Monday, July 9, 2012

What's Good For Business

We all stand by and let strangers die. We tell ourselves we can't save the whole world. But in our own little world of democracy, art, philosophy, and religion, until recently most of us thought there was something wrong doing nothing and letting people die right in front of us.

When governments, guided by banks and corporations, impose their so-called free market economics on the world, it is hard to know who benefits. There's not a serious economist alive who believes these policies are good for any group of people than the rich. But how do the rich benefit by policies that seem to destroy the economies of nations? Do they really want to cause social disruptions, then crush them and impose dictatorship? Or is the answer simpler:

That in hard times the strongest survive, which means in this case the bigger and richer businesses. Imposing policies based on a known false economic theory eliminates competition. False economics is profitable both in strengthening the rich and weakening everyone else.

When we ask what are the true effects of corporate policies we also have to look at their wider effects.

Let's assume we really would like to save everyone. We know we cannot. We use a simple mechanism to protect ourselves from the responsibility we feel to help everyone. That mechanism is the distinction between real and fake.

Those close to us are real, we know them well by living with them. Those distant we know only abstractly. We only know them from movies, pictures, and reading. We know them from representations, and representations we know are not real. Sometimes they true, and sometimes they are not.

The uncertainty of the truth of representations is the tool we use to protect ourselves from the obligation we know we have, that we know we should act on, and which we know we cannot act on.

Now consider the corporation. The Supreme Court of the United States says a corporation is a person, and that's right. The corporation is a fake person. It is a person that makes no distinction between people near and far, which treats all alike, that is, treats all as strangers. This means the corporation treats us as indistinguishable from representations, and because the reality of full human nature means knowing each other, and when we are strangers to each other we don't know each other, we are all fakes to each other. When the picture passes itself off as the real thing, substitutes for it, we call it fake.

Like bankers impose false economic policies on nations, and the result is destruction of weaker traders, retailers, manufacturers, when corporations treat near and far as strangers, the result is also destruction, in this case of our ability to treat each other as friends, family, acquaintances, colleagues, partners, associates.

At some beaches in Florida life-guard services have been privatized, at others not. Last week a lifeguard employed at a privatized beach saw someone drowning across an invisable boundry in the water with the non-privatized beach. He went and saved the drowing swimmer, and was immediately fired. His corporate employers explained that a potential liability was involved, and of course no additional profit. The life-guard's action was forbidden and he knew it.

Corporations punish anyone making a distinction between people you know and people you don't, between people near and far. If you can't keep or get a job when you make this distinction we can assume that, like the false economic policies imposed on nations eliminate competition, routine punishment for making a distinction between real and fake, near and far, will result in a overwhelming monopoly of the fake.

Bankers and corporations aren't deliberatly setting out to eliminate the distinction between real and fake, to destroy human society. They just find it good for business.