Skip to main content

On the same day that I read the gut wrenching article in the November Harpers by Ed Vulliamy entitled ‘Broken Britain’ that details how Britain went from relative prosperity to a country falling apart in ways familiar to Americans, I receive a link to a scientific study that identifies the 147 corporations and banks that literally rule the world:

As thoughtful people everywhere ask over and over again the question “why are ‘they’ doing this?”, the answer becomes increasingly clear: the earth cannot support the 10 billion people projected for mid or late century, hence those with power have set about seeing to it that increasing numbers become expendable.

Here are two excerpts from Vulliamy’s article:
(Prime Minister) “Cameron spoke of a ‘slow-motion moral collapse’  of the country he used to call, when in opposition ‘broken Britain’.  He insisted on the need to confront ‘the attitudes and assumptions that have brought parts of our society to this shocking state, including irresponsibility, selfishness, behaving as if your choices had no consequences.’
“The ‘moral collapse’, it seems, starts at the top  Yet no one wants to connect the dots - to look at the miasma of treaties, social and political alliances, cycles of back-scratching and mutual convergences that define the British elite.  Britain’s problems are singular: singularly serious, singularly fetid, and singularly vulgar.  The country that packages itself as ‘Cool Britannia’ has become greedy, obsessed with commercialism at the expense of any other value or norm...”

After detailing the disastrous state of formerly state-owned utilities and services, Vulliamy compares them to those of France, Germany and the Netherlands, countries with a healthy respect for government-owned public service entities, which until recently, harbored an equally healthy mistrust of American style capitalism, and none of which has seen the kind of violence that rocks Britain.

Back now to the New Scientist study, as reviewed by Julianne Escobedo Shepherd on Alternet:  

“Less than 1 per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network.... Most were financial institutions. The top 20 included Barclays Bank, JP Morgan Chase & Co, and The Goldman Sachs Group. [...]”

A complex systems expert who has advised Deutsche Bank remarked that it is disconcerting to see how connected things really are.

“For OWS purposes: Merrill Lynch is at number 10, Goldman Sachs at 18, Morgan Stanley at 21, Bank of America at 25. Number one? Barclays, (the British bank) “which currently helps fund Robert Mugabe, among other things.

The scientists in the study were split on whether economic concentration necessarily amounted to political power, but it's certainly a porous distinction in some places.”

Progressive writers need to stop walking back from the evidence.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site