Thursday, June 14, 2018

Monopoly Capitalism is Antithetical to Democracy



Mergers and acquisitions are accelerating at an alarming pace:
Gottfried, Miriam (2018, June 14). Deal Makers Ready $1 Trillion Trove. The Wall Street Journal, p. B1.
“There has been $2.1 trillion of M&A [merger and acquisition] deals announced so far this year, according to Dealogic, up 56% from the comparable period in 2017…. If the current pace continues, 2018 would break a record for global M&A activity, exceeding the prior high-water mark of $4.3 trillion in 2007.”
There has been significant consolidation in the media industry, with AT&T acquiring Time Warner for $80 billion.  

More recently, Comcast announced an “unsolicited offer to buy most of 21st Centry Fox Inc. for roughly $65 billion, kicking off a bidding war with Walt Disney Co” (Ramachandran & Schwartzel 2018-6-14. Comcast Challenges Disney for Fox WSJ A1).

Consolidated ownership across production and distribution of media messages especially threatens democracy, as explained by media theorist Herbert Schiller. 

Consolidated global ownership is occurring across many sectors, not simply in the media.

Monopolization has become so intense in our period of late neoliberal capitalism that even the Wall Street Journal is discussing “A Plan to Mitigate Monopolies” (Ip,  2018-6-14. A Plan to Mitigate Monopolies, A2).

A study published in 2011 demonstrated that ownership of the world’s 43,0000 largest corporations is highly centralized in a core group of 1318 corporations with interlocking ownerships (Stefania Vitali, James B. Glattfelder, and Stefano Battiston).[i] Each of the core 1318 corporations was found to have ownership links to two or more other companies, although most are linked to twenty other corporations. 

The 1318 corporations own through their shares the majority of blue chip and manufacturing companies, controlling 60 percent of global revenues. Further analysis revealed a tightly linked “super entity” of 147 corporations, mainly in finance, with interconnected ownership. 

Consequently, less than one percent of corporations essentially controlled 40 percent of the entire network. Furthermore, the study found that 734 “top holders of stock accumulate 80% of the control over the value of all TNCs.” The authors conclude: “this means that network control is much more unequally distributed than wealth. In particular, the top ranked actors hold a control ten times bigger than what could be expected based on their wealth.”[ii] 

Consolidated ownership results in consolidated control over decision-making over important societal issues – such as finance and energy – impacting future generations.

Consolidation of wealth shapes social organization through centralization of decision-making in markets and politics by corporations, powerful government agencies, and international governance organizations. 

In The Next Catastrophe, sociologist Charles Perrow describes how infrastructural risk is amplified by concentrations of energy (i.e., concentration of hazardous activities and facilities: e.g., Concentrations of dangerous substances in single locations), concentrations of populations, and concentrations of political and economic power, which concentrate energy and decision-making, encouraging “over-reach.”[iii] 

Concentrated power tends to self-replicate, seeking to expand its resources and influence, although the means of replication are always shaped by historical, cultural, and economic particularities.

Concentrated ownership threatens all forms of social organization that are democratic in aspiration, and its getting worse!


REFERENCES

[i] Stefania Vitali, James B. Glattfelder, and Stefano Battiston, “The Network of Global Corporate Control,” PLOSone (2011), accessed December 3, 2011, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0025995.

[ii] Vitali, Glattfelder, and Battiston, “The Network of Global,” 36.

[iii] Charles Perrow, The Next Catastrophe: Reducing Our Vulnerabilities to Natural, Industrial, and Terrorist Disasters (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2007), 1.

22 comments:

  1. There will probably be another meltdown, in one of the damaged reactors, reopened in Japan, soon. Most are rusted and cracked. The Japanese, are so very desparate.

    It is amazing that their economy, has not collapsed more than it already has. That is post-Fukushima. Most people in the south, are reluctant to venture north. To areas close to Fukushima.

    The government has been making preparations to liquidate the albatross, TEPCO. Daini, was always damaged beyond repair. There was a possible meltdown there. They are formally announcing it's demise.

    It the meantime, the deception limps on.

    https://nuclear-news.net/2018/06/13/ldp-backed-candidate-wins-governors-race-in-niigata/

    https://nuclear-news.net/2018/05/24/air-duct-corrosion-and-holes-found-at-seven-nuclear-plants/ 

    Abe and Trump are a lot alike. Authoritarian Figure-heads, in lame-duck doomed, nuclearist countries.  The ignorant asses, that now pretend to run america, are stirring up the plutonium dust at Rocky Flats by allowing people in.

    Turkey point, Indian Point, Fermi, Bay City, and several other old structurally failing behemoths, are on the verge, of major-catastrophic-failure. The US highway system is choked with nuclear waste transport.

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  2. Have you noticed? We have right wing Christians who frequently mention ominously the End of the World. Have you noticed? We have left wing Progressives frequently predicting the end of the world. Whether by Fire or radiation, by Armageddon or environmental degradation, both groups of indeterminate size speak with conviction of an End. Are you ready? Both communities have their apocalyptic materials. Each in its own way paint a dark and horrifying picture of the END. Now the Christians do have the option of being born again and prayer! Increasingly science is providing substantial research on the possible or probable after live. Will the lefties at some point meld with the Christians as a possible escape? I can not see the Christians merging with the lefty position since it is likely atheistic. Something to mull over. Actually there are many more similarities that could be pointed out in a length PhD dissertation. Each group fights the other over whose is the true and valid portrait of the END. But does it matter?

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    1. My agreed comment was in response to anonymous.

      William I agree that apocalyptic rhetoric flourishes but I think it’s driven by material contradictions

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    2. I think it is driven by people's natural fear of the future in a world where they recognize that they have very little control. Additionally human beings retain memory of great catastrophic events in the past. Anyone who has been in a serious car accident will always have some anxiety when traveling in vehicles. Some discomfort. If he or she has a parent who was wounded in a war they will absorb a bit of that while a child. Events happening thousands of years ago leave traces in the minds of the people which get passed on generation after generation. So we all end up with a vague sense of danger which may at times completely vanish but which reemerges from time to time. Apocalyptic visions provide a vehicle for this indeterminate fear which almost everyone seems to experience. Nuclear war provided a marvelous End Times possibility which went away until NK came along. In a good horror movie that threatening future is kept as an unknown that might pop out at any moment. The woman goes into the basement to replace a fuse. Hef flash light fails and noises start occurring further in the darkness. Fortunately the lights come on and the noise maker is an old cat. Whew. So we can be certain that at some time in the future some sky rock, a comet fragment or a large meteorite, will pummel the earth and cause wide spread devastation, or one of the super volcanoes will erupt. The only way to rid oneself of the bad future is to understand thoroughly the bad past which wants to recycle. And we do little versions of this all the time.

      I do not know what a material contradiction is. Ice water and fire? Or are you referencing Hegel and Marx?

      The Jews chant Never Again in hopes of warding off future persecution which is beginning to happen again in Europe at the hands of the newly arrived Muslims. You will go to jail in Germany if you contradict some aspect of the Holocaust but as a Muslim you can threaten Jews and get away with it. Now there is nice contradiction.

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    3. We have no apocolyptic inlinations. Quite the contrary. Antinuclear educators are trying to avoid apocolypse.

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    4. Some Christians are appalled by the way man plays with nature. I agree with them

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  4. I saw a strange term "Fundamentalist Consumerism," when I was reading an article about apocolyptic fundamentalist christianity. I know the mindset of such, fundamentalist Christianity, very well. They shop till they drop. They buy so much stuff, they have no place to put it all. They change the conversation, if u bring-up the plastic garbage sland, larger than France in the pacific. They do not want to hear about climate change. 

    Elderly disabled white, apocolyptic-christian people, risk having social security, medicare, cut to vote for anti-family planning candidate trump.  They risk homelessness and many, are becoming homeless under trump.
    They want a nuclear war. They say they do not care if the nuke reactor 20 miles away blows. They say u must be schizophrenic or mentally ill,  to talk about it. 

    Rational people would care about such things. Especially if they had any inkling of the consequences. They would close down reactors. That is not apocolyptic. It is someone trying people to open their eyes. It is someone speaking the truth. 

    Operative bots or mouthpieces, and  or hired pronuke shills  like this, talk apocolyptic nihilism just like the nutball  apocolyptic christians. Or maybe it is demented meanness. I do not know. They are operative because, they are stuck in a psychotic ideological mind-set that has led to the brink. They generate false arguments to confuse people. They try to shut down rational, honest-factual discussion about serious issues, like nuclear reactor failure. They try to shut down serious discussion, using twisted contortion of reasoning.  

    I do not understand the rationale for having nuclear weapons and reactors other than extreme pathological greed, callousness, psychopathy, or insanity.

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  5. "Abe and Trump are a lot alike. Authoritarian Figure-heads, in lame-duck doomed, nuclearist countries." Now I really can not take this statement as holding much truth content. It is more the emotional expression of a nascent Utopist whose idea of life on this planet is very distorted. And who knows practically no history. Presently the USA is the only nation in the world that has a strong First Amendment protecting freedom of speech. And importantly a Second Amendment. If you know anything about conditions in Europe you will know what I mean. Good luck to girls and women as more fundamentalist Muslims gradually take over the public space in places like Germany and France. Should the predictions of a Grand Solar Minimum on the order of the Maunder Minimum come to pass many nations will suffer from a lack of food. Finally President Trump is hardly a figure head. But if the USA and Japan are doomed then the whole planet is doomed which is what I was indicating above that liberals are intend on seeing End Times almost here now. And Majia agrees which makes me the sole optimist. This surely goes beyond rhetoric. Say fifty years from now the USA and Japan as smoldering ruins and of course Western Europe as well. China resembling itself back in '59 and '60 during its political famine. And so forth. New Zealand devastated by earth quakes, etc. Unfortunately there will be survivors who will slowly build up another crazy world over the following millennium. Something like that must be what you envisioning. Hundreds of reactors that have melted down. Many small wars. Polluted air, water and soil.
    The ozone layer shot and UV ultra high. Most births showing extreme genetic mistakes. Only two or three normals per hundred. Gangs of MS 13 types everywhere such that even CA has voided all its gun laws; and the governor of CA moves about in a tank and lives in a bunker.

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  6. Have you ever been to Japan, Russia, or China William? Gavareet Ruski? Wahkarimashta Nihongin? Intiendo espanol? The north pole? I have been the artic. YOu can see the glaciers losing ice at an incredible rate. you can see the permafrost melting. Central America? Columbia? Do you know what 1000bq/kg I131 is in micrograms? Have you ever taken a genetics class? A graudate level Biochemistry course? Have you spoken anyone from Syria, Iran, Egypt, Beirut.

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    1. The End is drawing neigh. You may at the last hour reach out to Jesus for Salvation? Have you read Revelations? All end time prophets seem off in their predictions. You are proving my thesis that liberals enthralled by science are projecting a new Apocalypse about which they are as dedicated and serious as Christians are about theirs. You are reading the signs. How long do we have? Not one hundred years; a score? No point studying all the symptoms as all is lost.

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  7. I like a lot of christians. Spiritual people. Some take the hard shells take apocolyptic dogma and bigotry stuff, a little too far though. I like universalists. They believe all will go to heavan and, a great leader will usher in a thousand years of peace.

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    1. Good. I think there is definitely an after life--but each person goes to a zone or field that best matches his or her type. Swedenborg who was a great scientist later on became a visionary and visited these world while alive. He wrote voluminously about his journeys. The criminally minded would be very uncomfortable in a heaven.

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    2. This sanctimonious nuke shill criminal will be very uncomfortable in any afterlife. When it gets cancer it will be eating its words

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  8. F off ya old fascist. Hopefully this totalitarian thing will croak soon from cancer. No free media no free inet. Noone gives a darn about fukushima. Another reactor will blow soon. Then it will be too late

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  9. 75 years of with holding information, lies, murder. Nuke shills will not give it up, even after fukushima

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  10. Won't hear this on the news! -- Nations unable to feed themselves
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=famAE-TBXVM

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  11. Whoopie! Little silly willie! Let them eat the radionuclide, pesticide contaminated crap from murica and Fukushima. U so full of self u dont know what u say. This is a fake civil society openly led by serial killers like trump. They enjoy the blood fest the torture. Defenseless children on concrete slabs in 100 degree weather in texas. You are a monster william. Open concentration camps of women children elderly people dying of exposure in their monuments to baal. The demon killers are suking off the fear suffering and dying of most people now.

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  12. More of the same old propaganda meme lie, from willie the agent, as antartica melts 3 times as fast as thought. As trumps new world order, sprays silver iodide in massive amounts over north murerica to slow down droughts. To cool the gulf so there will not be another 5 or 6 killer hurricanes this year. While children contract reactive airway disease from the small particulates. Olders die from compounded fibrotic lung disease from it. Ongoing smokescreens from deepstate trolls like willie et al while our government allows chemical and nuke companies to rape the treasury and poison everyone!

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  13. http://www.weathermodification.org/wmanewsarchives.php

    Lung infections slc airway disease winter 2018

    http://fox13now.com/2018/04/13/brief-exposure-to-air-pollution-particles-triggers-childhood-lung-infections-study-conducted-in-utah-finds/

    Upper atmosphere cloud seeding

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/2017%E2%80%9318_North_American_cold_wave 

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stratospheric_aerosol_injection_(climate_engineering)

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  14. Gloria on June 18, 2018 at 5:53 pm said:
    Besides exporting international terrorism murica has unprecedented youth unemployment and homelessness. This is the evil trump bastards solution. How can anyone think this fuk is anything other than pure evil?
    Evil man in evil times just put all the kids in jail. In his address to the National Sheriffs Assoc., Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ lays out his theory of crime and social control: mass incarceration, the Drug War, increasing penalties for all types of crimes, increasing $ bail,

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  15. A handful of people have now brutally taken over. We should have NEVER ALLOWED IT. By doing so, they took our power. By doing nothing, we gave it away. We’ve seen where their way leads, through camps and wars, towards the slaughterhouse. The real horrors are already here. Open air concentration camp. Genocide in puerto rico

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