Corporation volunteer, D.B., from Civitavecchia, Italy, discusses how corporate hegemony could be affecting the democratic process. Should we be thinking about whether corporations are occupying too much political power? How can we occupy our citizenship?
Just as the church separated from the state centuries ago, we need to realize that the state needs to be accountable to its citizens – and not to corporations. We need to challenge our governments to make sure that those in power – including corporations – are accountable to the people!
One of the major corporations that has a large influence where I live and in the surrounding region is ENEL S.P.A. This is a multinational energy producing company that has branches all over the globe. Locally, they operate together as Tirreno Power S.P.A., where many people who live in Civitavecchia rely upon for work. ENEL has been important for a few generations because it has been an important provider of employment, however, their increasing influence in political power is something to be skeptical about.
Recently, Alessio De Sio, the former mayor of Forza Italia, was investigated for corruption for allegedly exchanging money for business decisions in favor of ENEL. The former mayor has also been advocating for “coal-coke” production in the area, “Coal Coke” is a manmade byproduct of coal that can be used for fuel – however, the process to make the “coke” is incredibly damaging to the environment. The excess fumes have also caused tumors and asthma, which I personally experience in my city.
De Sio is of course just one example of politicians who compromise democratic political processes for money and economic power. We can only assume that ENEL has had considerable amount of political pressure on the government as well. ENEL and its influences on the government are prime examples of why we need to keep the state and corporations separate. We cannot let corporations control the political process because it not only damages the environment, it compromises our citizenship by favoring corporations over people.
Edited by Jennifer Slattery
|David Ng is a Hello Cool World veteran with experience going back a decade. David first worked with us when he was just 14 years old as a participant in the youth advisory group for the sexual health education program Condomania. Now an accomplished videographer passionate about the issues of gender and power, he is currently on sabbatical in South Africa while he pursues a Masters in Gender Studies with a focus on international developme|