Sunday, March 13, 2011

Deep Capture

“The twentieth century has been characterized by three developments of great political importance: the growth of democracy, the growth of corporate power, and the growth of corporate propaganda as a means of protecting corporate power against democracy.”
~Alex Carey
All of the key elements are in place. As with Galileo’s capture, today we have an extremely powerful institutional force with an immense stake in maintaining, and an ability to maintain, a false, though intuitive, worldview. Our basic hypothesis (and prediction) is that large commercial interests act (and will continue to act) to capture the situation–interior and exterior–in order to further entrench dispositionism. Moreover, they have done so largely undetected, and without much in the way of conscious awareness or collaboration. Hence, large corporate interests have, through disproportionate ability to control and manipulate our exterior and interior situations, deeply captured our world......This practice of portraying the consumer as nobody’s fool is extremely widespread. After all, if the consumer is king, then it is hard to justify making manufacturers pay for simply following orders. And this ability to place responsibility squarely on consumers–to say in a tort case, for instance, that they “assumed the risk” of their actions–has been fundamental to the tobacco industry’s success in selling a product believed to cause more than 440,000 premature deaths per year in the United States alone. Thus, an important reason that sellers might embrace and encourage dispositionism is their hope of shifting responsibility and avoiding costly regulation or liability.