Manifesto

This is a modern day manifesto.

This is one answer to America’s crisis of capitalism & consciousness.

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Occupy Wall Street

What has happened to American companies?

What does it mean to be a company in today’s modern world?

A company used to be an extension of ourselves – a way to make a living, feed our families, meet friends, and provide a service to our communities.

Does that sound like your job?

In reality, this idea of a company that not only employs people, but is a part of the community, a part of people’s lives, a place where someone can stay and work for 60 years and then retire, seems like a dream of yesteryear. This idea is what all companies should be: miniature communities whose goal is to better the lives of everyone in them, and this goal is achieved by providing a service in such a way that it brings a profit to all involved.

Where did the simple, practical companies go?

The good ones got big, unfortunately. And when they got big, the people who built them often left their companies in the hands of people whose sole goal was to make money – not to improve their company or help those within it (the community of workers, which is, in reality, the company itself) only to make more money, by any means necessary. Companies transformed from small, localized communities that provided useful services into faceless, heartless, soulless money making machines – an entity entirely separated from the worker, which is illogical since the worker is the basic building block of a company.

Why do companies that achieve incredible success want more?

Why would a company like Coca Cola, which has saturated the world market with its product, buy other companies? Why not just make Coca Cola and make everyone who works for you rich? Why not do something for the people who have worked so hard and long for you? Why not give the money to the people who work for you and inject the economy with that hard earned cash which would benefit everyone in the country and eventually around the world? What is the point of exploiting the workers while making ever-increasing profits? Exploitation of company resources only benefits the top 1%, the owners and top executives. The workers are making less and less while the owners and executives are making more and more.  This cycle must end.

“The Company” is merely a lifeless facade – why does it matter if “The Company” has a lot of money or not?

The real question is: who profits by a system in which workers do not share in the ever-growing profits of the companies that they work for?

The answer: Investors.

But which investors? You and me and grandpa with his 401k? Sometimes, yes. Usually, small investors provide access to money for growing corporations in order for them to expand even further, and that money is returned with a healthy percentage. But this money is not lived off of for most ordinary people. We still go to work every day and do something productive with our lives.

Sometimes, however, we all succumb to greed, and we dream that our investment, our lifeless money, will somehow do all of the work (the real living) for us, and we will be able to sit back and simply enjoy the fruits of our money’s labor (which is really the labor of others).

Occupy Wall Street Kevin Drum

Share of National Income 1979-2008 (via Kevin Drum)

Sound like anything familiar? Of course it does – it’s called feudalism, serfdom, tyranny, slavery, and many other unpleasant synonyms.

Money for nothing, taxation without representation, exploitation, injustice, the bourgeoisie – there have been many names for this idea which people have fought against and died for throughout the centuries.

Then there are the big investors – the trust fund babies, the men and women who do practically no work at all (no physical or practical labor – they add nothing to the value of their communities), yet they receive the majority of the world’s wealth.

And the sad thing is, you wish that you were one of them.

These are the people who have destroyed our economy. And we have let them do it.

Why do we let individuals get so rich? Does it make any sense? Does it make sense for a company to become so large that it can lose billions (and BILLIONS) of dollars, yet call itself successful? Whose money is that anyways? – Usually yours, the small investor with a real job.

Why are there super companies that own hundreds of other companies? What is the point of their existence? How can they exist at all?

Ironically, the largest source of funds for expanding companies has ended up costing our companies their innocence: the stock market.

The public trading of stocks has allowed for the over-expansion (hyper-expansion) of businesses. They have become too big for their own good and for the good of the human race. The purpose of a company is (ideally and logically) the betterment of mankind, or at the very least, the betterment of its employees (just as the purpose of the existence of a government is the betterment of its country’s citizens, or at a primal level, the purpose of an organism is the survival of its cells, and DNA).

Today’s mega-corporations have become so big that they can destroy the lives (or the productive equivalent – the value of what people can produce) of thousands or millions of people without being effected. This is illogical. It is a cycle of destruction and exploitation that will eventually eat itself from the inside out – as is happening right now.

Our system (which we consider capitalistic, but which has become a massive oligarchy) takes money from regular people (through taxes and the stock market) and gives it to the rich, making the rich richer, just like other archaic economic systems.

The only way out of this cycle that feeds the rich is to find a way to spread their wealth – to take the money from the super-rich and use it to benefit society – not just individuals, but society as a whole. Their money should be used to build something better than what exists – not to simply build another company which once again exploits workers for the benefit of the rich. This is logical, since the billionaire’s money will improve society, which in turn improves his own life. Which is better: to be a billionaire in a ravaged society, or to be a millionaire in a healthy, happy society?

When a company is private, its only duty is to itself, to its employees, and to its customers.

When a company is publicly traded it is given a new duty – a duty to the invisible shareholders.

And what do the shareholders want? They want one thing and one thing only – money. They want the company to do whatever it can to increase the return on their investment. They want the company to do whatever it can to increase its profits and to increase its share price.

And then there are the members of the board – the real men behind the curtain – the men who control the business world. They hire the CEO’s. They fire the CEO’s.

Why do they hire a particular CEO? Because the CEO promises to raise the share price, which increases their profits – which gives them more money for nothing.

It doesn’t matter what happens to the employees, or to the community, or to the quality of the products, or to the integrity of the organization, or to the environment. Those things don’t matter to the members of the board – the men who vote the CEO out when he can’t deliver exceptional numbers year after year.

This means the CEO’s only focus is making the members of the board rich. But why? Why does he care if these fat old men get any richer?

Because they make him a promise – if he makes them rich, they’ll make him rich. And they do. The CEO becomes incredibly rich. But not as rich as them, of course.

So the CEO who controls the company is hired (or fired) by a group of men who have no desire whatsoever except to make as much money as possible for nothing. They do not care at all about the overall social, economic, or environmental effects of their business on others.

The CEO directs the company in such a way that it will make a profit (real or not) which will in turn drive up its share prices (justifiably or not), which will enable him to become very very rich as well.

Thus, when all is said and done, this monstrosity of a company, which started out as a group of people, perhaps even friends and neighbors, which made a product and provided a necessary service for those in the community, in exchange for enough money to guarantee the personal well-being of each worker, is now being used to better the lives of the already-rich in order to make them much much richer, in exchange for nothing (no labor, no products), all at the expense of the people who work at the company, who are exploited by the company, or who are foolish enough to invest their hard earned money into the company before the rich old men bleed it dry and the hard earned (actually worked for) money disappears before their eyes into the invisible abyss of rich men’s pockets.

Thus 1% of the population of the world rape, pillage, and steal 99% of the value of production of the entire earth. And all of this is done (like the company exploiting those who make it run) at the expense of the earth itself.  Humans destroying humanity.  Earthlings destroying Earth.

Thus these men slowly destroy themselves as they destroy humanity. They will drink from the wine of the grapes of wrath grown in the soil of those they have exploited.

But remember… as the markets fall, the banks close, and the jobs are lost, remember as you and those you know and love are suffering, remember that during this time of hardship and pain – for them, it’s like Christmas. Better than Christmas – for the whole world is on sale at a discount – and they’ve got enough to buy it all, and then some.

But the veil has been pulled back.  We see who you are and what you are doing to our world.

Now is our time to make real change in the world.

Wall Street must be reformed.

The United States Government must be reformed.

The best and brightest ideas for progress must be shouted from the rooftops until the politicians are too embarrassed by the truth NOT to put the demands of the people into law.

Here those ideas will be presented and debated until the best are ready to change our world.

The next step is yours.

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