/ Civilization / Markets, Market Economy /
& K. Symbols /

1016 05 13 In a word, I take Ike’s “military-industrial complex” and shuffle it with Forbes’ Fortune 500 concept. Thus we have Big Business — major corporations; military industrial complex … Big Media, Big Government … Big Brother — human reason as God. All rolled into one big poison.

One more word: I no longer hope we survive our corruption. I want God not to resurrect us but to pour lye on the grave.

2016 09 21 This roll of concepts has bubbled up around K. without always being totally coordinated. My comments on Michael Crighton’s novel State of Fear related. Ideally a new menu should tie all.

2016 03 10 In the 1950s Eisenhower warned us against the “military-industrial complex”. The danger is an allied pair: military / industry. Sixty-odd years later I invent the symbol Fort5: still a pair: still military, still corporate, and using the arabic number 5 as an abbreviation of the “500” of “Fortune 500 Companies”. Good. But the other day a Watch-Trump-Get-Assassinated-Before-He-Even-Really-Begins MailAround added a third thing to beward of: 1) Big Government (Yes, Boo), 2) Big business (Yes, Boo), and 3) Big Media! Yes, Boo: and easily overlooked!

So: for the time being leave the symbol alone, Fort5: but understand BigMedia to be included!

Will rewrite this, maybe redistribute the points, subordinate the original IOU part.

IOU 500 Fortunes
I want to contrast the idea of a free market as Ivan Illich and I envisioned it — he in writing Deschooling Society [1970], me, Illich’s disciple, in founding the Free Learning Exchange [also 1970] — and the world of kleptocratic, imperial market economies such as that of Rome, further developed by Great Britain, and by the Brits’ student, the United States. One thing I want to do is examine the basic several hundred corporations of the Fortune 500. I want to ask the question in each case: have they paid all of the royalties due on their products, services, inventions?
[I shall henceforth abbreviate Fortune 500, not as a fact but as a symbol, Fort5.]

If King George takes land from the commons and uses it to endow Kings College (i.e., Columbia), something’s wrong. If the US takes Cheyenne land and gives it to the white couple that gets there first with an ox and a plow, something’s wrong: income from the farm is not correctly calculated.
In 1970 I offered to develop cybernetic data bases for volunteered public information. I offered to develop digital facsimiles: libraries of human resources: pay in, take out. Had we all contributed pennies we could have reaped billions. But the world preferred to ignore me, later developing expensive proprietary stunted versions, all planned to be obsolescent, all designed to be noisy, when clear and simple could have been fast and cheap. Doesn’t MicroSoft, doesn’t Apple, doesn’t DC, IBM, the Pentagon, CERN … owe me royalties? an apology?

When I report crimes against me, against everyone, all my life, and none of those testimonies are known, recorded, passed on, what do we owe the current defrauded generation?
Jesus is supposed to have told us how to live better. His sermons got sabotaged, interrupted, silenced. What does the defrauding kleptocracy owe the subsequent defrauded? that’s all of us!? We might have lived; instead, we’re rich, and enslaved, and poisoned.

My son got chewed by a Macy’s escalator, one known to have chewed other children before him. Decades later that escalator was still not fixed, was still in violation of safety codes. Apparently Macy’s found it more profitable to pay off the few injured children whose families persisted in the face of the law’s contempt. Might as well throw babies into the fire for Moloch. What should Macy’s and the courts and the laws pay the succeeding generations of chewed children? My son got half his college paid for by Macy’s: did the others? Was it worth a mangled leg?

I don’t own any stock, never have. I’ve always said, aloud, I don’t want God to catch me owning any property: toothbrushes are fine, but not anti-commons property, not anti-convivial property. I don’t know a thing about the Fortune 500. But I plan to find out: and to share what I learn here.

PS I’ve been promising for decades to find my correspondence with Ivan Illich on my son’s mauling at Macy’s, 1973. Finally: I found his response. I’ll digitize it ASAP. It’s possible his heir in Cuernavaca would have my original: I certainly don’t: I kept no copies in those days. You’ll have to guess what I said, but you’ll see what Don Ivan responded.

Not Fact, But Symbol

Lady Astor could seat four hundred for dinner. The group of invitees came to be called The Four Hundred. The word is a number, derived by counting. It’s a “symbol” in the strictest semiotic sense. It also became used as a symbol, for the Haves: self-recognized as Haves, by an authority: Mrs. Astor. The Fortune500 may similarly have started as a number, a fact, a result of counting: I could look it up, research it; but I’m not going to: I use it as a symbol, which I re-spell Fort5: just as my top ten lists will regularly have eleven nominees, or a dozen, or thirty-seven. Point is: Fort5 in pk parlance stands for corporate Haves in a mercantile economy: an economy run by and for merchants: not people, though the merchants may also be people: not humans, not AnaChrins … Society not designed but designed-for-greed.


About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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