We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The Power Behind the Pipelines: Northern Access Pipeline

Click here to access article by Robert Galbraith from the Public Accountability Initiative (PLA).

The folks who work with PLA are currently running a series of reports that expose the interests behind various pipeline constructions that are presently occurring, or have occurred in the recent past, in order to provide the details of the capitalist interests behind these projects.

I've only perused this report, but it is obvious to me that there is considerable collaboration among banking, construction corporations, and their hired lobby organizations in Washington DC to accomplish these projects regardless of the opposition of residents in the affected areas. This report, in particular, illustrates how capitalist institutions and their agents cooperate, collude, and conspire to rake in huge profits in spite of the concerns of the people regarding the pipelines' deleterious impacts on the local environments and the broader destabilization of our climate. This destruction of habitat is caused by a system designed for the sole benefit of a tiny class of people who over the centuries of capitalism's existence have become so addicted to the "highs" of profit and power that they no longer concern themselves with the disastrous consequences of their drug habits.  

To me this report illustrates another feature of a capitalist society which I've noticed for many years. Although capitalists often do compete with each other over profitable economic opportunities, they much more often cooperate with one another to exploit opportunities to make money irregardless of the consequences on the rest of society and/or the environment. This phenomenon is in sharp contrast to workers and sub-groups within society who are encouraged to compete or fight each other over the "trickle" that is left over after the capitalist class reap their rewards.