Excerpts with References:
References listing 'A' through 'D'
The modern system of party politics tends to cast the drama of debate with a limited set of available roles from a spectrum ranging from extreme capitalism to extreme communism. It doesn't really matter what you say, your position will be identified as either right or left, which will always ensure that the arguments perpetuate the current bankrupted system. Baudrillard identified this mechanism which allows the status quo to perpetuate itself in a section of Simulacra and Simulation entitled "POLITICAL INCANTATION":
"All that capital asks of us is to receive it as rational or combat it in the name of rationality, to receive it as moral or to combat it in the name of morality. Because these are the same ... Watergate is not a scandal, this is what must be said at all costs, because it is what everyone is busy concealing, this dissimulation masking a strengthening of morality... And all the recrimination that replaces revolutionary thought today comes back to incriminate capital for not following the rules of the game. 'Power is unjust, its justice is a class justice, capital exploits us, etc.'"
The point being that once you are drawn into the position of demanding more from capitalism so that it more effectively fulfill the requirements of the "social contract", you already accept its position as the dominant political force. But the two parties bound by a social contract are not supposed to be the people and capitalism, but rather the people and government. To presuppose that the great struggle occurs between the two former entities is to already accept government as a tool of corporate control.
"One imputes this thinking to the contract of capital, but it doesn't give a damn - it is a monstrous unprincipled enterprise, nothing more."
According to the legal definition of a corporation, this type of business entity is treated as a person. But unlike a human person, a corporation is expected OR REQUIRED to ONLY act in a fashion which increases the wealth of the shareholders who own it. The management cannot act altruistically unless it can be shown that the action will increase profitability. If through the goodwill created by charitable donations, the corporation attracts enough new customers to increase profits in an amount which exceeds the dollar value of the charitable donations, then the activity is allowable - if not, the corporation can be sued by its shareholders for not putting their financial interests above ALL ELSE. A shark cannot be criticized for being an effective killing machine and neither can a corporation be blamed for wanting to "externalize" as much costs as possible (including the costs of environmental disaster cleanups). This is why effective government regulations are required to keep a corporation's activities in check. Corporations would prefer to be self-regulating and have you believe that they will always act in ways that are in the public interest, but owing to the nature of how they are designed, they literally are incapable of doing so.
from p. 150 of "The Corporation":
"Deregulation is really a form of dedemocratization, as it denies 'the people', acting through their democratic representatives in government, the only official political vehicle they currently have to control corporate behaviour."
from p. 153 of "The Corporation":
"Now is the time to reinvigorate, not abandon, democratic institutions and craft them into truer reflections of the ideals upon which they were founded."
... I picked up "Work! Consume! Die!" in a bargain bin of a bookstore in Wales last summer. Boyle is a UK comedian who I gather makes regular appearances on British television - although I would guess most North Americans have no clue who he is. The book's title was enough to prompt me to leaf through the pages, and I was immediately delighted by Boyle's no-nonsense, blunt and cheeky account of political life in Britain during the early part of the 2nd decade into the 21st century:
p.125: "If your children ask you what a [federal] budget is, you should explain that what happens is that every year an evil millionaire tells the poor people how much they need to pay for a pint of beer. And it's always a lot more than the poor people want to pay, so they get sad and angry. And you're probably wondering how this evil man gets his power? We vote him in. And when we do that we get sad and angry, so every four years we choose a different millionaire, who likes a different colour to the one we already have. It goes red, blue, red, blue."
p.305: "...have you thought about what the world would be like if people took control of their own reality?"
One of the main subtexts of "Little Dorrit" concerns the activities of a branch of government identified by Dickens as the Circumlocution Office. This agency embodies all of the red-tape and intransigence we see in government today - only there is no attempt by it's officers to cover up or deny the fact that their intentions are to block, delay or preferably eliminate any new idea or innovation which might actually lead to things getting done.
"...Whatever was required to be done, the Circumlocution Office was beforehand with all the public departments in the art of perceiving--HOW NOT TO DO IT... It is true that How not to do it was the great study and object of all public departments and professional politicians all round the Circumlocution Office. It is true that every new premier and every new government, coming in because they had upheld a certain thing as necessary to be done, were no sooner come in than they applied their utmost faculties to discovering How not to do it. It is true that from the moment when a general election was over, every returned man who had been raving on hustings because it hadn't been done, and who had been asking the friends of the honourable gentleman in the opposite interest on pain of impeachment to tell him why it hadn't been done, and who had been asserting that it must be done, and who had been pledging himself that it should be done, began to devise, How it was not to be done. It is true that the debates of both Houses of Parliament the whole session through, uniformly tended to the protracted deliberation, How not to do it..."
One hundred and fifty years later things have not changed much in the British parliamentary system that we still use in Canada: any new ideas for reform somehow manage to fizzle out over time. Over 10 years ago the current governing party were supposedly all fired-up about passing legislation that would make senators elected representatives (instead of patronage appointees), but now that they have majority control over parliament they seem to have lost all interest in any democratic reforms of this nature.