The force that countervails 147 companies that control the world

Why is it so important for consumers to be aware of their power?  Because it is the only countervailing force that exists in the face of the powerful but destructive network of multinationals, that has the whole world in their clutches.

A complex study on the network of control, of direct and indirect ownership in our global economy was published in 2011, revealing 147 top holder TNC’s (Transnational Corporations) at its core.

The 1318 transnational corporations that form the core of the economy. Superconnected companies are red, very connected companies are yellow. The size of the dot represents revenue The 1318 transnational corporations that form the core of the economy. Superconnected companies are red, very connected companies are yellow. The size of the dot represents revenue –PLoS One
Read the full analysis here or download it here.

These corporations have only one goal:  increase profits at all cost.  They are willing to destroy the environment, poison its inhabitants with toxic chemicals, lay-off employees and relocate production for cheaper labour, etc.  We could cite dozens of examples that prove the voracity of neoliberalism in multiple industries:  sales of bottled water contaminated with harmful chemicals, sales of hormone-treated meat, full of antibiotics and soaked in bleach at the end of the chain, the use of carcinogenic irritants or endocrine disruptors in most industrial cosmetics, and the list goes on.  All of these activities are approved by advisory committees where conflicts of interests are present when members hold their own financial interests on the matters they are advising on.

multinationale controle map

Unfortunately, in the world we live in today, we cannot trust these transnational corporations, or the official authorities who approve of products to be sold in supermarkets, regardless of their known dangers.  However, informed consumers can make all the difference that it takes to ensure that the products made available to us are safe and were made in fair conditions, conducive to a richer real economy which benefits the majority.  If only a small percentage of us start consuming wisely, and stop feeding the network of TNC’s that control the world, their power would quickly deplete as their shareholders would start breaking away from their web of force, leaving them vulnerable at the core.  It only takes 25% of consumers to start an economic revolution!

You have the power!

Yes, you have the power to change the world economy for the better, but awareness is the first key.  It is imperative to know that as a consumer, each time you purchase a product, you are impacting the world—its economy, its environment, its people’s health and yes, that includes you!  With each article you purchase from any given company, you vote for that company’s principles and therefore support its business practices that affect the world.  As a consumer, your vote matters.

For example, you would actually be contributing to sustaining sweatshops and child labour if the company, that made the clothes that you are wearing, uses those methods of production.  Click on the image below to check if you have any clothing articles from the list of brands that were caught in sweatshop scandals:

10Major Clothing Brabds Caught in Sweatshop Scandals

An economy where big businesses do not respect labour rights is not indicative of a healthy one.  To say the least, it means exploiting cheap labour and practicing modern slavery in foreign countries while withholding employment opportunities to local citizens who contribute to the local economy.   To find out more about the exploitation of cheap labour, read this article about the Sweatshop Hall of Shame.

In addition to affecting the world with the clothes you wear, you are also taking a stand with the food that you eat.  If you buy fresh products from a local farm, then you are helping support local farmers and saying no unnecessary transport (waste of fuel) of imported fruits and vegetables, when those same goods are being produced in your vicinity. Furthermore, many “trusted” brand names in the giant food industry use methods of production that are harming the environment; and if you buy from such company, then you would unknowingly be adhering to such harmful methods.  For example, take a look at the list of corporate crimes that Nestlé has been accused of.  Click on the list for the source:4

If you buy from Nestlé, you are contributing to such crimes whether you want to or not.  But as a consumer, you have the power to stop these companies from committing such crimes.  For example, when the scandal broke out about how Yum Brands, which supplies meat for KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, was using meat passed the expiry date, their sales significantly went down.  If Yum Brands sales don’t recover, you can be sure that it will be replaced with other food companies, and if consumers demand it, with better quality meat.

As for everyday toiletries and cosmetics— from shampoos to toothpastes, soaps, aftershave lotions, body creams etc;  Did you know that some of the big names in this industry are guilty of cancer causing chemicals?   Click on the headline below to read the article from Campaign for Safe Cosmetics:


No, it isn’t very reassuring to learn about how companies that we have been loyal to and have trusted for years are not exactly looking out for our best interest.  However, I do hope this article has inspired you to be aware of the products that you are buying and to have a closer look at the principles of those companies.  After all, you have the power to choose products that were made in fair conditions, where the employees and the environment are respected.  You have the power to support the brands or companies that have values that are aligned with yours.   To start exercising this power, just simply be aware of what you are consuming!  And remember, it only takes 25% of consumers, who exercise their power, to start an economic revolution and literally change the world for the better.