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The Corporation In Context


Douglas Rushkoff first came to my attention in a GritTv interview introducing Program or Be Programmed.

I got a hold of his audio book LIfe Inc. (mentioned by two Z Sustainers here and here, I wonder if they started on the road to Znet and 'redesigning society' partly due to the books influence?) and listend to the first 2 and half chapters. He's good, showing Greenspan hawking his book and snake oil economics at a Wealth Expo that brings to mind Mike Davis showing how the slightly less poor prey on the slightly poorer in Planet of Slums. Taking advice from ex-Jocks in economics looks to be as detrimental as following them in politics.

Listening to chapter 2 during a commute gives the suburban commuter grounds for identifying with Indonesian farmers defrauded of their land by the Dutch East India company. He avoids irritatingly academic words like 'neo-colonialism' to explain WTO rules and World Bank practices and cheerfully compares the IMF to mob enforcers. I want him to provide background to the uninitiated for all my conversations with the uninitiated about the Battle of Seattle, Jubille Drop the Debt and even Noam Chomsky or The Corporation DVD.

I like his example of Japan lending money for a copper smelter multinational in the Phillipines that raised the GDP in the country while destroying the health and environment of local residents. He showed North Carolina and South Carolina counties bending over for factories that quickly abandoned them leaving behind nothing but debt, pollution and unemployment.  It's a good listen/read always briniging distant examples back into close quarters with the changes and colonizations right inside the borders of the US(assuming most of his audience is in/from America or similar industrialized countries) and your own mind which probably has the balance sheet on and value extraction on it.

I still don't know where he's going, what's the prognosis for his diagnosis. I'm guessing it will be something like Theobald Robinson's Ownwork and local independent economies explained in Future Work. I'd like to see a good conversation between him and Michael Albert or other Parecon people..

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