When social balance is out of kilter, potentially destabilizing and disruptive groups emerge that can threaten not only a state but also a larger society. Both of these conditions exist in China, Russia and the US today, at the most critical time in human history. In the last generation, extreme wealth has become concentrated in the top 1% of the global population, as the rest of society stagnated and infrastructure deteriorated. Corporate capitalism, has flourished as deregulation, especially in the US, has given it an unobstructed pathway. The captains of industry, driven by unchecked opportunism, have intentionally and unintentionally set up conditions for social collapse by concentrating wealth into the hands of the few and turning everyone else into an unsupported labor class.
The COVID-19 pandemic is not the first disruptive social event humanity has faced and it won’t be the last. It can be seen as a dress rehearsal for global crisis, and climate change is next up in the cue. The voraciousness behind social imbalance is becoming glaring, and therefore must be addressed in open conversation.
What are the forces behind social imbalance? Well, there are many but for the moment I will talk about is unregulated, global corporate capitalism, which is self-interested and greedy by nature. It is one of the fundamental powers, if not THE major power, that drives economies worldwide; and it manifests negative agency under the rationale of shareholder satisfaction. A case in point is the American company Exxon Mobile. For the last several decades, corporate success (i.e.,greed) has prevailed against looming climate disaster. After analyzing nearly two hundred sources, (including some internal company documents and “advertorials), Harvard authors Geoffrey Supran and Naomi Oreskes, concluded that “ Exxon officials had embraced a strategy that downplayed the reality and seriousness of climate change, normalized fossil fuel lock-in, and individualized responsibility. These patterns mimic the tobacco industry’s documented strategy of shifting responsibility away from corporations—which knowingly sold a deadly product while denying its harms—and onto consumers. This historical parallel foreshadows the fossil fuel industry’s use of demand-as-blame arguments to oppose litigation, regulation, and activism. Exxon Mobile tapped into America’s uniquely individualist (i.e., self-interest) culture and brought it to bear on climate change.”