Posts Tagged ‘business’

Canadian Pharma-biz Novartis Bullies UK Rivals

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

If you are a frequent visitor to my blog, you’ll have noted that I’m quick to hop on the soapbox to decry corporatism whenever I can. Your probably like… ‘there goes Rick again, lambasting the very institutions our modern societies depend upon to survive. Doesn’t he know we’d die off without them?’

Well, yes, dear reader, I know that corporations are not without their merit, and I am aware that competition and innovation in the business world are great things. So, just to be clear, know that I am not anti-capitalism nor am I anti-business. Instead, understand that I am anti-corporatism, and therein lies the distinction. (more…)

So Long Privacy, Hello Transparency

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

Patsy politicians pandering to plutocratic priorities threaten to pilfer our precious privacy. Lousy legislation like ACTA, SOPA and now CISPA have come to the forefront of this fight, and these bills will all be, hopefully, crushed without mercy beneath  the feet of millions of vigilant citizens.

Still, as disheartening as it may be to hear, these exercises could ultimately prove pointless because privacy is fast going extinct. (more…)

Louis C.K. Crushes SOPA’s Right to Exist

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

The bill threatening to literally destroy the global Internet as we know it – the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) – has now been rendered devoid of any merit by comedian Louis CK. Not that the bill had any credibility to begin with.

Over the past few days, Louis demonstrated how one can successfully launch a movie in today’s high-speed P2P world.

For only $5, his latest hour-long special could be downloaded in an easily shared digital format. Despite the ease with which one could almost immediately pirate a free version of Mr. CK’s content, he still managed to gross over a half a million dollars within two days.

Now, with tons of media coverage highlighting the sales of his latest creative endeavor, he is sure to see far greater returns.

Louis CK’s strategy confirms what many other artists have already learned – distribute copies of your creations online at significantly reduced prices, and make up the difference in volume. Also, don’t bother with any kind of copy protection – it pisses off your customer base, and circumvention will be inevitable.

Of course, this model only works when you have a quality product that stands up to the scrutiny of the public. If you’re peddling the same old inane tripe, you’re unlikely to recoup your costs without gouging your initial clientele.

Maybe that’s why all the media giants have been pushing so hard for SOPA – unable to edit their own scripts for running a business, they’ve decided it will be easier to simply rewrite the entire Internet.

Corporations Seeking Immunity for Rape, Torture, Genocide

Thursday, November 10th, 2011

Imagine what can happen when international corporations are no longer liable for committing heinous crimes against humanity. It’s a scary premise for any entity, let alone some of the world’s most influential and vehemently greedy institutions.

Yet that is precisely what is being ruled on right now in the US, where a split decision is due to be settled in the Supreme Court.

The case centers around Shell Oil subsidiaries that colluded with the Nigerian government to torture and execute individuals protesting against the companies’ oil exploration. Plaintiffs filed suit in a US district court under the Alien Tort Statute, which empowers federal courts to hear cases by “an alien” bringing a civil suit for wrongs committed “in violation of the law of nations.”

Last year, while ruling on the Citizens United bill, the Supreme court found the First Amendment does mean Corporations are considered people, opening the doors for unlimited political spending by business entities. Now, this same ruling might make international corporations financially liable for their actions.

Of course, given how much clout these mega-conglomerates yield, it won’t come as a huge surprise to see the Supreme Court affording corporations all the pros of personhood while shielding them from any cons – like facing repercussions for using mass murder as a business tactic.

Whatever comes of this ruling, it certainly shows us the direction the pro-corporatism people want to take our world. It is far more profitable when businesses get all the benefits the government offers, while at the same time skirting any accountability and shirking all responsibility to the world in which they exist.

This is why populist movements, like #occupy, are so essential. The pro-business side will continue to tirelessly and systematically stack the cards in their own favor at the expense of everyone else. Unless we fight tooth and nail right now, the hill we’re climbing towards a more just civilization could very well grow into a mountain right under our feet.