerable artificial reinforcement of personal identity and place in the world. But, at the time, I thought it was just me and my personal approach and thought the fad of it would pass in time. How wrong I was….
1990s and my children are coming into their adult years, starting to have their own children. I’m starting to feel like I’m being marshalled into a standard of living not of my own definitions, but pushed by a shift in societal definitions and I don’t like it. I start quietly resisting in my own way with no full or clear understanding of what it is I am resisting. I move away from city and urban life to quieter and more remote areas, smaller towns, a less fast paced rythmn. At the time such language as ‘meaningful living’ is circulating. Yeah, that must be what I’m doing, I think. Sure, yeah, that’s it.
The kids are grown now and seem to be doing all right for the most part, the country is in peace time and seeming to prosper and flourish. I’m not sure I agree with what has become important to folks as a measure of their standing based on their acquisitions but the country seems to be happy with it, so it must be me. I’m the odd one, the odd woman out of step.
Boom, 2000 and Suddenly there is a peculiar shift with the 2000 elections, a president bush who won by judicial favor and I’m alerted to ‘politics’ with a recognition that I don’t really know much and I better learn more but he’ll be gone in 4 years and how much damage can happen in 4 years? After all this country has survived political shifts before and this one will be politics as usual…..
Boom, Sept 11, 2001. The world changes in one day. The world I know, relate to, comprehend and understand has been altered by the incredulous event on that day. The world changes for us all, in ways I could not begin to have had prior knowledge. And now every day since then, I feel like I have been playing at ‘catch up’ because others did seem to know and have a prior agenda of events to unfold with the changing of the guard as marked by 911.
Well, there is more, but enough for this posting for now. Noting that the dvd ‘The Corporation’ and the concepts presented will be sitting with me for a long while now as I ponder my own next steps in how to react, respond to our changing world, feeling very much like I’m miles behind the current flowing forth in today’s political, religious, corporate, war, global agendas as they meld into meaning one thing with very little lines of demarcation to separate one thing from the other.
I’m not lost, by no means, and I’ve felt it inwardly for many years now, just lacked a sense of how to express the shifts I was feeling were happening not to me but all around me and how I was reacting to those shifts. I need some time now to pull back and let the inward spirit do it’s job of guiding me through some turbulent waters. It’s not about me and my survival; it’s about my children, their children and the generations to come. It’s not about activism, it’s not about politics, it’s not about even a sense that I as one person am empowered to do much and what it is about is that a shift has decidedly occurred. I’m not sure it can be put back the way it was in a way I used to understand and be able to relate to and I’m not entirely sure that putting it back the way it was is the path to take just now.
As a people among people, sharing life with other life and life forms on this plentiful planet with abundant resources, it assuredly seems we are headed in a direction of shooting ourselves in the heart with an unabated greed. But those are the words of the activists and fall on deaf ears on a large scale. I’m not saying or touting something new there, it just seems the time to quiet my self and wait instead of running into a burning house trying to save the precious life within…it’s almost feeling like the fire is in full rage already and I’m perhaps slow to notice it’s been burning for longer than my first notice of it engulfed in flames.
I rushed off to grab my garden hose and add my little trickle along with others who had done the same to try to squelch the flames. Now I’m stepping back and looking on and wondering if it is not already a lost cause; is it salvageable. No, that is not pessimism or doomsday talk; I hope it is a more realistic grappling with the new realities that face us all.