Just a small town gal and that is all I'll ever be, where life is just another iced sweet tea away, where you can see the twinkling stars at night, the wonders of the moon, and puffy white clouds floating across the blue sky. Welcome to my blog from the heartland, full of random musings, observations, things I love, events in my life, humor..
THOUGHTS SIMPLY FROM THE HEART:
Choosing Serfdom or Dignity
Can making Fedzilla INC more powerful REALLY redress corporate abuses of power?
by William R. Collier Jr.
For most Americans the politics of this or that policy or bill are outside their conscious consideration. Because most Americans are too busy working and making society run, they often have little to no time or energy to put into the laws, regulations, or policies that define how society will be run. They have even less time to thoughtfully consider the principles or ideas, much less the philosophy or the ideology, that we should use to help us determine what the laws, regulations, and policies should be.
If you are an American who thinks little on these things because you just want to live your life and don’t like to get into “politics or religion” then you are a normal human being and in normal times your attitude may in fact be very healthy. In an atmosphere in which government is not very involved in your personal life or in society in general, it may be perfectly reasonable to leave politics to the minority of people who are really into that sort of thing.
Today is different.
Your government is making lots of promises and it is coming up with lots of justifications for its new push to use the power of the state to control how things get done, in what order of priority, and by what rules those things will get done.
While some in government, who would get more access to more money and more power if these new policies become law, like to tell you about the evils of corporations, and there ARE things we can gripe about when it comes to corporations and how they treat us, what you need to remember is that government itself is a corporation of sorts.
Corporations have property, they employ people, they have policies for customers and workers, and they ask for money from customers in return for products or services. Often corporations try to make things so that they can buy low and sell high, and they want to stay on top by making things easier for themselves and more difficult for their potential competitors. Lots of regulations that get passed are actually requested by corporations.
A whole set of regulations is in place that prevents people from using new ways of building that actually work very well and that are centuries old, like straw bale construction. Straw bale construction is much cheaper, and easier, than the wood frame construction methods of building contractors: it is sturdy, it is excellent as an insulation from cold or heat, it can be made virtually fire-proof, and even untrained people, like the homeowner, can do most of the work themselves. The people who are into “green living” love this stuff.
So, if straw-bale construction is so great, why is it illegal in most locales, why do people who want to use it have to ALSO have a wood-frame construction on top of their straw-bale walls? The answer is simple: the big corporate contractors have asked for regulations that basically force you to use them. They may say they want things to be safe, but in reality they are like this group of people called Luddites who feared that new technologies, like machines, would cost them their jobs. The Luddites tried, sometimes with success, to create laws and regulations that made the cheaper, simpler, easier techniques illegal and thereby held back progress.
Corporations are not all rosy and nice. I get that, you get that. Corporations that don’t want some new idea or cheaper and simpler way of doing things to potentially put them out of businesses seem to be behind almost all the red tape that comes out of government at all levels. That is a little known fact that people forget when they say that if we want to reduce red tape, regulation, we must be FOR Big Business.
Investigate ANY regulation and you will find that in almost ALL cases some corporation or group of corporations was in some way behind it. Corporations don’t oppose regulations on principle, in other words they don’t have any philosophical commitment to the principles of a very limited government with little red tape to get in people’s way of doing things they want to do. Corporations want less regulation of themselves and more regulations for their competitors; often regulations are asked for by corporations that have taken the lead in some area and fear that new ideas or techniques might make it easier for other individuals or groups of individuals to make a better, cheaper product or service and put them out of business.
Whenever any politician says “there ought to be a law” you need to ask yourself: what corporations are behind that law?
That is not so easy to find. Corporations of any kind don’t want to reveal that they are being unfair, it turns customers off and makes people angry when they know that some company is trying to game the system so that new ideas that are simpler and cheaper can be suppressed all to support their bottom line.
OK, so we get it that corporations are not very nice, in fact I think we all realize that corporations are so large and powerful that we had better watch them like a hawk and we had better do all we can to make sure everything they do that effects society is known: we have to force them to be transparent and accountable to the People because if we don’t we all might end up building wood frame houses at three times the cost of straw bale houses!
Now, it seems fashionable to complain about the corporations, to talk about how evil they are, to go after their profits and ask “did they gouge the customer or exploit their employees or harm the environment?” These are good questions, to be sure, but not all corporations are “guilty as charged”, and in fact most US Businesses are small businesses that are not even remotely guilty of any of these things, although the “guilty until proven innocent” mindset of some against Big Business seems to be extending to ALL business.
Whatever you fear a corporation might do, you need to realize that your government is no different than a corporation except in two areas: unlike a corporation a government can send armed people to FORCE you to pay this or that or do this or that or NOT do this or that and unlike a corporation a government can set whatever price it wants you to pay without fearing any competitors at all or without fearing that people will choose not to buy what they are selling.
So, government has all the properties of a corporation but it has the additional properties of having the ability to use force and of being able to set the prices it charges without fear of competition and without worrying that people just won’t buy what they are selling.
Would you want Microsoft, ATT, Exxon, or even any non-profit corporation like ACORN or the Christian Coalition to have that kind of power? Imagine if Exxon could make a law and say “you MUST purchase 500 gallons of gas per month at $5 per gallon.” Now, what if, in addition to the power to make that law, Exxon had its own “Civilian Defense Force” to come out and ARREST you if you did not buy your quota every month?
While corporations are often unethical and need to be held accountable, what is more dangerous in your mind: multiple competing corporations that at the very least don’t have the power to force us to buy what they sell nor the police or military power to back that up or a government that has monopoly powers over 30% or more of ALL economic activity, and still wants more, as well as ownership over 30% or more of ALL land with power to take MORE at will after the Kelo Vs. New London ruling a few years back?
Andy Stern of the SEIU loves to talk about his compassion for the maid, the "Marias of this world", he sounds like like a saint just wanting to help the little guy, caring deeply for the poor and the exploited. He is an example of the populist themes we are seeing from certain quarters these days.
I for one will believe the populist rhetoric of those who may cry out against the abuses of the People by corporations when I see policies that will make it easier, not more difficult, for average people to invent and create alternative products and services that are simpler and cheaper so that the little guy can compete with the big guy. Instead, we see these people like Michael Moore talk about the “evils” of “capitalism” (he is confusing corporate abuse with capitalism, as people often do) while at the same time he praises Cuba’s corporate-state which holds a monopoly of political and economic power over the population in a ruthless dictatorship.
Michael Moore and the Moorites who seem to be in the majority within our government, with most in the Democratic Party but many also in the GOP, lack credibility on the issue of being “For the People” because their so-called “fix” is snake oil: they think that we’ll buy the idea that we can fight against corporations and their abuses of power by taking power from them and giving it to an even bigger corporation, let’s call it Fedzilla INC, that also has the power to use force if need be to force to buy whatever it is selling at whatever price it wants to charge.
How is it that taking power FROM corporations, which many of us would like to see, and transferring it to Fedzilla INC is somehow good for the People?
Here is another great mystery: how is it that some of the biggest corporations, including Unions (a corporation in their own right), GE (one of the largest corporations in the world), most of the health care companies and even insurance companies, AARP (a massive corporation that makes BILLIONS selling products and services to senior citizens) are all firmly behind all these alleged efforts to deal with “corporate abuse.”
Could it be that we are being LIED TO? Could it be that that the Moorites in both parties are merely frauds who want us to think that taking power from hundreds of corporations, which many of us may naturally think is good in and of itself, but THEN giving that power to a SINGLE corporation- state hybrid (Fedzilla INC) will make things more fair and equitable when they KNOW that all that will really happen is they will become super rich and super powerful like the party apparatchiks of certain other corporate-state regimes?
Well, I am usually loathe to pretend to know motives or to question people’s characters.
We humans can be simplistic at times, and most of the time simplistic is good. When you touch a hot stove the simplistic response is to pull back your hand. If, however, the “hot stove” is “too much power in too few hands, which results in exploitation, gouging, lack of equity or fairness, and lack of transparency and accountability” then why, pray tell, is the right response to pull our hands from THAT hot stove and put them on the blazing furnace of Fedzilla INC?
It is simplistic to simply pull your hand off a hot stove, but to do so without having a BETTER, cooler, place to put your hand is foolishness. Only someone who is delusional would imagine that you could save yourself from being seriously burned by removing your hand from a hot stove and placing it on a blazing furnace.
Let’s not try and take this analogy too far, the point is this: if the danger is too much power in too few hands then the solution is to disburse power, not to take it from, say, 10,000 or so hands at the top of most corporations and then give it to a few hundred hands at the top of Fedzilla INC.
The people who want to feed Fedzilla INC with ever more control over money, the marketplace, the powers of corporations, the land, and natural resources may try to fool you by saying that words like “public ownership”, but they are JUST WORDS. In certain regimes they often said that the People owned the means of production, but ownership is the power to decide and the keeping of the fruits produced by that enterprise. In certain regimes, like Cuba and, increasingly, Venezuela, the real power to decide is firmly in the hands of a very few individuals and the fruits produced by most economic activities are disbursed according to the will of a few leaders, not on the basis of how much an individual actually contributed by their participation.
I don’t want to answer the question “WHY would people who SAY they want power for the People transfer power to ever fewer people?” I don’t want to argue the finer points of propaganda about how we can have “public ownership” because we get to vote every few years for someone that is anointed by the media, the parties, or their rich backers to be a candidate in the first place. It is silly, and beyond the range of common sense, to try and convince anybody that a government that is effectively controlled by the whims of a few hundred people with a few dozen outside backers who fund their campaigns can OWN anything under the banner of combating corporate abuses or somehow “leveling the playing field” or serving the good of the People and actually DELIVER on those populist-sounding promises.
Let’s leave aside the ideology and the philosophy and break this down to the basics.
If you want somebody else to manage your finances, tell you where to go, when to go, how to do what you need to do, what you cannot do, and where to live or work in exchange for a promise of guaranteed access to health care, education, a house, income, or what have you then you are a fool. I know that sounds harsh, but it's just like saying "trying" Ectsasy is foolish or thinking you can smoke two packs of Camel non-filters a day isn't likely to end badly for you is foolish.
You take one puff of Fedzilla INC and it might just be your last act of free will!
Can you think of any single person you would give total power of attorney to over your life RIGHT NOW on the sole condition that they use their absolute power over you only for good? If somebody said they were going to give their power of attorney to, say, your driking buddy or your ex girlfriend, in exchange for total bliss and happiness would you say they were smart for making that choice?
Remember as you think of this, once you give over that power you have no means of taking it back, not even if the individual you give this power to fails to live up to their promise, not even if the promised health care turns out to be crappy or the house you receive is a run down hovel with no running water or electricity.
If government gets the power of attorney over your health care, your checking account, or anything really you will not be able to just walk up to them later and say, “you know, I don’t think you being in total control over my life is working out, this health care sucks, it’s about as efficient as the DMV and about as compassionate as the IRS, so, I’m gonna take you to court and get my power of attorney back.”
Imagine your surprise, and sheer terror, when you show up to court and the idiot who promised you all these benefits in exchange for power of attorney over your life WITHOUT delivering on those benefits turns out to be the judge and his agents turn out to be your attorney AS WELL AS the attorney for the prosecution who is accusing you of a “crime” for daring to try to hold back some area of your life from the state’s control!
You can get lost in all the nonsense about caring for the poor and needy, of combating corporate abuses, and all those things the advocates of government’s effective power of attorney over your life like to ramble on about, but the truth is much simpler than that: you cannot combat the abuse of power of a few thousand corporations by transferring their power to Fedzilla INC.
We can talk about how to transfer power from the thousands of powerful elitists at the top of the corporate world to individuals, private associations of individuals who CHOOSE to associate together, and very local communities where transparency and accountability are not an ideal but unavoidable realties of small town life which, while they may be skirted in places, and for a time, cannot be skirted forever nor on too large a scale.
The first thing we have to do is to stand up and tell Fedzilla INC: we are not stupid! You may be delusional and really believe in the twisted logic that we can reduce corporate abuses by giving more power to ONE corporation that ALSO has the power of the State to back it up, or, worse, they are frauds who know EXACTLY what they are doing and think we are too stupid to see through their sales pitch.
I for one don’t care if the Moorites who are selling the snake oil of Fedzilla INC are frauds who think we are stupid or simply delusional utopians who are stupid, what I do care about is that we don’t let one evil that many of us detest and want to have more power and resources to combat, the concentration of power in too few hands, to be made WORSE by decreasing the number of hands that have that power while at the time increasing the AMOUNT of power others can exercise over our lives.
We’ll deal with the “corporate interests” in due time, and for that I propose LOCAL action by individuals and private groups with the support of local governments that care more for their People than anything or anyone else, but for now, you need to decide what matters more: your political party and your ideology and your belief that you are somehow going to BENEFIT from Fedzilla becoming the ULTIMATE power over ALL THINGS or your most basic right to exist as a free and sovereign human being?
I have news for those of you who are still not convinced: if you are gullible or stupid enough to buy into the snake oil sales pitch of Fedzilla INC don’t expect the rest of us to go along for the ride. We will not go quietly into the night and let any majority of voters choose for us a devil’s bargain in which their selfish desire to get others to give them guarantees of welfare or security, or what have you, is the reason for giving the power of attorney over their lives to Fedzilla INC.
I was born free, I will die free if I have anything to say about it, and while I prefer to let those who want to be slaves go off and become slaves so long as they and their masters stay out of my life, the traditions of this great nation favor those who say with Patrick Henry, “give me liberty, or give me death!” Fedzilla INC and those who think that voting FOR Fedzilla INC as their “power of attorney” in exchange for empty promises of bounty and security, should pause now, before we get too far down this road, and consider the consequences of what might happen if they push free people too far and leave them only the choice of abject surrender or fierce resistance.
I pray that I never have to see such a horrible day arrive, and I depend on the common sense of the People to recognize that the path towards serfdom is often laid with promises of equality and righting injustices.
What devil promises hell to capture a gullible soul? What tyrant PROCLAIMS in public to the whole world, over and over, their intentions to kill all their opponents or enslave the whole populations BEFORE they have the power in their hands?
Surely, I can only HOPE and pray, the People in this nation, those who know HOW this nation was founded and WHY, those who value their own freedom even if that means they are also solely responsible for their own success, welfare, and prosperity, are not going to let a bunch of well spoken empty snake oil promises cause them to suddenly say, “well, I don’t need my freedom, I think the only way to stop corporate abuses of power is to give that power to ONE giant corporation and then to INCREASE that power, because, after all, they promise to make my life better and keep me healthy, housed, and fed NO MATTER WHAT!”
You choose: on one hand people who are either delusional or who are frauds asking you to sign over total authority over your whole life in exchange for things they cannot possibly deliver but which are not even worth the price you have to pay, and on the other hand a life of freedom which may be hard at times, and which has no guarantees, but which can at least be lived with dignity and humanity and which can at least be rooted in your own dreams and ambitions.
Neither path will lead to utopia, but the path to serfdom, with Fedzilla as your new MASTER, will not only guarantee a loss of dignity and humanity for YOU but may also guarantee a loss of dignity and humanity for MANY generations into the future, for by surrendering YOUR “power of attorney” to Fedzilla, for whatever reasons and in return for whatever promises given, you are also surrendering the same “power of attorney” for future generations who would be born into a place where they have no power to decide which path to follow.