Who could have imagined AIG?
In the last few days we have seen, read, and heard various members of the business media explaining how they personally and their particular operation are not responsible for the “sneak” attack by AIG upon or way of life. They use such excuses as not having subpoena power with which to ferret out secret information.
For decades the business media has been acting as cheerleaders for Corporate America instead of being the watchdogs that bark thus alerting the residents whenever something suspicious approaches our house.
It should have been evident to any Critical Thinking individual who is responsible enough to keep up with current events that the leaders of Corporate America had acquired great power with little accountability. The great power is discernable when we recognize that there were obviously few if any checks upon their behavior when we see that they were able to constantly increase their income to levels that are obscene by any reasonable measure.
“The critical habit of thought, if usual in a society, will pervade its entire mores, because it is a way of taking up the problems of life.”—William Graham Sumner, distinguished anthropologist
The corporate CEOs were free to take what they will in monetary reward. They thereby made it plain to even the casual observer that they could do pretty much whatever suited their personal interests. If we place a normal individual into a position of great power uninhibited by oversight is it any wonder that these individuals will continue to push the envelope of self-interest?
CA (Corporate America) has developed a well-honed expertise in motivating the population to behave in a desired manner. Citizens as consumers are ample manifestation of that expertise. CA has accomplished this ability by careful study and implementation of the knowledge of the ways of human behavior. I suspect this same structure applies to most Western democracies.
A democratic form of government is one wherein the citizens have some voice in some policy decisions. The greater the voice of the citizens the better the democracy.
In America we have policy makers, decision makers, and citizens. The decision makers are our elected representatives and are, thus, under some control by the voting citizen. The policy makers are the leaders of CA; less than ten thousand individuals, according to those who study such matters. Policy makers exercise significant control of decision makers by controlling the financing of elections.
Policy makers customize and maintain the dominant ideology in order to control the political behavior of the citizens. This dominant ideology exercises the political control of the citizens in the same fashion as the consuming citizen is controlled by the same dominant ideology.
An enlightened citizen is the only means to gain more voice in more policy decisions. An enlightened citizen is much more than an informed citizen. Critical thinking is the only practical means to develop a more enlightened citizen. If, however, we wait until our CT trained grade-schoolers become adults I suspect all will be lost. This is why I think a massive effort must be made to convince today’s adults that they must train themselves in CT.
“Thomas R. Dye, Professor of Political Science at Florida State University, has published a series of books examining who and what institutions actually control and run America. to understand who is making the decisions that affect our lives, we also have to understand how societies structure themselves in general. Why the few always tend to share more power than the many and what this means in terms of both a society's evolution and our daily lives. they examined the other 11 institutions that exert just as powerful a shaping influence, although somewhat more subtle: The Industrial, Corporations, Utilities and Communications, Banking, Insurance Investment, Mass Media, Law, Education Foundation, Civic and Cultural Organizations, Government, and the Military.”