If you get into a conversation about corporate and political corruption your bound to run into the “regulation paradox”. This is just a vague term that I sometimes use to describe the catch-22 that exists when you put a government in charge of overseeing business and social matters. Allowing the government to regulate social matters is like having a fox guard the henhouse; while expecting them to regulate business is like trusting convict to guard a jailhouse.
This not only results in a philosophical paradox, but it also causes widespread panic and confusion amongst the general population as well, which is easy to see if you walk out your front door or turn on any kind of media. Almost every time that some natural law crises pops up, it is usually perpetrated by state and corporate entities working together, so there really is no line of defense for the average person. I guess it all boils down to the age old question of “Who watches the watchers?”
To put that into context lets rephrase that question and ask “how can the general public oversee important matters in a mass decentralized fashion to level the playing field and actually prevent corruption from taking place”? That would definitely have been a pretty hard question before the advent of the Internet, but now it’s starting to seem like this can actually be answered.
Now I’m not suggesting we bestow the power to regulate on any one specific organization here. However, Anonymous has given us a pretty good example of how the problem of regulation might be solved in a decentralized society. WikiLeaks was also setting a similar example, but because they had a leader it was extremely easy for the establishment to paralyze the organization. So in reality, it doesn’t have to be Anonymous that’s doing this, it can be anyone, and there doesn’t even have to be any hacking involved. The point is, it’s about having the information “open source” so civilians know what’s going on behind the curtain.
We have all heard it be said that “if you want something done right, you’re going to have to do it yourself”. This is especially true in being a part of a thriving, peaceful and free civilization. This idea where we can just completely ignore the greater issues in life and put them in the care of a few people is extremely dangerous. A civilized society does not work like a bus with one person in the driver seat, but works more like one of those old boats where everyone had an oar in their hand. That is of course if you take away the authoritarian ship captain and guards that you usually see whipping the sailors in depictions of these vessels. There is no way a society is going to be able to thrive with a small percentage of the population at the driver seat. How many disaster scenarios are we going to have to live through to realize this?
Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. We have been shown this repeatedly throughout history. Yet after every time it is shown to fail, we attempt to recreate this fantasy land where it is a good idea for one person or a small group of people to make decisions that affect the lives of millions. As I was saying before, if we want something done were going to have to do it ourselves — but we must have access to the truth of our situation.
If we want a solid ground up economy, were going to have to learn economics. If we want to curb corporate corruption, were going to have to form community groups that take these matters into their own hands and create a transparent business environment through investigation and activism.
Activists have done far more to prevent environmental degradation than the EPA has, and they have done far more to prevent corporate corruption than the SEC ever has. So what is it that we need, more government bureaucracies and more government control, or more decentralized social activism? I would say the latter. The problem is that this ends up getting very complicated, because when the public decides to actually regulate the corporations and hold them accountable, the government then protects the corporations from the citizens, which reveals whose side they have been on the whole time.
Now you’re completely welcome to disagree with my ideas, this is just a brainstorm of how we can solve some of today’s vital problems taking a non-coercive and decentralized approach. I used Anonymous as an example because this concept of regulation through activism started bouncing around in my head when I saw that they were going after the creators of the indefinite detention bill. I will admit though, for this kind of process to work we are going to need this to be more aggressive and organized than the ACLU, and even more decentralized and widespread than Anonymous. We are also going to need to be far more professional than the existing government, which will not be difficult at all I can assure you.
This probably won’t be a possibility tomorrow; it may not be next year either, but these kinds of problems don’t have quick and easy prepackaged solutions. They must be contemplated and debated by a very large portion of the world’s population on a regular basis. I know that may sound like a lot of work, but this is life; this isn’t a game. There is a whole ecosystem that rests upon the whims of various psychopaths in different parts of the planet, wearing three-piece suits pointing nuclear weapons at each other. They are the ones at the helm directing the course of civilization, and the direction they are taking isn’t pretty. It doesn’t have to be this way, though, all that we need to do is learn how to live and work together without putting this kind of power and control of other human beings into few people’s hands.
J.G. Vibes – is an author, and artist – with an established record label. In addition to featuring a wide variety of activist information, his website – Good Vibes Promotions hosts electronic dance music events. You can keep up with him and his forthcoming book Alchemy Of the Modern Renaissance, at his Facebook page.