Evil Corporations

The going mantra for corporations is: grow or die. Expand or disintegrate. It is true of most corporations. If it is not getting bigger in the most bloated sense of the word, then most likely that corporation is a failure. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Sounds a lot like civilization. Something that has to expand or else people will die. Something that keeps expanding, regardless of the cost to the world around it. Or what’s left of the world around it. Most corporations follow the standard civilization doctrine: exploit those below them, expand indiscriminately, buy out competitors, and always keep the consumers in the dark about what really goes on. It’s very similar. Civilization has always exploited the poor people in their lower class, expanded due to its growing population, “bought out” competitors by either killing them or having them join you under threat of death, and keeping the public in the dark about the inner workings of the civilization.

I would say then that most of these corporations are evil because their very foundation is one of evil. In the world that we live in, it is impossible to “get ahead” except when you do the cutthroat things that everyone else does. I know that is a generalization, but that is the way most people do feel. It’s always about being better than your competitors. “Better” being a subjective term here. Better may mean exploiting your third world workers better so that you can afford to charge lower prices. Just ask Walmart about that. Or it could mean providing a better value than other companies that do similar work. The latter is grounds for an enlightened company, while the former is standard practice in the business world. Instead of increasing value, these companies cut down the overhead by belittling those low on the totem pole to increase profits while not really providing any more value.

A business’s main motive today is profit. That is what guides nearly every corporation on the face of this Earth. It is not their service that guides them. Sure, they have good service, but that’s only because it increases their net worth over time. They don’t really care about their customer base, except to the degree that it will increase their net profits. It is not about anyone, not even the CEO. It is about their stock price. It is about their balance sheet. It is about their expansion. It is a group of people working for the expansion of this entity that is almost imaginary, because it exists only on paper. But all these people devote themselves to serving this “master,” as if it will give meaning to their lives, or simply allow them a place to live and food to eat in this unforgiving society.

It’s really hard to think of many corporations that don’t operate this way. I’m sure there are some, but they are few and far between. Where are the companies that have a primary motive or service and profit is simply a byproduct of the exceptional service they provide? I’m sure we’ve not heard of many of these corporations because they remained small and thrived that way because it is likely it is run by a small amount of people who truly believe in their service first principle. A large corporation gets too muddled to maintain that value system across the board. Once it reaches a certain size, it can no longer be one of the “good guys.” At that point, it needs to keep expanding or crash and burn. See Starbucks as a prime example. It just had to close a ton of stores due to its over-expansion. It used to be one of the “good guys,” but it became too big for its own good and look what happened.

I would liken most corporations to that of a cult. It is always looking for new followers and uses underhanded tactics to get them. For example, some of the supermarkets around here are now selling gasoline at a lower price if you spend so much money inside the store. Like I said before, it is a way to beat out the competition, or to be exactly like the competition, so that the corporation doesn’t miss out on any missed opportunities that other corporations have taken up. When you take out your supermarket club card, it is further proof in brand loyalty. They actually call these cards “loyalty cards.” They take down all your information and start tracking your spending habits. They give you coupons in exchange for your “loyalty.” The little reward for being a part of this particular cult.

It is rather amusing in its own little way, how corporations have perpetually conditioned us to like them. We even feel we need them to provide for us. In Walmart we trust. This reminds me of Project Mayhem. In case you are unfamiliar, it is a group from the movie Fight Club that basically tried to destroy the corporate culture in very unconventional ways. And the funny thing is that they had almost everyone on their side. All the people in the bottom rungs of all corporations were secretly a part of Project Mayhem, so there was no stopping them. Sure, they may have gone too far in blowing up all the credit card companies, but who in this world would benefit from them staying functional? Besides, all the buildings were empty.

Now, I’m not advocating for any violence towards any corporation, but it seems like that would be the only thing that these bloated beasts would understand, other than a total bankruptcy, which is something we can also work to create. For example, we are the lifeblood of these corporations. Without us, they crumble to the ground. We support them, feed them, and even work for them. Some of them are better than others, but most of them are pretty much the same. What if we only supported local businesses that were smaller, autonomous, and were more concerned with service than profits? One of two things would happen. The first is that the local businesses would become larger and larger to support the demand, thus becoming yet another large, bloated corporation. Or they would only accept as much business as they need, thus staying the same size, yet still being able to thrive. The odds are going for the expansion because most of these small businesses yearn to be bigger and make more profits. But those that have the courage to stay small and still thrive are the companies I would support because at least they are setting up a model that doesn’t lead to Walmart or Target. They are not evil corporations, but self-sufficient cells that serve the larger body of the economy.

That is what we need in this world. A ton of small, diverse corporations that provide unique and valuable service, not cookie-cutter corporations that essentially give the same service for essentially the same value. I say we boycott the big boys in the corporate world and start looking for smaller, more independent companies that provide value and service in the ways we wish the faceless, bloated monsters would. A company that connects with the consumer one on one is much better than a company with no connection other than their giant logo out front and on every sales flyer. I just feel it is a much better model and it is definitely a step in the right direction. Whether humanity as a whole will wake up to this new way of doing business is yet to be seen, but I believe the tides are shifting in this way of consuming and it would certainly be a breath of fresh air in a world where brand names and logos are now the most recognizable symbols in this society. Service first, profits second. Just some food for thought…

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Every Multinational Corporation is Evil

I also should include the big American corporations as well. Any corporation that has tons of franchises and is ever-expanding is serving the gluttonous civilization and its pathological nature. If the corporation has two options, grow or die, then it is evil. The more it grows, the more it will take away from the small businesses and the Earth itself. There will be more and more exploitation of workers as time goes on, especially if these corporations have factories overseas. Their loyalties are not to their employees, but their shareholders, so profit is the only motive. That and power. It’s not about treating employees with respect and dignity, but about increasing bonuses for the upper-echelon of the corporations. The people at the bottom suffer for this while those at the top benefit either way unless, of course, they go bankrupt and also spend all their stimulus money on bonuses.

I’m just saying that in order for these corporations to get to the size they are today, they had to exploit someone or something to get there. They had to walk over hundreds of other corporations just to be on top. And is that the world we really want to live in? A zero-sum game, where those who are willing to sleaze their way to the top are honored and not reprimanded? We truly need to think about this part of the economy just as much as how many jobs there are. I will follow up on this idea later because I believe that it is important.

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Civilization Addiction

What we really need is map to our reality to create a world in which there is no war, no exploitation, no coercion, no hierarchy, less people, no money, cooperation, holistic thinking, non-duality, care for all creatures on Earth, abundance, joy, understanding, passion, and so on and so forth.  We need to create a world where there is balance as well.  We can all agree that we could have a wonderful world if we all just jumped on board and made it happen.  But there is something holding us back.  Is it fear?  Or resistance to change?  Or attachment to the only life we know?  We are so socialized in this world we now live in that we cling to it, like an addict clings to his drug.  We are civilization addicts.

If you think about it, an addict is someone who continues to use a drug (or other substance) over and over, even though it is having a negative net effect.  The addict may get a short burst of momentary bliss or distraction, but it is short-lived and transitory.  Let’s look at civilization.  It’s only been around for maybe 10,000 years.  In that short amount of time, we have used up most of the planet for its resources, extending our power beyond what we ever could have thought, but at the same time having a substantial negative net effect on the planet and all of its creatures.  Sure, we made ourselves feel good and powerful, but at what cost?  How many genocides did we perpetrate?  How many wars have we fought?  How many ecosystems did we obliterate?  But we don’t want to know that.  We just need a new way to extend our power and contract our empathy.  We need to remain willfully ignorant of the suffering of the world in order to enjoy our shiny new toys built by 5-year olds in China.  Regardless of consequence, we keep doing the things that are destroying us as a species and the planet as a whole.  If that’s not an addiction, I don’t know what is.

A symptom of this addiction to civilization is the addiction to oil, which is the fuel this current civilization runs on.  Oil powers most of the machinery of civilization, and we will do anything to get it.  Take for example the offshore drilling we just did that caused the catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  This is analogous to a junkie getting so desperate for drugs that they do something reckless, like rob a convenience store to get the money for it.  We needed the oil bad because without it, our civilization (our addiction) may crash, so we were willing to take a large risk in order to produce a small momentary gain.  Now it’s turned into a giant mess that is killing more sea life and destroying more ecosystems, further proving that our addiction has gotten out of control.  I bet soon enough, rich white men who own this country will inject oil into their veins while the rest of us go through serious withdrawal when most of the oil is gone and our civilization is struggling to power itself with weaker “drugs.”

What is it about civilization that makes it so enticing?  I would have to say, bar none, it is the power people get from it.  Power is addictive in itself.  For some reason, our brains are wired to achieve and sustain power over others.  Not all of us are wired this way, but a good majority is.  Perhaps it is a symptom of culture, I don’t know.  But before the advent of civilization, there was no central hierarchy or coercion, but cooperative tribes where you pretty much did what you wanted most of the time and spent minimal time on survival-related activities.  Today, the way the system is set up, you have to work hard and get a “good job” to have any power in this world.  You have to gain tokens of power, called money, to be able to get anything accomplished.  Cash rules everything around us.  Everything is owned today.  Money flows from the poor to the rich in disproportionate quantities because those in power are the most addicted to civilization.  This simply because they have the most power and would stand to lose much more if it was dismantled.

Those in power are the ones calling the shots, so they want the status quo.  They don’t want change because they have it real good right now.  They will do anything to maintain their power and control, sacrificing whatever it takes to maintain their addiction.  Equal participation in power and equal rights are the scariest thing in the world to the powerful people of today.  If everyone truly has an equal voice, imagine the changes that would take place.  Well, maybe not today due to the fact that most people are too fearful to abandon the current model in hopes of developing a better one.  But just give it a few more decades when more people have woken up and realized that the world is not the way it should be and get frustrated enough to do something about it.  We need a bottom-up movement to take down Leviathan.  A grassroots effort.  We need enough people to envision a better way of life that emphasizes the positives in the world and drops the negative aspects of humanity.  No doubt that this will require the dismantling of civilization.

This is not a bad thing.  People ask, “What are we going to do without running water and television?”  Trust me, there’s plenty to do in a world where we see ourselves as cells of the same body instead of individual cells, all fighting each other for dominance.  If you truly think about it, this is a fundamental choice between fear and love.  Fear wants us to get bigger locks on our doors and a larger military.  Love wants us to work cooperatively as a species and a planet to create abundance and joy.  When you see us all as separate (duality) it creates fear.  When you see everything in your experience as truly one (non-duality), you embrace everyone and everything and understand that if we’re all in this together, then we surely should not exploit another in any way.

By hurting or exploiting someone or something else, we are in turn hurting/exploiting ourselves.  Civilization teaches us this zero-sum competition, fear-based model where someone else’s loss is your gain.  It creates the fear-based thinking that we all need to “get ahead,” and be better than our neighbors.  What did Jesus Christ say about that?  “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”  What was he saying here?  If you look at it through the lens of fear, it is saying, “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”  If you look at it through the lens of unconditional love, it means, “Love thy neighbor because he is a part of you and to harm yourself is the greatest crime of all.”  So, still going with the addiction analogy, we are force-fed civilization since birth (our drug of no choice), much like a crack baby who is addicted to crack before it is even born.  We have no choice but to adapt to this pathological system and therefore become dependent on it.  We are conditioned to view the world as something scary and chaotic so that we hold ourselves back from making real change due to fear of the unknown.  Society wants to maintain the status quo.  And as long as you are an active part of this civilization, you are aiding and abedding this resource-consuming monster.

So what do we do to break our addiction to civilization?  First off, I would say become self-sufficient by learning skills that allow you to live without the aid of civilization.  This may take years, but it will be a godsend when civilization finally crashes and you don’t need it anymore.  This will not be easy, but it will be worth it.  Secondly, it will definitely help to be more cooperative with the people around you so that if you need help, these people will be glad to assist, barring you would do the same for them.  It is what I call mutual assistance.  Bartering is another term for this.  It is certainly more direct than the money economy and if done right, there is no exploitation involved.  Third, the basic understanding that many of the aspects of daily living we take for granted are temporary and unnecessary luxuries that humanity has thrived without for hundreds of thousands of years and can be done without.  The less you need, the more free you are.  Your expenses are your chains.  This is probably one of the hardest actions to take because we’ve all grown up with electricity, Internet, television, and running hot and cold water.  But these are very recent inventions.  We really don’t need them.  They are a distraction, a drug as well.

Once we break our addiction to the modern world and all its flaws, we can finally look for a better way to live where we have complete freedom and control about how we live our lives without any central authority telling us what we can and cannot do.  A world where we pursue our passions with unbridled enthusiasm and become what we truly are–human.  In the absence of a demonic culture, we can create cultures that reward cooperation and diversity, rather than uniformity and competition.  We will all be one in helping the body instead of just serving the individual cells.  This is my vision. Let’s make it happen.

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Do The Little Things Really Matter?

I remember reading an article by Derrick Jensen called Forget Shorter Showers, in which he talks about how small personal actions do nothing to shift power away from the corporations and the current political systems.  That led me to question the act of doing things on a personal level for the environment when the corporations are going to use orders of magnitudes more resources than us  individuals to power their gargantuan machines of control and domination.  Is it true that what you do may not matter, but it is still very important that you do it?  Or is that just something self-righteous hippies and environmentalists want you to think?  Is it more important to do small personal actions to save Earth or is it more important to change the system from a much larger perspective, or both?

I would argue that the whole system needs a serious overhaul, and not just the branches.  Sure, doing these small personal actions like recycling and conserving water will have a small impact on the problem, but isn’t it more revolutionary to take down the very systems that are allowing this outrageous waste to occur in the first place?  Wouldn’t that create a much larger net savings in the future?  Wouldn’t the ultimate destruction of factory farms be superior to 5 or 10 people going vegan to express their personal qualms about the way animals are treated today?  Sure, you can do the little things to serve as an example for others, but in a way I feel that it is mostly a way to show how more environmentally-conscious you are than other people.  It is, I feel, a form of mental masturbation.  It is kind of, “I drive a hybrid, so I’m better than you.”  In case you didn’t know, hybrid cars are the leading cause of smug.

Sure, you are doing positive things for the environment, but you are still suckling at society’s teat.  You still need electricity, running water, and air conditioning to survive.  You are still contributing to the problem.  You still buy foods with excessive packaging and take showers every day, thereby using resources that are in short supply.  You are still dependent on the system and the corporate structure.  Even if you did everything right, it would not make a significant dent in the problems we face today.  It would only make a significant dent if EVERYONE did it and cared enough to do it.  Most people are not even ready to listen, so it will most likely be decades, even centuries, until any real change takes place.  This civilization is holding on for dear life and will continue to do so until all options are exhausted and has no choice but to crumble.  We will come up with a few innovations to continue our pathological and destructive ways for a few more decades, but once they fail as well, we will be left with nothing but ourselves and the Earth (or what is left of it).  That is the time we can truly start over and live in balance, along with increasing diversity of species by helping nature accomplish ecosystems that have multiple species of plants, animals, insects, and fungi.

We can become stewards of the Earth, and not just use it to benefit our own race, but the races of all other animals, plants, etc.  We can become the true crown of creation, and not the most destructive species ever to live on this planet.  But trying to do this within this destructive system is counterproductive, but it does allow you to learn the skills you will need whenever this civilization does crash.  So I’m not demonizing environmentalists here, just saying that what they are doing is very insignificant, but it is important preparation for when our collapse truly comes and there is no more oil to make plastic bags or to power automobiles.  Bicycles will be harder to manufacture as well.  Planting our own food won’t just be the right thing to do, but a necessity.  At least in the beginning.  Eventually, if we do it right, we will never have to plant food again because it will be growing all around us all the time.  Conserving water will be a must because we will not have the abundance of water we have today.  Running water may become a thing of the past, and although we take it for granted, we lived without it for thousands of years and we survived.  There will most likely be no more television or internet, never mind the absence of electricity.  It will be very difficult in a post-crash world to patch together an electric grid, and even if we do, don’t expect it to be consistent.  So getting off the grid, like some super-environmentalists and anrcho-primitivists do is a great idea in preparation of what may come.  You don’t have to live in a Unabomber shack full-time, but going up there every few months for a few days will put in perspective what is coming.

In a way, I agree with Derrick Jensen when it comes to the little things not really mattering, but I also know enough that in the future the little things will matter very much so.  The people who do not know the skills to live on their own will be in much more trouble than those who have prepared for what is the inevitable collapse of civilization.  It may take 50 years, but at least you’ll be prepared when it comes.  Otherwise, you’ll have to rely on the government for food, water, and maybe even shelter, which will never happen, especially after a crash.  The choice is yours.

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Focusing This Blog

I’m going to take a break from the familiar rantings I usually do and just sort of talk out loud on how I can focus this blog to a certain niche to build traffic and be able to earn at least some income from it.  First off, I need to provide genuine value with every post.  I must raise my standards of what a quality blog post is and spend more time tweaking and editing these posts.  At some points, I even think I should start over with a whole new blog just to avoid the mistakes and missed opportunities this blog has experienced.  I was naive coming into blogging and I cannot say I’ve learned much about how to monetize my blog or even build significant traffic.  I guess it just wasn’t high on my priority list.  I knew it would be a lot of work and I was not yet committed enough to it.  I almost feel ashamed of this blog when it comes to its optimization, coding, and layout.  I just don’t know what I’m doing when it comes to those things.  I’m just not very web savvy.  And that is partly my own fault.

I have never liked programming computers and I don’t think I ever will.  From HTML to C++, it has always been an utter bore to me.  Hand-coding anything just makes me want to go to sleep.  And I’m a math guy, go figure.  When I took my first programming class in high school, I was all excited, but quickly became turned off to the whole idea of programming.  My mind wasn’t wired like a computer, so I couldn’t think like one.  Most of all, I hated the tediousness of it.  One small mistake could ruin a whole program.  Besides the fact that I’m not exactly pro-technology.  That certainly doesn’t help.  But that doesn’t change the fact I do want to make a substantial amount of money from this website/blog.  I would love to make $50,000 or more a year simply by blogging and optimizing my site to the best of my abilities.  If I must learn things, I will resolve to learn them.  I just need a BASIC understanding of all of this programming and web utilities (bad pun).

I do not want to sell my content to some outside agency because in my mind that is suboptimal.  I would only get paid once for that, when I could potentially get paid millions of times for the same post if I had the traffic.  Obviously, I cannot make any money without sufficient traffic.  And I will not build traffic unless I keep my posts pretty much consistent when it comes to a certain niche.  I just have to look at all the successful blogs out there to find that 99% of them have a common theme running through their whole site.  If I were to look at the archives of my blog, it started out  humor, then went to self-help, then went to anarcho-primitivist and pro-nature ranting, then whatever it is I’m doing now, which I’m not really sure.  I have gotten my share of positive and negative feedback from readers, and I’m just not sure where to go with this.  I could keep running on the anarcho-primitivism side, something I know quite a bit about and am passionate about, or I could turn this into another self-help, feel-good website.  Or I could combine the two.  Or I could write about humor and laughter, which would make this blog into basically a joke site.  I guess maybe I have too many interests.  Or maybe I just haven’t yet found a way to tie them all together.

When I study a topic, I immerse myself in it.  I try to basically become it for the time I am experiencing  it.  I like to read and write about a variety of topics because I have many interests.  I just need a way to relate these interests to a common denominator so that it will be in accordance with this site’s overall message.  If you look at a site like StevePavlina.com or Zen Habits, you will see that even though they write about a variety of topics, it always has their main theme running through it.  I just need to get clear about what it is I want this blog’s theme to be.  To be honest, the majority of my being leads towards anarcho-primitivism, but there is a part of me that likes the personal growth aspect of my previous blog posts.  What was it that Abe Lincoln said?  “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

That’s not the only problem.  I definitely have not spent enough time actively blogging.  I blog when I feel like it, and only when there is not anything else for me to do.  It is no longer a high priority in my life, but more of a filler.  It will get me through one of my days off from work so that I don’t succumb to watching TV or blindly web surfing stupid content.  There are times when I am inspired to post, but I often feel that I’m saying the same things over and over, just in a different context or framework.  “This civilization is going to crash, it is unsustainable, we need to change, etc.” has been the focal point of the past 1.5 years or more of this blog.  While what I am saying is definitely the truth, I’m trying to find a way to put a more positive spin on it.  I feel like what I am writing about is a truth people do not want to hear, that people shy away from and are in serious denial about.  Some of it can be chalked up to ignorance.  I feel like the message that I need to get out is that we need a rapid change in consciousness in order to save the Earth and if the majority of the world’s population does not change, then we are doomed to a severe crash that will kill off most of Earth’s species along with most of us humans (not that a reduction in human populations is a bad thing).

I’ve read tons of articles saying that us humans are what we are and cannot be anything else than a ravenous, gluttonous species.  But I think it is a factor of culture.  It is our cultural software that has created the world we live in today, not our biological hardware.  Humans nearly identical to us 50,000 years ago didn’t live like we do today, and yet we don’t think we could ever go back due to the ego and its self-preserving ways.  Going back to the hunter-gatherer way of life is a shot to the ego of our species.  We’ve come so far and accomplished so much to be thrown back into what we were.  It would be a serious step back, a demotion.  Not to mention that people in the first world dread being equals with the rest of the world, just as the rich dread being equal to the poor.  What ever happened to all men are created equal?  Oh, wait, didn’t the people who wrote that own slaves?  And there is the hypocrisy of every civilization.  Built on ideals it can’t even sustain itself from the beginning.

See what happened?  I broke off into another rant.  It seems I can’t help myself.  I guess that’s my niche.  The back-to-nature, anarcho-primitivist ranter.  I feel the more I embrace this role, the more value I will get out of it.  The more anti-establishment and anarchist I can get, the better.  And if people don’t like it, too bad.  I’m sure some will.  I want to pursue my passion, not write some fluffy blog about BS that can be found on millions of other blogs.  I want to be my own person, not a carbon copy of this blog or that blog.  Sure, my writing may be obscure and my viewpoints unpopular, but you know what?  At least I’m being honest and putting myself out there.  The truth that is most afraid to be spoken is the truth that should be told the loudest.  The truth we resist hearing is the one that we truly need to know.

Civilization was a mistake.  It is not natural.  It is destructive.  Is is unsustainable.  It is cruel and unusual.  It is out of balance.  It is headed for a crash.  The way we live and have lived for thousands of years is incorrect.  It has destroyed much of the beautiful landscape and is responsible for the extinction of millions of  species of plants, animals, insects, and even humans.  We force this lifestyle down every culture’s throat, demanding total submission or death.  In our minds, there is only one way to live and that’s our way.  Damn the consequences, we are going to get what we’ve worked so hard for!  We don’t care what we are doing to the Earth because we don’t live there anymore.  We spend our lives inside sterile buildings with fluorescent lighting.  We are conditioned to fear nature, our former home, so we destroy it.  Instead of facing our fears, it so much easier to obliterate them.  We begin an incestuous relationship with ourselves and only ourselves, becoming more and more dependent on human intervention and less on nature itself.  We are dependent on civilization, and therefore fearful of its demise and are willing to preserve it at any cost.  We have become pathetic, useless, and fearful when at one time we were strong, courageous, and full of enthusiasm.  Our culture needs to change and we need to abandon civilization.

That is the truth I am driving at.

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