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The ‘Private Governments’ That Subjugate U.S. Workers


The ‘Private Governments’ That Subjugate U.S. Workers

Chris Hedges

Corporate dictatorships—which strip employees of fundamental constitutional rights, including free speech, and which increasingly rely on temp or contract employees who receive no benefits and have no job security—rule the lives of perhaps 80 percent of working Americans. These corporations, with little or no oversight, surveil and monitor their workforces. They conduct random drug testing, impose punishing quotas and targets, routinely engage in wage theft, injure workers and then refuse to make compensation, and ignore reports of sexual harassment, assault and rape.


It all starts with “education” (indoctrination):

1913: Frederick T. Gates, Director of Charity for the Rockefeller Foundation, Writes “In our dream…the people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hand”

Frederick T. Gates wrote in The Country School of Tomorrow, Occasional Papers Number 1 :

“In our dream we have limitless resources, and the people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hand. The present educational conventions fade from our minds; and, unhampered by tradition, we work our own good will upon a grateful and responsive rural folk. We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or of science. We are not to raise up among them authors, orators, poets, or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians. Nor will we cherish even the humbler ambition to raise up from among them lawyers, doctors, preachers, statesmen, of whom we now have ample supply."

Gates, who was a Baptist minister was clearly in a state of great sin against the People. God Damn him! I almost wish I believed in Hell in which the bastard could find eternal torment in a cauldron of fire.


Hedges nails it again by recognizing the charade of ‘freedom’ under our current form of capitalism and the autocracy of private governments usually referred to as corporations.
Invisible it seems to many, the opportunity to be subjugated to a culture of corruption, where money accumulation has replaced virtue cultivation, and a false progress has eliminated real progress.
With hands over hearts they sing of freedom and American virtue while the bosses fire, belittle and coerce anyone who questions their corporate thugship.
A rotting civilization smells much like America right now.


I believe this is the other half of the safety net, social security, medicare issue that needs to be included in the discussions of the high cost of government And how to real/reel it in.


Americans are under the delusion that freedom means free markets.


Anderson calls this corporate economic system communist—that’s communist with a small “c”—because these private governments “own all the nonlabor means of production in the society it governs.

Chomsky, more correctly, calls corporations fascist organizations.


Although the past century has witnessed many variations of fascism around the world, the current widespread model of corporations owning gubmits constitute the most basic definition of fascism.


Although not much new, this is an excellent summary of the overall system and the interplay between the economic system and the political one. There has been other similar writings on this topic. While here the focus is on corporations, governmental or educational organizations are not that very different when it comes to the asymmetry of power between the individual and the institution. But let’s not also forget that while this system is more extreme in the US, it is similar in other western “democracies” too…albeit way better than the US.


Having experienced astounding return on investment buying enough of the US gubmit to control it during the late 20th century, the 21st century has seen corporations buying gubmits around the world. Each new tax cut in the US and abroad enables them to buy more gubmits, so yes “other western democracies are way better than the US”, but only until their gubmits are also owned by corporations.


Good point.
Reality works the other way around: “In a civilized society, free markets are necessary but not sufficient for freedom.”
This means that without free markets, as far as we know, there is no hope for freedom if you want to live in a civilized society. History shows us that is the case, everywhere.
The problem with the farce of freedom in the US lies in the very essence of American Culture. The US was founded by scoundrels, slave traders, tax cheaters, and traitors to their King, all pretending to be great people, and their descendants are indoctrinated to believe that fantasy, just like Muslims are indoctrinated into believing that Mohammed flew away on a winged horse.
There are capitalist countries where human dignity is respected, but that is hard to believe from an American view of the world.


The truth is we live under a corporate captured capitalism.


As usual, Hedges does a great job of pointing out the problems.

So what are some solutions?

Well, worker-owned cooperatives for one. They can operate well as small businesses. And Mondragon has proved they can be successfully scaled up.


There seems to be a whiff of Gates’ DNA wafting from the likes of whats-her-face who bought her pyramid seat up at the Dept. of Education.


From Hedges:

"The ruling ideology of neoliberalism and libertarianism, used to justify the corporate domination and social inequality that afflict us, sells itself as the protector of freedom and liberty. It does this by subterfuge. It claims workers have the freedom to enter into employment contracts and terminate them, while ignoring the near-total suspension of rights during the period of employment. It pretends that workers and corporations function as independent and autonomous sellers and buyers, with workers selling their labor freely and corporate owners buying this labor. "

Teach on and teach in! These should be topics for connecting the dots by the teachers on strike on LA.

Thank you once again for fighting the good fight Chris Hedges!

These facts and others would be well placed in an asserted effort to counter the demonization of the “socialism”-eggs-all-in-one-basket public rhetoric of extremists.


“Socialism never took root in the US, because its workers see themselves, not as an exploited proletariat, but rather as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.”
–Ronald Wright


Hmm, worker coops have been around here in Minnesota since the early 1900s. Yes they are great, I worked in one for seven years and it was wonderful to have to deal with 30 other opinions for every decision–yes, I mean that. We made a great product and were really popular … finally closed after big money made the location too expensive. Worker coops (NOT owner coops!) are indeed the answer but why aren’t they spreading? It is easy to form a worker coop.


Are you making a distinction between worker coops and worker-owned coops? Explain.


I always said the in the supposed freedom of the US that when you punched in at 8 you lost whatever “freedoms” you had until you punch out at 5. I retired with a modest union pension in 2001 at 54 yrs old. Union, YES!!!


The part of this that pisses me off is the gratitude we’re supposed to feel toward our corporate masters.


““When workers sell their labor to an employer, they have to hand themselves over to their boss, who then gets to order them around,” Anderson writes”

Good thing we have “at will” employment so the worker who doesn’t want to “get ordered around by their boss” can quit at any time.