In the wake of the mass corporate purging of Donald Trump (and those associated with him), I couldn’t help but respond to a few posts on Twitter of people glorifying such a purge. I responded to one such tweet with my own tweet, dripping with a little drama:
“Dangerous levels of power. For those cheering it now, beware, the power and method of assessment is arbitrary. You could be next.”
That was it. That was my tweet. It was met with a firestorm of reactions, especially given my meager Twitter following and presence. Some people fully agreed and responded in kind and the rest vehemently disagreed and lobbied their insults/rebuttals.
I was particularly interested by the monolith of responses I received, almost all of them fitting into one of the following two categories (usually laced with insults and less modestly stated):
- It’s the right of a private business to censor who they want to censor. It’s free market capitalism. They have their terms of agreement so they can boot whoever they want.
- Well, I’m not trying to instigate insurrection and violence so I don’t have anything to worry about.
I spent the entire first day responding to tweets, all fitting into one of these two categories, but eventually tired of continually providing the same response to the same tweets by new people. Instead, I’ve decided to take to the keyboard, using my blog as the avenue with which to warn about the dangers of corporate tyranny.
One: It’s the right of a private business to censor who they want to censor. It’s free market capitalism. They have their terms of agreement and use so they can boot whoever they want.
First, I never said or insinuated that such banning wasn’t a businesses’ right, but the assumption stood anyway, as if, I can’t be both afraid of the power of private enterprise AND support the freedom of private enterprise at the same time.
Power is power. So, I reiterated this truth. I don’t care in whose hands it resides, it is still corruptible and frightening to me.
Further, in response to this “comeback” about free market capitalism, I find this argument rather curious, especially given the likely political preferences of those making the remark. Why suddenly defend “free market capitalism” when, for many, capitalism is the evil that must be eradicated?
My response to such claims was simple. Yes, it’s their “right”, at the moment, to make their own terms of agreement and enforce those terms of agreement (although, there are some legal aspects of this I need to dig into regarding “platforms” vs. “private organizations”), and I never said it wasn’t. My concern is, and always is, lots of power confined to a few hands.
There’s nothing more terrifying than power in the hands of few arbitrary arbiters. It doesn’t matter if that power is held by private individuals or public individuals. Power is power and is far too easily abused and misused by corrupt and flawed humans.
It’s far worse when that power is held by a small number of corruptible humans who are then able to arbitrarily decide how their power will affect the masses. This is nothing new and nothing controversial. As a Constitutionalist, I’m always aware of the flaws inherent in capitalism. Liberty and capitalism allows human nature to run wild. It allows private companies and individuals to cheat, steal, lie and abuse each other in the masses, much like socialism allows the few in government to cheat, steal from and abuse the masses.
There’s no escaping the consequences of human nature. It rears its ugly head in all circumstances. The issue with this mass corporate purging is that power has been highly consolidated into a very few, rich and powerful hands—meaning that the use of such power will have far-reaching and potentially damaging consequences. These companies’ rules and terms of agreement are completely arbitrary (as they would be since they aren’t confined by any Constitution) and therefore, at the drop of a hat, these companies can choose to purge or eliminate whoever they want for whatever reason they want.
It’s one thing for companies to have power and abuse their workers (terrible, even when left to that); but it’s an entirely new thing when these same abusive companies take politics and culture into their own hands as well.
It’s a chilling amount of power that any and everyone should be wary of.
Two: Well, I’m not trying to instigate insurrection and violence so I don’t have anything to worry about.
I then challenged those who said that they weren’t “inciting violence” with their tweets to consider what “inciting violence” even means. What is “inciting violence”? Who defines what it is? I could argue that anyone’s responses to me were inciting violence. Such a definition is completely arbitrary–meaning, these corporations who are able to control almost every aspect of our lives now (consider this, truly), can decide, upon a whim, for some reason or another, to change their definitions of “inciting violence” or any “term of agreement” because it is in their best interest–whatever that interest might be.
What’s to stop credit card companies and banks from deciding to shut off all access to their services because of a political belief?
Or large grocers from refusing to service individuals who hold a certain political or social belief? Should I keep going?
At this point, nothing. And that’s truly horrifying.
I’m humbled to realize that our corporations are, in many ways, more powerful than the U.S. government. This means that the tyranny, socialism, and communism the founders wanted to preserve the U.S. from, may not be ushered in by government but rather by corporations: the monster liberty created. (Of course the irony being that these corporations will eventually be devoured by the even worse monster they ushered in, tyrannical government).
Liberty is beautiful, but the consequence of liberty without Jesus, is human nature rearing its ugly head.
The solution for such monsters? I’m not so sure. I champion limited government an Constitutional confines, but I also champion limited power, no matter who holds it. I do know that the Constitution gives room for amendments, and I believe amendments are in order to confine and curb this corporate tyranny. It’s not unconstitutional to do so if the Constitution gives direction and the power to the government to do so. A Constitutional amendment would do just that, and it would be constitutional. That’s the issue, never letting government have arbitrary power, power outside of the Constitution, which is a why Constitutional amendment are so critical. Or we could turn to the states, who technically do hold the power right now to respond.
Otherwise, we’re going to see corporate tyranny reach levels it’s never reached before. The corporate abuse of workers is already staggering, and that doesn’t even account for the corporate control of the political agenda, news agenda and cultural zeitgeist.
Only a few individuals control all of this.
My friends, in what world, in what time, is this ever considered a good thing?
Ask yourselves the following question and present this question to anyone you know who is championing the latest conservative purge.
When in history has immense power, confined to a few hands (no matter if those hands are government hands or just powerful private individual hands), ever turned out well?
Because, everyone, even those who love the latest purge, grow silent when challenged with this reality.
This Liberty Belle