America’s Corpocracy: Conspiracy Theory or Conspiracy Reality?

I was prompted to write this article when a twitter contact of mine wondered whether some of my writings about the corpocracy amounted to a conspiracy theory.  Having been a behavioral scientist most of my adult life I know a thing or two about what’s theory and what’s not.  I don’t know how anyone, scientist or lay person, could mistake the corpocracy for a theory. I doubt if any readers of articles published in the alternative news media would confuse the two. Nevertheless, I want to tell you what I have learned over the years.

A Tacit Conspiracy, Not a Public Wedding

I have called America’s corpocracy the “devil’s marriage between big corporations and what should be but isn’t the American peoples’ government. The marriage was not a public wedding by any stretch of the imagination. It was more like a tacit conspiracy between the two partners, with government being the subservient to the other in every respect.

To act together toward common goals is one definition of a “conspiracy,” and one of its synonyms is collusion. What are the conspirators’ goals? To name a few: keeping its marriage intact; staying for a lifetime in public office; protecting corporations’ fraudulent constitutional rights, not citizen rights; maintaining a hands-off policy toward corporate crime and ensuring legislation, regulations, and judicial verdicts that protect corporate interests, not the public’s interests or the general welfare; keeping the government’s plentiful and endless hand outs to corporations; privatizing public services; controlling the mass media; keeping the marketplace free, not fair; and to expanding and protecting a profitable hegemony in other lands (corporations want global markets and politicians want global influence).

Being a conspiracy doesn’t automatically mean the conspirators must operate secretly, although they obviously aren’t going to publicize their conspiring. That being so, how do we know they conspire and collude among themselves? The conspiracy’s goals stated earlier suggest the signs to look for as evidence. We don’t have to look hard. The signs pop up daily it seems, at least when reading the alternative media, not obviously the corpocracy’s mainstream media and propaganda.

Consider some signs from three of America’s industries in their control of “our” government and thus of 99%.of us. The three picked are the most dangerous industries because they are often extremely injurious and deadly in the consequences of their decisions and actions.

The “Defense” Industries

The “defense” industry, bar none, is the most dangerous as it inflicts on humanity destruction and death on a world-wide scale. The industry pushed for preemptive war with Iraq before Bush Jr.’s first administration and then was heavily represented among the war policy makers in the administration. It spends billions of dollars lobbying Congress. It locates facilities in all or almost all Congressional districts to ensure servitude. It makes sure the most compliant politicians chair and sit on influential committees. It persuades Congress to authorize purchase of obsolete, unreliable, and extravagantly expensive weapons. It constantly engages in contract fraud with impunity. Ad infinitum.

Lest we forget the companion gun industry, its lobbyists have basically been assured a carte blanche by “our” government to arm Americans to the teeth with almost any form of firearm.

The Health Care Industries

These industries are a cluster of industries made up of big Pharma, the health insurance industry, and the provider industry, all conspiring with “our” government, to keep Americans in dept and in poor health needing expensive attention. The bête noir of this conglomeration is the pharmaceutical industry. Over the years it has reaped an astounding 7,000 percent return on its investment in lobbying Congress and has gotten in return for its bribery such favorable government actions as defeat of mandatory discount pricing; protection of drug patents in trade agreements; joint research patents with public institutions allowed; Medicare price negotiations with companies prevented; government list of preferred drugs prohibited; availability of generic pediatric drugs delayed; faster government drug safety reviews; company recommended reviewers allowed; bill to make generic drugs more accessible defeated; bigger hurdle before government warning letters issued; approval of some drugs just from animal testing; medical device makers get favorable considerations; unapproved uses of drugs gets journalistic license; restrictions eased on direct-to consumer advertising; tax credits given to makers of orphan drugs; licensing of new sites for making drugs eased; continuous review of approved new sites ended; pre-clinical trial data allowed for patent application; criteria for awarding patents for genes relaxed.;  price control proposals dropped by government; companies allowed to pay fee for faster reviews; faster review of drugs for life-threatening diseases; distribution of drug samples allowed; easier for brand-name makers to sue generic makers; government promotes university-industry partnerships; and allowed to tap research at subsidized facilities.

The Chemical/Agriculture Industries

I put the chemical and agribusiness industries together because chemicals saturate the food chain and agribusiness thrives on chemicals. There’s an old nostrum that “we are what we eat,” which is why these two industries are so hazardous and potentially deadly, especially with their genetically modified organisms that are an assault on and gamble with nature that may ultimately have dire consequences for our species.

Within this pair of industries is the Monsanto Corporation. Mike Adams, chief contributor and editor of, says that “MonSatan—is now the No. 1 most hated corporation in America—and the destructive force behind the lobbying of the USDA, FDA, scientists and politicians that have all betrayed the American people—.”

Monsanto is simply too big and has too many allies outside government (e.g., American Farmers for the Advancement and Conservation of Technology) and too many friends in government, both at the federal level (e.g., former Monsanto executives appointed to positions with the USDA) and state level (e.g., Secretaries of Agriculture) to be thwarted in its continuing drive to reap profit from its toxic products that threaten the health and lives of animals and humans alike. It was the U.S. Supreme Court in 1980 that opened the sluice gate for GMOs by issuing the absurd ruling that nature could be patented. And it will very likely be this same captive, infamous court that bats down all lawsuits against Monsanto and the rest of the chemical and agribusiness industries. But whatever they unlikely lose at the Federal level they can try recouping and conspiring at the state level. “Don’t count Monsanto out” concludes the co-editors of Vanity Fair in a long and detailed expose.

Industries at Large

There are over 100 US industries. Take a random pick. Any industry, besides the three just cited is most likely to be a “card-carrying” member of the conspiratorial corpocracy. Banking industry? Remember the government’s bailouts after the second greatest depression? Remember the bail outs in the auto industry? Energy industry? As I recall oil big wigs were influential in the build up to the invasion of Iraq. I could go on to cite many other industries, but I think my point has already been made. Any industry that is supposedly governed by government regulations, and most, if not all, are, is ipso facto a conspirator with “our” government. The most flagrant instances are the many times industry representatives ghost write the regulations and/or the regulations, lax or not, are not enforced.


The epitome of collusion may be the many instances where corporations buy public services and public land out from under our noses.

Here is a privatization riddle. What a) sorts mail but is not the USPS, b) cuts Social Security checks but is not the SSA, c) counts the census but is not the Bureau of the Census, d) monitors air traffic but is not the FAA, and e) runs space flights but is not NASA? Give up? It is Lockheed Martin, the largest military contractor in the U.S.

Pick any type of public service or public land and you will find some corporate owners. Public schools? Not any longer in many school districts. After Hurricane Katrina swept through New Orleans privatizers swept in and took over the public schools. Health care industry? Our health care ought to be a human right not to be put on the auction block. Public toll ways?  Not any longer in some states. Law enforcement? In some areas private police have the same authority as deputy sheriffs. And pause on this. The State of Arizona even sold its State Capitol and then leased it back.

Privatization, argue Si Kahn and Elizabeth Minnich, co-authors of The Fox in the Henhouse, is the private sector’s way to “undercut, limit, shrink, or outright take over any government and any part of the public sector that stands in the way of corporate pursuit of ever larger profits and could be run for profit.”

Conspiracy within a Conspiracy

I suppose there are numerous instances where petty conspiracies arise within one part of the government to spoil or thwart another part. I’m not going to bother trying to ferret them out. Politics as usual is rife with internal rivalries as appointed officials vie for influence.

The conspiracy I have in mind here is within the corporate part of the corpocracy. Probably the most prevalent form of it is the collusion among corporations in fixing prices. Whenever government is lax in stopping the practice it conspires with the price fixers.

In Closing

“Our” government is accountable to no one, a scofflaw committing all sorts of legal and illegal wrong doing daily up to and including murdering people with drone strikes. This government, moreover, in good faith as a conspirator, rarely holds corporations accountable for all sorts of wrongdoing, including defrauding and gouging the government. Is it any wonder then that the two parties to the marriage made in Hell raise Hell with 99% of Americans and the rest of the world?

Gary Brumback, PhD, is a retired psychologist and Fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science. Read other articles by Gary.