Sometimes I wonder if humanity hasn’t created, through economics and finance, its own golem.
Centuries ago, companies have turned into legal entities. As such they have interests and rights, which very often oppose those of natural persons, that is to say citizens. Moreover their lifespan is unbounded, which is a huge advantage over any natural person.
The larger a company is, the more it becomes independent of the people who are supposed to run it, and the more it acts in its own interest. But a company’s interest can be summed up in one word: profit. Everything else is just a means. And for lack of morality, since morality is a human value, all the means are good.
The power of the major groups over the States need no longer be demonstrated. Institutional lobbying, blackmail to delocalise in a globalised market, revolving doors, etc. The result is reflected in political discourse that is tinged with notions such as “competitiveness”, “attractiveness”, “performance”, “efficiency”, without forgetting the main one: “growth”. One wonders where the human being, the citizen that the State is supposed to represent, has gone.
We have to admit that businesses work well. So well that over time they have come to concentrate immense wealth, and have often done so to the detriment of the peoples, who have in some way become their servants.
For some time I fuelled the hope that macroeconomics would come to the rescue for a simple reason: for the economy to thrive, it needs consumers, so it is necessary to redistribute a minimum of wealth so that humans live.
It seems that I was wrong, because notorious counter-examples show that without regulation the market only focuses on those who have enough resources to consume. Next to luxury stores, those who do not produce nor consume die because they have no economic value.
In history, humanity has periodically been decimated by various scourges: world wars, epidemics, famines. In recent decades, despite local conflicts, worldwide mortality has dropped. At a time when many fear an announced global overpopulation, I wonder whether the economy and finance might not be the next scourge that will decimate the weakest billions.
Unless humanity finds a cure in time.
Insofar as personal data is becoming a major economic issue (big data), where in a few years companies have become global giants by exploiting such data, PeerStorage could enable the development of alternative “free” services which could participate in this cure.