Humanity at the Crossroads

In the furore surrounding the Edward Snowden and Wiki leaks revelations it is easy not to notice the connection to three other huge issues that are bearing down on humanity like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

These issues threaten every system that currently supports human existence and happiness on this planet.

The first system is democratic governance, the system of government where power is placed in the citizens to elect their peers to sit in a house of representatives to make rules that are in the best interest of the people that is government of the people by the people.

This is no longer the case in most Western democracies. Many Governments represent sectional interests who in turn fund their election and campaigns. These sectional interests undermine and take over the role and functions of government. Furthermore government departments have modelled themselves on corporations because they use corporate advisors to shape the management and ethos of government departments.

The second issue is the market economy that was designed as utilitarian system to benefit the whole of society by making finance available to build businesses and to provide fairly paid jobs. However, it has been undermined and has lost all sense of equity and balance. Furthermore the lack of sensible regulation has changed its main purpose to speculation with little regard for the production and sale of goods.

Having more and more wealth in fewer and fewer hands is bad for the economy overall and although the economic rise of Asia has seen many more people move from poverty to a middle class lifestyle, the trend in older market economies to less equality of wealth is accelerating.

The third problem area is the growing imbalance between the wealth and power between nation states and giant corporations. Corporations like the giant banks are seen as so integral to the economic basis of national economies they cannot be allowed to fail. These corporations however have no such loyalty to the governments that prop them up with taxpayer’s money and bank guarantees. They quite happily campaign against the same governments and against the interest of the people.

The most significant corporate sector in this power imbalance is the corporate media which the Leveson inquiry in the United Kingdom found that

…the evidence clearly demonstrates that, over the last 30-35 years and  probably much longer, the political parties of UK national Government and of UK official. Opposition, have had or developed too close a relationship with the press in a way which has not been in the public interest.

The inquiry heard leading political witnesses say they feared the Murdoch press and courted its favour and that they were heavily criticised and crushed by his papers if Rupert Murdoch felt he could get a better deal from another party or politician.

Finally the most important issue, that of the rapid destruction of the earth’s biosphere and ecosystems has reached the point of mass extinction of species of plants and animals with no strong action or even agreement for action by national governments. Again this is because of dishonest campaigns by giant corporations using anti-environmental front groups to create division and confusion in the public mind about the reality and cost of climate change and its amelioration.

So what has this to do with the revelations of Edward Snowden?

Edward Snowden worked for a private corporation that spied on the online interactions of almost everyone on the planet. He was a just one part of a massive intrusive operation carried out supposedly for the USA Government to keep all Americans safe from terrorism “in the war against terrorism”.

In fact much of this information was being used against law abiding citizens and for the benefit of US corporations. An example of this was the spying on the Occupy movement who were peacefully protesting against the powerful corporations whose grubby share dealing bought about the world financial crisis and who wilfully mislead investors to induce them to buy worthless stock.

That the Occupy movement was spied on by the government may be excusable but their passing on of the information to the bankers and traders was not. This is and was an elected Government acting against the 99% of the people on behalf of the wealthy corporate 1%.

Of the incidents so far revealed, the most shocking instance of a government spying on the CMD (Campaign for Media and Democracy) an organisation that is fighting against the corporate takeover of government in the USA. This takeover has been done through ALEC ( the American Legislative Exchange Committee). ALEC consists of a group of large companies most of which are desperate to replace laws and regulations that might reduce their profits such as environmental protection, anti-smoking and health, workplace safety and gun laws.

ALEC also recruits and funds state and federal politicians to help them promulgate model laws which they then lobby heavily to push through state and federal legislatures.

After a recent rally protesting outside an ARLEC conference the CMD discovered that state based federal anti-terrorist agencies spied on the protest movement and passed on this information to ALEC. To make matters worse it was found that the uniformed police who had violently assaulted protest leaders had been off duty and were being paid by ALEC.

What this clearly signifies is that the US Government and many US State Governments are sharing security information and working with large corporations against peaceful community organisations and colluding in passing legislation that is against the interest of the American people.

How far this has spread into other Western democracies is not yet clear but there is evidence that police in the United Kingdom were being paid by the Murdoch press and this is possibly true of Australia where it has been reported that the Murdoch press reporter was tipped off about an impending anti- terrorist raid by a security officer.

What is most important about Snowden, Assange, Manning and the CMD,  is not that they made public the invasive level of security in the USA and elsewhere, but that Governments are using the information against ordinary law abiding citizens and that the security apparatus is not only being operated by private companies but it is sharing that information with large corporations often against the public interest.

Citizens, the corporate state has arrived. It is in our bedrooms and on our private communication systems and you and democracy are its enemy.