Wednesday, July 14, 2010

When democracy is beholden to corporate power

"Inverted totalitarianism marks a political moment when corporate power finally sheds its identification as a purely economic phenomenon, confined primarily to a domestic domain of "private enterprise", and evolves into a globalizing co-partnership with the state..... The former becomes more political, the latter more market oriented"
Sheldon Wolin, Democracy Inc: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism

In a recent speech in London the CEO of Rio Tinto sent a clear message to sovereign governments- challenge the power of the mining and resources multinationals by threatening their interests and the industry will do what was done to Kevin Rudd, the Australian Prime Minister.

It is remarkable that with a few exceptions there has been little serious analysis or anger in this country about the stark reality that the corporatocracy- the combination of a powerful industry, a number of multinational corporations and some of the wealthiest Australians, combined with right wing political powerbrokers in the Labor Party- can use their money and power to unseat a democratically elected Prime Minister and dictate public policy making.

One exception is an article in the Age by David McKnight in which he asks- who is actually running this country? His answer is corporate power.

In an article that appears on two separate blogs I edit my colleague Gavin Mooney, the co convener of the WA Social Justice Network, also discusses these issues and writes about the speech by the Rio CEO and the mining industry's use of its corporate power here in Australia.

No comments: