We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day – corporation version

“Unlike government, a corporation has no legal authority to force anyone to do anything. It can’t tax you, arrest you, or conscript you. It can’t force you to work for it. It can’t force you to invest in it. It can’t force you to buy its products. Bakan, however, says corporations “determine what we eat, what we watch, what we wear, where we work, and what we do.” No, they don’t. They make us offers, which we can accept or refuse. But those offers give us countless options to improve our lives—options we wouldn’t have otherwise. Far from a threat, the earned economic power of corporations brings us great benefits.

People interact with corporations voluntarily. If a corporation sells a shoddy product, people can refrain from buying it. If it sets prices they regard as too high, they can negotiate or look for a better deal. If it pays low wages or lays off employees, they can work elsewhere or start their own business. If people think Google and Facebook collect too much personal data while failing to properly safeguard it, they can use other platforms or services. Bottom line: If you don’t like a corporation, you can avoid it. You do not have this choice with government, though. Ignore the IRS, and fines, penalties, or prison await you. You can opt out of Google and Facebook, but you can’t opt out of the surveillance dragnet of the NSA.”

Michael Dahlen, The Objective Standard.

23 comments to Samizdata quote of the day – corporation version

  • Paul Marks

    The trouble is that the Corporations are supported by the fiat money of the government – are 300 year old “friend” the Cantillon Effect (named after Richard Cantillon) how, contrary to Milton Friedman, an “increase in the money supply” does not go to everyone equally – it goes first to certain interests (as F.A. Hayek said in one of the essays in “New Studies” (1978)- the money supply is not like water gushing everywhere, it is more like “treacle” piling up with certain sticky fingered people, such as the big, and politically, connected corporations. Non political fiat money is like a barking cat – you can not really have that, fiat money is political (is corrupt) basically by definition.

    Take the example of BlackRock – look at the Board, if anyone really thinks that the Board of BlackRock, a bunch of freaks and weirdos, got control of ten Trillion (yes ten Trillion) worth of investments strictly on honest merit – well I have got a nice bridge to sell you, and they were treading on an old road (as Warren Buffett “Berkshire Hathaway” shows – the reason he thinks all businessmen are corrupt is because HE IS – so he assumes everyone else is like him).

    Cut off the fiat money flow, go back to a commodity money – and most of the problem is over.

    There is also taxation – Corporations should not be taxed more highly than individuals, but they should not be taxed less highly either. Things such as Google pushing for a doubling of the State income tax in Arizona in 2020, because it knew it did not pay income tax (just Mom and Pop business enterprises pay income tax) are obscene.

    And the notion that Corporation Tax or a Turnover Tax (which some States – such as Texas, have) is “double taxation” rests on the assumption that a Corporation has no interests of its own that it is just a “servant of the shareholders” – Edmund Burke found out that this is NOT true with his experience of the East India Company, whose managers had nothing but contempt for the interests of the shareholders (as Edmund’s kinsman William Burke, who was a shareholder, had found the managers of the East India Company, men like Paul Benfield, did not care if the shareholders got hosed, as long as they got to cream off money for themselves, and the structure of the corporation made it almost impossible to get rid of the managers).

    By the way, the East India Company, like many Corporations, did all the things Michael Dahlen says they can not do. Make war, levy taxes and-so-on. Although other corporations, such as Google and Amazon (lockdowns) or Pfizer (Covid injections) prefer to work via governments – rather than use force directly themselves.

    If people want Corporation Tax to be zero that is fine – as long as the Income Tax is zero as well, as it is in South Dakota (which has no real oil money) and Wyoming (which does have oil money). Paraguay (a nation of several million people) had no income tax till 2012 – now it is 10% whether it is an individual or a corporation. That seems fair enough – I do not think there is much reason to tax corporations more highly than individuals.

    As for the matter of the great gift of the state (other than the endless flow of Credit Money – see above) of limited liability – I will leave that to people who have made a special study of it such as Mr Ed.

    I will just make the historical point that limited liability “bodies corporate” were normally non-profit – such as university colleges, and religious foundations.

  • Paul Marks

    By the way – there is no need for a turnover tax at the State level in South Dakota and Wyoming, as it does not matter if corporations are hiding profits or not. The reason it does not matter is that individuals do not pay a State income tax in these States – so corporations are not given a special advantage over individuals. One could say the same even in large States such as Texas and Florida (with tens of millions of people in each State) – as there is no State Income Tax in either of these States, one could make the argument that they should not tax corporations either.

    I would have been AGAINST the Federal Corporation Tax when it was introduced in (I think) 1909 – as there was no Federal Income Tax at that time (not till 1913).

  • By the way, the East India Company, like many Corporations, did all the things Michael Dahlen says they can not do.

    The East India Company was not really a corporation in the modern sense, it was state chartered QUANGO with its leading figures passing seamlessly between HEIC & Crown establishment (Wellington being a notable example of that).

  • Johnathan Pearce

    The East India Company was not really a corporation in the modern sense, it was state chartered QUANGO with its leading figures passing seamlessly between HEIC & Crown establishment (Wellington being a notable example of that).


    The trouble is that the Corporations are supported by the fiat money of the government – are 300 year old “friend” the Cantillon Effect (named after Richard Cantillon) how, contrary to Milton Friedman, an “increase in the money supply” does not go to everyone equally – it goes first to certain interests (as F.A. Hayek said in one of the essays in “New Studies” (1978)- the money supply is not like water gushing everywhere, it is more like “treacle” piling up with certain sticky fingered people, such as the big, and politically, connected corporations. Non political fiat money is like a barking cat – you can not really have that, fiat money is political (is corrupt) basically by definition.

    Indeed, it is one of your regular refrains. But that said, the need to not conflate political with economic power, which is what bashers of corporations do, is important, which is the point of the quotation. Those who attack corporations hardly ever mention the monetary debasement point, Paul. It is outside their mental frame of reference.

    As for the Pfizers and the rest, to the extent they are at fault, it is because they engage in what Ayn Rand called the politics of pull. Again, this is not an argument against corporations as such.

  • Chester Draws

    If corporations have too much power (doubtful), what do they propose to replace them with?

    International trade would basically disappear if we were to move to individual traders — small businesses don’t have the reach. International trade is a primary reason that corporations began to form in the first place, so long term, high risk ventures could be shared. A “solution” that leads to world-wide impoverishment isn’t really a solution.

    The only way international trade/banking would survive is if some individual traders grew to the size of modern corporations. Imagine the bleating if individuals like Murdoch had that much power, not even answerable t shareholders!

    Other reasons corporations historically formed: to allow connected banking and to fund large industrial projects. We are all going to be peasants without those two things.

    Who wants the equivalent of a family bank like the Rothschilds to reappear?

    Co-operatives are touted, but once they reached a large enough size they become the same as we have now. Instead of answering to shareholders, the people running very large co-operatives would merely answer to the people who owned a share of the co-operative. We could call them share-holders, for simplicity.

    That leaves Socialist control of the means of production. That’s been tried, and found very much wanting.

    The anti-corporation crowd can bleat all they want, but there is literally no other method of making modern society work.

    Sorry, there is one other organisation type that successfully operates even now across borders and with long-term solidity. That is mafia-style clans. Do we want an economy based on them? (Basically up-dated feudalism.)

  • Paul Marks

    Perry and J.P.

    It is increasingly clear that the East India Company was a corporation “in the modern sense” – modern mega corporations, with their ESG and DEI (Environmental and Social Governance and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) agendas, are nothing like the idea of a corporation in the mind of Milton Friedman (some sort of machine that is just about maximising share holder returns) – the vast corporations, supported by the endless fiat money of government backed Central Banks, could not give a damn about “Aunt Agatha” (the individual shareholder).

    They are about “building a better world”, by any means necessary, and they are joined at the hip (via the monetary and financial system) with governments.

    They, just like governments, are dominated by elite “educated” types – and they meet at Davos (and many other venues) to discuss political and cultural matters – how they can shape the world (the population) to their will. If a corporation was really like the idea in the head of Milton Friedman – they would go to these venues. But human beings are not machines – they are human beings, they have ideas (beliefs). The trouble is that the ideas (beliefs) of the elite Corporate ideas are BAD – these bad beliefs are what they push (they are not machines – they are people, but sadly people with bad beliefs)

    Dr Johnson said “a man is seldom so innocently engaged as when he is after money” – because when men are after other things such as POWER, they do far worse things.

    The Corporate bosses (the heads of the banks, the internet companies, and weird entities such as BlackRock, State Street, and Vanguard – who control most of the shares, about TWENTY TRILLION Dollars worth of shares) have more money than they know what to do with – how many private jets and gold bath tubs (and so on) can a man want? It is POWER – they want, a Corporate State.

    And they are getting it.

    To give just one example – what does the Disney Corporation care about customers? “Consumer Sovereignty” (I think that was from W.H. Hutt) would mean that smelly ordinary people were in charge – telling Corporate managers what sort of films and television programmes we want.

    Our overlords think that is insane – they are better than us (they know they are better than us – they feel it with every fibre of their being) so they should tell us what films and television programmes we see – and the emerging system will mean there is no real competition to what the Corporations believe we should watch (and what we should wear, and what we should eat – and so on).

    As for right now – endless extended “copyright law” means that the Disney Corporation can carry on living off what Mr Walt Disney created – even though he died in 1966.

    It is almost funny – as if someone like Walt Disney turned up at the Disney Corporation today they would scream for their armed security, a “racist”, “sexist”, “homophobe”, “transphobe”, “Islamophobe” (etc – on and on) has entered building, “kill him! hill him! kill him!”. Worst of all the intruder might actually have a creative idea – and they do not like creative ideas (they got all their ideas from the education system – thinking for themselves is totally alien to them).

    And they do have armed security. Although they seem to think their armed security are just robots who have no thoughts of their own and will always attack who they are told to attack – and they may be mistaken about that.

    For example, some of those armed security (for example some of the armed guards at Disney World in Florida – the guards are the most normal people in the corporation) think it is absurd that the Disney Corporation (who hate their customers – just as they hate the shade of Walt Disney) that the Disney Corporation is still getting money from Mickey Mouse – a character created more than 90 years ago, and a character created by a man (Walt Disney) whom the Disney Corporation hate and despise.

    But not as absurd the banks and financial entities being able to create “money” from nothing and “lend” it to the connected.

  • Paul Marks

    Banking is a classic.

    The propaganda line is that it is “putting savings to work” – getting savings (that would otherwise be hidden under the flood boards) and investing them in productive industry.

    In reality the lending is not from Real Savings (contra Keynes, Credit Expansion is NOT “saving, as real as any other form” it is not saving at all) – the money is created from nothing, and as for mostly going to fund productive industry. Well tell that to the Marines.

    Back in the days of J.P. Morgan it was a scam – but it was a very careful scam (he had one Dollar of physical gold for every three Dollars he lent out).

    These days they behave as if the flashing lights on their computer screens are real money (even though they themselves create the flashing lights on their computer screens – so Orwellian “Double Think” is at work there) – they have no idea they are running a scam, they think it is a wonderful system that is going to create a “Better World”.

    They really do believe it – they are not scamsters, they believe in all this insanity (because they have been educated to believe it). It is all going to lead to a “Better World” with people getting what we “should have” not the silly things we actually want (their Supreme Court decided that people could not have their gold – back in 1935, and that contracts do not mean what they say).

    Come back J.P. Morgan – your big red nose was not your fault (it was a disease), and at least you knew you were running a scam – and, therefore, you were very careful indeed about it (again, one Dollar of physical gold – for every three Dollars you pretended to have).

    These days the inmates have taken over the asylum. “The pretty lights are money, I have hundreds of billions of Dollars – because the computer screen says I do”.

    A bit like that fool Mr Putin with his “I have got 100 Billion Dollars of foreign exchange reserves” – which he found had no physical existence.

  • Martin

    I found it curious the article praises banks, yet makes only one mention of the Federal Reserve, but doesn’t mention the 2008 bailouts (‘socialism for the rich’) or the fact that the dependence of the banking sector on central banks makes the idea banks truly independent actors of the government somewhat risible. At best banks are ‘public-private’ partnerships.

    There are a lot of supposedly private corporations are controlled by governments as well, such as Aramco, EDF, etc. It is interesting how many supposedly ‘privatised’ industries in the UK are ran by foreign state corporations. And then there are arms manufacturers and private military companies that largely only exist, at least in the size they reach, from government contracts (taxpayers money). There are then companies like the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, one of the world’s most powerful institutional investors. It is private but it exists as a pension fund for state employees and is sponsored by the Ontario government. You tell me where state ends and private begins with corporations like that.

    You can opt out of Google and Facebook, but you can’t opt out of the surveillance dragnet of the NSA

    Doesn’t seem to stop the likes of Facebook from basically being a willing arm of ‘the surveillance dragnet’ of intelligence agencies.

    Reading about the Canadian truckers who got their bank accounts frozen last year for opposing the Canadian Covidian regime, what’s clear is that while the banks claimed they were only following the government’s orders, they followed such orders enthusiastically and not one of them queried if the government orders were legitimate or if any basic due process had been applied. What do these truckers do? Even if their bank accounts get reinstated, they can hardly realistically move with their feet elsewhere. All of the banks acted like cowards, will likely do so again, and if a bunch of truck drivers could afford to set up their own bank and/or replacements to Visa/Mastercard, well its unlikely they’d have to be truck drivers in the first place.

  • Paul Marks

    And, under the madness, there are still “men with guns” – as even Paul Krugman (no friend of mine) admitted. In case someone starts disputing things – in case people do not do what they are told to do. But the men with guns work for men like Governor Gavin Newsom, and whoever the scumbag Director of the FBI is at the moment – rather than the corps directly (why else support a high tax man like Newsom – they support him because they know that such things as lockdowns will only apply to Mom and Pop business enterprises, NOT to them).

    So it is like the East India Company – indeed worse, as at least they (the East India Company) normally paid cash. And when they robbed you – they did it openly (rather than by reducing the value of the money – by creating lots, from nothing, for themselves – and their associates).

    Although Paul Benfield (most likely not Warren Hastings – who, bad man though he was, was still a man of spirit, rather than a weasel) would have loved the current system.

    Yes Paul Benfield would fit in to modern society perfectly.

    Warren Hastings robbed you with a gun, and if you shot him first – he would have understood that and not had a problem with it. Hastings also made a lot less money than Clive had done – to Hastings the game was the thing, the money as just a way of keeping score, he spent as much money as he raised (no matter how many old women he had beaten up to tell him where their money was – the “Begums of Oudh” ).

    Paul Benfield robbed with a pen (although he did have the Governor of Madras abducted at gun point – but he did not do the abducting personally, after all the Governor might have been armed and Mr Benfield did not want risk getting hurt, he was not that sort of man) – Benfield robbed with a pen, so he would soon adapt to robbing people with a computer.

    The only thing that would not fit – is that someone like Mr Benfield did NOT believe he was creating a “Better World”.

    And that made him a lot less (yes less) bad than the people who met at Davos last week.

    And Warren Hastings was better than all of them as well – he was, bad though he was, a man of spirit. They are not.

    Even their own armed guards despise them – and despise the “Better World” (the international Corporate State) they are creating.

  • Stuart Noyes

    What about our energy companies? What about petrol and deisel? There are many markets that are monopolies.

  • Ferox

    If you are willing to greatly reduce the legal shields provided by IP and copyright law, and if you are willing to eliminate corporate subsidies entirely (that includes poisonous things like loan guarantees too), and if you are willing to make it illegal for state regulators to accept positions in the industries they regulated after they leave state employ, and if you are willing to require by law that all political donations by corporations be made public knowledge, then I am all in favor of corporations and the role they play in our world. Yay corporations.

    The problem with the current state of affairs is that we have largely moved from the desirable condition of capitalism into the undesirable condition of corporatism – that is, a state of affairs where the corporate and the state entities are tightly locked into a symbiotic embrace. CEOs and politicians are busily scratching each others backs to the detriment of everyone not privileged to exist in that little oligarchy.

    That ain’t good.

    I am all for corporate action, when it involves people coming together in engage in commerce with amortized risk. Not so much when it involves huge investment firms trying to use commerce as a hammer to bludgeon everyone into their social agenda, and especially when they have so many ties to the state.

  • Paul Marks

    I hope we can at least agree on the tax question (leaving such things as the Corporate use of physical violence, directly or indirectly, and their special legal immunities, a gift of government, aside).

    It is quite wrong for Corporations in much of the United States to be able to deduct their local and State Property Tax from their taxable income for Corporation Tax purposes – it is wrong because Income Tax payers can not do that (thus giving Corporations an unjust advantage against individually owned business enterprises – and against partnerships), and because it undermines any reason Corporations might have for opposing high local and State government spending – after all if they are only going to benefit from the spending, and are not going to pay for the spending, why not support Big Government? And that is exactly what they do in many cities – till the Big Government cities fall apart around them (by which time it is too late to stop the decay).

    It is also quite wrong for Google (whose search engine was exposed by Dr Epstein as a politically biased fraud -0 and if the search engine of Google is a fraud is not the company a fraud?) and other Corporations (hello Amazon – of pushing lockdowns fame) to do such things as double the State Income Tax in Arizona in 2020.

    Their Corporate campaign doubled the State income Tax in Arizona in 2020 – and they did that knowing that they, as Corporations, would NOT pay that tax – only their competitors (individually owned enterprises) would pay. Is that not wrong? Should not Corporations pay the same rate of tax as family owned business enterprises? If “no” then we are going to have an economy dominated by a handful of Corporate entities (BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard control 20 TRILLION Dollars worth of shares between them) with the population as serfs.

    In Louisiana a favoured Corporation may pay no State Corporation Tax at all, if it gets that designation from a government board (a board as honest as a four Dollar note) whilst the individually owned business enterprise next door is taxed into the ground – surely that is wrong?

    But then do Corporate Managers always care about Corporation Tax? After all the managers do not personally pay the tax – and they support the Democrats in California (very high Corporation Tax – and very high every other tax as well) and even New Jersey – which has the highest Corporation Tax in the United States (as well as being the most debt ridden State – the finances, taxes and spending, of Democrat New Jersey are the worst I have ever seen in examining a local government – not just in America, I mean anywhere-on-Earth in terms of local taxes, spending and debt – if I nodded through accounts like this I would be sent to prison, and rightly so).

    This division between ownership and control in these business enterprises is not working out well. The Corporate managers are joined at the hip with the government managers (“public-private partnership” – Mussolini had a word for that – a word starting with the letter F) – and they all the same sort of people (educated in the same schools and universities), the “ideal” of a Corporate State “Stakeholder Capitalism” model (of John Kenneth Galbraith, Klaus Schwab and others) is fast becoming a reality – with competition crushed by taxes and regulations, and endless fiat money going to the politically connected.

    There is another point of agreement – surely we can agree that the fiat money must stop, no more just creating money from nothing and handing it out to the politically connected. Such a system makes talk of “free enterprise” a sick joke – we live in a “Cantillon Effect” world, look at BlackRock, State Street and Vanguard (20 Trillion, yes Trillion, worth of investments under their control) and look at the Credit Bubble Banks – which have no connections what-so-ever to honest money lending. They are not based on Real Savings (the actual sacrifice of consumption), they are based on money created from nothing.

  • Paul Marks

    As for cities – as opposed to States. Chicago is worst – its hiding of debts (see the Truth in Accounting report) puts Enron and other Corporations to shame. And Illinois is almost as bad as New Jersey in its wild spending and dishonest accounting.

    And the Corporations support the madness in Illinois, New Jersey, California and other States – the corporations seem to value pushing abortion, infanticide (yes the baby dying AFTER birth), “Trans Rights” for children (i.e. the sexual mutilation of children), and the rest of the “Woke” agenda, over controlling government spending and taxation.

    “Not by choice Paul – the Corporations have to do this because BlackRock and the others tell them to” – fair enough, but it all still stinks.

    I spent most of my life defending Corporations – but no more.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    What about our energy companies? What about petrol and deisel? There are many markets that are monopolies.

    In several cases these businesses were nationalised, or are so large, given the economics, that they are what economists call “natural monopolies” where barriers to entry for such integrated groups is hard, but not impossible. But note this: these firms aren’t powerful enough to withstand the twists and turns of markets, or ward off windfall taxes on so-called “excess” profits. And if you note, much of the price of diesel and petrol at the pump is tax.

    With energy companies, such as generating electricity, there has been too great a temptation for governments to get involved, sometimes citing things such “strategic necessity” or whatnot, although as we are learning, the needs of the consumer, both at the individual and business end, are often ignored.

    Paul makes a good point about states and corporations. While some corps get away with accounting sharp practice, they eventually get done over in the courts. Even banks, which have sometimes led a charmed life, have had to pay out billions for things like misselling of payment protection insurance, money laundering violations, etc. And in nearly all the cases cited, it is where governments have sought to use companies to do their dirty work, or where firms have tried the lazy option of getting favours, subsidies and regulations to fuck over their rivals, rather than earn an honest living.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Chester Draws asks: “If corporations have too much power (doubtful), what do they propose to replace them with?”

    That is the right question to ask. It is all true, as Paul Marks says, that some of the folk in corporations hold bad ideas, that the playing field is tilted in favour of certain firms because of cheap central bank money, and that governments try to impose their views via corps rather than doing so honestly. That’s all true. And maybe some changes to limited liability laws and equal treatment of tax laws would help. But the fact is that at base, a corporation is not the same as a State, properly conceived, and yet in the past, too many have conflated states and corporations. (Interestingly, we free market types are best placed to clarify the distinction by noting that it is invariably bad State policies that blur these distinctions. And bad ideas, too.)

  • JohnK


    You make a good point about the power elite ultimately relying on men with guns, whom they despise.

    Some years back I knew a fellow who had been an armed police officer. One of the responsibilities of his unit had been to guard the local regional command centre, to be used in the event of nuclear war. The plan was that the armed police would turn up with the keys, let the bureaucrats in, and then be locked out.

    Needless to say, this plan did not impress the men with both the keys and the guns. In the event of toe to toe nuclear conflict with the Reds, certain bureaucrats would have been surprised to find the bunker locked in their faces, and several armed policemen and their families safe inside. Obvious when you think about it.

  • Facebook, Google, and many of the other advertising companies also have a revolving door to the corridors of power, either directly or via political parties. Nick Clegg isn’t a bigwig at
    Meta because of his technical proficiency. The war is for hearts and minds, and since at least 1960, one can sell a candidate using the same methods as one sells breakfast cereals. These new
    internet gadgets are just the latest, greatest, most addictive, oxytocin control devices so far assembled. They also collect a great deal of information that any state would be envious
    for and retaliated against.
    Thus, they become proxies for government. Their databases are re-used either for election campaigns or propaganda (depending on your pov, of course) campaigns. They are routinely leveraged
    in investigations into crimes, particularly thought crimes such as hate, discrimination, or disloyalty. They are controlled by government with regulation and the threat of further regulation,
    and their unique business models make them very easy to target for special taxation, should their cooperation ever falter.
    Government also protects these businesses with regulations that prevent competition. (e.g. try to do a social media startup without 1000+ employees devoted to content review). The dirty
    work of government monitoring and propaganda are thus neatly outsourced to these corporations, with a thin veil of secrecy, informal agreement, and personal relationship disguising anything
    that might be illegal, immoral, or unconstitutional.

  • Paul Marks

    JohhK – yes indeed.

    JP Flathead – the Corporations and the Governments are indeed dominated by the same sort of “educated” person, this is not a cigarette paper’s worth of difference between them, I agree with the quotation in the post (from the Objectivist) that there SHOULD BE – but the fact is that there is not, facts are stubborn things, and the fact is these people are “Woke”, and do care about customers (and the RIGGED system means they do not have to care about customers – in a free market “Go Woke and Go Broke” would apply, but not in the system of fiat money and bent finance, and all the rest of it).

    Ordinary people are not stupid – we can see blatant contradictions.

    The Economist magazine is NOT Marxist – it is Corporatist, it gives us an insight in the absurd contradictions of the Corporate Manager Class – and it is the Corporate Manager Class (the people who like the Economist magazine) who control the Corporations.

    In this week’s issue the Economist magazine denounces censorship in American schools and universities – but NOT the censorship and persecution done by the the Marxists who have dominated these places for years – oh dear me no. The “Classical Liberal” “Free Market” Economist magazine (the magazine of the Corporations) denounces Florida for trying to fight back against the Marxist indoctrination in the schools and universities, “beware of censorship” the Economist magazine piously proclaims – as your ideological opponents may use it on you! They have Economist magazine, you utter and complete swine, they have been using savage censorship and persecution against us for many years – whilst you pretended not to notice. Indeed you backed one of the to be President of the United States in 2008 – whilst pretending you did not know about his Marxist background (you did know – because you were told, I know for a fact that all the information was passed on to you).

    Did you oppose the (mis) use the Obama Administration made of Title Nine of the Civil Rights Act to crush Freedom of Speech in the schools and universities? No – you pretended not to notice. Just as you pretended not to notice the de fact nationalisation of LAND by the effort to declare than any land with water on it was under government regulation. And the other corporations also pretended not to notice.

    Just to rub it in – in the same issue of the Economist magazine there is a big puff-piece article for “Lula”, the socialist criminal selected by the “international community” to be President of Brazil – regardless of what the voters wanted.

    “Lula” in Brazil (not the Governor of Florida) is pushing censorship laws RIGHT NOW (for example targeted against people who point out that the elections might be bent – but the censorship laws are also to cover virtually every form of dissent) – but no protests from the Economist magazine against real censorship.

    Some security guard in the Economist magazine building can tell the blatant contradictions in the publication – and could not care less if the hypocrites who write for it were burned by the Marxists they crawl to every week. If “Lula” in Brazil, and Marxist academics in Florida are your friends – then best to leave you with them, and if they decide they want to rob-and-murder you, oh dear, how sad, never mind.

    And, yes, the Economist building was one of the places I guarded when I lived in London.

    The other Corporations are much the same – which is why they (the Corporate Manager Class) buy this magazine.

    It is even in the entrance area of the Institute of Economic Affairs in Lord North Street – it is hard, very hard, not to give in to total despair.

    To those who do not know – the Institute of Economic Affairs has been the heart of the pro free market forces in the United Kingdom since the 1950s. And yet there it is, the Economist magazine, sitting there. No wonder there was no resistance to the Covid lockdowns or anything else.

    And no that is not a hit at the IEA – it is a hit against all of us, including me. We have all failed.

  • Paul Marks

    “Infrastructure” the Corporations love “Infrastructure” projects – because they are CORPORATE WELFARE, so the Economist magazine loves them to.

    “HS2”, a rail line between places that already-are-connected-by-rail, is costing over 100 Billion Pounds.

    Over 100 Billion Pounds (“not much if you say it quick”) for a project which is of no practical use (a rail line between places that already-are-connected-by-rail), indeed is harmful, because it is eating up farmland, destroying private homes, and-so-on.

    This is what the Corporations stand for.

    “But Paul they do not personally steal the money – they get the government to steal the money for them”.

    Indeed – but that is a distinction without a real difference.

    If the project is ever finished, it will be a white elephant (if you think that is “racist” – go jump in the nearest lake) – as people are already video conferencing. Managers, increasingly, do not go to London to be in a meeting with other managers – they use Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

    Meanwhile some racist idiot has been sentenced to eleven years in prison – for making videos.

    You see other racist idiots (who he had never met – indeed who live in another country) watched the videos before they killed people – he did ask them kill these people, indeed he never met the other racist idiots.

    But do not hold your breath waiting for the Economist magazine to denounce a racist idiot being sent to prison, for eleven years, for making videos.

    What was that about being “against censorship” again?

    “But Paul the videos led to violence”.

    Well Marxist works have also “led to violence” – aver 100 million murders (see “The Black Book of Communism”).

    But suspect that the Economist magazine will not come out for the banning of Marxist videos and for the sending of the people who make them to prison for eleven years.

    No – because it is very busy, licking their boots every week.

  • Paul Marks

    “The rocks and and trees will call out “There is a Jew hiding behind me – come and kill him”

    Are we going to send to prison people who read out stuff from such works?

    No say the “Woke” – once the find out what the works are.

    Indeed the Corporations denounced the leader of the Freedom Party in the Netherlands for “demanding” that a certain book “be banned”. What he actually did was to point out that if Dutch law was applied equally to all works that “incited violence” then the works of a certain religion would be banned – that is NOT the same thing as demanding that a certain book be banned. It is pointing out that the law is being applied unjustly – that some works that “incite murder” are banned, but other works that “incite murder” are not banned – indeed are held up as incredibly noble.

    But the Corporate State, including the “mainstream” media, did not understand that – or rather pretended it did not understand that.

    By the way – in case any Corporate type pretends they do not understand the above….

    I am NOT saying that works (books of sayings, videos, whatever) that say “kill the Jews” should be banned – whether these works are religious or secular, produce what cretin level rubbish you like. As long as you do not demand that I pay for it.

  • Paul Marks

    And now another Nazi idiot has got nine years in prison.

    Were his videos watched by people who later on murdered people? No they were not – because he did not make videos.

    This 20 year old Nazi idiot has got nine years in prison for….. well because the legal system does not like Nazi idiots.

    “And quite right to!” – say Corporate State types who do not think how such a “justice” system could one day be applied to them.

    As the Economist magazine might put it “Beware censorship – because your opponents might apply it to your own ideology” – although, sadly, they never would say that about people whose politics are not fashionable.

  • Paul Marks

    Fiat money and Credit Bubble finance makes a political economy possible (at least for some time) – it makes an economy dominated by DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) and ESG (Environmental and Social Governance) possible, and that is what we now have. An economy concentrated into a few hands (the Cantillon Effect) and following a cultural and political agenda – with Corporate and Government administrators being much the same – educated in the same schools and universities and following the same agenda (and having no vital interest in customers or in “Aunt Agatha” style share owners).

    That is why the quotation in the post is now, sadly, mistaken – that (the fiat money and the Credit Bubble finance) is why the distinction between governments and the vast corporations has collapsed.

    I believe that economic law will eventually destroy the Corporate State (for a Corporate State is what we now have in the Western World), but the end will not be pretty.

    Today, indeed growing since the start of the 1990s (with Agenda 21 – now Agenda 2030) we even have Corporations (such as Pfizer) part funding the very government agencies that are supposed to police them – the “Public-Private Partnership” of “Stakeholder Capitalism” (what Mussolini called “Fascism” the Corporate State) is that blatant now.

  • Mary Contrary

    “If people think Google and Facebook collect too much personal data while failing to properly safeguard it, they can use other platforms or services.”

    Actually that’s not really true. Even if you don’t use Facebook (I don’t) or Google, they are still tracking you and collect extensive data on you – because all the other services you do use rely on them. Even the sites you think are quite separate from Google etc.

    A simple example is the little icons you see built into websites like Samizdata, encouraging you to share an article on Facebook or Twitter. You don’t have to actually press these buttons for Facebook or Twitter to know you’ve read the page; typically, the mere fact that they are present is sufficient.

    Samizdata uses a service called “AddtoAny” to provide these share buttons. I don’t know whether AddtoAny shares the data it collects with Google, but AddtoAny itself certainly knows when you’ve read a page. AddtoAny also advertises that its services includes Google Analytics – I don’t know whether that has to be switched on by the web site operator, or is on by default. If the latter, Google certainly knows you have read this page.

    Of course, Google’s idea of who “you” are is a variable concept. At first, they will only know that somebody read this page. But they will also know that you are the same somebody that read some other page, and another, and so forth until they have an extensive profile. And if you’ve ever logged into Google for anything, then they’ll be able to link it to the real name you gave Google in an entirely different context.

    It’s not just the share buttons either. A lot of the Javascript that is embedded in web pages uses standard “libraries” (blocks of standardised software code) that themselves “call” Google. Google has invested a lot in developer support to heavily incentivise web developers to use Google-based support. Certainly, almost any page with an advert or a video embedded in it will notify Google, and an awful lot else besides.

    Late edit: I tried to post this comment, and hit an anti-spam Captcha system: select all the squares that contain
    motorcycles. So now Google knows I commented on Samizdata – and I helped train its AI in visual recognition. All without choosing (or being informed) I was using a Google service. Goody!

    Cookie blockers don’t help much: cookies are actually the more transparent, user-controllable way of doing all this tracking, and there are much more “reliable” and covert methods available, which are proof against simple self-defence techniques like using “Privacy mode”.

    That said, of course the main point still holds. For the most part, Google doesn’t want to tax me or conscript me, only to show me adverts. And Google has contributed huge amounts of value that make it vastly easier to run a site like Samizdata than it used to be. But it’s still true to say that Google is gathering a lot of data on me, regardless of my consent or my knowingly choosing to use its services. And I’m gradually becoming a lot less comfortable that Google knows I read Samizdata regularly, because they seem increasingly inclined to do things with that knowledge.