How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy (t3knomanser) wrote,
How Random Babbling Becomes Corporate Policy

Damn Anarchists....

The other day, Cate brought home a set of flyers handed out by the anarchist group on campus. I flipped through them, hoping to be amused.

Instead, I was annoyed by the simplemindedness and foolishness in them. For example, one flyer was "8 Reasons Capitalists Want to Sell You Deodorant". It was a piece of drivel, concentrating on how capitalism means that people want to sell you useless shit to make money.

Now, as a capitalist, I disagree. You see, the United States hasn't had a capitalist economy for some time. At best, you can call it a Copratized Capitalism, or, in all candor, a copratist economy. While the exact end of capitalism is debatable (and the more cynical might wonder if it ever really existed in the US) the final nail in the coffin is undeniably in the late eighteen hundreds when the supreme court decreed that a corporation was an entity that was guaranteed the same rights as citizens- including things like free speech (which is why Nike can lie when it says that its shoes are not made in Malaysian sweat shops- it's not false advertising, it's free speech, and unless they're in court, lying isn't illegal).

First off, a free-market economy provides an elegant, decentralized solution for the production and distribution of goods. That's its biggest advantage over most forms of communism- nobody is in charge, _and_ the profit motive substitutes for some inane hope on humanity's goodwill. A simple free market can run on barter and IOUs, but currency is the next logical step- an abstracted form of "good" that can be exchanged for other goods and services.

Now, moving on from that, a corporation is a neccesity in a free-market economy of any maturity. Yes, Mr. Anti-corporate just said that. A corporation is a legal entity that exists seperately from the individuals that compose it. Which means if a corporation goes bankrupt, the owners aren't totally screwed. This is good. It encourages the production of goods and services- needed or not. Generally, the unneeded would end up in the rubbish bin of Chapter-11.

The concept of corporations isn't the problem- it's the current implementation.

Now, these anarchist pamphlets went on to decry the concept of personal property. Now personally, my clothes, are just that- mine. The skills in my head and hands are _mine_. Skills especially- I worked to earn them. Goods I may have aqquired through inheritance or gifts, but skills are mine, all mine. No one gave them to me, no state agency delivered them to me, no anarchist utopia spoon fed them to me.

If someone wants to make use of something that is mine, I expect a reward. This reward comes in many forms, goods being one of them. Relationships with other people is another- I'll do stuff for my friends just because they are that. Years of indoctrination in a profit-motive, or just common sense? By expecting and offering payment for goods and services, I'm encouraging the traffic of them- I keep them produced so people can eat and live.

Capitalism and anarchy are not opposed- in fact, they go well together. The problem occurs when goods and services of fuzzy value are commodified. Interpersonal relationships are a perfect example.

I've always said, "Capitalist by economy, socialist by culture." The profit motive is a wonderful incentive, and a decentralized architecture is robust and effective. But when it comes down to it, people are people, and it behooves us to remember that. People should share, not because we've renounced personal property, not because some nebulous gubentorial entity tells us to- but because it creates a happy, functional society. In the end, there's more for everyone if we share.

I'm not truly an "anarchist" in the strictest sense. I don't believe in no-rule. I believe in self-rule. A me-archist. I erect my own TAZ, and enforce my will within it. I am my own King.

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