I love Canadian TV. It seems like they are so far ahead of the U.S. when it comes to gender equity in their shows. One of my favorites is a series called “Continuum.”
It’s a science fiction show that centers on the conflict between a group of rebelling terrorist in the year 2077, who are about to be executed for their rebellion against the government and they manage to escape through time travel from the year 2077 back to the year 2012. A police officer, by the name of Kiera Cameron accidentally gets caught in the time traveling device with this group and ends up back in 2012 with the escaped criminals. Kiera is just a City Protective Services (CPS) law enforcement officer who lives an average, normal life with her husband and son in 2077-era Vancouver. She upholds the laws of the corporatocratic (a government dominated by corporate business interests) and the oligarchic dystopia of the North American Union and its "Corporate Congress,".
Oligarchy is a Greek word meaning ‘few to rule or command’. It’s a power structure or form of government where the law and power is with a small group of people. In the show Continuum, North America has become a technologically advanced high-surveillance police state under the rule of a ‘Corporate Congress’. I bet you know where I’m going with this, don’t you?
So, while concealing the fact that she’s a police officer from the future, Kiera works to track down and stop the terrorists, a group of self-proclaimed freedom fighters known as "Liber8" who are intent upon preventing corporations from taking over the government. This group of terrorists traveled to the past in hopes of changing the future of the world and preventing the ‘Corporate Congress’ from ever coming into existence and power.
I love science fiction and fantasy shows. But the idea of a ‘Corporate Congress’ is starting to look a lot less like science fiction and a lot more like the world we live in.
When you start looking at the right wing of the Supreme Court of the United States serving the interests of Corporations instead of American citizens and seeing the Republican House of Representatives dancing in delight over those decisions, it’s difficult not to grow suspicious of the Republican Oligarchy approach to American government. In 2010 the Supreme Court's ruling on what is known as the ‘Citizen’s United’ case, effectively gave corporations the same rights as individual citizens when it came to spending money on elections.
That pretty much opened the gates for Corporations, who most frequently have way more money than individual citizens, to begin their efforts to sway elections in their favor.
Justice Stevens wrote in his dissent of the Citizen’s United Case; "A democracy cannot function effectively when its constituent members believe laws are being bought and sold."
Last Week the Conservative Judicial activists on the nation’s highest court, once more decided that, Corporations were people and actually had more rights and entitlements than the ‘regular’ people, well more rights than women people at least. Professor Katherine Franke, Director of the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law at Columbia Law School, wrote in her article “Hobby Lobby 2.0: The Broader Implications for the Left”
“Hobby Lobby argued that religion ought to work like a trump card, throw it down and it out-ranks all other rights that might also be in play, such as women's reproductive liberty or workplace equality.”
In a nutshell she said that Conservatives like to use religion to do an end run around democracy. When they can’t change laws that they don’t like (i.e. laws that favor. racial equality, marriage equality, workplace equality or gender equality) they immediately claim that the new law is a violation of their religious freedom.
Hobby Lobby is as much about corporate power as it is about religious freedom. Hobby Lobby jumped up and down about being good Christians in front of the Supreme Court while continuing to do business with China.
Jonathan Merritt, confronted Hobby Lobby’s hypocrisy in his article ‘Stop Calling Hobby Lobby a Christian business’
He wrote “Imagine a nation with nightmarish labor conditions, inadequate workplace regulation, and rampant child labor. You've just imagined 21st century China. Seventy thousand Chinese employees die every year in workplace accidents — that's roughly 200 humans snuffed out of existence every day.”
That is what happens when corporations do not have to comply with any type of labor standards or safety regulations.
“Starting this year in Shanghai, minimum wage is rising to only $293 per month That's about $9.77 per day. If you were wondering how Hobby Lobby could sell wicker baskets for next to nothing, now you know.”
And that is the result of no minimum wage laws to ensure workers make a living wage.
What about China's one-child policy, which discourages having daughters to the point that it fuels an underground abortion industry?
According to the Population Research Institute, "most of the abortions have the character of a rape. That is, they were performed on women who were ordered, or even physically forced, to submit to the knife."
Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised, then, that China accounts for 19 percent of the global population, but 56 percent of the world's female suicides. Approximately 500 women take their own lives in China every day.
Merritt said, “You cannot call your business "Christian" when arguing before the Supreme Court, and then set aside Christian values when you're placing a bulk order for cheap wind chimes.”
One of the most important reasons people form Corporations is to protect the personal property of business' owners from creditors seeking payment for debts that business might incur. Corporations exist in order to create a legal separation between a business and its owners.
Justice Ginsburg, wrote in her dissent of the Hobby Lobby Case;
“By incorporating a business... an individual separates herself from the entity and escapes personal responsibility for the entity's obligations. One might ask why the separation should hold only when it serves the interests of those who control the corporation?”
Corporations want to benefit from the doctrine of corporate separateness when creditors want their money, but then they want to scream religious infringement when it serves their interest. They want their cake and they want to eat it too and the right wing of our judicial and legislative systems are allowing them to do that.
So now that the Supreme Court has ripped the ‘Corporate Veil’ off of Corporations and blurred the lines between Corporations and their owners, it’s not only women who are at risk of losing their rights. Think about a Congress that also sides with these corporations.
In addition to dancing in the aisles over the Supreme Court’s siding with a Corporation’s rights over women’s rights, just yesterday, The GOP-led House of Representatives passed a stimulus measure voting to make yet another corporate related tax cut permanent. This adds $287 billion dollars to the deficit over the next 10 years.
Now these are the same people who want to do deprive seniors of their Social Security, deny Americans affordable health care and take school lunches away from hungry kids in order to save money and yet always seem willing to add to the deficit when it comes to propping up Corporations with more tax cuts.
They are still trying to sell that tired old trickle down theory of Ronald Reagan's. Just give more to the rich and eventually it will benefit the poor. Thirty years of those misleading types of Republican policies have more than proven that it’s a lie and it does not work. And let’s not forget Bush’s disastrous economic style of tanking the economy by giving major tax cuts to the wealthy and putting two wars on a credit card.
But if you love science fiction and want to see the ‘Corporate Congress’ become a reality, then in addition to watching ‘Continuum’ on the Syfy channel, all you have to do is vote Republican.
...I Can't Believe She Said That Out Loud...
Dee Jae Cox is a Writer, Director, Producer, Radio Host, Army Veteran, Feminist and a very opinionated woman.
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