Introduction

As we have discussed previously [1], private enterprises like Twitter, Google and Apple are progressively becoming more and more powerful in our society, and I would definitely recommend reading that article first before this one. With that being said, it isn’t required reading, and for the sake of brevity, I will quickly sum up the point at the heart of that initial article. 

Private enterprises are progressively becoming more and more powerful, their voices being able to rise far higher than the average citizen and even political and pressure groups. This is a problem that is become more and more apparent, especially with the advent of the internet and its increasing popularity and accessibility by the world population. The question is then as follows; how do we solve this problem and is it even possible? This is what I will attempt to answer by the end of this article.

State and Civil Society

In theory, society as a whole is made up of two distinct yet inseparable institutions, civil society and the state. Within the civil society we see private enterprises, pressure-groups, leisure, and fitness clubs, etc. These are separate from the state, yet they are simultaneously at the behest of it. The state is everything else that is the parliament and government and all of its derivative institutions, such as the judiciary and armed forces. Thus, when we look at private enterprises, they should be at behest of the state, yet we know that isn’t quite true. 

The power of private enterprises, including banks and prominent celebrities, are completely separate from the state yet hold undeniable influence over the state and its goals, aims, beliefs and processes. Increasingly we see those with the largest wallets to have the loudest voices and the loudest impact on wider society and thus, naturally, the state. There wouldn’t be as much of a problem if their influence was largely concentrated on society than the state, but that simply is neither possible nor true. It is the private enterprise and its many tentacles that reach out and grasp the hands of the world tightly, wrestling the culture – and, thus, society – this way and that way. 

Yet, this is not an entirely original notion, in fact it had been foretold centuries ago by Hegel and his progenitors; ‘…commerce of this kind (industry)’ he said, ‘is the most potent instrument of culture, and through it trade requires its significance in the history of the world’ [2], and this was in 1821. He continues, speaking of corporations as being ‘restricted and finite’, while public authority – i.e., the state – is the ‘external organization involving a separation and a merely relative identity of controller and controlled.’, and it is here where; ‘the sphere of civil society [The restricted and finite corporation/private enterprise] passes over into the state [Regarding the state’s nature as the external organisation that controls the controlled, i.e., the corporation.]’ [3]. 

It is clear then what the role of private enterprises should be within the symbiotic relationship of civil society and state, a symbiotic relationship where one simply cannot exist without the other (not in modern, western societies at least). The role should be restricted and finite, it should be at the whim of the state, and throughout the majority of history it has been.

It is commonplace today to look at history as an eternal battle between these two and the relationship between the majority of people – those who work and partake in civil society more than the state – and the minority of people – those who work and partake in the state more than civil society. From men like Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan to the authoritarian leaders of Germany and Russia during the middle of the twentieth century, all are investigated and interpreted from this perspective, a perspective where it is clear who is in charge and who isn’t. 

In societies throughout history, private enterprise has either been at the whim of the state or it has been abolished by the state, yet that is not the case now. Private enterprises are slowly implicitly integrating themselves in the political process, and regardless of what side of the aisle you fall upon, I believe we can all see this as an incredibly worrying and dangerous predicament for democracy and our society.

As I explained in the first article, an antidote must be found to this problem, one that doesn’t bend to the absolute will of capitalism or socialism, something separate and free from the muddy waters those two bathe in. 

The Localist Vanguard 

The first point of contention whenever there are any transgressions politically, culturally, socially, etc, is the judiciary, the legislature and the political system in its entire totality; surely they will save us? Yet, as we know, rarely is this really the case, not just because many politicians are blind to the problem of the developing fusion of private enterprises and the state, but because the very fabric that holds the state together is itself the problem. 

When officials are elected through the first past the post system – usually due to party affiliation, not the candidate themselves – our elected government is at the whim of the majority party or coalition in parliament, a majority party or coalition of parties that simply don’t care for this issue. Our elected representatives are either set against the majority or are part of the majority, and in either scenario is situated on their knees at the feet of the party whips and their higher ups, their handlers essentially. 

So, I ask you to look around, do you see any major political party in the United Kingdom that actually is not only aware of this fusion, but actually cares enough to do anything about it? Additionally, why is that? Is it the party’s fault, or is it the public’s fault? After all, these parties want to get votes, so they will bend to public opinion where necessary.

The answer to these questions is as follows; No, there is no major party that currently cares enough about this problem. This is currently due to the lack of public outcry over the issue, but also the fault of the party’s for being so blind as to not see the affront to basic morals and civil liberties that is currently going on. 

Once upon a time, our politicians entered the political sphere to be the change they wanted to see in the world. However, nowadays those very people are scared off from politics, because it has become about a career, not about a moral duty to one’s nation, one’s people and ones rights and responsibilities as a democratic society. 

Thus, the answer to the problem presented in this article is not what you initially would think. It is not X policy or Y law or Z path, it is simply what me and you are doing right now, in this moment. You, the reader, and I, the writer, we are part of a crucial symbiotic relationship that is partaking in the answer; the spreading of speech and thought.

We must – as localists who believe in our local communities, regions, and people – spread the message of opposition, be that on moral, ethical, or legal grounds. 

We must – as English men and women – uphold the continual pioneering of freedom of expression, of political thought and of the genuine democratic process.

We must – as human beings – push back against this fusion because this is not isolated to England or even the United Kingdom. It is a multi-appendage beast that seeks to place itself neither below or even beside the state, but above it. 

It is the demiurge in waiting that must be made to wait before it is put down for good, and this is the beginning of that fight.

The worrying fusion of private enterprise and state is a threat tied to an arrow that is seeking the heart of all democratic societies the world over, and it is only through articles and discourse like this that we can begin to fight back against an increasingly powerful, unelected, unethical foe that wishes nothing more than to steer the ship of society towards a new oblivion. 

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[1] https://thelocalists.org/are-private-enterprises-becoming-too-powerful/

[2] Hegel, Georg (1821) Philosophy of Right Oxford, Oxford University Press, T.M. Know 1952 Edition, pp.151

[3] Hegel, Georg (1821) Philosophy of Right Oxford, Oxford University Press, T.M. Know 1952 Edition, pp.154