Now that corporations, “legal persons,” have far exceeded the legal and political powers of other people, and now that they have extended their reach all over the globe, it may come as no surprise that a simple generalization covers a great deal of all political developments: Corporations are using their control over governments to turn all forms of human activity into profit centers for themselves.

What does the privatization of water in Bolivia have to do with school voucher programs in the U.S.? Why is America’s prison system falling into the hands of corporations? Why do corporations run trash pickup and other former municipal services? Why does the International Monetary Fund insist on aggressive privatization before it approves loans to distressed nations? Why do all the so-called “trade agreements” (which should be called what they are, rampaging imperialism) advance privatization schemes?

And why is Texas Congressman Joe Barton pushing a bill through Congress that would give corporations control over the Internet?

The Save the Coalition says, “After accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions from big telecom firms, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) is sponsoring a bill to hand over the Internet to these same companies.”

MoveOn says, “Internet providers like AT&T and Verizon are lobbying Congress hard to gut Network Neutrality, the Internet’s First Amendment. Net Neutrality prevents AT&T from choosing which websites open most easily for you based on which site pays AT&T more.” Verizon and Comcast are also accused of spending tens of millions in Washington to kill network neutrality.

There are online petitions and other efforts to stop this particular effort to let corporations profit from every form of human activity, but the problem is much larger. How long will we continue to give up our rights as humans to those non-human corporate monsters?

Jim Lane ( is a labor activist in North Texas.