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The Corporate Theory of Government

It was fun to watch the government torture Microsoft. Unfortunately, they did not do it for the right reasons! They didn't do it because they hate proprietary software, or Microsoft's draconian practices, or its blandness, or its lies, or its shoddiness -- and they certainly did not do it because they feel capital should flow freely, upon an even playing field, in fairness to the little guy!

The government prosecutes monopolist corporations because othercorporations lobby the government. Sure, prosecutors pick up the ideology when it suits them. But they've been pressured to do the work. The US government itself is a company, with many employees, which establishes partnerships with other companies through government contracts and good old- fashioned hobnobbing!

The Soviet Union was a corporation: the largest of all time. It was a giant "company town", of the sort that was eliminated in the US mostly because it kept people, resources and markets from rivals. Lenin was the most successful CEO of all time, a kind of hyper-super-meta-Bill-Gates, who locked up an entire continent against all competition. Well, no one could allow that! Both sides slathered the ensuing competition with oceans of empty, rhetorical PR. Just like today's corporate battles.

Talk to anyone who grew up in Soviet Russia, and you realize they sound very much like people who "grew up" in large US companies in the second half of the 20th century. Inculcation, policies, ideologies, hierarchies ... the parallels are mind-boggling.

The Big Media monopolies are governments too, and have been for over a century, with their own self-interests and alliances. Journalists have developed a coping ideology, in order to survive the crackdowns of these influential little dictatorships.

Corporations do not like their brands stolen: Mussolini was the original 'Fascist', damn it, and he didn't much like Hitler stealing his trademark. Later, they partnered. Hitler himself had a 1000-year business plan, which he spun to his workers and his shareholders.

These are not metaphors. It really is like this. Think about it when you're trying to figure out what's going on in any kind of politics: corporate or ... corporate.

Greg Bryant

February 16, 2003