THE FOG – A Birth of a Corporation
On October 14, 1066 William the Conqueror defeated the English Army at the Battle of Hastings and on Christmas Day 1066 William was crowned King of England. However William was not popular with the English people and as a result had to come up with a plan to ensure their loyalty. Hence the birth of the corporation under the guise of a Royal Carter.
Anglo-Saxon charters are documents from the early medieval period in England, which typically made a grant of land. William decided to reward those loyal to him with titles such as Lord. As the Kings representative they would Lord over the people in what was the feudal system.
After much hard work the peasant class formed confraternities of tradesmen known as guilds. They were organized in a manner something between a professional association and trade union. As a result these artisans began to take control of their craft and create a better life for themselves and their families. However once the peasant class began to create prosperity for themselves the Lord’s and aristocracy began to feel they were losing out financially. In fact the prosperity of the peasant class so infuriated the aristocracy that with the approval of the King the guilds were force to come under Royal Charters which meant they were now under the control of the aristocracy. The guilds had now been effectively crushed by these new chartered monopolies. The working class could now only prosper if they once again became subjects of the Lord of the land. The Lord was now simply able to state that a guild was illegal unless it first sought approval by the King under Royal Charter. In this way the aristocracy got their cut of any financial prosperity by doing nothing. In effect they stole from the working class under the guise of a charter. To put it very simply, once the common person was able to raise themselves out of a feudal system to a place of prosperity the individuals who held the power were able to use the Royal Carter or these first corporations to beat them down. As a result the aristocracy preserved their wealth in an increasing free market.
These early corporations had the support of the King, Government and all the armed forces. This was the thrust behind colonialism which was sanctioned by the Crown to steal land from native inhabitants under the right of Royal Charters. For instance the Hudson Bay Company now had the backing of monarchs to occupy land and enslave the native inhabitants of Turtle Island. Now I ask you, does this sound familiar? If not just think of Walmart or Amazon and it may become more evident to you. For instance the town I live in has suffered the same fate as many other communities across the globe when Walmart came to town. All smaller peer to peer business evaporated forcing everyone to shop at Walmart. What McDonalds did for the hamburger Walmart has done for consumerism. I can go anywhere in North America and probably the world and get the same products. If we really look hard we see people living, dressing, eating and consuming everything Walmart to the extent that we are all beginning to look alike. This really hit me when I went to a gathering and three of us all had the same shirt on. It became a joke, but if you think of it, is it really something to laugh about. No matter how much I try to support local merchants I always return to Walmart for something I cannot get anywhere else. And the reason I can’t find it anywhere else is because Walmart has crushed all small local peer to peer business. This is a sad reality. As a result I have rebelled by having a wardrobe that only consists of all the same shirts and pants. I have chosen to wear attire that more resembles a uniform to make a statement. It is just a singular act of conscious but one I hope others will also consider and apply in a manner which best suits them.
Now to return to our story. After a few years of enforcing the rights of early corporations what followed was a Peasants’ Revolt across large parts of England in 1381. The revolt had various causes. But the final trigger for the revolt was high taxation. A wide spectrum of rural society, including many local artisans and village officials, rose up in protest. The rebels sought a reduction in taxation, an end to the system of unfree labour known as serfdom and the removal of the King’s senior officials.
When we think of the Arab Spring or the Occupy Movement does any of this sound familiar. My point being, are we not still under the authority of Royal Charters under the guise of corporations. And don’t these corporations operate exactly the same as the tax collectors of old. Grant you their tactics are more sophisticated but never the less designed to achieve the same result. Profits for elitist at the expense of the working class. To prove my point let me give a couple of simple examples and then we can move onto something more interesting called the Cosmic Solution.
Jobs for Profit
Jobs for profit, is simply a play on words. The twist is that the more jobs the shrinking middle class loses the more profit the 1% receives. A recent case in point is after the Canadian people bailed out Bombardier the CEO’s approved millions of dollars in bonuses for themselves. This is on the back of thousands of workers losing their jobs. This is how short-sighted corporate psychopaths think. He or she has no remorse in others losing the ability to live and care for themselves or their families as long as they make money. This is nothing more than narcissistic entitlement. In fact this type of antisocial corporate behavior now has its own field of study called ponerology. Their rationalization is that to attract the best they have to offer the best incentives. This is a logic that is absolute hubris. We must stop trusting those who are not motivated by the long term efficiencies of wisdom directed towards the common good.
Downsize, Distribution and Automation
In today’s short sighted vision of the future downsizing creates extra money for distribution among the elitist. Automation as it exists today is simply decimating labour. One of the most profitable companies in the world is a Japanese factory called FANUC operated by robots whose job is to make robots for other companies. Robots making robots, to work in other companies, who employ robots. One such robot even has a name. It is called Baxter and it can work 24/7 without a break and has no need for union representation or a human resources department. And this is only the beginning. Not that automation is a bad thing if it creates wealth and prosperity for all. But in today’s corporate mentality the notion of the common good is incomprehensible. So beware. Things may have to get worse before society decides to revolt.
I am no economist and pray I never have to stoop to that level of speculation. By the way in Old England speculators were hung and their heads were place on a spike for all to see. Haven’t we come a long way! But maybe not in the right direction since speculation is now a staple of corporate life. Anyway here is how it works. Buybacks refer to the repurchasing of shares of stock by the company that issued them. Essentially, a buyback occurs when the issuing company pays shareholders the market value per share and re-absorbs that portion of its ownership that was previously distributed among public and private investors. This is usually done for a short sighted quick profit with nothing of any value being made or exchanged.
For instance when stock is undervalued, which can happen for a number of reasons, a stock can be dramatically undervalued, the issuing company can repurchase some of its shares at this reduced price and then re-issue them once the market has corrected, thereby increasing its equity capital without issuing any additional shares. In bizzaro world no one does anything and millions are made in profits. Just like that, the aristocracy of today which we refer to as the 1% has once again restored feudalism through corporatism.
Downton Abbey Effect
Like many people I enjoyed the television series Downton Abbey. I enjoyed it because it depicted the daily lives of the common person. It illustrated how important the Lord was to the community and the loyalty the people had to their Lord and Lady. It dramatized a life of mutual respect, caring and devotion. How nostalgic. But I can assure you the peasant revolt of 1381 happened for a reason. For instance the Magna Carta of 1215 was not originally crafted to protect the people of the day. Research by Victorian historians showed that the original 1215 charter was primarily concerned with the medieval relationship between the monarch and the barons, rather than the rights of ordinary people. So here we see another snow job by the corporate elite of the day. I will care for you but I need your support to do so. Sounds like the CEO’s of Bombardier and Goldman Sachs.
President John F Kennedy once famously said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country”. Well maybe that was true then when politicians had a sense of integrity, but today the political landscape has changed so dramatically that any sense of integrity has now been overshadowed by the incarnation of greed and ignorance. And if there is an honest person sitting in an elective office they must spend all their time trying to maintain any semblance of integrity they can muster. So If Kennedy was here today I am sure he would retract his statement by saying, “Ask not what you can do for your country, but what your country can do for you”.
So as the lifestyle of the Lord and Lady slowly passed away as illustrated in this popular television series there will still be a few who cleave to the past. There will always be adherents who enthusiastically embrace self-sacrifice. We see it today as corporate royalty continues to be treated with divine reverence simply because they have been born into a family of excess. In the world of today we have been socialized to believe that only the powerful can rise to glory and the rest of us must work hard just to have a seat to watch. This is the seduction of spectacle which continues to rape our voyeuristic minds. This is the voyeuristic world we live in when the only way we can feel alive and reap some value is to buy into the dreams of others. For if we do not follow our dreams there will be others who are willing to have us follow theirs. But as we move forward we must always remember the martyrs of conscience who can still inspire to this day. For you cannot kill an idea. These ideas are deep in our collective subconscious and are waiting to break free into the light of awareness. But for this to happen we must return to gnosis. So let us now look at something more exciting which we can refer to as the cosmic solution.
Status and Status Quo
Let’s begin this journey by looking at something the forces of Catholicism and colonialism supported by royal charter and corporatism tried to kill off a very long time ago. Let’s look at two strange paradigm shifts for the mind to consider in this the year 2017. The first is Gnosticism and the second is the Potlach of First Nations People. Both of these world views have many common threads. One of which is how wealth is measured. For example, the world measures wealth by how much we can own, possess and accumulate as a measure of personal success and wealth. However wealth for the participants of the potlach and Gnosticism is measured not by how much you have but by how much you can give away. Therefore the more wealth a person has the more they can give away. A wealthy person therefore does not own, possess, or accumulate. WOW! What an idea to try and wrap your brain around. At first glance this may seem like an absolutely idiotic thing to do. But in truth it is the only smart way to live and gives credence to models such as the sharing community and guarantied basic incomes. So take time to seriously consider this new paradigm. Once you have then the next question may be, who will be first or the next to accept this radical way to live life.
In France at the Siege of Montségur in 1244 the inquisition tried to exterminate Gnosticism by burning the remaining Cathar’s at the stake. Folk lore tells us that some Cathars avoided the extermination and escaped to Canada.
In 1884 the potlach ceremony which was a way of life for thousands of years was banned in Canada by the Federal Government. The potlach was a spiritual as well as a social celebration. It involved a leader redistributing wealth by lavish gift giving. As a result many first nations were convicted of breaking this new law and were sent to prison.
If we look at the truth and not the fantasies of both church and government officials we shall see that Gnosticism and the potlach were perceived as a threat to the ruling class. As a result many false and moralistic stories were invented to discredit both the cultural and spiritual practices of gnostic and first nations peoples. There is no limit to the depths that a mind lacking gnosis can project fear onto a scapegoat. Gnostics and native peoples alike were branded as heretics and heathens. As a result they suffered many humiliations, abuses and exterminations at the hands of the ruling class. You do not have to look very far to see what these atrocities were so I will not list them now except to say they are many and horrific.
Apart from the ruling classes attempt to secure their power and maintain control of their wealth there is another deeper reason for their insecurity and fear. That is their inability to see into the future with a clear mind and soul. To see truth within the mind’s eye we must learn to practice detachment. So in this light here is the paradigm shift that was so threatening to the status quo. It is a permanent shift in status, period. The King, Queen, Lord, Lady, politician, Guru or CEO measures status by how much they have? How much they can accumulate for their own personal gain? What kind of carriage does their horse draw or how much horse power does their car draw? No wonder any practical social model which was equitable, balanced and promoted the common good would be considered a heresy by the ruling class of elites.
Status is not based on what you have but on what you can give away
The Cosmic Solution
The luminous way is the way of gnosis. It offers an enlightened way of being in the world without having to participate in its anxious values. The key to this relief from the world’s anxieties is to continue in the way of gnosis which can come to pass through the practice of loving kindness. Gnosis is the gift of the cosmos. It is the cosmic solution to an awakened consciousness.
A Sufi Proverb
I searched for God and found only myself.
I searched for myself and found only God.
The cosmic solution is the human embodiment of a mindful loving kindness. It is the flowering of the best humanity has to offer as our contribution to making the world a better place. For only God knows what lies beyond our small planet earth. Gnosis has always been the gift which has been left unopened for too long. It is the path of awakening which can lead us across the threshold of a new superconsciousness.
As we learn to mature and spiritualize we will experience all emotions beyond what we have experienced to this point in our human evolution. We will experience emotions that we have never felt before as our minds, hearts and souls open to a new consciousness. Human beings will be known as homo spiritualis enroute to a new communion with and in the One.
Let us ponder a new way of being so we may individually and collectively transcend not only the limits of a soul in the body but transcend the collective soul of the earth as it becomes part of the cosmos and its cosmic solution. We have heaven on earth. Let us open our eyes through gnosis to see it both in the here and the hereafter. For as souls we can expand with the universe as part of the heavenly realm of God.
A Gnostic Psalm
Let us worship the Holy Spirit who has sent us the spirit of truth.
For it came and separated us from the error of the world.
It brought us a mirror.
We looked into it and saw in it the universe