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t's a war between the people and the corporations

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Jun. 16th, 2001 | 05:06 pm

According to this article. MP3.com has been eaten by a major label owning corporation--and already bands that were doing well through their services are beginning to be cut off.

It's a struggle for our cultural freedom. The culture we Americans live in, and export to the rest of the world, is not a culture of the people's devising. It is a culture created in boardrooms designed to place as much power and control as possible in the hands of the plutocrats.

"As extensively documented by historian William Leach, the U.S. retailing giants of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries decided that to increase their profits they must create a greater demand for their merchandise and set about to replace the popular culture of frugality that had prevailed since America's founding with a culture of self-indulgence" -[Korten, The Post Corporate World, pg 32]

I believed in MP3.com I thought it was a cool way for me to find new and interesting music that fits my tastes, as opposed to the tastes of a homogenized focus group. To discover that they've been co-opted by one of the 5 companies that control our music pisses me off.

It is just another one of their little victories in their long chain of victories to control what we see, what we hear, what we think, even, what we feel.

We must resist them.

We must resist from the corners of our brains, to the public spaces that they've destroyed to provide more space for their marketing, to the bland goo that they pass off for a culture.

We must wake up, and stare at the world we are in and realize how our world is being shaped for someone else's interest. We must help those around us, who are still trapped in the slumber of consumerism to wake and realize there is far more to life than the continual quest for more acquisitions. I'm not sure how best to raise this issue with those around me, but there must be solutions.

For instance, the top selling drugs are for indigestion, high blood pressure, hypertension, depression, and pain killers. [World Watch Institute, Vital Signs 2001]. I look at that list and see quick fixes for excessive levels of stress. Is there some hope of using this information to point out that though change is frightening, it's better than being killed off for to make a greedy investor happy.




Any comments on other possible solution?

I've got a few ideas more but need to take a break from writing.

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Comments {4}

T e s s

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from: soulsong
date: Jun. 16th, 2001 05:55 pm (UTC)
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What scares me is that there simply isn't any way to break into a consumer's life and get them to realise that the way they've been taught to live and think their whole life is actually leading to ever more misery for themselves and everyone else.

It makes us sound like religious nutters.

And yet, these worldviews are so far apart that it's beginning to need something like a conversion experience for anyone to make the leap from consumer to sustainer.

I feel so sad because our political leaders all truly seem to believe that economic growth and profit is the answer to poverty. They don't seem to be able to conceive of an alternative. The further they go down this road, the more desperately they continue to run in the same direction. And the media won't tell anyone the alternatives. So we have riots at every international political conference, and no-one understands why they're rioting. "Just thugs", say the politicians and the newscasters. "An anarchist circus" says Tony Blair. Why can't they see that economies cannot grow forever? Why can't they see that if everyone in one country becomes wealthy, then many times more must suffer in another country? Why can't they see that such parochialism is wrong? Why can't they see that when our resources run out, humanity will be like a jumbo jet that suddenly runs out of fuel. There ain't no way it's going to land softly.

The multinationals expand into new lands, exploiting resources and peoples with promises of riches for all. They turn more people every year into consumers and workers, because this is the way to increase profits. And most of the wealth transfers back to the rich countries. And most goes to the rich people in the rich countries.

And like a great global pyramid selling scheme, everyone plays along with the delusion that it can go on forever - that there will always be more consumers at the bottom, to bring riches to the capitalists who 'got in' earlier.

But it's going to end. One day there will be no more markets to expand into, no more resources to exploit. And then the End will come.

Here endeth the first lesson.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Jun. 16th, 2001 11:22 pm (UTC)
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Conversation moved over here.

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The Dude

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from: singleton
date: Jun. 17th, 2001 12:57 am (UTC)
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It is becoming quite apparent that the old adage " it takes a village" is becoming more and more meaningful as time progresses.

We live in a time that was not designed for itself. Mass communications and information exchange have turned our amazing vast globe into a tiny techno sphere of digits and numerics. Now this would be a golden age if this technology were used to exchange thoughts and ideas, not to distribute the latest in processed slosh that has become our culture. With populations and societies so interclosed upon themselves, there is no sharing of new thoughts, only acknowledgement of what it is everyone else should already be thinking.

One day the great economic states will collapse under thier own consumer weight, and what will be left will be the little groupings of humanity who have banded together for thier very survival. In amongst these groups the first signs of true culture will resurface, as each and everyone who is part of them will have their chance to contribute again. A golden age will be upon us, but only at the cost of the entire re-booting of modern civilization.

Like the man said, it takes a village.

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Diane Trout

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from: alienghic
date: Jun. 17th, 2001 12:06 pm (UTC)
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People think that we living in our "captilist" economies are living in a free market. That assumption is wrong. We're actually living in a command economy mostly being determined by a small handful of multinational corporations.

One reference I came accross pointed out that the corporations internal economies are bigger than many countries, and they are completely centrally planned.

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