TED Conversations

Ted Barnes

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

The Anti-Corporation Movement Around the World.

In America, we are starting to see a large citizen push-back to the wealthiest corporations and individuals in the world. On a larger scale, these types of protests and movements are popping up all over the free world. We see similar movements in Australia, Greece, and all over Europe for that matter. A recent call to arms released by the "Occupy Wall Street" movement said this:

"We are the 99 percent. We are getting kicked out of our homes. We are forced to choose between groceries and rent. We are denied quality medical care. We are suffering from environmental pollution. We are working long hours for little pay and no rights, if we’re working at all. We are getting nothing while the other 1 percent is getting everything. We are the 99 percent."

Simple and profound, this statement documents the beginning of what can be described as a revolution. Class-warfare is brewing. This movement is catching steam quickly.

Questions to guide the debate:
1 - Is this the beginning to true social reform?
2 - What can this type of protest and movement achieve?
3 - Is "class-warfare" a reality or fabricated?
4 - Is this an anti-capitalism movement?
5 - What are the consequences of challenging establishments like Wall Street?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Oct 4 2011: this is a perfect, but brief answer:

    and here is some details

    1. maybe, but as of now, completely misguided. to actually address the real problem, some learning is needed.
    2. attention
    3. there are no classes. it is a marxian idea, and it was never true.
    4. surely. that's the problem with it. the problem they have is not capitalism, but statism. they want to solve it with more statism.
    5. nothing, as long as the real problem is fixed, which is government policy.
    • thumb
      Oct 5 2011: 1 - Well, I wouldn't call it completely misguided. There has been a fair amount of corruption to our capitalistic values and the people are angry. They just don't know exactly what they want.

      2 - Agreed.

      3 - There are no classes? This isn't true. Classes are not just a Marxian idea, and there are definitely multiple classes in a republic.

      4 - I don't believe they are protesting statism. I don't think the states' role in politics have anything to do with these movements. Capitalism is in part what's being protested, but I think it's more about the merger of democracy and capitalism. It seems to me that it's more about Corporations invading the government and buying policies and leaders that push their agendas and interests to obtain more money and pay less in the process.

      5 - which government policies are we talking about here? If it's things like SuperPACS then I completely agree. The question was "What are the consequences of challenging establishments like Wall Street?" It is a broad question and can be interpreted in a number of ways, but I don't think nothing fits the next statement of "as long as the real problem is fixed" very well. What if it isn't?
      • thumb
        Oct 5 2011: 1. corruption inside a company does not have to concern us. it is the owner's problem. corruption between authorities and companies concerns us. i blame the authorities.

        3. there are no classes. you can arbitrarily classify people, but such classifications will always be rude and almost meaningless.

        4. sure they are not. i said, the problems they want to solve are problems caused by statism. but they don't realize that. they attack capitalism, as they think capitalism is the problem.

        5. "welfare" programs, war on drugs, high taxes, state monopolies, the fed, the fiat money system. as long as these are in place, symptoms will appear in the form of huge money laundering and money extracting corporations. if you attack these corporations, you bite the stick instead of the man who holds it.
        • thumb
          Oct 5 2011: 1- Corruption inside a company does concern us if it is a company that deals directly with our lives and our money. Take AIG, CitiBank, any health insurance and pharmaceutical company for instance, and think about the implications or corruption in those industries.

          3 - We won't see eye to eye on this. In my opinion, there are classes in every type of society. Those classes are generally broken down by economy or power structures. No matter how rude these classifications are, they still do hold meaning.

          4 - I think you are wrong about what these protests are about. It's more about special interest groups controlling policies, and the wealthiest people in the world controlling the direction of the country. Capitalism, ultimately, is the root of the problem, but we should leave that for another debate.

          5 - You aren't making the correlation. The corporations push their interests through lobbying and many other things. Money and the few ultra-powerful corporations have their hand in everything governmental and therein lies the problem. The stick and the man holding it are the same now.
      • thumb
        Oct 5 2011: 1. no it does not, as you can simply not make business with them, and that's it. citibank is corrupt? cancel your account, move to another bank.

        3. tell me a class, and tell me the defining characteristics. be sure that the definition is precise, that is, it includes all members, and excludes all non-members.

        4. i think i didn't make myself clear enough. the wall street protests are anti capitalist, and they do think, as you, that capitalism is the root of the problem. and i say that this is wrong.

        5. corporations lobby where? in washington. there are two sides of this coin, if washington is not corrupt, corporations can do nothing. if you don't want flies all around your flat, you don't let meat rot on the table. government loots a truckload of money out of people, and spends it generously among its minions. corporations would be stupid not to go there for a share. the problem is not their attitude.
        • thumb
          Oct 5 2011: Well is it not possible to put this protest in as one part of the capitalist equation. You have X number of corporations behaving in a certain way. If that way is contrary to the beliefs and standards of so many people they protest. This drives up cost for the company ( by providing transportation problems) and, or drives down profits (by providing negative exposure thus prompting less people to use these products. Many of those protesting don't have stock in these companies, yet are still effected by them. I would agree those who have investments in these companies should have a larger sway on how they are run, but still there is a balance where if they do cross certain lines they may find themselves facing repercussion. Agree with them or not you have to admit dealing with protesters is part of dealing with free markets.
        • thumb
          Oct 6 2011: 1 - There are companies in which we have no control over choosing. See pharmaceutical companies, or CDO swapping insurance companies for for further info.That's not the point though. The point is these corporations are enacting their own governmental policies on the citizens. It is in effect, a corporate government. They push their money through all the avenues they can to increase the overall bottom line of their companies and line their pockets through policy changes that allow them to become too big to fail. The opposite of Robin Hood. Steal from the poor, to make the rich richer.

          3 - The middle class is any class of people in the middle of a societal hierarchy. In Weberian socio-economic terms, the middle class is the broad group of people in contemporary society who fall socio-economicaly between the working class and upper class. It's not me who is defining these classes my friend. Economic classes and power classes have been defined for a long time

          4 - Then we agree to disagree on this point.

          5 - Ah, a classic argument for lobbyists. First let me say that I agree with you in part. The government is corrupt. But it's not just that corporations roll in to benefit off this corruption, they actively get members of their boards, CEOs, etc to infiltrate the highest levels of government to enact policies that benefit themselves and their companies. They bankroll a candidate's campaign that they have bought to push their special interest agendas. (See "Citizens United Act 2010"). This is not just a case of corrupt government being capitalized on. It is direct infiltration and manipulation to serve a goal of greed.
      • thumb
        Oct 6 2011: 1, why is there companies we can't avoid? pharmaceuticals offer drugs. you can take other drugs, if you don't like. ah, you mean the FDA haven't approved other drugs? this is a government problem, not a market problem. "CDO swapping insurance companies" can not be avoided because...? what are "governmental policies" that companies can "enact"?

        3. so you define the middle class as being in the middle, above the working class and below the upper class? that is not very satisfying. what is the working class? what is the upper class? is an actor in the middle class? how about a top level brain surgeon? a broker? what these people have in common? what are their common interests? what makes them a class?

        5. argument for lobbyists? somehow i don't think they share my vision that we should stop government getting that much money to waste. nor they share my opinion that parties should make their campaign financing public, or else they should get no votes.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.