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Corporate Feudalism

Vector: vyoma

I'm reading an article titled "We The People: A Brief History of the Corporation"

I haven't finished it yet, but a couple of passages have struck me as having particular relevance. Relevance to what? To my current outlook on the world? I'm not sure.

The speculation and excesses of the 1920's collapsed into the depression of the 1930's. Those who benefited the least during the expansion, the majority of Americans, suffered the most during the contraction.

The correlation to the frenzy of speculation of the 1990's (the so-called "tech boom") seems pretty obvious to me. Will the first decade of this new century mirror the economic and social climate of the 1930's?

Another quote from the article:
In 1886, the Supreme Court of the United States changed the character of the charter of incorporation from a grant of a privilege to conduct business to a birth certificate for the "person" of the corporation. These legal fictions have usurped the authority of "we, the people". As a consequence, we are not so much citizens of the United States as we are subjects of our corporate employers.

That reminds me of a quote from Robert Anton Wilson:
I think the modern world is easier physically than feudalism was, but much harder psychologically. We are propagandised constantly about living in democracies and what wonderful freedom we have, and most of us are condemned to work in totalitarian corporations which have no more freedom than fascism or communism. No wonder so many people just crack up and go postal these days.

I stopped to make this entry, in part, to create my own bookmark to the article, as I don't think I'm going to finish it right now. I do plan to get back to it though. I've been thinking alot about the financial leanings of some of my fellow Libertarians. Their worldview seems built up around the principle that government is bad and corporations are good. The notion that power corrupts and invites abuse only seems to apply to governmental power in their view. It seems to me that corporate power infringes on personal liberty as much as governmental power, and the lines between the two have never looked fuzzier to me. Take for example, our current vice-president.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 25th, 2003 09:50 am (UTC)
It seems to me that corporate power infringes on personal liberty as much as governmental power, and the lines between the two have never looked fuzzier to me.

I quite agree...and I hasten to point out to people who pit government and corporations against each other, than a "corporation" is an entity defined and protected by governments.
Oct. 4th, 2003 12:53 pm (UTC)
I am on your wavelength
I agree with you guys; I still consider myself an anarchocapitalist and a libertarian, but with a very strong anti-corporate (and anti-centralization in general) leaning these days. A market containing players with the size and influence of ExxonMobil, Citigroup, or SBC, is not a free market no matter what the rules are.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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