Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Withdraw Corporate Life Support

It isn't necessary to control corporate capitalism with legislation that restricts its harmful aspects. Simply pull the plug on it – abolish corporate law, patents, eliminate all forms of government assistance, no more state as capitalist goon squad, repeal all anti-worker legislation.

What about corporate law? Limited liability shifts the burden of debt away from the officers of a corporation to the corporation itself. If a corporation with limited liability goes belly-up, you can't grab the CEO's personal bank account and mansion. Small shareholders might lose everything, and the workers their jobs and pension funds, but not the bosses.

Limited liability creates a situation like a gambling addict with a rich parent who funds the addiction. When the gambler loses, the parent pays, when the gambler wins, he keeps his winnings. Corporate officers have a free hand to speculate with other people's money. Such speculation can lose, but it can also win big. Such "big wins" inflate the market share and size of a corporation, furthering the process of concentration and centralization. Put another way, without limited liability, corporate officers would be very conservative with other people's money and high-risk speculation would not exist. Corporations would tend to be a lot smaller and many would not exist at all.

Eliminating the fraud known as the corporation as the “fictitious individual” would have far-reaching effects. Rights and freedoms were meant for INDIVIDUALS, not corporations. In order to give corporations these rights they invented the lie that a corporation is an individual. Thus, attempts to control corporate advertising and Korporate Krap Kulture are met with loud shrieks of censorship, and since the corporation has the rights of an individual, it cannot be touched. With rights reserved only for living, breathing people, changes might occur within corporate media. If a corporation is no longer an individual, and thus no longer has rights, corporate media can no longer directly censor the editorial staff. The real living individuals working for them could then demand THEIR freedom of speech.

Patents are harmful because they allow the patent holder a monopoly. With a monopoly they can gouge customers through artificially high prices or inferior goods. Patents waste a lot of energy as people invent procedures to get around the patent. A royalty system, like that of song-writing, would allow inventors a good return without these harmful effects. Patents made Bill Gates the richest man in the world. Without patents, he would still be rich, but not anywhere near the same extent.

Government assistance to Big Business comes in a host of ways; tax breaks, cheap loans, free land, government paid R and D, corporate-aiding infrastructure. The right-wingers want to cut government expense, well start here. The fact remains, that without the state hog trough, many corporations wouldn't exist at all.

Stop the state from acting as a goon squad for the corporations. No more injunctions, no more rubbish about “illegal” strikes. Yes, the government can mediate if it wishes, but quit taking sides with the corporations. No more using the police to break up picket lines or bully demonstrators. The police should only intervene if an actual crime is being committed, and then only with the individual doing it. One person smashing a window should not be an excuse for beating and arresting 50 people. The procedure for union recognition is absurd and only helps the bosses. The moment the majority in a shop are signed up, they become the union, period. No dragging it out for months allowing the boss time to bully the employees.

Freed from state restrictions on striking and union recognition, free from state thuggery, the labor movement would begin to seriously challenge the corporations.

Without its state provided life support systems, corporate capitalism would gradually disappear, in the same way the Mom and Pop hamburger joint faded away thanks to MacDonalds. Only this time the evolution would be in the opposite direction. Nature abhors a vacuum, with the state's vicious pets dying off, small businesses, small farms and local production would return. I suspect many new ventures would be cooperatives. With a high level of local production and local consumption the vagaries of the corporate created world market would lessen and we could evolve into a “steady state economy” rather than the ecological insanity of “growth as God.”

Hey Greens, Hey NDP, are ya listening?


Blogger Werner said...

Good show, but I doubt if "they" will ever listen. Maybe you should submit the above as a lead production over at "Vive". There are still too many people around who accept the standard small view of socialism and conservatism (or maybe even liberalism?). Time for some Wide Screen High-Definition Dolby 5.1 UPGRADES. [so much for silliness.]

10:24 PM  
Blogger Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

The Greens and NDP are too busy trying to figure out the breathing apparatus needed to keep them alive while their heads are deep in their butts.

9:59 PM  
Blogger Larry Gambone said...

Yeah, I know. But I tried!

10:04 PM  
Blogger Kevin Carson said...

Wonderful post, Larry! Many greens would probably at least be open to a strategic alliance based on doing what you suggest *first*, and seeing what happens, before resorting to more statism.

12:02 AM  
Anonymous Robert Taylor said...

Great article, Larry! I have always felt that state law and state regulation has the effect of cartelizing industries and socializing the costs of economic activity for large corporations. Not only has this resulted in the wealth being controlled by a very few handful of people, but has the social costs of numbing uniformity and mass-produced blandness. Thank you for this excellent piece.
Also, I cited this post in a post I put up on my blog, thought you might enjoy it

5:14 PM  

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