Friday, November 24, 2006

A world ruled by corporations ?

For the rabid socialist, I suppose that market anarchy may sound like a nightmare - a world controlled by corporations! Of course, the socialist is the last person who can possibly complain about this, since he seeks a ruling class so powerful that it holds economic power as well. So even if this criticism was true, market anarchists wouldn't be the only guilty party.

The other major problem with this criticism is that most market anarchists don't believe in "corporations". "Corporations" are a legal fiction invented by the ruling class (at least when in control of the law)- historically to promote colonialism and gain revenues from corporate registrations, and nowadays to raise corporate taxes and lower the risks accrued by members of the ruling class.

A corporation, considered as a person, is a fantasy. Only individual human beings can be persons. A corporation as a concept does not exist either. Only individuals and their property compose what we call a "corporation". Therefore this concept must be deconstructed and torn down. To say that "Exxon did this or that" makes no more sense than saying "the United States did this or that".

So we're talking about people. Do people abuse each other? You bet. But this is not a peculiarity of "corporations". True, to a certain extent the legal shield of the "corporation" fantasy does promote some abuse, but apart from that we're just looking at the natural process of human relations.

If you want abuse, look at the state. The state is the greatest source of war, violence, exploitation and abuse there is. When was the last time a "corporation" waged war against another? Raised taxes? Brutalized its customers? Suppressed the selling of life-saving medications? People don't tend to do this to other people, because that makes them sour customers. States have no customers- they have slaves. And that's the whole difference.

No one wants to be controlled by others. But the clearest danger in that respect is a concentration of force. And that is what the state is! That is what we want to eliminate. So next time, before you talk about corporate abuse, talk about state abuse first, and decide where you stand - for people trying to make a buck, or people who'll kill you if you don't surrender all your bucks.

The statists want to pretend that we need to rein in "corporate greed" with "corporate responsibility". "Corporate responsibility" is, like "sustainability", nothing more than a code-word used to suppress progress. Should individuals who actively trade with others be honest and forthright? Of course. Should they be prosecuted for fraud if they lie in the context of such trade? Of course. But does that mean "corporate responsibility" is worth the sound waves it's propagating on? No way.

“Social responsibility” is now a movement, designed and defined to promote narrow political agendas, silence critics, tarnish corporate reputations, give companies leverage against competitors, and make up for power lost at ballot boxes or in union halls. Liberal foundations like Heinz, Pew and Soros help bankroll the movement – and labor bosses use pension funds for campaigns that don’t always serve their members’ best interests.

(...) CSR’s “ethical beacon” is actually more like the bonfires pirates once lit along Ireland’s coast, to lure unsuspecting ships onto the rocks, where they would be plundered and destroyed. (...)

Campaign ExxonMobil employed street theater, shareholder resolutions, kangaroo courts and myriad accusations, in an attempt to force the oil giant to recant its skepticism about global warming and its continued investments in petroleum, rather than “ethical” and “responsible” technologies like solar power that impact vast acreage to produce expensive, unreliable energy.
Paul K. Driessen, "Social responsibility doubletalk"

Until the market anarchic perspective predominates in economics and society, and the notion of "corporation" is defeated, will responsibility ever be fully expressed.

The most ridiculous belief in corporate abuse is the belief that layoffs are evil. Without even getting into economics, that belief doesn't even make any sense ! If you are against corporations, then why would you protest when a big corporation loses power? Wouldn't you want all big corporations to fail? Protesting layoffs makes me think of neo-Nazis who deny the Holocaust. Why deny the only accomplishment you have? If you assume that it is bad, then aren't you assuming that your own values are bad? It's all quite ridiculous.

While there are many different ways of living in society, the fundamental choice is quite simple- either you value freedom and progress, or you value force and hardship. Anyone who argues against trade argues against the former. Unlike state capitalists, however, we should not think that corporations are conductive to freedom or progress- quite the opposite.


Anonymous said...

The government gives forms, shape, and power to corporations. Abolish the government or remove its authority, then you must by extension abolish the corporation. It is simple to see that the government does not exist to only protect the rights of citizens. It protects corporate and property rights as well. The question is how to balance this, and not some dystopian view where one rules over the other. Extremism, such as you espouse, makes no sense and distorts the real picture of government as a living, changing entity by, of, and for the people. You cannot possibly expect everyone to support a government that only supports what you alone what in your politics.

Anonymous said...

"Brutalized its customers?"
Frequently, and this is WITH regulations.

"Suppressed the selling of life-saving medications?"
They suppress the sale cheaper generic brands and won't even produce a medication if it doesn't turn a large profit. Ironically they get away with this because the FDA is pretty much their b****. I'm sure getting rid of the FDA altogether would totally fix that of course. Somehow. -_-