Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Soylent Green is Corporations! The Case for Virtual States!

Hi! h A p P y  T u E s D a Y !

What are we to make of corporations today?

Corporations are people is a common lament we hear today, especially in regards to Citizens United and the outright buying of our American government.  Why are corporations virtual people?

As a computer programmer I love recursion. If corporations are people then Soylent Green is corporations! Ha! The irony of course is that Soylent is a corporation. Woo hoo!

I love humor. So much so I changed my name to Mybrid and then decades later Wonderful! But this is not that story of my name change except to say that a book by William Gibson, Necromancer, was the inspiration. The humor I found in Neuromancer is that virtual people were created long before virtual reality. In the book computer programs gain rights by becoming corporations. Wow! What a concept!  What are you going to do about it if that happens? Ha! Just think a computer program becomes a corporation and takes over the government through buying politicians! Great plot! Soon reality?!?! I decided to take my virtual name, Mybrid, and bring it into reality. It is a little joke I enjoy daily. Mybrid is my name in all virtual realities I engage. Gibson predicted that unique names would be worth a fortune on the Internet. So I created a unique name, Mybrid. I'm the only Mybrid in this or any virtual world. You find Mybrid you found me.

Ok, enough fun with recursion, what are we to make of corporations today?

I have a solution. Before I put it out there let me remind my dear, dear audience that claims made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. The innovations being put forth in this blog are untested. They are intended as thought experiments like Schrodinger's Cat. The intent is to break the logjam of your mind created by worn out political thought: democracy, communism, socialism and blech.

I have a solution: Virtual States.

How were virtual people created? In the 1880's as a footnote to an obscure case by a legal aid. And this long before computers were a concept. As Mark Twain once quipped, reality is stranger than fiction because fiction has to stick within the realm of the plausible.

If only creating virtual states could be so easy as slipping a footnote in some obscure case today!

Walmart. Walmart is a global, billion dollar corporation that employees 1.4 million people. It has all the luxuries of profit and none of the responsibilities of state. People use the word "justice" to mean "fairness". I do not like that usage, my preference is to use "justice" to mean "responsibility". A just society is a responsible society to my thinking and the question is this: is Walmart being responsible?

How does society demand responsibility for our young and old who cannot work? For enforcing the law? The answer is government. The answer is State and Federal governments. So corporations get to enjoy all the benefits of American labor but none of the responsibilities. See any problem with that formula?

So, I say, if corporations can be virtual people then let people become virtual states. Imagine if the employees of Walmart formed a virtual state. Then all of the rules of Democracy apply, including voting for representation, having a constitution (corporate by-laws). As a virtual state then the elected president replaces the CEO, the people replace the board of directors,  and the legislative body sees to the general welfare of its people. No more board of directors! Elect a leader of the people, by the people and for the people. The CEO and the Board are the Kings and the Dukes of our generation. The only difference is that where Kings had no merits other than birth, CEOs presumably have talent. But, that talent never extends to treating people well and taking responsibility the company's people. CEO's are clueless about human nature and most of the them look down on their employees. Kings! In that regard, CEOs have no more credibility than Kings for holding leadership positions. Time to get rid of CEOs and elect Presidents on their merits of both talent of product and talent of people. If you can't do both then don't lead and be an individual contributor.

Walmart employs more people than the population of states like North Dakota. Which virtual entity has more resources? Walmart with its billions or North Dakota with its millions.

Did you know this country only had ten million people in its first census?  Walmart has 1.4 million. At one point do we wake up to the scale of responsibility?

The virtual state is a good mental exercise to ponder. People move and no longer stick on one place. Why not belong to a virtual state? We could extend virtual responsibility to cities as well. Indiana, my home state, has the dubious honor of allowing the smallest number of people to incorporate a city: five.

Designating social responsibility by land boundaries is a wealthy, land owner interest. How many of us rent today? Estimates are the banks own over 90% of the land in that few property owners own outright but have mortgages.

Virtual reality is here. Corporations are people, mortgages are virtual ownership and over half of Americans rent. How does land ownership apply to what "state" one lives in?

What are we to make of corporations today?

The time has come to open the door to investigating virtual social responsibility entities like virtual states.

Well come! and Well met! 

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