Who are you more afraid of, the government or corporations?

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djadonis206
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Re: Who are you more afraid of, the government or corporations?

Post by djadonis206 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:22 am

I'm glad this thread sparked some interesting conversation.

My belief that people should fear government more than corporations stems from my perspective as an older black man (I'm 37) and my education (I hold a Master of Public Administration degree from a public policy school). In graduate school I took a of lot of courses in economics and particularly benefit-cost analysis. My viewpoint is also informed by my growing interest in American history.

The federal, State, and local levels of government have enacted and failed to enforce so many detrimental laws it's scary.

Corporations come and go with the times but the government is constant and there's nothing you can do about that. There will always be a government.

The idea that corporations own government is interesting but I don't buy it (no pun intended). Corporations, like unions and civil rights groups have an interest in shaping policy to their favor when policy has a large enough impact. That's the economic way of thinking. The reason why more people do not stand up to government is because certain policy have such a diffuse and small impact, it's not worth it for everyone to organize and lobby government. We're too heterogenous. This dynamic also explains why some people don't vote.

Anywayz, please continue. I'm curious - conspiracy theories aside
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knotkranky
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Re: Who are you more afraid of, the government or corporations?

Post by knotkranky » Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:24 am

djadonis206 wrote:I'm glad this thread sparked some interesting conversation.

My belief that people should fear government more than corporations stems from my perspective as an older black man (I'm 37) and my education (I hold a Master of Public Administration degree from a public policy school). In graduate school I took a of lot of courses in economics and particularly benefit-cost analysis. My viewpoint is also informed by my growing interest in American history.

The federal, State, and local levels of government have enacted and failed to enforce so many detrimental laws it's scary.

Corporations come and go with the times but the government is constant and there's nothing you can do about that. There will always be a government.

The idea that corporations own government is interesting but I don't buy it (no pun intended). Corporations, like unions and civil rights groups have an interest in shaping policy to their favor when policy has a large enough impact. That's the economic way of thinking. The reason why more people do not stand up to government is because certain policy have such a diffuse and small impact, it's not worth it for everyone to organize and lobby government. We're too heterogenous. This dynamic also explains why some people don't vote.

Anywayz, please continue. I'm curious - conspiracy theories aside
People shouldn't fear government of course, but they should feel responsible for government. They should strive to improve it at every opportunity. Especially when a precious vote is involved. It's not perfect but we can truly move things. Voters for Obama proved that and restored my faith in people power. The whitest power in the world couldn't stop him from being elected. Now, that made some nice strides in social evolution if you ask me.

To every one concerning people and this planet; it is what it is. You can figure out how we all got here to this point, but we're not really heading in any direction to speak of anyway. Just behemoth entities trying to win. We're their cash machine. Those are the main cogs in this mess.

djadonis206
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Re: Who are you more afraid of, the government or corporations?

Post by djadonis206 » Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:28 am

It's true. People have a lot of power. Corporations and government wouldn't exist without them. But what does that say about people and the fear corporations and governments invoke?

Without courage, there is no fear*

*Okay, I jacked that from Batman - without hope, there can be no desperation :)
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knotkranky
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Re: Who are you more afraid of, the government or corporations?

Post by knotkranky » Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:55 am

Yeah, i getcha. People gotta get fed up and inspired. Arabs have had a couple great years for that for sure. Lots of good history for mobs too but i dunno if the U.S. have it in us. We respond pretty well to all the disinformation and media distractions. Fish in a barrel for most of the planet really. TV, billboards, radio. It's all we need to zombie out and there's a ton of them all fighting for our headspace. Bananas.

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Re: Who are you more afraid of, the government or corporations?

Post by Machinesworking » Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:36 am

funken wrote: The Soviet government was not something to be feared by ordinary citizens in the early days. However things changed for reasons that are a bit complicated to explain in a nutshell and belong on my Stalin thread anyway.
Point me to it, but IMO you're wrong about the Soviet government. They were the dictatorial extremists from the get go. The upper middle and ruling class very much had something to be feared, and although in a totalitarian autocracy like the Tsar ran, that meant that these people were 'blue blood', it's still a matter that they themselves had little to do with. Plus a lot of the ruling class in Russia were also sick to death of the Tsar.
Since you mentioned the Cold War though, I'll just throw in a fact not many people know. Stalin wanted to be America's ally
Stalin read Mein Kamf or was at least informed of it's contents, he was aware that Hitler hated communists as much as he hated jews. He made offering of treaties to both the US and UK before Hitler approached him. Of course the only reason Hitler wanted to ally with the Soviets was to annex Poland so he could more easily invade Russia etc. I think Stalin was aware that Hitler would eventually invade, but he was caught off guard when Hitler invaded before settling with England.
and he wanted to stop countries having socialist revolutions. But he failed to ensure Eastern Europe etc became capitalist. Truman got impatient and started the Cold War so he could intervene in Greece, where Stalin had failed to hold back the Communists.
A little off there. Stalin won out over Trotsky in part because Trotsky wanted to have continual expansion of communist ideology, he wanted to keep going until all of Europe was living the peoples paradise etc. Stalin was an isolationist, this gave him allies at home, and made him vulnerable to the Nazis. It's not that he minded other communist revolutions happening, he just didn't care until the Nazis invaded and made the threat of capitalist based dictatorships a reality to him. IMO the Soviet-ising of the eastern block after WWII was quite literally done to prevent another invasion on Russian soil. Also it was actually Stalin and Churchill that were responsible for Greece, they left the USA out of it. Basically they divided up the politically unstable countries in Europe into 'spheres of influence', Yugoslavia was given to Soviet backing and Greece to English etc. Greece IMO could have been the first democratic communist state, but English influence was supreme there so Stalin stepped back.

It's all pretty fascinating really, the one thing that still strikes me is how little we're in the west given to a more rounded interpretation of the events regarding WWII and the Soviet/Russian sacrifice that essentially stopped the Nazis. 85% of the German military casualties came from the Soviets. The Cold War in some respects was a huge propaganda push on the part of the capitalist western countries to cover up some of the more frightening truths about the National Socialist government. For instance did you know that the Nazis never even rewrote the constitution of Germany etc.? They simply called a "state of emergency" after the Reichstag fire and every four years called for it again. They existed in a crippled democratic system. This, is the main reason that Stalin went from being an isolationist to being an expansionist, because to the Soviets western democracy was directly responsible for 24 million Soviet deaths, and in a lot of respects it's hard to argue against that logic.
I think the Cold War to a degree actually lengthened the amount of time that Russia was under Soviet control by making a valid in many ways enemy for the people to fear. We could have had maybe 20 years of Soviet weirdness if we had been amicable and less violently oppositional to the Kremlin. The other day an ex head of the KGB was on TV talking about a near nuclear attack that almost happened because of faulty radar signals during a US/ european military training exercise. He was saying that one thing he didn't think the USA realized was how little the Soviets wanted a war, they, he felt had lost so much during WWII that they were more terrified we would start something than anything else.
None of this means Stalin was a great guy, but it's interesting how little credit the Soviet (Russian, Belarusian, Ukrainian etc.) people seem to be given for the huge sacrifice they made that essentially wiped out National Socialism.

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Re: Who are you more afraid of, the government or corporations?

Post by beats me » Tue Aug 14, 2012 5:37 pm

“Interested in a career in law enforcement.” Heard that the other night and thought about how the term sounds kind of menacing, like it takes a special kind of asshole to want to spend their work week in pursuit of people breaking any and every law. Whenever the police are called to anything it’s not a good thing for at least one party involved. I don’t know why anybody would want to be exposed to that day after day. Personally I would feel nothing but resentment towards humans in a very short time period.

I fear people attracted to that. It falls a little short of the God complex some doctors have.

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Re: Who are you more afraid of, the government or corporations?

Post by starving student » Tue Aug 14, 2012 11:36 pm

Corporations or Government .. I'd go with Corporations being the issue, the Government is just the vessel that implements the nightmares that corporations dream up, but even though corps are the problem the solutions have to be administered to the government because the government does the governing, corporations are too huge and complicated to get at. the great thing about math is that it doesn't lie, there are many entities funneling monies to the government like the unions, individuals, special interest groups but none of them match the lobbying power of the corporations. It doesn't matter whether you think in fragmented terms such as 'pc or not pc', Liberal or conservative, right or left, or msm/fox…. the math still doesn't lie.
the biggest problem society faces is it's inability to blame someone for the problem because we want the blame to stop at agendas
it's like we are hoaxing ourselves or hosing ourselves with stupid juice. there are no agendas, there is right and wrong, there is no pc or not pc, there is treating the person standing next to you with respect or disrespect whether they be a woman or a man or a different pigmentation than you or whether they prefer vaginas or penises for recreational purposes, or whether they pray to jesus or a head of lettuce………….. none of it matters. If you know when you are being treated right or wrong, then you know when you're treating someone else right or wrong it's as simple as that, the reason we have all of these new euphemisms is so that we can distract one another and detract from the truth. it doesn't matter if fox news makes the report or msnbc makes the report, what matters is the report, it doesn't matter if republicans say it or dems say it and people know all of this but in the last 15 years we as a people have decided that the messenger is more important than the message so if someone we don't like says it then it must not be true…… ergo obama can be a muslim terrorist, alien or anything else, therefore people will vote against the very bills they authored if obama agrees with them and supports their bill.

the sad thing is that we the people allow this kind of bullshit, if any politician votes against a bill that they themselves authored they should immediately lose their job and be run out of office.

back on topic corporations or government is not a philosophical question it's a mathematical one. follow the money and the flow, corps out lobby everybody else and just because there are other entities lobbying does not mean they are all equal. the corps do the most damage by the hands of the government which they have filled with money, the rest of the lobbying going on amounts to change slipping through the fingers of the government.

djadonis206
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Re: Who are you more afraid of, the government or corporations?

Post by djadonis206 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:44 am

I'd like to point out that no one has said what it is exactly about corporations that scares them more than governments.

Government scares me more because they can imprison me for no reason and kill me without being prosecuted.

Moreover, they draft and implement laws which can restrict my freedom of speech and movement.


And before you say corps can give you cancer or steal your money, I'd like to point out it's the government's responsibility from preventing that from happening
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Re: Who are you more afraid of, the government or corporations?

Post by justjohn_jj » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:52 am

Any question that starts with "Who are you more afraid of" is a question about emotional responses, not reasons.

Perhaps if you want reasons, you should ask a different question?
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Re: Who are you more afraid of, the government or corporations?

Post by djadonis206 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 1:50 am

Good point
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Re: Who are you more afraid of, the government or corporations?

Post by pulsoc » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:14 am

djadonis206 wrote:I'd like to point out that no one has said what it is exactly about corporations that scares them more than governments.

Government scares me more because they can imprison me for no reason and kill me without being prosecuted.

Moreover, they draft and implement laws which can restrict my freedom of speech and movement.


And before you say corps can give you cancer or steal your money, I'd like to point out it's the government's responsibility from preventing that from happening
You begin by asserting that governmental power terrifies you for their creation and execution of laws.

Then you suggest government is terrifying you because of their failure to create and execute laws.

Haha are you fucking kidding me?

djadonis206
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Re: Who are you more afraid of, the government or corporations?

Post by djadonis206 » Wed Aug 15, 2012 4:08 am

pulsoc wrote:
djadonis206 wrote:I'd like to point out that no one has said what it is exactly about corporations that scares them more than governments.

Government scares me more because they can imprison me for no reason and kill me without being prosecuted.

Moreover, they draft and implement laws which can restrict my freedom of speech and movement.


And before you say corps can give you cancer or steal your money, I'd like to point out it's the government's responsibility from preventing that from happening
You begin by asserting that governmental power terrifies you for their creation and execution of laws.

Then you suggest government is terrifying you because of their failure to create and execute laws.

Haha are you fucking kidding me?
Let me clarify that for you, government scares me
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Machinesworking
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Re: Who are you more afraid of, the government or corporations?

Post by Machinesworking » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:13 am

djadonis206 wrote:I'd like to point out that no one has said what it is exactly about corporations that scares them more than governments.

Government scares me more because they can imprison me for no reason and kill me without being prosecuted.

Moreover, they draft and implement laws which can restrict my freedom of speech and movement.


And before you say corps can give you cancer or steal your money, I'd like to point out it's the government's responsibility from preventing that from happening
Well again, in a capitalism the government becomes an extension of big business. This is a definite case where Godwins Law doesn't apply because it's a necessity to remind oneself that the Nazi Party was basically the underdog party until they got the financial backing of big business in Germany. In our particular form of government, corporations hold the real power, can you explain why you think they don't or are you talking from a theoretical perspective instead of from the perspective of our own current economic and political climate?

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Re: Who are you more afraid of, the government or corporations?

Post by cmcpress » Wed Aug 15, 2012 3:56 pm

djadonis206 wrote:I'd like to point out that no one has said what it is exactly about corporations that scares them more than governments.
actually I gave you exact reasons.

1. Because Corporations due to their legal status as individuals that leads to:
2. decisions being made by many people meaning there is little ownership breeding a psychopathic mentality
3. Because corporations have a legal responsibility to their shareholders first which gives rise to situations such as GM Motors in the 90's evaluating the cost of law suits against the cost of following regulation by installing safety features (ie it was cheaper to pay out in lawsuits than it was to install health and safety measures).
4. a) Because (the) Corporations (that I fear) are multinational whereas Governments are local and this leads them to being in some cases above the law (as in the case of Banks threatening to take their business elsewhere),
b) Can ruin economies
c) Can unduly influence government through lobbying, offering lucrative careers for ministers post term and so forth
5. Corporations are not directly answerable to the people.
djadonis206 wrote:Government scares me more because they can imprison me for no reason and kill me without being prosecuted.


Even in tyrannical dictatorships it's not as easy as this. You have to bear in mind that governments (as in all organisations) are made up of groups of people - from the members of parliament through to the heads of the army and so on. Not all of these agree and tyrannical dictatorships always need their army on side. Take Egypt for example - when the people rose up the government's position was no longer tenable as the army didn't want to wade in and kill unarmed civilians.

Taking the holocaust as the worst possible example (and at the risk of reductio ad hitlerum) - even this was very hard for the Nazi Government to do - they had to use euphemisms in order to even hint at it and one General was even relieved of duty for talking about it openly. In fact the decision was made by a Polish Camp Commander at first IIRC, and it just snowballed.

It's very hard for a government to openly commit atrocities because it risks alienating it's public. And a government that has alienated it's public is, at some point, going to end badly.

Whilst you may say "Oh well Corporations don't cause the Holocaust" - actually Some, Like Farber were actively involved and encouraged it - from using slave labour to manufacturing Zyklon-B.

Also - take Bhopal where Dow have never accepted responsibility for the horrible disaster there, or Nigeria where Corporations have private armies and have bought off the government in order to run Oil rigs that are completely destroying the environment there. Governments are responsible for enforcing regulations - but Corporations own Governments so much that they don't.

See you're whole question is flawed, because in some instances there is no clear distinction between the Corporate world and the Governmental world - they are both entwined. This means that you can't really split it into the binary question - "who are you afraid of more".

djadonis206 wrote:Moreover, they draft and implement laws which can restrict my freedom of speech and movement
As can Corporations in effect - by using Libel, Copyright or other laws. This happened very recently in the UK as part of the Olympics.
djadonis206 wrote:And before you say corps can give you cancer or steal your money, I'd like to point out it's the government's responsibility from preventing that from happening
It's a chicken and egg situation - who are you afraid of more? The government who aren't bringing in or enforcing legislative controls or the corporations who are paying them not to introduce or enforce governmental laws. The whole system of apportioning blame to one or the other is fucking ridiculous.

Short answer - we need governments to introduce sensible legislation that fosters enterprise but protects the populace. It's nonsensical for a corporation or a right winger to say that legislation should be repealed as it's stifling enterprise. We need enterprise but not at the cost of lives, and corporations, as members of society have a duty to society also. Similarly we need Governments who don't introduce draconian legislation on ideological grounds.

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Re: Who are you more afraid of, the government or corporations?

Post by stringtapper » Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:34 pm

funken wrote:So, we are probably stuck with capitalism until it destroys the planet. That reminds me, did Strapper ever say why he wanted the human race wiped out?
To end human suffering of course.
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