Mega-Corporations and their Political Minions – the Latter-day rise of Ozymandias

I was searching for the ultimate reading of Ozymandias – to connect to the article on Creative vs Extractive Economies I posted yesterday.  Listen to Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad – within which the arrogance of Ozymandias (and his ultimate end) was a major theme.

King of Kings

Ozymandias, King of Kings, “Look upon my works, ye Mighty, and despair!  Nothing beside remains.  Round that wreck, boundless and bare, the lone and level sands stretch far away.”

I do believe we are living in the age of Ozymandias again. The arrogance and lack of reverence for anything but money and power is in overdrive. I try to understand how this happened – this diminishing of perspective and meaning. I point to the bizarre scholasticism of neoliberal economics giving these Ozymandiases their head.

But it goes deeper than that. This is the end run of the “Modern” agenda – the mechanical, deterministic, predictable, certain reductionism of life to formulae – the legacy of Bacon & Descartes. And yet the world is not like this – our children, our communities, our workforces, our landscapes, our climate, our economies. They are complex, they adapt, they are subject to feedbacks and thresholds. They are unpredictable and uncertain, and …..

Machines of Mordor

…. the more they are seen as a machine, and organised and controlled in that certain image … the more danger we have of bring on a devastating tipping point. They do not see tipping points. They do not see uncertainty. They believe in controllability. They believe themselves above the Trickster – the Mauis, Lokis & Coyotes of ancient wisdom.

We have allowed – by apathy or ignorance – the rise of the least wise. See them strut in their suits and think of them as door-to-door vacuum salespeople. Willy Lomax, made a Minister of the Crown.

Chris Perley


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3 Responses to Mega-Corporations and their Political Minions – the Latter-day rise of Ozymandias

  1. Mark Belton says:

    Chris, have you read ‘Sapiens’ yet? It will give your thinking a new set of wings

    I’m heading back from Chathams today Have been staying with Alf Preece and family, Moriori descendants , measuring PSP s in their 1500 ha PFSI indigenous forest recovery project. Chathams was heading to towards final ‘lorax’ moment, less than 10% of indigenous forest cover remaining, and that fast degrading, endangering endemic plants and birds.

    Visited place where Moriori had their last council and elected to stay true to their law of non violence, condemning themselves to genocide and slavery.

    Have you read Moriori by Michael King?

    Cheers Mark

    Sent from my iPhone

    • cjkperley says:

      Sapiens STILL on the shelf. But I will get to it. Haven’t read King’s Moriori, but I got a feel for man’s inhumanity to man (and the consequences) in David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas. Mitchell starts with the Ngati Awa invasion of the Chathams (another form of colonisation and expropriation by the strong of the weak), and then continues the theme through the ages.

      I think the suppression of that urge to take and violate is critical to our survival. It follows that an understanding of power and ‘extraction’ is vital within any practical world politics – with an understanding of land (as a collective noun covering all water, sea etc.), society and economics as a subset. And economics should certainly never be accorded the distinction of a stand alone guiding policy framework ever again.

      Great to hear from you Mark



  2. Fiona Ward says:

    Chris, thanks for the article! You could try this one: Yanis Varoufakis, (former) Greek Minister of Finance giving a European perspective ” Capitalism…. will eat Democracy”. A TedTalks in January of this year. Loved his sense of humour and the Grecian link to “what is this concept of a liberal democracy”.

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