In the 1950s, Union Carbide produced a series of images that depicted the company as a ‘hand of god’ coming out of the sky to ‘solve’ some of the issues facing humanity. One of the most famous images is of the hand pouring agrochemicals on Indian soils. As Christianity co-opted traditional pagan beliefs to achieve hegemony, corporations have also sought to depict themselves in a god-like, all-knowing fashion.But instead of using spiritual/religious ideology to secure compliance, they have relied on neoliberal economic dogma and have co-opted science and scientists whose appeals to authority (not logic) have turned them into the high priests of modern society.That’s not to say that corporations have not been averse to playing on and manipulating ancient (spiritual/religious-based) beliefs and cultures to secure allegiance. In the book ‘Food and Cultural Studies’ (Bob Ashley et al), we see how, some years ago, a Coca Cola TV ad campaign sold its product to an audience which associated modernity with a sugary drink and depicted ancient Aboriginal beliefs as harmful, ignorant and outdated. Coke and not rain became the giver of life to the parched. This type of ideology forms part of a wider strategy to discredit traditional cultures and portray them as being deficient in need of assistance from ‘hand of god’ corporations.
Wow – now this is some food for thought! And it’s just as much about the religious appropriation as it is corporate plunder. Religious missionaries of course appropriated native cultures as well – you have to wonder where the would would be today if people just let other people be and not enforce their will or might upon them.