Modern Western nations describe themselves as republics or democracies, but in fact they are all corporations. To paraphrase a quote attributed to Benito Mussolini, the merger of state and corporate power is fascism.

Fascism is a political theory advocating an authoritarian hierarchical government and the promotion of a capitalist economy subject to stringent, even oppressive dictatorial governmental controls and violent suppression of opposition. Fascist is a derogatory label the mainstream media always uses to smear the political right, nationalists, race realists and even patriotic Americans who simply exercise free speech. But are corporations the real fascists?

A corporation is defined as a business involving more than one person that meets the legal requirements to operate as a single person. This nebulous legal distinction is very convenient. When a corporation runs afoul of the law by defrauding its shareholders, cheating its customers or damaging the natural environment, it is extremely difficult to lay the blame on a single person. It is also impossible to put a corporation in prison. This is the kind of impunity enjoyed by dictators.

Corporations are authoritarian hierarchical organizations where a small group of executives at the very top dictate policies and actions that lower level employees have little say in and no choice but to follow. Although these employees actually do all the work, the executives’ pay themselves salaries that can be thousands of times higher than the average employee. This is not called exploitation, but rather capitalism.

The idea that wealthy people are “job creators” who are both beneficial and necessary for society conveniently ignores the fact that low-paid workers are, in fact, the “wealth creators.” The ever-widening wealth gap is nothing more than a transfer of wealth from poor to rich. The creation of low-paying jobs benefits only the wealthy owners and is necessary only for keeping the poor in their place.

Despite the belief that Western nations are meritocracies, an examination of the backgrounds of many corporate executive teams will reveal that most, if not all, attended one of a small handful of elite schools. They studied the same degree programs, learned from the same professors and joined the same clubs. As corporate executives, they are part of yet another elite and exclusive club that is completely closed to most lower level employees with less prestigious backgrounds who were not born into wealth and privilege.

Worse, these executives are practically immune from being held responsible or accountable for their mistakes, failures and crimes. If anything, they often “fail upwards” by being rewarded with a multi-million dollar severance package, offered a higher-paying executive position at another company in the same industry or hired as a lobbyist to promote (bribe) legislative support for their industry. Perhaps most lucrative of all is being appointed to a government position where their “experience and skills” are ostensibly used to regulate the industry from which they came. Members of the club will always look out for the interests of other club members. As George Carlin said “it’s a big club—and you ain’t in it.”

Capitalism is an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations. In other words, capitalist economies like that of the United States are controlled and perpetuated by corporations, not the government.

In theory, shareholders are the true owners of public corporations. The duty of corporate managers is to maximize profits, which is the same thing as maximizing shareholder wealth. It should come as no surprise that some of the largest shareholders in many corporations are the executives themselves. Executive compensation is often provided in the form of company shares rather than cash, and the amount of compensation an executive receives depends on share price performance. As share prices climb, executives receive more shares, and the value of each share also rises. Almost none of these gains trickle down to low-level employees. After executives, the largest shareholders in most corporations are banks and institutional investors.

Government regulators are staffed with industry insiders, making corporations—not we, the people—the true government. Corporations, in turn, are owned mostly by large financial institutions—banks and opaque “special-interest money.” This is how institutions that are considered “too big to fail” (TBTF) are able to exist and anti-monopoly laws are routinely ignored. Competition drives down prices and forces companies to enhance the quality of their products and services. When small banks are merged into a few mega-banks, or behemoths like Wal-Mart, Amazon and Google are able to dominate large swaths of the economy and prevent free enterprise and small business creation, they can charge whatever they want and give us sub par products and services. The mainstream media (also big business and a TBTF monopoly) frequently tells us that ours is a free market economy. Capitalism is lauded as the best (only) form of economy compatible with freedom. Yet industry consolidation reduces freedom of choice. Prioritizing profits over human and environmental concerns is not beneficial to our species or the planet over the long term. Rather than offering us freedom, the capitalist system enslaves us in a low-wage work–produce–consume cycle from which there is no escape. Despite all the empty rhetoric about “sustainable growth” the reality is that capitalism is destructive and totally unsustainable.

Unlike actual people, corporations are created out of thin air with legal documents—a charter establishing their existence, referred to as the articles of incorporation. Unlike countries, companies do not have governments, they have governance systems and operate in accordance with a set of rules. Corporations engage in stringent, dictatorial control of their employees through compliance systems, which include codes of conduct and behavioral policies. Human resource departments are effectively the police that enforce these rules and polices. They maintain an atmosphere of constant surveillance (called “monitoring”) and even encourage employees to report one another when a rule or code violation is discovered. Corporations frequently refer to their “corporate culture” as if this were some organic quality, but in fact it is an artificial construct meant to inculcate conformity, stifle dissent—and above all—ensure compliance.

Although corporate culture is dictated by the executives, when systemic fraud or other criminal activities are uncovered, the executives are rarely held accountable. Instead, the blame is placed on insufficient compliance, inadequate monitoring or the surreptitious actions of one or two “rogue” employees. Governance means there is no government to be held accountable. It is an arbitrary system, words on paper, that can be reinterpreted or changed depending on the circumstances.

When rules are broken, the answer is always more “education,” usually in the form of mandatory seminars, e-learning modules or training sessions. Corporate fraud and corruption are institutional problems. If the executives are not culpable for being directly involved in it, they are incompetent for not having been aware of it in the first place. In either case, they have proven themselves unworthy as leaders. But just like the blame, the punishment often falls on the heads of the lower level employees who were only following orders.

It is undeniable that large corporations are engaged in suppressing opposition to globalization, immigration, multiculturalism and other attacks on Western culture, primarily through censorship. Platforms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are deleting content and removing users. Online payment, webhosting and other services are denied to anyone deemed politically incorrect. Anyone whose views diverge from the corporate mainstream or whose values differ from those espoused in the corporate vision and philosophy are demonized and silenced.

Corporate employees have no choice but to comply with surveillance in the workplace, where their movements and activities are tracked and analyzed in the name of “efficiency” and “productivity.” The smallest and most innocent gestures and words can be interpreted as politically incorrect, sexist or racist. The sensitivity training most employees are subjected to ensures that every employee is hypersensitive to the point of seeing microaggressions in everything. Only officially sanctioned thoughts and behaviors are tolerated. This, of course, includes the demonization and marginalization of white men.

As corporations run by unelected and hostile elites are increasingly consolidated into TBTF entities with an unavoidable grip over our lives, even those of us lucky enough to not work in the corporate world will be forced to comply or lose access to the basic services and institutions that have become necessary for our survival in the modern world. The price of independent thought, contrary viewpoints and respectful dissent will become too high, especially for those of us with families to support.

Corporations openly promote diversity while demanding conformity. True diversity of thought is not tolerated. How many times have we read news about an employee who was fired because their values were not consistent with the values of the company? Depriving someone of the ability to earn a living and support themselves and their family for wrong-think is nothing less than economic violence.

Corporations no longer simply maximize profit for shareholders. Like a metastasizing cancer, they have mutated into massive global entities that use their money and power to dictate government policy and engineer whole societies. The government agencies responsible for the regulation and oversight of individual corporations and entire industries have been captured and are controlled by those industries. In the United States, corporations are people whose free speech takes the form of money. The combination of corruption and control has rendered government ineffectual and meaningless. Government serves corporate interests. Banks have a controlling interest in most corporations. Perhaps we should we be concerned about who controls the banks? For those are the true rulers of the United States of America (and the world).

If we do not resist corporatism, we will no longer have nation states with borders, we will have free trade zones fouled with disastrous diversity. We will no longer have sovereignty or unique cultures, we will have integration, inter-dependency and harmonization. We will no longer have governments, we will have unaccountable governance according to rules none of us agreed to. We will no longer have freedoms or rights, we will have forced compliance and zero-tolerance. We will no longer have privacy or anonymity, we will have ubiquitous surveillance under which every aspect of our lives will be data-mined in order to police and control our behavior. These are the aims of globalism. The merger of state and corporate power is, indeed, fascism.

This is the objective of Sustainable Development, Agenda 2030 and the coming rules-based international order.