Duck! and Gather

The Anti-Corporate Ideas General Discussion Group

Posted on: October 24, 2005

I was checking the logs of my site and noticed I was getting visitors from a link on a posting in myspace.com. (Note: Corrrection on my guess that Andy his commenters are “Millenials”. Turns out they’re X-ers just like me.) Checking out that link leads you to a new group on myspace called The Anti-Corporate Ideas General Discussion Group. That group links to a newsletter called Anti-Corporate Ideas. Both sites look quite interesting to me. Still, I’d like to call out one small point of emphasis concerning “people vs. corporations”. With that phrase, one can focus on the “vs. corporations” part. Alternatively (or consistently), one can focus on the “people” part. I’m currently more interested in the latter part. I mean, I’ve written, predicted, and podcasted about the former. But that was just housekeeping. It’s not like there is actually any “there” there. A Corporation is simply a legal fiction that exists only to the extent our collective imagination permits its existence. So rather than dwelling on imaginary notions, I’m more interested in focusing on real People, and how we People might learn to adopt self-reliance practices. Now of course, if we People became truly self-reliant, we would be starving the Corporations of the money they need to survive. So, in that way, you could say this effort would be “Anti-Corporate”. But the subtle distinction I’m drawing here concerns the motivation for becoming self-reliant. My main interest in that is not about “bringing down the Corporations” (although that might be kind of nice). Rather, my main interest in self-reliance is about improving the health of us People, and raising our collective ability to love and to learn. In other words, I believe that flourishing health, love, and wisdom are symbiotic with self-reliance. And health, love, wisdom, and self-reliance are things that only we People people can taste (those imaginary Corporate people can’t even begin to imagine such things).

6 Responses to "The Anti-Corporate Ideas General Discussion Group"

Man the Internet is a wonderful thing! And to bite an idea that Al Gore of all people brought to my attention–it has really given new life to the public discourse globally and allowed issues that would never make it into the coroprate or even public newsmedia to be discussed wide and far.

I do hope you don’t mind my using your ideas as a springboard to widen the public discourse on this issue or my lack of proper capitalization….

what lead me to your blog in the first place was a link from http://www.peakoil.com. the peak oil issue is one that will definitely require a great deal of self-reliance to deal with… I, for one, walk or bike wherever and whenever possible. and that’s a good example of what a lot of people aren’t willing to do: lessen their level of convenience to satisfy an issue of concience or increase their level of self-reliance.

I think I latched onto the “former” part of your message for two reasons. 1) it’s all that was there when i first found your web site. 2) i feel that public knowledge of these sorts of issues is woefully deficient, and i suppose i’ve taken it on as my personal mission to help spread the word. if you read further and further into the depths of my corporate sponsored blog (i really do have to get that thing off of myspace) you will see a short reading list i’ve compiled:

“A Return to Love” – Marianne Williamson
“Ishmael” – Daniel Quinn
“Life of Pi” – Yann Martel
“Insight Meditation” – Joseph Goldstein
“Linked” – Antonio Lazlso Barabasi

With the exception of “Linked” (which is nonetheless fascinating) I think that all of the rest of these books can help people to to gain wisdom, increase their ability to love, and become mentally and spiritually healthy. I suppose it is putting the cart before the horse to ask people who may or may not be mentally and spiritually healthy to consider subverting the dominant paradigms of society… Conversely, many of my friends who I would consider to be mentally and spiritually healthy people just don’t consider their reliance upon corporate goods and services to be any sort of a problem.

In any case I appreciate your responding to my comments and I hope that people who are committed to making a difference can continue to build networks, share ideas, and eventually get to that subverting the dominant paradigms of society part too…

Thanks for the comment Andy. Let me say first that I’m honored that you’re using my site as a “springboard” for your own efforts. My site, in turn, started with Strauss & Howe’s “Fourth Turning” and Korten’s “When Corporations Rule the World” as its springboard. I have no doubt that those books, in turn, sprang from the work of others. This is how human knowledge moves. What I love most about the Internet is the speed at which this “mashing” and advance of knowledge is now proceeding.

I hope I didn’t sound too critical about people focusing on the “vs.” part. I certainly did dwell on that part up until now, and for the very reason you note: people generally seem deaf and dumb on these topics.

I guess the reason I want now to focus more on the “people” issues you so nicely describe above, rather than on the “vs. corporations” issues, concerns the American propensity toward violence. For example consider the Black Bloc — those kids who go around smashing in the windows of Gap and Starbucks stores. While there is much I admire about the worldview of the Black Bloc, I deplore their violent tactics.

The reasons they resort to such tactics, I believe, are two-fold: (1) their youth, and the hormone fueled aggression that comes with youth; and (2) their indoctrination in the culture of America. That culture says that if you oppose something, you must smash it (or smash something), for anything positive to happen.

Sure, American history is replete with examples where this approach — “punch first; ask questions later” — has “worked.” But I believe that for this upcoming battle, this approach cannot and will not work.

But I realize that my voice on this question will be drowned out by the voices of rage when the difficult times ahead come upon us. Still, the beauty of the Internet is that I can simply keep on speaking — whether no one is listening, or whether many listen.

Thanks again for your great comment, for thinking about and pursuing self reliance, and for sharing your awakened perceptions with all. Try not to get frustrated when you realize that few see what we see. More will do so as time moves on.

And if more don’t see what we see, then that won’t be so bad either because it will mean that disaster hasn’t visited us. So it’s a win-win. See?

Just want to say (again) that I think it is a terminal shame that such an incredible insight (the People vs. the Corporations)
has been buried so deeply. I think it is one of the seminal ideas I’ve come across in the last 10 years. There are a lot of
factors coming into play over the next decade or two – none of them invoking particularly optimistic feelings. I’ve known about
the Fourth Turning book, well before the prediction about terrorists crashing airplanes into buildings came true. I think
the collision course of Peak Oil (http://www.peakoil.com) and the generational turnings outlined in 4T make for an
exceedingly interesting future. As the cheap oil disappears over the next decade,it seems to me that you have presciently predicted
the inevitable ‘sides’ in the coming battle – the People, who will be more than willing to accept a lowered standard of living if it means
they don’t have to end up dead – and the Corporations – whose very structure is based on ever-lasting, all-consuming growth forever
and ever into the future. For the Corps, if the economy contracts, THEY DIE, literally. The flow of money is the flow of blood for them.
On the other hand, the People, in order to survive will be forced to change their very way of life in a manner many of us have already
considered or started – use less, make do, use it up, do without. The Great Depression generation knew all about how to do this,
the Nomads will get to re-learn it all over again.

When it comes right down to it, the two courses of action – PowerDown vs. a giant, slush-fund techno-fix, are diametrically opposed courses of action and philosophies of life.

In the end, there can be only One.

(Many congratulations on your profound thoughts, Peter – You’ll never know how very grateful I am to have found your thoughts here.)

k

Well said k. And thanks for the praise. I think you’ve said it all. Nothing needs to be added, except possibly the following: I’m grateful that every single comment or email that this site or myself have received reveals wisdom, passion, and erudition. What a nice little corner of the Internet this place is turning into.

The myspace group is up to 196 members. Only a few hundred more million to go and we’re golden! 😉

Congrats Andy. Yeah, it seems like more and more people are starting to “get it”. The unique users on this site are now numbered in the hundreds and most seem to have bookmarked a page or two. I take that as some indication of “getting it”.

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for the money has gone too far

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