By Isaac Davis
So much of dystopian science fiction stories feature an all-knowing, all-powerful private corporation as the dominant authority in a tyrannical and soulless world. According to a new study, this vision of the future isn’t all that fictional, as transnational corporations (TNCs) are growing at an alarming pace, rapidly consolidating control over major industries, and creating a new type of super-governance in our world.
Conducted by Carl Folke et al. of the University of Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden, the 2019 study primarily focused on the influence that multinational corporations have over the biosphere and critical issues surrounding sustainability, but also revealed just how dependent the world is on TNCs.
For years we’ve known that just a handful of media companies hold sway over 90% of the media we consume, offering up the illusion of choice, but this paradigm extends into other critical sectors.
You can see it in the environment, where just 100 companies are responsible for over 70 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Citing the trend towards dominance of relatively small number of companies, the study notes:
Consolidation among corporations, whereby a small number of companies control a large market share of the overall output or sales for a particular product or product type (that is, oligopoly or, at the extreme, monopoly), is a well-known and predictable feature of economic development.
Some 10% of the world’s corporations generate 80% of all profits globally.
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