Lessons from Feminism

The Iraq war and occupation.
Lack of health care for all.
Rising energy prices.

Different problems. Same source.

The power and rights of business corporations.

The drive for war and occupation in Iraq derived in large part from the quest by US-based oil corporations to gain private (i.e. corporate) control over their vast oil reserves. Establishing permanent (what the US government calls “enduring”) military bases was fueled by the need to have protection of “our” oil once oil corporations move in. Never-ending war/occupation funding (supported by both the Republicans and so-called “anti-war” Democrats) was triggered by military contractors eager to re-supply the Pentagon with all the planes, guns, tanks and bullets they want…paid for with our tax dollars. Iraq reconstruction (in terms of projects and budget) sprung from Bechtel, Halliburton and other corporations waiting to jack up prices on no-bid contracts.

The number of persons without health care or inadequate health care continues to rise. More than 47 million US citizens are uninsured, 50 million more are one major health care crisis away from losing everything. The US spends twice as much per capita on health care than any other nation on the planet. Every other industrialized nation has a nationalized health care system except our nation. Private insurance corporations profit tremendously as the middle man increasingly denying coverage and by doing so, increase their botton line. They love the system as is and do all they can to ensure politicians don’t cut them out of the equation though a single-payer, patient- and doctor-run health care system.

Gas prices are at their historic high. Some of it, to be sure, has come from pure financial speculation – big money speculators have increasingly moved their assets from dollars to hard assets (oil and food at the moment). Some of the rise, however, seems sheer corporate greed. Yet, where has been the media exposes or Congressional hearings? Or significant federal funding for alternative energy? Thank the oil corporations.

The Iraq war and occupation.
Lack of health care for all.
Rising energy prices.

Different problems (and there are many others that could be highlighted). Same source.

The power and rights of business corporations.

Oil corporations.
Military contracting corporations.
Reconstruction corporations.
Insurance corporations.
Media corporations.

See a pattern?

The Strategic Corporate Initiative(1) asserts that anti-corporate/democracy activists around the world need more of a shared ideology, a common belief system. They claim what we need is what feminists possessed in the 1970’s.

This insightful report quotes Marjorie Kelley, who in The Divine Right of Capital, said:

It would not have been enough to see poor funding for girls’ athletics as one problem, unequal wages for women as a separate problem, and harassment in the workplace as still a different problem. These battles became one when their common source in sex discrimination was recognized. Yet today we chase after corporate pollution as one problem, low wages as another problem, and corporate welfare as still a third problem.

The authors of the Strategic Corporate Initiative claim that when we’re able to see the common source beneath many of our current problems (from the local to the global), we will become one movement.

That common problem is corporate power and rights.

1. The Strategic Corporate Initiative