TED Conversations

James Kindler

Mental Health Recovery Coordinator,

TEDCRED 20+

This conversation is closed.

How do we get corporations out of government.

Large corperations run our government, thay donate huge amounts of money for which they are rewarded. The government no longer represents the people but rather the corporations. We are supposed to be a representitive republic but our needs are not being represented, the corporations are. This is why I'm in the occupy movement, to try and return to our constitution and excercise my rights. We want the government to represent us and not the corporations, they are not people. Everyone thinks we are there to get money from the 1%, while this may be true for many what I have just written is true for me and most in the movement.

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Jan 15 2012: James, I apologize for not directly addressing your question in my initial response and my followups. I am fatigued from watching the show of our world. Seeing how people are oppressed, abused, manipulated and murdered. We inhabit a world that is being guided by a global conspiracy whose roots can be easily traced to a small group of bankers who have systematically monopolized everything from our money supply to our food supply. The evidence is all there. So, when I read your question: "How do we get corporations out of government?" I automatically substituted the question with "Who are the real criminals in this global crime scene?" and "What's the best thing we can do as long as we're all standing around talking about fixing what's wrong with the world?" By the way, just doing THAT is a fantastic start. I support you guys. I love that you're putting yourselves out there. I hope that everyone will get educated and continue to sharpen your message and bring attention to so many things that are wrong.
    • thumb
      Jan 16 2012: Fantastic post Don.
      • Jan 17 2012: Thank you Joanne. It's exciting times we're living in. It's great to see people waking up in droves.
    • Jan 18 2012: Great post Don, we will stay out there as long as it takes. The Bank of New York Mellon has us in court trying to get our tents of there property but we have good lawyers who are helping us stay. Even if we do get evicted we say you can't evict an idea whos time has come. We are not only connected by camp but by internet, we will keep demonstrating until they listen. We are not a bunch of radicals, we are average citizens wanting major change. The people in Occupy Pittsburgh range in age from 18 to 70, I myself am 50. I work full time as do many others but we are out there at night and on weekends. Thank you for your input and don't believe what little the media says about the Occupy Movement, we are strong and determined to get corporations out of government. We also seek social justice in all facets of society, no more corporate welfare, no more police brutality, no more a policed state. We have been peaceful but arrested, beaten, maced and more. Pittburgh is the exception, the police respect what we are doing for them, they are but a tool of theose in power.
      • thumb
        Jan 20 2012: Hi James, this is a little off topic, but just so you know you have my support and solidarity out there in the various Occupations. I don't necessarily agree with your end goal, I think it's beside the point, but I think what you're doing is important on its own. You are shattering the illusion of consent and consensus with the status quo. You're showing people who have been thinking that there is something seriously wrong here (usually quietly and to themselves) that they are not alone. I don't know whether something will come directly of Occupy, but thanks to you guys the world, and I, know that there is widespread awareness of the problem and a desire to find solutions.

        I'm glad that you're not in particular danger there in Pittsburgh, at least not yet. I hope you guys have a plan of action in case the worst happens. I've been circulating some materials on peaceful strategies and countermeasures to riot control and mass arrest techniques (I didn't come up with them, I've just accumulated them over time). Have you guys been getting this stuff out there and talking about it? I'm not real sure how well it's been getting around. I hate to see good people getting hurt for no good reason.
        • Jan 23 2012: Hi Justen
          Thank you for your solidarity and we are safe and have been practicing in case something happens. People drive by and yell "get a job", they have no clue as to what we are doing and have done. We are attempting to wake up the 99% so things can change. I'm not for taxing the rich, that's a drop in the bucket and will kill jobs. I am for seperating government from corporations and corporations from government. I work full time, own my own house and car, I don't comp in 20 degree weather for fun. This is the message people should be getting from Occupy but the news won't print the truth, I think the truth will come out anyway. Thank you so much for your comment.
      • thumb
        Jan 23 2012: Michael M: I'm not interested in further debating the nature or morality of states. Believe it or not I've had this conversation many times and it has become very tedious. Clearly neither of us is interested in changing our point of view.

        Regarding arable land: I stated this elsewhere in the thread, not sure if we had this conversation or not, but there are different kinds of efficiency; until you know what factors you're trying to maximize, you can't determine whether you've taken the most effective course of action. Industrial agriculture maximizes price-performance. That is all fine and good, if all other factors are irrelevant (particularly space usage and energy consumption). If you want to maximize the amount of food you can produce per acre, or maximize the amount of food per unit of energy, there are radically more effective methods (land and energy are cheap). Unfortunately they cannot be automated or scaled very well with existing technology - they require a lot of specific human attention and intervention.

        No I don't expect everyone to grow their own food. I am certain that everyone could, but not everyone wants to, or should want to. There are about 4 acres of land per person, 1.2-1.4 presently arable, on the planet for every human being (you're welcome to check my math there). A substantial amount more could be sustainably improved. It takes a small fraction of that to provide 99% of the food needs for an individual using space and energy-maximizing techniques. We could all live quite comfortably on just 1/3rd acre per person, varying according to climate. See for instance what http://urbanhomestead.org is doing.

        As for luddism, it would be hard to be a transhumanist luddite, and I am certainly the former :) This is a common ad-hominem attack, but not a very effective one. Obviously I am here, chatting on the internet, on a website entitled "Technology, Entertainment, and Design". At the very least I'd be a pretty hypocritical luddite.
        • Jan 23 2012: Justen
          That's fine if you don't want to talk about the morality or the basis of the state. I just really disagree with your assumptions. Therefor on the nature of this question on getting corporations out of government I do not see how your position really moves along in any solid fashion.

          I have seen the stats on land usage before and while division might work on paper, in reality the arable land is not available, nor will it be to be divided up. Personally I prefer solutions that can actually deal with our problems. I do agree that more efficient methods can be found for food production, but in general food production is not our problem it is food distribution. (That and the fact that a lot of corn in the US goes to cars and cows, not people.)

          Sorry the luddite comment was not an ad hominem argument but one that goes to the core of what you propose. Obviously you do use "contemporary media."

          I have enjoyed your comments and I just can't go there.
      • thumb
        Jan 23 2012: Michael M: My understanding of luddism is that it is the rejection of industrial technology and the belief that machines are somehow harmful rather than helpful to human productivity. I am definitely not in favor of that idea. I'm all about technology - I toy with robotics as a hobby, I write artificial intelligence simulations, I'll be the first in line for cybernetic implants.

        As for arable land being divided up, almost everybody who lives in a suburban home has a substantial amount of arable land available for use in more productive things than passive-aggressive lawn-keeping competitions with their neighbors :) The link I posted above is an ideal example of what can be accomplished on a suburban lot. If you would, entertain a thought experiment where everybody lives in a suburban home grows a fully edible landscape that provides, say, 50% of their annual food needs. Suppose they dedicated 1/8th the time they spend watching television to the garden instead - that's about 8 hours a week on average and just the amount of time required. This is definitely achievable in the temperate zones.

        I argue the main reason that this doesn't happen is that people have better things to do with their time in a place where food is cheap and abundant. With the looming approach of the end of cheap, portable energy and soil improvement in the form of petrochemicals, without which industrial scale agriculture is impossible, that may change. If and when the time comes where waiting for a political solution is no longer an option, I'll be there and ready to offer alternatives. That's what direct action is all about - alternatives.

        I agree about allocation and distribution of food - fixing that alone would fix a lot of the world's problems. Alas, Big Ag owns all relevant institutions that could be involved in a political answer, and I don't see that changing any time soon. As you like to point out, this is the reality we deal with.
    • thumb
      Jan 18 2012: Don. I don’t dispute that conspiracies exist. People with power conspire together to maintain their power. That can be taken as a given. The question is - how do people without power protect themselves against those with power? Isn’t that the principle theory behind government “of, by and for the people”?

      Now we can also admit that the powerful then try (and are often successful) at manipulating the government for their own purposes. But is the solution to that problem to eliminate government? Or to reform the government in such a way that it better represents the people?
      • Jan 18 2012: Tim
        Really good insights and ones we have to take seriously in all this. We do live in a country ruled by law, albeit (as Don points out) the lawless seem to win the day at times. Change like many of us have spoken of here, comes with very deliberate actions. It does take some people being dedicated not to just a cause (they come and go), but the causes of the cause.

        We do not need to eliminate government, but make it not just responsive, but responsible in its actions. The debacle last year on the deb ceiling is ample proof we are not there. I would still hold out on this issue, that changing back even to the way it was 20 years ago with lobbyists, would do a great deal for us. There is an incredible amount of leverage there, if we can make our elected leaders responsible for saying clearly and forthrightly who they are receiving money from. Limiting lobbyist groups by amount, by registration, by legally limiting there ability to buy influence, would greatly help.

        I agree, the system may be corrupted, but it is after all, the system we have allowed to grow. We can work to change that.
      • Jan 20 2012: Tim, I guess I'm just an old-fashioned question everything guy. I can't get past the 'idea' that it is wrong to force anyone to do anything. I have always said that every person's life is their own personal experiment on how to live. I find the idea that anyone, or any group has the right to dictate to me how I should run my 'way to live' experiment untenable. As far as I know, this life may be all I get at conscious, proactive engagement with the universe. If it is, I want to be part of allowing mankind to experience it in the most meaningful and fulfilling ways possible. Therefore, I seek to abolish any unnecessary boundaries to my opportunities for personal exploration and expression.

        I should also point out that for me, and possibly other people who think like me, this fight for freedom from external control is not something I do just for fun (though I do enjoy the discourse among other intelligent people, and the opportunity to open people's eyes), I'm fighting because I strongly feel the wrongness of it and know that it is at the center of a deepening, dark cloud smothering mankind from its potential. I have also observed that the pace of those working against this consciousness expansion has accelerated. If we don't fundamentally change our thinking soon, it will be much more difficult in the near future. Protect the internet. Protect the internet. Protect the internet!
      • Jan 23 2012: Hi Tim
        I don't want to see governments dissolved or corperation, I just want to see them seperate.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.