Dominators strive for us to lose perspective regarding which factors condition the planetary march and, with that, dilute the strategic focus and priority measures that dismantle domination.
The unbridled process of concentration of wealth and decisional power that prevails in the world is well known. Powerful and merciless minorities appropriate the surplus that humanity generates and impose policies and regulations that favor them. They use means that are at least illegitimate and frequently illegal. Their power is projected well beyond economics; they determine which governments control the State establishing complicity relations with sectors of politics, the media, and the judiciary. In this way, they set themselves as helmspersons of the global trajectory imposing principles, values, and prevailing common sense.
These actions have very serious consequences over humanity and the planet. They sweep away nature destroying essential environmental processes that allow Mother Earth to shelter all living beings. They generate irresponsible secondary effects, which are nothing else than merciless “collateral damages” over millions of people. They greedily hoard huge resources that become “scarce” (so they say) and are not available to solve inequalities, poverty, indigence and environmental protection.
Those who dominate conceal their purposes, as they are indefensible in the open. This allows them to colonize minds and format subjectivities so that victims become the supporters of their own executioners. To achieve that, they need to neutralize any attempt at clarifying those who are subdued regarding the truth of what is happening and, especially, regarding the mechanisms through which they dominate. In summary, they conceal the engines that generate and reproduce concentration and discredit the measures that tend to liberate captured democracies.
In the lines that follow, we will consider two critical aspects of the subduing mechanisms that usually are not appropriately highlighted. Dominators launch torrents of information, most of which is biased so that the public loses perspective on what is most important and, with that, diluting the strategic focus and priority measures to dismantle domination.
Media bombard us in a thousand different ways to make us lose perspective regarding what is happening. They strive for overwhelming us with a torrent of painful news as with the avalanche of criminal acts, natural disasters, horrendous murders, rapes, and terrorist acts that without a doubt shake our consciences. Paradoxically, this informative torrent is complemented with another one of banal shows with subliminal slogans to bias values and numb reflection. What is more serious is that they permanently develop media and political campaigns to sow hatreds and insidious messages against those who threaten domination. They are the generators or downriggers of gaps inside the social collective, applying the old motto of “divide and conquer.”
Thus, they denounce certain crimes and corruption acts but never or fewer the huge crimes and corruption acts committed by dominant actors to concentrate such wealth. One of the largest appropriators processes, known by a few but not by all, starts when large local or foreign corporations have a dominant position in areas where they operate (oligopolistic) they impose prices to suppliers who sell them what they need to produce as well as to consumers and other enterprises that buy their products. That is, through price mechanism and commercialization they appropriate value quotas (wealth) that, if they did not have an oligopolistic power, they should not obtain. They act by extortion over those who sell goods or services and those who buy their products. This extortion through prices conceals a clear appropriation of the wealth others and society as a whole produce.
Why do we include “society as a whole”? Because those monopolies that accumulate appropriated resources, frequently elude or evade tax payments. That is, they do not pay the State what they ought to so that the social and productive infrastructure necessary for any country to function can be financed. That is, large corporations use routes, ports, on-work training of their workers, security, and hundreds of other services and infrastructure provided by the State with taxes collected from the entire population but they, the dominators, evade total or partially their quota of tax responsibility. They profit from what they deserve and what they do not as well, they appropriate what is not theirs and what they do not contribute in taxes.
Public opinion worldwide was shocked by president Biden declaration that in the last years CEOs (top corporate executives) went from receiving 20 times more than an employee to 350 times more; that 55 of the largest American corporations won US$40 billion in 2020 and paid 0% in taxes, and that 1% of the richest evade 116 billion a year. If this happens in one of the main central countries, imagine what large corporations evade and flight away from countries in vulnerable situations (almost all the other countries).
Let us keep on unveiling what is concealed. We have just pointed out that oligopolistic actors appropriate value quotas generated by others and that by eluding or evading taxes, they are able to appropriate another large quota of value generated by the entire society. What do they do with those ill-gotten or illegitimate resources? As those are undeclared resources, they have to flight out of the domestic arena where they could (hopefully) be discovered, so they flight them abroad using the complicity of financial entities and “prestigious” legal and accounting firms. The way in which they flight are multiple and diverse, some were already investigated globally by the Tax Justice Network and other international entities and, at the Argentine level, by Jorge Gaggero, Magdalena Rua, and other distinguished researchers.
They have demonstrated a huge capital flight with the complicity of financial, judiciary, and accounting entities as well as top officials and regulators. Why do we say “huge” capital flight? In some Latin American countries, those flights amount to 30 billion dollars per year or even more. What is most important is that those who flight appropriated and undeclared resources tend to be the same. They are known and, however, they act with full impunity. None of the large appropriators is taken to trial, investigated, or convicted, they sometimes receive negligible fines that allow them to continue committing crimes.
Common citizen cannot put in perspective the enormity of those 30 billion dollars. Maybe some can dimension what it means to steal 10 million dollars but many medium and popular sectors cannot have reference for this monumental robbery in their daily incomes, even less those who are marginalized from fundamental basic services. Who could enunciate everything that could be done with 30 billion dollars! I apologize for repeating the reference figure, but if this magnitude is not appreciated by citizenry we cannot understand the drama we are suffering every year.
Dilution of the strategic focus
This tremendous drainage of resources represents losing in one blow a significant part of domestic savings; those are surpluses that “do not exist” today to cancel the opprobrious social debt (eliminating poverty, indigence, reducing inequalities) and fund priority investments for the development of the country. Obviously, there are no available resources because they were appropriated and flight out.
If this occurs year after year, the media and regulators know that this happens, its modalities, tricks, and accomplices used, why could we not stop such drainage of appropriated and undeclared resources?
Though the matrix of complicities can be wide and powerful, any government that cared for its population and environment should put the strategic focus on recovering that outflow of resources. It is not just another measure of the many that should be addressed.
We would need to dismantle all the mechanisms used to steal and flight, cancel the operation permits of financial entities that participate in these illegal flights. As well as investigate eventual complicities of legal and accounting firms, officials that should but do not control, fraudulent triangulations with associated enterprises domiciled abroad, use of tax havens benefiting from the information leaks such as Panama Papers, Pandora Papers, and others that continue to appear.
Solving this drainage is not the sole responsibility of the government but of the entire population that realizes this happens, understands why and how this is produced, and demands electorally with a firm popular mandate. Here is one of the most important political tasks.
The smoke curtain that dominators generate to conceal their misdemeanors is not casual. It is true the immensity of information that circulates (mostly misleading), the biased perspectives they impose, the overwhelming repetition of certain cuts of reality and the concealment and forgetfulness of others. All these and much more occur always targeted towards preserving their domination. Although it is not simple to unveil what is concealed an even less establish another course and way of functioning, it is a challenge that many sectors and organizations tackle. The destiny of the country, humanity, and the planet is at stake.
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