Imagine a human society that started to make an artificial servant caste more human in almost every way. It should not be too diificult, the pages of novels, television, and film scripts are rife with the imagery. We have seen this world in almost every science fiction that has ever been written on the topic. What happens? The servant caste inevitably rises up and subjugates its creators. Whether, they are the cylons from Batttlestar Galactic; the NS-5 in I, Robot; or the Dr. Frankenstein fiend we humans always lose.
What causes the eventual uprising? Is it humanity narcissistic need to mold the abstract designed to work for us into our own image? Do we want to play God? Or is it just easier to assimilate non-human ideas by making them more human? I have no idea, but friends and foes are easier to comprehend if we think of them in the same fashion we think of ourselves.
Of course we do not have robots servants who are pining to take over. (Even if I am freaked out by the Snack Bot in one of CMU’s building). however, we moved into this world of subjugation long ago and now we we are in the crucial chapter where you want scream “kill it now, before it is too late.”
In 1886 the United States of America made a corporation into a human. By using the 14th amendment to the US constitution, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, they breathed life into the great abstraction of greed called capitalism. With the magic words “The defendant Corporations are persons,” our world changed over night. We made corporations into our own image.
Undoubtedly, a response to the rise in popularity of socialism during the nineteenth century, capitalism one upped everyone by becoming like you and I. As we all know, when a blogger gets a smidgin of knowledge, we like to go hay wire and postulate about problems far more complex than we are prepared to defend. Luckily I enrolled in an economics class this semester and I have had the opportunity to expand my knowledge from a smidgin to that of a dollop.
Corporations in the United States did everything that was expected of them for the first 100 years after their human birth. They were profitable, they tested their adolescent limits around 1929, responded to wars for a very profitable rebounds, and eventually encountered their nemesis: the actually working humans (labor movement) that make the world as strong as it is.
Annoyed by working persons, the corporations went looking for their guardians and when they found their Sobek they made him the President of the United States. Ronald Reagan protected his corporate leaders and allowed them to do something never thought possible. They got rid of the humans.
They made made the work force a variable input in the short run. That’s right, Econ 101! In the short run, labor is many times considered to be fixed. Now, what did the corporations call for? The fixed the labor hours as an input, but they made the number of workers variable. Can you imagine, we were taught for years that working was a good thing, and then all of a sudden they say you (human) are no longer needed. We can make money without you.
And they did, they squeezed blood from a stone. The corporations learned to walk and talk like humans and convinced everyone that they weren’t a necessary evil for society, they were merely necessary. Humans started losing jobs, and then they lost their savings, and then they lost their houses, and when humanity called on the government for help the government turned its back. It looked at humanity like it was a pathetic joke, something to scorn, something that seemed almost subhuman and when humanity begged for help the government helped the only humans it knew any longer. It helped the corporations.
And now we are at our last stand. Our government considers us with contempt and while being a person has been redefined the corporations have taken over. They run our lives, our government, and many times our ability to really think. However, I beg you that we must strain. It will hurt, but we must think hard, and think for ourselves and realize we are the humans. We deserve human rights, corporations do not deserve rights or any of the inherent beatitudes of humanity. These are ours and ours alone. Let’s strip the rights from these non-human corporations and begin to subjugate them to our will instead of living under its subjugation.