The original movie ‘Rollerball’ was released in 1975. James Caan starred in the film which took place in the future in the year 2018. Countries no longer controlled the world’s population; corporations had become the authorities. There were no wars, so to appease the people who missed violence in their lives, there was ‘rollerball.’ Rollerball was similar to ‘Roller Derby’ because of the track and the use of skates which propelled some of the players. That’s where the similarity ended. The players wore heavy armor, and used weapons to try and force their way through the opposing team and place a steel ball about the size of a softball into a cone shaped receptacle which was magnetized. Motorcycles were also on and inside the track. Serious injury and death were common and expected as part of the spectacle.
2018 is just over three years away. The United States is firmly under the control of corporations. Larger corporations are absorbing smaller ones through acquisition or merger. As the number of corporations shrink, the power to control our nation expands.
The same malady is on the rise all over the world. A fairly recent term has become a reality and cannot be slowed. That term is ‘globalization.’ Trade agreements between nations, and without the consent of the people, have increased free markets over all of the free world; they are quickly expanding to the remainder of the globe.
Marine Le Pen is the leader of France’s National Front party. Heading the far-right party, she described the world’s present economic condition on ‘Twitter.’ Citing the fact that the fate of the world’s people is in the control of multinational corporations and huge international finance institutions, she labeled Globalization as ‘barbarism.’
She declares the fact that countries should be in control of laws affecting large corporations and banking institutions, but the opposite is sadly a truism. She pointed to the sad future of the working man who must all too frequently accept the reality that the minimum wage is becoming the maximum wage.
In addition to NAFTA, the United States is working with the European Union to sign TAFTA, the Transatlantic Free Trade Area, also known as TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Le Pen opposes the agreements, which will add to increased globalization.
The working man is under the control of big business. While corporate profits are at a record high, wages for the working class have stagnated which means they have not risen to equal the cost of living.
Between 1973 and 2011, wages for the American worker grew 10.7 percent. Most of that increase was in the 1990’s, and leveled off by 2002. The two primary reasons wages have not moved forward with costs prove that our government is owned by big business.
First, the near depression of 2008 was the result of malpractice by the banking industry and caused massive layoffs, and a reduction in hours worked. When rehiring began, the hourly compensation had been lowered. Tens of thousands of Americans lost their homes, life savings, and retirement funds. The second reason is the disbanding of unions forced by corporations and governments. Unions forced companies to pay a fair wage, and offer benefits. Wages have decreased and benefits followed.
The premise of ‘Rollerball’ is quickly becoming a reality. In the movie only four corporations existed, and the world was under their complete control. Globalization is the root of such a future.
The United States has become a nation where voters are the least informed on the planet. Thanks to the Supreme Court and its affirmation of ‘Citizens United,’ unlimited propaganda fills the airways during the campaign season. Issues and candidates the working class believes will champion their needs are misrepresented, and are bought and paid for by lobbyists who represent corporations.
The truth does hurt; and the truth is that the governments of the world are selling us out.
By James Turnage