Re: The IFG - Still don't think.....

From: Michael Lorrey (
Date: Fri Feb 09 2001 - 14:29:40 MST

Neal Blaikie wrote:
> > A corporation has no legal power to use force to make you buy their
> > product, pay them extortion money, or die in their service. A
> > corporation cannot shoot you out of hand without any repercussions.
> > Governments can do all of these. What powers corporations do have that
> > do get abused are only granted to them by the monopoly on the market of
> > force that government has. End that monopoly and you end both government
> > AND corporate abuses. Follow the power. Where is it most concentrated?
> > In government.
> This is only true in theory. In practice, there is plenty of evidence that corporations do
> engage in such unhealthy activities as coercion, bribery, murder and genocide.

Name one corporation that did not have police powers granted it by a
government that has ever committed genocide. You can't. Coercion,
bribery, and murder occur when a corporation is sufficiently cozy with
government to expect no significant investigation.

> You don't need a
> government to hire thugs and mercenaries to do your dirty work.

But you do need a government to force private citizens to sit there and
take it without any force in kind.

> And if you own the media, the
> police, and the government, who exactly can make sure there are repercussions for your actions?

You are arguing my side.

> And with no government of any kind, who is going to stop corporate gangs from doing whatever
> they want?

Each individual would be capable of defending themselves against
corporate gangs.

> Again, I'm not saying that the corporation is inherently bad, or that all
> corporations are engaging in these activities, just that some are and do. The only reason power
> appears to be the most concentrated in government is because that's what the powers that be
> want us to see. If the US government (for example) actually reflected the will of the people
> (as it is supposed to do in theory), and if the people were truly informed and cared about what
> was going in their own backyards and the world, then maybe these abuses couldn't take place. I
> don't know. Perhaps this is too much to hope for.

Corporate abuses occur because they have the power of government to
support them. Remove the sovereign monopoly of government and corporate
use of force withers away.

> > Ah, yes, and thanks to imperialism, 1/4 of the human race is no longer
> > burning its wives to death when their spouses die. I don't see that as a
> > negative process.
> I'm sorry, but the ethnocentric position of your argument sounds like a rationalization for
> oppression to me. Oddly enough, this is similar to the rationalization used by Christian
> missionaries, i.e. that these people were not living correctly and it's our job to better their
> lives and help them see the light. What hogwash. It's easy to pluck the most extreme examples
> (and, frankly, not very good ones) out of the air to justify something that has already
> happened. I'm just not buying it.

Yet you speak of genocide. Wife burning on the scale that occured in
India prior to British conquest was on the same scale as many genocides
that have occured in history. It belittles women's rights to say that
this practice is not genocidal-equivalent and that it should be
protected as some sort of 'cultural tradition' that is worthy of
respect. Its pathetic relativist crap like that that is truly hogwash.

> > Thanks to imperialism, despotic insular states like Japan and China
> > opened up and modernized. Thanks to imperialism, four of the ten most
> > stable nations on earth exist entirely due to colonization.
> And at what price to the people who didn't want what the white gods had to offer? This is so
> shortsighted and arrogant it almost defies belief. How can you claim to be a libertarian when
> it appears you think it's okay to selectively apply liberty? How exactly has colonization
> improved the lives of native Americans?

There are, in fact, as many Native Americans in north america today as
there were before the conquistadors. Native Americans today live an
average of twice as long as their forebears, with a far higher standard
of living.

> > Local opposition to 'imperialism' is typically a matter of one despot
> > and his henchmen getting pissed off that they aren't allowed to abuse
> > their serfs like they used to.
> Only to become serfs of the imperialists. This is a circular argument, and not a very good one.

Whether they become serfs or not is irrelevant. Were they abused by the
imperialists more than they were under their local rulers? Look at Hong
Kong, Singapore, and many other asian nations that were formerly
colonies. The local rulers claim that political repression is a
'cultural tradition' when westerners protest against it. Bollocks.

> > 2000-3000 years is nothing to evolution, and 'culture' is a thin veneer
> > that typically dissapears entirely with sufficient stress.
> Despite the evidence that this happens (I won't dispute it), I don't share your rather dark
> view of humanity. While culture is often a thin veneer, it's really all we have (of course, I'm
> including science and technology under this rubric) to separate us from the other animals. And
> enough, if we have the strength of character to use it wisely.

I don't have a dark view of humanity, or of evolution. It seems you have
a dark view of what I see as a natural system. Like a communalist, you
assume that the natural system is dark, harsh, evil and bad in a very
Calvinist/Puritan sense.

Human nature doesn't need to be changed, it needs to be informed. It
doesn't need to be chained, it needs to be unleashed and empowered.
People are at their best when left to their own devices. It is only when
you confiscate liberty and concentrate power that you get abuses and
corruption arises.

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:56:38 MDT