This is the kind of thing that can get depressing if you think about it too much. This is the stuff that your guidance counselor never tells you about. I pretty much agree with all of the above w/u. If you're still a little hazy about what 'jonez meant by corporate welfare or military-industrial complex, check out the links and find some of Noam Chomsky's stuff. (I'm working my way through Keeping the Rabble In Line but I have to take it slow for the sake of my sanity--it's like finding out there's no tooth fairy, only 100 time worse).

Sometimes feudalism sounds like it would be fun. Some of us would be knights-errant, zooming around the planet with lightsabers righting wrongs. The monks would get to recite those cool chants and even the peasants would get to talk in funny british accents like in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The idea gets some consideration in the node semi-feudal corporate anarchy as the basis of a fictional universe.

But the whole thing falls apart today because we're missing the fealty (loyalty directed up) and noblesse oblige (loyalty directed down). The common worker-bees aren't pledging loyalty to their employers, and employers aren't taking care of their charges, the workers. Okay, there's 401k plans, but you can still be downsized at any time. And there's just a whole hell of a lot of people who are superfluous--it's not worth the effort to train them to be productive worker-bees because there's enough worker-bees already. I'm probably not stating this very eloquently. And I wouldn't be the first one to make a comparison between the black plague and aids--if there ever is a cure for it, who is going to be responsible for passing out the cure to all the serfs/worker bees? Not the lords/ceo's, probably. Look at some of the stuff that Chomsky's peers are writing (I get a catalog from Common Courage Press which seems to have some good stuff--if you have a high depression threshold.) I can't state it as well as they do in the catalog but it's something along the lines that the system treats an incurable disease in the free world at the cost of a bijillion dollars (per case) but it doesn't cure bijillions of third world sickies at the cost of a few cents (per case). The whole thing is just depressing. Or maybe the liberal press is throwing the whole thing out of proportion and everything is just peachy keen.