The Corporation documentary directed by Mark Achbar ends with his statement saying “Why would they put me out there, when I am opposed to everything that they stand for, and I spend my time on their dime opposing what they believe in. That’s because they do not believe in anything, they put me out there because they know that there are millions of people, they wanna see my film or watch the TV show, so there’re gonna make money. I’ve been able to get my stuff out there because I’m driving my truck through this incredible flow in capitalism, the greed flow.”
Few keywords from Achbar’s statement are at the core of our most pressing dilemmas for over a century, including capitalism, greed, flow, corporation, people, and of course media not explicitly stated. How are they related and how is this systematic relation serving the perpetual propagation of a narrow line of thought to sustain absolute hegemony under the flag of capitalism?
Capitalism is the major culprit for the flawed modern social and economic structures. Under the umbrella of capitalism propagates democracy, or rather decadent democracy, corporations, or rather corrupt corporations, media, or rather manipulated media and the list goes. The hypocrisy of capitalism is revealing itself every single day through failing to deliver what Chris Agnos called “a higher standard of living for every person.” The vicious circle of money and power make the rich richer and the poor poorer, and this gap is exponentially expanding with the corporate world. Corporations have gained enough power to decide when the common people starve and when they thrive. Corporations are behind the unacceptable sweatshops manufacturing the fashion or rather the uniforms we buy all over the world as well as many other commodities.
As Colin Jenkins says “a large degree of the profit that is created in this process is done through the exploitation of labor, whereas the owner will pay each worker a set wage in exchange for labor that ultimately creates commodities worth much more than this wage.” If the very person creating the commodity cannot financially afford it, then isn’t the time to notice how the system is barren of all facets of justice and equity. Besides sweatshops, corporations feed on glorifying competition among its victims. To flourish in the corporate world, you have to prove yourself and be part of a wicked game against every human obstacle, which in turns systematically kills healthy communication and respectful regards among the people afflicted by the capitalist agendas. Those who fails to prove themselves are doomed to starve and their failure is not due to an innate human flaw of survival but because they can no more be accommodated outside the tsunami of corporations, at least in terms of a decent living that does not coerce them to submit to corporate abuse.
As for media, every bit of information we seek or passively receive is delivered through media, and we may as well note that under the term media countless platforms are thriving nowadays. However, when the news delivered are controlled by few major corporations intentionally using sophisticated social and linguistic structures built to steer the masses in a specific direction, how can we expect people to ask questions, notice imbedded paradoxes, reject subliminal messages after being coerced into blindly believing what is offered to their brain every second of every minute of every hour of every day. The sum of information released like rivers demand a population equipped with advanced critical skills to resist such intellectual and psychological bombardments. Consume and obey are the two prime messages of modern media. Whatever choice or decision one makes will definitely be altered or influenced by what they are exposed to through the media without ever questioning where, who, and how have commodities they consume reach the shelves or how ideas they discuss have conditioned their life purpose. And such unwavering influence is always serving this failing system.
Awareness is what is lacking among modern societies in order to free themselves from the utter control of their governments and evaluate what a government or a system is created for in the first place. The construction of perpetual dangers to keep people believing they need armies and wars is an obstacle in the face of the prospects of change. How can we integrate an awareness among an army built and trained to destroy in the name of freedom and patriotism while only serving and protecting the interests of those denying them their own freedoms? How can we integrate awareness among investors, capitalists, and corporate leaders, driven by reckless ambition while ironically or maybe consciously and systematically destroying whatever lives in their way from nature to human? How can we integrate an awareness against the standardization plague dressing everything we know into a uniform eliminating all facets of creativity, diversity and making the horizon a wall so close that being blind becomes a blessing? We, as people, have to find answers to these problems so we can find answers to the rising social, economic and environmental problems. It is only awareness that will open the doors of change.
As Chomsky says “indoctrination is the essence of democracy” that serves nothing but capitalism in its most destructive agendas. While most of the structures in our society are constructed and few are innate, capitalism is a manmade economic construct that can be replaced by more efficient visions and actions. The binary opposition of Us versus Them that is cheaply used to keep us divided and maintain the illusion of danger is also a capitalist construct so vulnerable that the mere awareness of the power of choice we have makes it a bitter memory in no time. There is a dire need to become aware about the importance of making the right decisions and choices in our everyday lives starting from how we treat each others and what dictates such treatment to how we consume wisely and responsibly. Read and be informed because it is the only way to learn about your right to accept or reject what is imposed on you and create alternatives instead of the one-size-fits-all option mercilessly dumbing us.