Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Top 3 CEO's that are real-life James Bond Villains

I have been covering the vilification of the green industry recently and found through  my research that part of that vilification was a direct comparison of Tesla, Space-X and Solar City's Elon Musk to a James Bond Super Villian, to which I cried foul in my last piece.

The more I have been looking into other companies and their CEOs the more I found much better examples of those who fit the S.P.E.C.T.R.E. profile. The following is a quick list of my top 3 CEOs that would more appropriately be labeled villainous to the James Bondian level.

3. Rupert Murdoch

You cannot read a right-leaning newspaper or watch a conservative leaning news channel without tripping over something that Rupert Murdoch has organized or orchestrated. Currently he controls at least 1/5th of the news in the UK and is constantly trying to expand and even kill efforts for access to more information like Australia's National Broadband Network.

The founder of the American Right's "Propaganda Factory" Fox News is a modern day William Randolph Hearst in his massive ownership of media world-wide and, like the media barons of old, he has also used the position to create a platform for his own agenda, like influencing US, UK and Australian politics to push the national discourse to a more conservative agenda. His organizations are under investigation for numerous phone hacking scandals including British Royalty, Brangelina, 9/11 victims and even a poor, murdered girl's phone. Rupert even went so far as calling his victims "scumbags." This is apparently a culture that Murdoch makes sure permeates his organization.

Murdoch's organization is suspected to have conducted shady deals with the US Government, pressuring the UK Government into war and even bribery. His conservative stranglehold over a large portion of the world political dialog not being enough, Rupert continues to push for even more control through political and regulatory battles.

To top it off, News Corp is a member of ALEC, whose shadiness I have already gone over.

All of these points come together to form the image of a man who doesn't want to promote the news and isn't just looking for more money. This is a man who wants to dominate world information and color the national discourse of countries to shape their future in their own image creating a culture of "anything goes" including bribery, hacking, theft and outright lying. Sounds something worthy of a member of the James Bond's Rouges Gallery, specifically Elliot Carver from Tomorrow Never Dies. Is he actually evil? Well, there are some hints.

For more about Mr. Murdoch and his Global Takeover attempts, read here. 

2. Nestle's Peter Brabeck-Letmathe

Water is not a human right, it is a resource that needs to be mined, bottled and sold for a major profit, even if that comes at the cost of an entire country or eventually makes the situation worse. That seems to be the opinion of the CEO of Nestle, , and no matter what Nestle's PR spin on it is currently, these are the words that he publicly put out there on the subject.

Fresh, clean water is a declared right by the U.N. Instead of coming to solutions to the looming freshwater crisis, which most companies dealing in the stuff are aware of, Brabeck-Letmathe sees an opportunity to make a quick billion or ten though the international privatization of water. Did you know that the water you drink out of plastic bottles is coming straight from the aquifer of Pakistan? Coca-Cola and other companies exploit water resources in similar way with a few evil exceptions like refusing affected villages’ request for clean water to be piped in after Nestle has made their own water undrinkable.  

This is unbridled Capitalism gone a muck. The race to privatize the world's fresh water supply is one that will ultimately end in our ruin (see Water & Power via distopic future movie Tank Girl). Even if we have found massive amounts of fresh water under areas of the ocean, it is going to take money, effort and possible environmental damage to extract and disperse it. Obviously companies like Nestle, and other companies, will attempt to control that supply as well for their own profit.

Who else wanted to privatize and control water resources? Quantum of Solace's Dominic Greene and, honestly, I am not the first one to compare Peter Brabeck-Letmathe to a James Bond Villain. The shoe seems to fit really perfectly here. 

1. Koch Brothers

If you have read my blog, you are already familiar with the Koch Brothers and the dangers they create for the American citizenry and the world in general. While others have made the comparisons between these silver-spoon fed oil barons with the "old money" Duke Brothers from Trading Places the extent of their activities and their influence on US and Global Politics and even science makes their evil on a Bondian level.

The brothers are two of the richest people in the United States and run Koch Industries, the second-largest privately held company in the United States.Their political activities have landed them in the spot light of public scrutiny though they apparently like to operate in the shadows. They are on the radar of every major climate group including Greenpeace.

We all have heard about their activities aggressively funding climate-change denial and their influence on government officials in that regard, but it goes further. As an almost cartoonist level of unbelievably typical corporate "fat-cat" behavior, the brothers have waged war on public health care, the Tea Party, the middle and lower classes and even the government itself through the shutdown that they, in part, orchestrated.

What makes them truly worth of the Bond Villain title? They are waging war on the less fortunate and on the science that is trying to make our future livable all in the name of profit. Through placing key people at key conservative positions, like within the organization Americans For Prosperity, the brothers make sure that their business interests come first in the political discourse of the right. Through the campaigns they try to subvert (even small local ones) they grasp to control the government, much like S.P.E.C.T.R.E These two and their behavior represents the fear-as-reality of the wealthy trying to buy the government, subvert the common man and even put the public in danger for the protection of their business interests. 

So, before we start comparing Richard Branson, Warren Buffett or Elon Musk to something evil and torrid, take a close look at who the people are that are casting these dispersions and who is trying to make our futures better.