- The public has been led to believe that government and corporations are separate tools that can be used to keep each side in check. This is a lie. Big government and big corporations have always worked together while pretending to be disconnected, and this needs to stop if we are to ever defuse the political time bomb we now face. To solve the social media censorship debacle we need to examine the very roots of corporations as entities. First, corporations as we know them today are a relatively new phenomenon. Adam Smith described the concept of a corporation as a “joint stock company” in his treatise ‘The Wealth Of Nations’, and stood against them as a threat to free market economics. He specifically outlined their history of monopoly and failure, and criticized their habit of avoiding responsibility for mistakes and crimes.
- Joint stock companies were chartered by governments and given special protections from risk, as well as protection from civil litigation (lawsuits). But, they were supposed to be temporary business entities, not perpetual business entities. The point was to allow for the creation of a joint stock company to finish a particular job, such as building a railroad, and once the job was finished the company was dissolved and the government protections were no longer needed. Smith knew that if corporations were ever allowed to become permanent fixtures in an economy, they would result in disaster.
- Corporations ARE NOT free market structures. They are, in fact, government chartered and government protected monopolies. They are SOCIALIST creations, not free market creations, and therefore they should not exist in a free market society at all. The alternative option to corporations was for businesses to form “partnerships”, which did not enjoy protection from government, limited liability or the ability to form monopolies. When the owners of a partnership committed a crime, they could be personally held liable for that crime. When a corporation commits a crime, only the company as a vaporous faceless entity can be punished.
- Today, certain corporations continue to enjoy government protections while also enjoying government welfare. Meaning, these companies get a legal shield while also basking in the advantage of tax incentives and taxpayer dollars. For example, Google (Alphabet and YouTube) has long received huge tax breaks and is rarely if ever forced to pay in full for the massive bandwidth the company uses. In fact, YouTube was facing bandwidth affordability issues until it was purchased by Alphabet and Google, then it no longer had to worry about it – Google gets over 21 times more bandwidth than it actually pays for because of government intervention. The same rules apply to companies like Twitter, Facebook, Netflix, Apple, etc. All of them enjoy extensive tax breaks as well as cheap bandwidth that makes it impossible for small and medium sized businesses to compete, even if they operate on a superior model or have superior ideas. Many times the corporations pay no taxes whatsoever while smaller businesses are crippled by overt payments.
- A true free market requires competition as a rule, but the current system deliberately crushes competition. Again, we live in a socialist framework, not a free market framework. Now that we understand the nature of big tech and what these companies actually are (creations of government), the debate on social media censorship changes. How? Take for example the fact that public universities in the US are not legally allowed to interfere with free speech rights because many of them survive by consuming taxpayer dollars. They are PUBLIC institutions, not private. Why then are we treating major corporations that survive on endless taxpayer infusions and incentives as if they are private businesses? They are not – They are publicly funded structures chartered by the government and therefore they should be subject to the same rules on free speech that universities are required to follow.
- Said corporations will surely argue against this and will attempt to use legal chicanery to maintain their monopolies. Trying to dismantle them could take decades, and there are no guarantees that government officials will even make the attempt. Why would they? The relationship between government and corporations has been an advantageous one for establishment elites for decades.
- Instead of challenging the corporate model in the Supreme Court, an easier option would be to simply take away all welfare and tax incentives for any big tech companies that refuse to allow free speech on their platforms. If Google had to pay normal price for the bandwidth it uses, the corporation would either implode or it would be forced to break apart into multiple smaller companies that would then compete with each other. More competition means lower prices for consumers along with better products. The threat of losing tax incentives would mean more large companies would refrain from censorship.