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Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Real Problem

I hear people railing against corporations, but that is not the real problem. The problem is that much of our governance is through privately owned corporations, who constitute a plutocracy and govern much of our lives for "private Separate Advantage" which is part of the very definition of Tyranny as explained by John Locke:

John Locke defined tyranny as “…the exercise of power beyond right, which nobody can have a right to; and this is making use of the power any one has in his hands, not for the good of those who are under it, but for his own private, separate advantage.”

We have badly constituted governance of our business, where folks are regularly defrauded, swindled and taken to the cleaners by unscrupulous governors and their employees. That is what needs to change. We need corporations that are governed on democratic republican principles, that can be trusted, operate for the common good, with common sense, and with common decency; and that are overseen by common citizens.

The real issue in our world is do we want a society where, as the queen learned from John Locke, polity is founded on mutual trust, and a sense that any property is a trust from G-d, the community, and for our progeny — or do we want an animal society where the top dogs rule and dog eat dog is the norm? This debate goes all the way back to the Glorious Revolution in Britain where the British resolved their issues with Royalty by enforcing the principles of the commons: right to common access to common property, common law, common sense, and common decency. Our own revolution was just the next phase of this old debate, and was influenced by the bloodiness of the French Revolution. We are in an ongoing, mostly spiritual, struggle to define ourselves as either brute and perishable beings or beings who can rise above our beginnings, redeeme ourselves and make some good out of our lives.
I see this ongoing debate in my religious life, my work life, and in my personal life. Common sense is surprisingly hard to come by or to sustain.