|Varied thoughts from... guess who?
||[Dec. 12th, 2010|11:43 pm]
A note up front: I wrote none of the following, though I agree with virtually all of it. (And for one particular snippet, I say that as a Philosophy-minor.)
It has been frequently noted that many corporations exceed nation states in GDP. It has been less frequently noted that some also exceed them in population (employees).
But it is odd that the comparison hasn't been taken further. Since so many live in the state of the corporation, let us take the comparison seriously and ask the following question. What kind of states are giant corporations?
In comparing countries, after the easy observations of population size and GDP, it is usual to compare the system of government, the major power groupings and the civic freedoms available to their populations.
The corporation as a nation state has the following properties:
* Suffrage (the right to vote) does not exist except for land holders ("share holders") and even there voting power is in proportion to land ownership.
* All executive power flows from a central committee. Female representation is almost unknown.
* There is no division of powers. There is no fourth estate. There are no juries and innocence is not presumed.
* Failure to submit to any order can result in instant exile.
* There is no freedom of speech. There is no right of association. Love is forbidden without state approval.
* The economy is centrally planned.
* There is pervasive surveillance of movement and electronic communication.
* The society is heavily regulated and this regulation is enforced, to the degree many employees are told when, where and how many times a day they can go to the toilet.
* There is almost no transparency and something like the FOIA is unimaginable.
* The state has one party. Opposition groups (unions) are banned, surveilled or marginalized whenever and wherever possible.
[...] If small business and non-profits are eliminated from the US, then what's left? Some kind of federation of Communist states.
A United Soviet of America.
People are motivated to follow happiness and flee from pain. These feelings *exist* to color our memories with our physiology so that we may extract meaning our experiences. It's a tautology to say that people do what makes them happy -- despite this, one often sees claims that there exist no altruistic acts, because such actions are the end product of people trying to maximize their happiness. This is to define altruism out of existence, remove a useful word with which to partition our observations of reality. Instead, we may say that some people's happiness is bound up with other people's happiness and these people should be supported because of the obvious common cause with our own feelings.
Something worth noting about the unusual relative power of community building Islamist movements when operating against well funded US led democracy wagons as evidenced by the recent victories of the Somali UIC; the promise of better shopping does not move the heart to the great acts of love or sacrifice required in war. "Democracy" is a difficult abstraction that is easily abused (try drawing it). It is a means to an end, not the end itself. There's no instinctive desire for democracy. Consider the US Declaration of Independence (1776), a document which is the distillation of instinctive desires which drove men to war and kept them there. What are these desires?
...God.. Creator.. created equal... Life, Liberty,... pursuit of Happiness.. Safety and Happiness... [followed by 26 paragraphs of hatred for the abuses of King George].
In other words, religious / community feeling (x2), equality, life, liberty, happiness (x2), safety, and above all, an extreme hatred for the brutal acts, preferment, and corruption of foreign influenced or controlled government.
Not once does better shopping or its alleged antecedent democracy appear.
This doesn't bode well for the Iraqi provisional authority -- at least the British spoke the same language.
It has often been said that mathematics is the cheapest university department to run, for all one needs is pencil, a desk and a waste paper basket. This is not so. Philosophy is cheaper still, since in philosophy we do not even need the basket.
Tue 18 Jul 2006 : Don't need a weather man to know which way the wind blows
When writing I like to extremise my perceptions in order to give them clarity. If a weather cock's tail is long, you know which way the wind is blowing. A shorter tail is more ambiguous and no tail at all is like hippies saying "energy" -- could be anything.
The credulous will not inherit the earth, but they'll get to play a game where they do. A beautiful reality and a beautiful dream.
( So who wrote all this?Collapse )