Tag Archives | Corporations

Is Myth Dead?

MythAn excerpt from the upcoming Immanence of Myth anthology:

It may seem that the word “myth” has lost its meaning to us as a psychological or spiritual term. No, the situation is more drastic than that. Myth has become the opposite of fact, something that is generally accepted but untrue; “it is a myth that reading by flashlight ruins your eyesight.” The popular television show on the Discovery Channel, Myth Busters, uses this definition, attempting to disprove “myths” with something vaguely resembling science. The myths of antiquity are looked upon as quaint stories, despite the fact that they have shaped our cultural history. It is neatly overlooked that myths remain at the center of the bloody stage of modern religious, national, economic or ideological dynamics, not to mention our personal and everyday lives.

The fact that the word “myth” has become synonymous with untruth belies an underlying shift in the Western epistemological focus over the past several thousand years.

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Subway Passes McDonald’s As Dominant Global Fast Food Empire

4391792054_68563dfe0aIn the grim future years to come, we will be mandated daily to eat not a McDonald’s burger, but a Subway sandwich. Some credit for Subway’s ascension goes to the chain’s willingness to expand fast food franchising to nontraditional locations such as schools, churches, and bodies of water. CNNMoney introduces our new corporate overlords:

Subway has surpassed McDonald’s to become the world’s largest restaurant chain in terms of units, the sandwich company confirmed Monday.

Subway had 33,749 restaurants around the globe at the end of 2010, said company spokesman Les Winograd. McDonald’s had 32,737 at year end, according to a February regulatory filing from the burger giant.

“Last year was actually pretty average for us, growth-wise,” Winograd said. “We aim to open between 1,000 and 2,000 locations globally each year.”

About half of the company’s unit growth is overseas, Winograd said. Subway now has more than 1,000 locations in Asia, and it just opened its first store in Vietnam.

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Corporations Versus Individuals: The End of the Left/Right Paradigm

Nolan chart. Source: Camilo Sanchez (CC)

Nolan chart. Source: Camilo Sanchez (CC)

Looks like the New World Order isn’t going to be a global Big Socialist Government (unless, perhaps, you count corporate socialism). Barry Ritholtz wrote in September of last year:

Every generation or so, a major secular shift takes place that shakes up the existing paradigm. It happens in industry, finance, literature, sports, manufacturing, technology, entertainment, travel, communication, etc.

I would like to discuss the paradigm shift that is occurring in politics.

For a long time, American politics has been defined by a Left/Right dynamic. It was Liberals versus Conservatives on a variety of issues. Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice, Tax Cuts vs. More Spending, Pro-War vs Peaceniks, Environmental Protections vs. Economic Growth, Pro-Union vs. Union-Free, Gay Marriage vs. Family Values, School Choice vs. Public Schools, Regulation vs. Free Markets.

The new dynamic, however, has moved past the old Left Right paradigm. We now live in an era defined by increasing Corporate influence and authority over the individual.

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Vermont Proposes Resolution To Ban ‘Corporate Personhood’

0Talk about a victory for common sense, in the face of one of the most harmful and breathtakingly idiotic judicial precedents in U.S. history. AlterNet reports:

A year ago today, the Supreme Court issued its bizarre Citizens United decision, allowing unlimited corporate spending in elections as a form of “free speech” for the corporate “person.” Justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the dissent, had the task of recalling the majority to planet earth and basic common sense.

“Corporations have no consciences, no beliefs, no feelings, no thoughts, no desires,” wrote Stevens. “Corporations help structure and facilitate the activities of human beings, to be sure, and their ‘personhood’ often serves as a useful legal fiction. But they are not themselves members of ‘We the People’ by whom and for whom our Constitution was established.”

Fortunately, movements are afoot to reverse a century of accumulated powers and protections granted to corporations by wacky judicial decisions.

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City Of Topeka Renamed ‘Google, Kansas’ For March

Lame joke? Apt metaphor? Sign of the apocalypse? Future trend? In an effort to gain Google’s favor in the hopes of winning a high-speed internet sweepstakes, Kansas’s capital city has temporarily renamed itself after the company. CNN reports:

In a formal proclamation Monday, Bunten announced his city will be known as “Google” — Google, Kansas.

The unusual move comes as several U.S. cities elbow for a spot in Google’s new “Fiber for Communities” program. The Web giant is going to install new Internet connections in unannounced locations, giving those communities Internet speeds 100 times faster than those elsewhere, with data transfer rates faster than 1 gigabit per second.

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World’s Top Firms Cause $2.2 Trillion of Environmental Damage

From the Guardian:

Report for the UN into the activities of the world’s 3,000 biggest companies estimates one-third of profits would be lost if firms were forced to pay for use, loss and damage of environment.

Jakarta

The cost of pollution and other damage to the natural environment caused by the world’s biggest companies would wipe out more than one-third of their profits if they were held financially accountable, a major unpublished study for the United Nations has found.

The report comes amid growing concern that no one is made to pay for most of the use, loss and damage of the environment, which is reaching crisis proportions in the form of pollution and the rapid loss of freshwater, fisheries and fertile soils.

Later this year, another huge UN study – dubbed the “Stern for nature” after the influential report on the economics of climate change by Sir Nicholas Stern – will attempt to put a price on such global environmental damage, and suggest ways to prevent it.

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Grayson Introduces ‘Business Should Mind Its Own Business Act’ In Congress

Last week the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision overturning restrictions on corporations’ political activity.

The Consumerist reports that, in response, cranky rogue Florida congressman Alan Grayson has introduced a bill before Congress called the “Business Should Mind Its Own Business Act.” The BSMOBA would tax corporate political contributions and spendings on political ads at a rate of 500%.

I’m not sure what the odds are of this getting any traction, but one can always dream.

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