Federal Sponsored Corporate Science: Conspiracies or Critical Thinking?
Gary Null and Richard Gale
Progressive Radio Network, November 24, 2013
Objective skepticism, the ability to turn towards the mind’s faculty for critical thought, has rapidly declined in American society for several decades. Yet a healthy skepticism is necessary for questioning both the rhetoric and misinformation of “official” views and propaganda as well as far-reaching conspiratorial theories. Very often conspiracies are ridiculous, bordering on the absurd. However, past examples of politically motivated black flag operations and secretive agendas created in corporate boardrooms and government halls cannot rule out that conspiracies don’t exist or never have. When sound reason exists to question the integrity of a politician, media pundit, or a corporate CEO or executive, it is natural for the inquisitive mind to explore more deeply the hidden or secret drives underlying the thoughts and actions of conspiracies’ physical footprints. In most cases it is the evidence of contradictions, hypocrisies and simply blatant lies by individuals in authority that give birth to the conspiratorial mind.
To “conspire” means simply to know the truth about something and either to distort that truth or fabricate an alternative story to keep truth concealed. Governments, banks, corporations and the media conspire through misinformation campaigns. Besides withholding truthful claims, individuals, groups, companies or governments targeted in conspiracy theories share an atmosphere perceived as clandestine and secret. There is the suspicion, with or without evidence, that a lack of transparency conceals what these individuals or institutions actually know and plan to enact.
A recent example concerning the big agricultural giant Monsanto illustrates the rationale for how conspiracy theories develop. It is a recent example that may be understood as far more diabolical than earlier singular events such as the Tuskegee Syphilis experiments because it endangers billions of people worldwide.
In the public record, Monsanto conducted trials on its genetically modified Bt maize to establish their claim that Bt corn was safe for human consumption. Rats were fed GM corn for a three month period. Based upon their published research, after observing no adverse events, Monsanto concluded that their GM maize had no human health risks. Subsequent independent research conducted by Dr. Gilles-Eric Seralini at the University of Caen in France, repeated the Monsanto study using the identical rat strain. Instead of limiting the trial to three months, Seralini and his colleagues extended their study for the entire two year life span of the rats, or until their premature death. Only after a four-month threshold had passed did the French team first observe rapid tumor growth and kidney pathology among group of rats kept on a genetically modified maize diet. The most important unanswered question is whether or not Monsanto ever conducted safety studies beyond 3 months and witnessed pathology similar to Seralini’s published research. If Monsanto did, then the company made a decision to conceal this fact and only provide safety data limited to a shorter trial in order to advance its GM maize on the market.
So, did Monsanto act conspiratorially, criminally or both? Monsanto has established itself over the decades as one of the world’s most unpopular, debased corporations in modern history. It has been charged repeatedly for fraud, corruption, scientific malfeasance and bribery. It has a long record of denying its products contributing to the injury and death of hundreds of thousands of people and contamination of the environment. For example, for decades Monsanto denied its foreknowledge the health risks of Agent Orange indiscriminately sprayed over millions of acres of land in Southeast Asia and causing illness and death of an estimated 400,000 people and an additional half a million birth defects.
According to its investor fact sheet, Monsanto has over 22,000 employees globally. In 2012, it invested $1.5 billion in research alone. The company has no lack of resources. Therefore it is a plausible assumption to believe the company has performed far more extensive GMO safety research that was never made available to federal regulatory agencies. If Monsanto’s unavailable research proves GMO corn is unsafe for human consumption and this has been kept secret from the USDA and FDA, then Monsanto has acted conspiratorially. On the other hand, since there is no certainty that Monsanto conducted longer rat trials, a conspiracy claim is deemed anecdotal and those who make such a claim are labeled as “conspiracy theorists”. Nevertheless, the possibility of Monsanto having conspired to jeopardize the health of populations all over the world in order earn revenues and strengthen its corporate influence and monopoly over the world’s food supply cannot be ruled out conclusively.
This is just one example among numerous others found throughout the corporate and banking industries and government agencies. It is especially pervasive in the pharmaceutical industry, Vioxx being just one example when Merck was caught for having covered up foreknowledge of the drug’s fatal consequences before FDA approval. But it is also endemic to Big Energy, Big Banking, Big Oil and Coal, Big Military, Big Intelligence and Security and so on.
To denounce the idea that conspiracies have never been undertaken by governments and corporations is naïve and exhibits a fundamental lack of historical knowledge. There are proven incidences of conspiracy. Among some of the undeniable conspiratorial events are:
- The asbestos scandals when manufacturers for thirty years covered up knowledge of asbestos’ association with respiratory illness and cancer in order to avoid lawsuits
- The assassination of President John F Kennedy was conducted by more than one lone shooter, Lee Harvey Oswald, and was orchestrated at high levels in the government’s intelligence community
- The Tuskegee Syphilis Study conducted by the US Public Health Service between 1932 to 1972, which experimented with unknowing poor African American men in violation of the Nuremberg Code.
- The CIA’s mind control operations known as MK Ultra from the 1950s into the 1970s before being exposed by the Rockefeller Commission.
- The Pentagon’s Operation Northwoods, although never carried out, was strategized to launch acts of terrorism in US cities, killing civilians, in order to increase national support for a military invasion upon Castro’s Cuba.
- The Iran-Contra Affair in 1985 to secretly sell arms to Iran in order to fund Nicaraguan Contras.
- The October Surprise during the Carter-Reagan presidential election when Reagan insiders met with Iranian revolution leaders in Europe to prevent the release of American hostages until after Reagan’s inauguration if he win the election.
- The 2000 Simpsonwood meeting outside Atlanta with the CDC, major health agencies and executives of vaccine makers to cover-up scientific evidence that mercury in vaccines were contributing to the increase in autism.
- Overwhelming scientific evidence to debunk the official report that the 3 World Trade buildings could not have collapsed in free fall from jet-fuel fires alone.
A seductive characteristic of many reasonable conspiracy theories is that they cannot be ruled out entirely. This is why they become so popular. Furthermore, recent research conducted by psychologists Michael Wood and Karen Douglas at the University of Kent in the UK, and findings by political scientist Lance DeHaven in his book Conspiracy Theory in America, indicate that conspiracy theorists are more sane and intellectually mature than the suckers in government and the major two political parties who more fanatically attach themselves to anti-conspiracy beliefs. For example, the Kent studies showed that two of three viewers of mainstream reporting on the events of 911 disbelieved the networks.
An alternative to conspiracy theory is to look deeply at the pathology of individuals and institutions to better comprehend the specific behavioral environment wherein conspiracies incubate and emerge. This is not to suggest that conspiracies never occur. On the contrary conspiracies are constantly being designed and planned throughout the world. Kingdoms and nations have conspired against each other for centuries. However, in our new world of rampant globalization and the deep state of transnational finance and investment across national boundaries, more grandiose conspiracy theories of a global domination and control by clandestine banking cartels, an elite of transnational moguls, government blocs, the Breton Wood multilateral organizations, or Satanic cults among the world’s rich and powerful have mushroomed through the minds of numerous people.
The Illusion of the Best and Brightest
For the past several decades, cadres of aggressive and dominant individuals in the banking and finance industries, government, multinational corporations and major media have dominated the national and international dialogue. Through a perversion of the English language, this faction of legal outlaws has taken on the title of the “best and brightest;” however, this in no way reflects the ethics and moral values they embrace. Rather it means solely a pedigree education and either having been born into an extended influential family or having clawed one’s way to the citadels of power. Their oath is “don’t bite the hand that feeds you.”
What all members of the best and brightest class share in common is a resume for being wrong repeatedly on issues that have had the greatest adverse impact upon massive numbers of human beings and the environment. They were historically wrong about prolonging the war in Vietnam and the over-inflated threat of the Soviet menace. They were wrong about Afghanistan and Iraq. Their pundits at Fox, CNN, MSNBC, the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and other mega-corporate media were negligently clueless about all the economic bubbles, the dot.com bust, subprime collapse and Great Recession of 2007-2008, bubbles in real estate and derivatives, the equity partnership bubble, and they will continue to miss new festering boils , such as a massive interest bubble, in the near future.
The Federal Reserve, still entranced over the immoral ideology of Ayn Rand’s Objectivism and the consistent failed promises of Milton Friedman’s free trade dogma, were unable to predict the 2007 financial collapse and the crisis in bank solvency. None foresaw the immense consequences in the genius of their blindness that led to the evisceration of millions of Americans’ livelihood and hopes for a better future. Perhaps a better future is too strong a sentiment. Rather hopes for simple survival. Or, as some have suspected, the collapse was predicted all along and orchestrated for the benefit of the oligarchic class. Obama and the Bright Boys have systematically achieved historical high points in reaching the nation’s lowest moments: 50 million Americans and 17 million children in poverty, 48 million on food stamps with 37% of those employed. All told the 2008 economic collapse cost over $20 trillion globally. Millions of people lost their homes, lost jobs, children fell deeper into hunger. According to some figures 53 million people entered the poverty ranks. In the US and other developed nations, suicide rates have skyrocketed due to financial stress and disruption of families. These symptoms and many more can be attributed directly to the financial terrorism inflicted on societies by the global banks and the utter failure of government to put a halt to their criminal activities.
According to the government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 7.5% unemployment rate is a myth of alchemical conjuration without any relevance to reality. The more reliable figure calculated by economist John Williams from Shadow Government Statistics places it at 22% and if we are to believe the analyses of Tyler Cowen at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, we might be looking at an unemployment rate as high as 41% since 33% are not working and no longer have the desire to find jobs. This group is categorically off the government’s labor radar and absent from the Bureau of Labor Statistics fudged data.
Neither did the Best and Brightest anticipate the democratic outburst for justice and civil and human rights during the Arab Spring, which forced down the rulers in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, while spilling over into thirteen other African and Middle East countries. And they failed to anticipate the size of Occupy Wall Street and the rising of youth against the banking industry.
Since higher moral and spiritual values have no role in free market capitalism, nor in the individual pursuit of wealth and power, it is important to rewrite the story of who are the best and brightest persons in the nation and on the planet. The irony is that the best and brightest are the outlaws—Chris Hedges, Cornell West, Bill McKibben, Vandana Shiva and thousands of others—who are marginalized, absent from major media and barred from the high halls of government and corporate citadels.
Armies of Drones Serving the One Percent
Many commentators, historians and political analysts are now predicting a rising revolt, demonstrations and protests aimed at the federal government and the large transnational corporations and banks that enact solely upon their own ambitions. Their coat-of-arms deservingly should be an emblazed buzzard, isolated scavengers without allegiance to human societies nor the environment and acting solely out of self-interest. Their penchant for Machiavellian duplicity, myopic vision and wreaking from the stench of rotting hubris, has consistently failed to predict a litany of economic, political and social crises over the decades. They continue to deny, or at best misunderstand, the negative consequences of their unmitigated greed and quest for power. And in short, they don’t care. Are we to believe that Wall Street didn’t see the ultimate collapse in the real estate credit default swap and derivative markets? Or don’t foresee the forthcoming crises in equity partnership, credit card and commercial real estate bubbles? Are we to assume the presidents and chairmen of the largest banks—Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Citicorps, JP Morgan—didn’t realize their casino investments would expel 3.4 million people from their homes, turning many of them homeless?
It is unrealistic to frame the problem of control and socio-economic manipulation as a war between the 1 and the 99. The 1 percent cannot achieve its goals without the support from armies of technocrats and workforces willing to sacrifice moral values to secure careers in corporations and political parties regardless of the inhumane ruthlessness behind their undemocratic agendas. In his book about the American atrocities committed during the Vietnam, Kill Anything That Moves, Nick Turse documents stories of soldiers’ crimes against humanity simply by following orders higher up the chain of command. The analogy can be made for the employees of Koch Brothers’ industries who repeatedly pollute the environment, the researchers in Monsanto’s experimental farms, the thousands of labors hydrofracking across thirty-plus states, the hordes of mercenaries and military goons employed by private security companies with government contracts, and the thousands of computer programmers in security firms enabling the government to spy on Americans unconstitutionally. Although the banking lords at Goldman Sachs—Lloyd Blankfein, Gary Cohn and John Weinberg—are the brains and eyes of the “vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity,” the investment bank has 32,600 employees eager to be the foot soldiers to increase its nearly $1 trillion in assets.
The private industrial complexes Too Big to Fail corporations require minions of technocrats and employees and a large network of contracted small business, advisors and consultants, in order to exert control over the population. Therefore, realistically we should be speaking about a 10 or 15 versus 85 to 90 percent in the war on inequality, control and power.
Weighing upon America’s domestic social struggle solely as an economic class war misses the significance of a parallel morality play for power. The 1 percent should also be considered in relation to the massive army of human resources protecting and supporting its control. TARP and back door bank bailouts, Obama’s NDAA to advance Washington’s police state agenda, exponential growth in the cybersecurity and intelligence industries, the fossil fuel cartel, out of control fossil fuel exploration and extraction, expanding military bases abroad and building more privatized prisons, agro-chemical agriculture and GMOs, a corrupt medical establishment that provides Americans with the worst healthcare in the developed world, and so much more would not have been possible without tens of millions of people keeping government corruption and corporate interests alive. This includes the 2.1 million civilians working in the federal government; there is an additional 1 million operating within the intelligence agencies; 1.4 million serve in the armed forces, and tens of millions more working in corporations, academic institutions, and laboratories deeply tied to an oligarchy determined to maintain its control over the flow of finances and wealth. An additional 20 million, one third of retired Americans, are apathetic about the direction of the nation and remain silent. Although they are financially secure, many live in gated communities and have removed themselves from any form of political and social activism. When we add this support base to the greed and narcissism that frames the 1 percent, we realize the psychopathology extends far beyond the elite alone.
When this additional 45 million people, or 15 percent of the population, are added to the formula for who controls the major stakes of power, wealth, influence and policy making today, we can more easily understand how the psychology of “group think” creates a protective shield around the power brokers calling the shots. When the psychologist Irving Janis first used the term “groupthink”, he referred to a collective weakening of individual’s “mental efficiency, reality testing and moral judgment” through pressure to stick with the corporate plan. Among the characteristics common to groupthink, which enables the privileged elite to exert compliance to their mission without dissent, is a false belief in the inherent morality of their jobs. For example, the neoliberal free-market belief that trickle down economics from the top will create more jobs and raise families’ personal income—a persistent myth that has no historical example to prove it as fact. The actual facts, according to the 2012 Global Wealth Data Book, show that since the implementation of neoliberal economics in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the financial health of America’s middle class has fallen to 27th globally, behind Qatar, Taiwan, Cyprus and Kuwait. Simultaneously, the US has the most millionaires and billionaires of any other nation. Groupthink also generates an “illusion of invulnerability,” an insincere and narrow confidence that enables workers to take extreme risks and a distorted group rationalization to deny facts to the contrary of their optimism. Other characteristics include stereotyping enemies, managerial pressure on nonconformists, and self-censorship of doubts within the organization. An illusion of unanimity is sustained whereby the image is created and perpetuated that the majority agree with organization’s purpose and mission.
Without the possibility of groupthink and this additional 15 percent passively serving the most powerful hyper-individualism of the1 percent and not holding them accountable for their destructive acts that affect the lives of countless people and directly contribute to the deterioration of society and the environment, life in the US would be far more democratic, just and free today. And it is this new economic and political atmosphere that is giving birth to a new face of fascism.
Elitist Control over Society
Shortly before his assassination in 1881, President James Garfield stated, “Whoever controls the value of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce. And when you realize that the entire system is very easily controlled one way or another by a few powerful men at the top, you will not have to be told how periods of inflation and depression originate.”
Today, the banking elite own the lives of millions of Americans by imprisoning them in debt. At the end of the second quarter of 2013, total household indebtedness was $11.6 trillion, a 6.1% increase from 2012. Other figures calculate total personal debt at $15.8 trillion, roughly the size of the US total GDP in 2012. In 2014 and every year thereafter will see household debt increase. The majority of this debt, in the form of mortgages and outstanding home equity, student and auto loans, credit cards, etc. is money owed to the banking industry. It is by keeping citizens in debt slavery, and securing government allegiance and protection to extract money from citizens, that enables bankers to control the economy.
It is insufficient to ask who the Bilderbergs are or those seated in the higher echelons at the Council of Foreign Relations and Trilateral Commission. Rather we should be asking ourselves how and why these people think and act the way they do. What are the underpinning psychologies and attributes driving their motivations for ever more wealth and power? How do we explain why Obama appointed die-hard loyalists from the Clinton cabal to many his administration’s cabinet positions, the very same people who have been repeatedly accused as the architects of the 2007-2008 recession?
The power and influence of individual citizens in the electorate boils down fundamentally to a measly vote. Yet the limited power at the voting booth doesn’t assure unconditional loyalty to a candidate. And since the average American voter is not privy to back door meetings and private conversations between the Best and Brightest over secure communication lines, voters are only appendages, a necessary nuisance, for a candidate’s election. If the votes don’t add up in a candidate’s favor, there are always extreme loyalists willing to steal an election as George W. Bush did in 2000 and 2004.
Many speculate on who or what might control the largest stake in governing the globalization of the planet. There is no single leviathan wrapping its tentacles around global economics and the worlds’ human community. Rather what we face is shared collective unconsciousness that praises greed, wealth, and power above all else among the commanders of private industry, finance and government Political ideologies of foreign affairs and domestic policies are irrelevant. This group of transnational elite hold no scruples against funding their worst enemies in order to buy their cooperation or silence. For example, while the Koch Brothers undoubtedly abhor PBS social platform and feel more at home with the pro-Tea Party Fox News Network, they have no reservations about donating $23 million to public broadcasting to assure public criticism against the them, their corporations, phony think tanks and an army of lobbyists are anathema to the airwaves.
In every institution, multiple tiers exist, each with its own power base, yet all are mandated to play by the institution’s rules. Only when an individual threatens order from within, is he or she redacted and expunged. An executive can be a card carrying Democrat or Republican, a fundamentalist Christian or atheist. Outside affiliations don’t matter and sharing personal views on politics or religion is what passes for diversity in corporate culture.
There are generally six tiers for every large corporation and bank, each functioning in groupthink to sustain the wealth and power of those at the top. First there are the policymakers, the upper executive community of elite who ultimately drive the company and strategize in the dark corners with other elite members of the oligarchy. Below them are opinion leaders and high level technocrats. Opinion leaders are the public face of a corporation who provide the rationale for the policy makers. A corporation cant function with high level technocrats. These are the architects who design and detail the policymakers’ blueprints. They include the lawyers and managers who implement policies from above to assure the firm progresses towards its goals. Next are the functionaries, those bureaucrats responsible for undertaking the research to support the blueprints and determine strengths and weaknesses in the plan. Below them are the worker bees, the administrative support who simply execute whatever order is given to them. Finally, above them all is the board, the alpha policymakers. Their only concern is that the company adds value and benefit to their financial assets and careers. These individuals operate in a specter of amorality. How their coffers and power is increased is irrelevant, including breaking the law. Their job is to bound only to profit and protecting the consumer or society has no place in their worldview.
Consequently, the mega-corporations have a history of serial offenses, violating scores of regulatory laws and engaging in illegal business activities. Some corporations have been fined many billions of dollars, but this apparent loss is already built into the budgeting to assure revenues outweigh the costs of criminal behavior.
Corporate groupthink between all tiers keeps dissent from the corporate DNA programming is forbidden. Those who whistle blow or express opposition are led to the door. It is this self-perpetuating environment of blind loyalty, the dumbing down of critical thought and the need to remain amoral towards the company’s business that generates social epigenetic programming of employees. While, workers may not be expected to respect a corporation’s chairman or CEO, it is the position of the chairman and CEO that is to be respected and held in high esteem. Similarly, people may have no respect whatsoever for George Bush or Barack Obama, but they continue to respect the presidency as an institution. Chairman, CEO, President, these are all nothing more than brands in todays economic and political culture.
Americans have become expert at buying a brand regardless of the product’s quality and actual value. The oligarchy, political and private, are masters at branding and devising slogans to sustain loyalty and to win new converts. That is what corporations, banks and political parties do. Politicians are especially skilled in the psychological art of slogans. God is on our side. Freedom and democracy. A freedom-loving people. The US is the best country in the world. Bill Clinton was perhaps the most branded president, and the Clinton brand continues to serve his political significance while concealing the fact he was a cheating scoundrel and adulator. Believing in the brand,
Today, economic and political control over nations and resources is an ever-expanding partnership, a feedback loop among hierarchical cabals of wealth and influence that feed off all who are outcast from this group. They are lions, jackals and hyenas, each a predator of the other, but nevertheless gorging together on dying citizens who only demand democratic freedom and the opportunities to live independent from the scavengers of government and the corporate regime.
The Psychopathology of the Ruling Class
There are varying figures predicting the percent of psychopathology among high level financial and corporate executives. In the general population, approximately 1% can be clinical diagnosed with sociopathic and psychopathic disorders. However, for the wealthy and power elite, estimates are higher. The Canadian psychiatrist Dr. Robert Hare estimates that 4 percent of corporate executives are clinically sociopathic. Sherri DeCoveny, a former high powered investment banker and now with CFA Financial Magazine, believe it is as high as 10 percent, and figures from psychological surveys in the UK have it higher. Psychologist Clive Boddy has argued that the psychopathological behavior of financial executives was a major cause for the 2007 economic collapse. He also notes that individuals with the strongest psychopathic tendencies are those who tend to be promoted fastest.
In a survey of 500 senior executives in the US and UK, 26 percent observed firsthand wrongdoing in the workplace and 24 percent believed that it was necessary for professionals in the financial sector to engage in unethical and even illegal conduct in order to be successful. Sixteen percent said they would commit insider trading if they were certain they could get away with it. And 30 percent said that the pressures of compensation plans were an incentive to break the law.
The vice president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, Jim Kouri has collected data on personality traits common to specific professions. He focused on the characteristics of superficial charm, an exaggerated sense of self worth, glibness and lying, lack of remorse, and a thrill in manipulating others. Kouri observed these to be common traits to psychopathic killers; however, he also detected they were frequently shared by many of politicians.
Investigations into many financial firms and corporations, such as Enron, Lehman, AIG, Freddie and Franny, MF Global, HSBC bank and many others, have found widespread, systemic chicanery. In an article appearing in the UK’s Independent, a senior UK investment banker stated, “At one major investment bank for which I worked, we used psychometric testing to recruit social psychopaths because their characteristics exactly suited them to senior corporate finance roles.” We can also be reminded of the former Goldman Sach’s employee, Greg Smith noting the disturbing psychological characteristics he exhibited by his bank colleagues.
Research at Vanderbilt University has shown that psychopaths can have a dopamine abnormality that generates a drive for reward at any cost and to ignore risks. Such is the drive of the denizens of global banking surrounding Obama and his predecessors before him, the Tim Geithners, Larry Summers, Floyd Blankfeins and Jaimie Dimonds of the world. The problems humanity faces with a transnational elite pulling the strings of power and siphoning the nation’s wealth of populations and nations, who support equally psychopathological political candidates, to further advance their diseased agendas is dire. There is no horizon to the wealth and power they strive to reach. The wealth of the global elite is already obscene—upwards to $32 trillion stashed in offshore banks around the world. Adding the US GPP and national debt together is a lesser amount.
Epigenetics of Groupthink
Epigenetics is the next generation of biological inquiry for understanding genetic anomalies as the cause for disease. Although the majority of conventional medical science is encapsulated in a primitive, deterministic and linear way of thinking about gene-disease relationships, we are increasingly learning how external environmental factors, such as chemical toxins and even behavior, not only alter the physical structure of our DNA but can also modify gene behavior without changing its genetic structure. It is highly predictable that in the near future, the epigenetic theory for understanding disease and illness will replace our current reductionist theory.
More recent discoveries in epigenetic studies provide an excellent example for better understanding how otherwise good, kind, intelligent people can participate and intentionally ignore criminal behavior of their employers and hence become unconscious participants in the evils of financial, scientific and corporate fraud and corruption. A convincing comparison can be made between epigenetics and groupthink. In epigenetics, a malady in normal coding can trigger a cascade of adverse events that threatening the healthy functioning of the entire system. We can witness this in laissez-faire free-trade agreements, policed by the World Trade Organization and benefiting America’s one percent, which have shown long term detrimental blow back from relaxed corporate regulation.
For example, a top corporate executive wants to increase revenues and the stock price. The company’s policy makers can shrink the inventory, utilize every tax reduction scheme available, decrease operating costs by lessening the workforce, and then move the manufacturing to China or an undeveloped nation. Now the company’s manufactured products, substantially cheaper than made in the US, can be imported back to the US and out-compete its US competitors. Market share rises dramatically and the executive is rewarded lavishly.
This simple example has become the norm for large businesses manufacturing products and services, such as in the telecommunications industry. Jobs can be outsourced cheaply and there is no regulatory hurdles and trade union obligations to abide by. In fact, there is no need to manufacture anything in the US.
However, the consequences of today’s cowboy free market culture have sent the US middle class and economic mobility spirally downward. Laid off workers have no where to use their skills to earn a livelihood for themselves nor their families. Consequently the worker is unable to meet expenditures and falls into a lower income bracket or poverty. Default on mortgages, credit card payments, and loans drags him further into debt. Without work and hence unable to pay taxes, the state, county and town suffer. In turn, the local entities are forced to reduce their workforce and public services. The final result is the decline in the national quality of life, and the gradual ghettoization of the US. The inequality gap widens as the wealthy get richer and more powerful and growing numbers of family become destitute.
Securing the Oligarchic Power
The recent revelations of Edward Snowden about the breadth and scope of the National Security Agency’s surveillance network, not only to collect personal data and spy upon American citizens, and even elected legislatures in Congress, leaders and populations of other nations, multilateral and international administrations such as the UN, non profit organizations, a variety of public and environmental advocacy and watch dog organizations, etc defines the current trajectory of the US as a failed republic degenerating into a fascist regime. For both corporate Republicans and Democrats, the rise of surreptitious surveillance on citizens, in direct violation of the Constitution, is perceived as a matter of national security to protect both the country’s domestic and foreign interests. Yet for both parties, those interests are identical to the interests of the transnational elite on Wall Street and the mega-corporations. Moreover not a single major news network has come forth questioning the legality and constitutionality of the NSA’s surveillance and insisted on a national investigation to put a halt to it.
Investigative journalist, Wayne Madsen, who specializes in intelligence and international affairs, has noted that Obama’s director of the NSA, General Keith Alexander, attended the oligarchic elite’s Bilderberg conferences on five occasions. Madsen points out “that NSA and its British partner, Government Communications Headquarters, operate outside any recognized international laws and bounds,” and therefore operates in a manner similar to banks maneuvering in the world of shadow banking, accountable to no one. 
In 2010, there were over 1900 private corporations with government contracts working for Homeland Security and NSA intelligence projects. Just one of these firms, Booz Allen, where Snowden was employed, has over 18,000 among its 25,000 employees with high-level government intelligence security clearance. And there are an estimated half million private individuals in private firms with access to intelligence secrets. The federal intelligence agencies only employ 107,000 individuals; therefore, the bulk of intelligence and surveillance operations are conducted by private workforces. For fiscal year 2013, the country’s budget for intelligence, across 16 agencies, was approximately $52.6 billion, 70% of that going to private contractors.
During a TED talk, Trinidadian economist and activist Afra Raymond defined “corruption” as “abuse of trust for the benefit of yourself, friends and financers.” In a democracy, which relies upon the expenditure of public funds, corruption manifests when the government secretly funds programs against the will of the people. In such cases, tax dollars go directly to corporate and corporate-sponsored entities that threaten the quality of life rather than protect and preserve it. Currently the majority of Americans, over 50 percent in most polls, disapprove of government tracking and collecting data from their phone calls, emails and internet browsing. Nevertheless, the American public is paying to be spied upon without legal recourse to put a halt to it. And it is the private sector that is benefitting most from the government’s espionage upon its own citizenry.
The question needs to be asked about other ways the oligarchy profits from NSA surveillance? With a half a million analysts, technicians and corporate executives privy to vast amounts of private information on average citizens, in what other ways can this be used to increase revenues for non-intelligence purposes? Or worse, to exert control over a population to protect its assets and revenues and assure their increase?
Following the failures of the free trade agreements ratified by the Clinton administration, the industrial-technological age transitioned into the Information Age. Corporations and banks quickly realized that information was not only an invaluable asset for strategic planning but also a powerful weapon. Computer technology and the internet opened the doors for unfathomable amounts of information to be gathered and mined for useful purposes to advance corporate interests and direct society towards their products and services. Given the all-pervading global culture of corporate corruption, NSA data in the hands of private firms can potentially lead to the further consolidation of the transnational elite’s control on the world economy and lobbying leverage to rope pro-corporate politicians into their long-term agenda. This combined with the rapid privatization of public services and tax funded institutions such as education, prisons, police forces, security and now corporate owned private militias, such as Monsanto’s collaboration with Blackwater’s mercenary operations, a perfect storm is on the horizon for the oligarchy to control and police American society. As Barry Grey wrote for the World Socialism Web, “No one can seriously deny today that the ‘war on terror’ is and always was a war o the American people—a cover for imperial war internationally and an unrelenting assault on democratic rights within the US.” And we might add that the most effective weapon in the financial arsenal of the global elite is “disaster capitalism”—the orchestrating of economic collapse, implementing austerity measures on populations, to keep people as serfs incapable of overthrowing their masters.
Big Banks as the New “Nations” of Global Dominance
In a letter to Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, Representative Alan Grayson and three of his Congressional colleagues, raised their concern over large investment banks, such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, taking over the real economy. According to their investment relations reports, both banks are engaged in the “production, storage, transportation, marketing and trading of numerous commodities.” These include crude oil and oil products, natural gas, coal, electric power, agricultural and food products, and precious and rare metals. In addition JP Morgan is a marketer of electric power and “owns electricity generating facilities in the US and Europe.” Goldman Sachs has entered the uranium mining market. According to Rep. Grayson, none of these activities have anything to do with the business of banking, and there is no indication that the Fed or any other agency is regulating these irregular business undertakings.
In early 2013, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich Switzerland conducted the most thorough analysis of the financial ties between over 43,000 transnational banks and corporations. This was the first empirical study to identify a network where global power and wealth is most heavily concentrated. Their startling results observed a small fraction of 147 super companies that control over 40 percent of the entire transnational network, and below them an additional 36 million companies. Predictably, almost all of the 147 super companies were financial institutions, among the top being Barclays, Capital Group, the Vanguard Group, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, and Bank of New York. With financial instruments of speculative trade insufficient to satisfy greed, such companies have every incentive to move into new territory, particularly resources and services that are essential to life, such as fuel, water, food and minerals.
The prediction can be suggested that with current trends, the largest global banks will become the world’s most powerful “nations,” acting with complete autonomy outside international laws applied to sovereign states. As corporate groupthink increases and infiltrates the larger civilian community, so will the transnationalist mind as the breeding ground of psychopathology.
 Robert Dreyfus. “Apocalypse Still,” Mother Jones, January-February 2000. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2000/01/apocalypse-still
 Monsanto Corporate Profile, http://www.monsanto.com/investors/Pages/corporate-profile.aspx
 Kevin Barrett, “New Studies: Conspiracy Theorists Sane; Government Dupes Crazy, Hostile,” Press TV, July 12, 2013. http://www.presstv.com/detail/2013/07/12/313399/conspiracy-theorists-vs-govt-dupes/
 Brian Moench. “Death by Corporation, Part lI: Companies as Cancer Cells,” Truthout. July 2013.
 Michael Krieger. “How Does America’s Middle Class Rank Globally,” Liberty Blitzkrieg Blog. July 23, 2013. http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2013/07/23/how-does-americas-middle-class-rank-globally-27/
 BATR. Ibid.
 Brian Basham, “Beware Corporate Psychopaths—They are Still Occupying Positions of Power,” The Independent. December 29, 2011. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/comment/brian-basham-beware-corporate-psychopaths–they-are-still-occupying-positions-of-power-6282502.html
 “Trillion in Offshore Havens: Report” Reuters. July 22, 2012.
 Wayne Madsen, “NSA is all about preserving the power of the aristocracy in a dystopian world.” Strategic Culture Foundation, June 28, 2013. http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2013/06/28/nsa-all-about-preserving-power-aristocracy-dystopian-world.html
 Jonathan Fahey, Adam Goldman. “NSA Leak Highlights Key Role of Private Contractors,” Huffington Post. June 10, 2013 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/10/nsa-leak-contractors_n_3418876.html
 Barton Gellman, Greg Miller. “US Spy Network’s Successes, Failures and Objectives Detailed in ‘Black Budget’ Summary,” Washington Post. August 29. 2013 http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-08-29/world/41709796_1_intelligence-community-intelligence-spending-national-intelligence-program
 Aubrey Bloomfield. “Booz Allen Hamilton: 70% of the US Intelligence Budget Goes to Private Contractors,” Policymic. http://www.policymic.com/articles/48845/booz-allen-hamilton-70-of-the-u-s-intelligence-budget-goes-to-private-contractors
 Bernie King. “NSA Surveillance Scandal: The Polls are In and NSA Spying is Really Unpopular,” Policymic July 2013. http://www.policymic.com/articles/53767/nsa-surveillance-scandal-the-polls-are-in-and-nsa-spying-is-really-really-unpopular
 Barry Grey, “Who Rules America,” World Socialist Web Site. June 10, 2013. http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/06/10/pers-j10.html
 “Giant Banks Take Over Real Economy as Well as Financial System, Enabling Manipulation on a Vast Scale,” Washington’s Blog. July 10, 2013 http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/07/giant-banks-take-over-real-economy-as-well-as-financial-system-enabling-manipulation-on-a-vast-scale.html