Recently, the legendary drag queen Lady Bunny, posted a question on Facebook. She wrote: “CEOs are earning more than ever while the middle class turns into the working poor. I know this sounds like a crazy conspiracy theory, but do you by any chance think that the government which is supposed to represent the people is actually representing the huge corporations who bribe them? Hmmmm….”
Here is my reply:
Our government represents the rich people that run (and hide behind) corporations because these people (the power elite) donate to their campaigns, hire lobbyists and offer them high paying jobs when they leave public office. Corporations are not people. They can’t do anything.
I hate to keep harping on this but words matter and inform how we even conceive of things. So I think we need to be really careful with our language. We need to be precise. Otherwise we fall into the trap of diverting our attention from the real problem which is exactly what the Power Elite want. Even if we banned “corporations” tomorrow they would just find another tool to hide behind.
I think a lot of progressives feel like the “anti corporation” talking point is helpful because it seems like a lot of our problems stem from corporations and because they think it prevents us from being attacked with accusations of “class warfare” for targeting “the rich”. But i think it’s self defeating.
There is a class war going on, there has been forever. And it’s being waged by the power elite. Making believe that it’s corporations and not the actual people behind those corporations that are responsible simply shields those people from the consequences of their actions.
Note that no actual person has gone to jail for (what should be considered) criminal conduct that resulted in the economic crisis a few years ago. We let “corporations” pay a relatively miniscule fine and say justice has been done. This outrage is only encouraged by the anthropomorphizing of corporations.
Corporations are not people. So, let’s stop talking about them like they are!