The corollary to the above is that if you hate business you also hate government. There is not a person alive that loves one but hates the other. Plenty of people think they are in that third category. But much like how I used to think I could control the weather with my mind, it doesn’t matter if you think you are something, the weather keeps on moving. Now this is a mighty bold claim, I wouldn’t be surprised if folks read this and scoffed. “Neigh!” They whinnied, “I love business but hate government!” Or some mix and match of either two in a state of passion, pseudo neutrality, or loathing.
I would even add that if you love big business you love big government and similarly if you love small business you love small government. I probably won’t touch on these today but if anyone is curious I’m happy to explain it. (Has to do with how much control you like to have in your life)
Let us examine why someone might be pro consumerism. I’m not saying capitalism because the US is not a capitalist state. We are a consumerist one. You are a human resource, not a human being. Your title is “consumer”, this is consumerism. With that out of the way, onto the show. The first thing people might mention is that the power of consumerism is that the purchaser can decide. We can take our money elsewhere. Enough people do this and the system changes. The argument against government is that you can take your vote elsewhere but nothing changes. Sure, I’m voting for Bernie Sanders, but he isn’t becoming the president.
But why doesn’t your vote matter? The reason it doesn’t matter is that the majority of people don’t give a shit. Most people only care about things when it impacts them. Before Megyn Kelly got pregnant she described Maternity leave as if it were a plague on society. A benefit only used by the weakest and most pathetic of women. Then she got pregnant. After that she praised it and attacked anyone who said otherwise. You’ll find this throughout your life. Droughts don’t matter until you can’t water your lawn anymore.
I suppose I shouldn’t confidently say “most” that is likely untrue. The reality is that “enough” people don’t care. Enough people don’t give a shit about anything but party lines and they will vote along them. “Liberal this” or “Conservative that”. The same is true of business. Enough people don’t give two shits about how terrible the owner of Papa John’s is. They want cheap pizza. Enough people don’t care about why their local Walmart can sell them pants for pennies on the dollar.
The same reason you don’t matter in government you don’t matter in business. So if you hate it in one place, you hate it in the other.
Maybe you are thinking that the reason you don’t like the Government is that it is too big. There are no options! You can’t just go down the road and choose a different Government. This is certainly the thought behind states having all the power. If I don’t like Kansas I can just move to Arkansas (if those are your only two options I am deeply sorry). But that’s where things get a little sticky. You don’t have this option anymore in business. Most businesses are either outright the same in every single state or they are all owned by the same parent company.
I remember back when I decided I would stop buying anything from the Koch brothers. They are a couple of grade A assholes and I didn’t want them having my money. Capitalism in action I thought! They own basically every single paper product in our Target. If I want to be wiping off, writing on, or eating off, of just about anything disposable I’m looking at them. We found alternatives but it required a great deal of research. Research that most people wouldn’t do.
So if you don’t like that your Government is too big, you also don’t like that businesses are too big. Just about every single fast food place you like to eat at is owned by the same one or two companies. You could choose to stop eating at Taco Bell and go over to KFC but your money is still going back to the same place. For the most part all the businesses that you deal with also are using the same religious methodology (consumerism) to decide on pricing, employee benefits, and company practice. So even if you decide to stop shopping at Walmart and start shopping at Target you are very likely still supporting the exact same practices.
Maybe you don’t like how the Government steps in and sues businesses or downright forces them to change to fit its will. Congratulations, your favorite big corporation is doing this constantly. Lawmaking at this point is really about using the biggest business in town (the government) to manhandle the smaller ones. That’s not inherently evil, I’m not saying that like it is some kind of giant conspiracy. This is entirely a creature that can be brought under control. But it isn’t for the same reason that any business isn’t.
The Government is nothing but a massive business. They are a monopoly. What makes the Government so beautiful is that it shows you exactly why big business cannot work. Because once an entity gets too large it can basically shave off any sense of humanity and just go balls to the walls. If you let business run wild it will eventually consume all of its competition through sometimes acceptable and sometimes unacceptable means. Until, inevitably, you will not have choices.
Your world is full of an illusion of choices. When you walk into the cereal aisle and see 97 different kinds of cereal you are seeing the products of, likely at most, three different corporations. When you walk into clothing, video games, music, movies, or just about anywhere else in your local shopping center you are purchasing from a very small group of very large companies.
The fact that things like minimum wage and OSHA exist is proof positive that business cannot be allowed to exist without strict supervision. You allow things to run unhampered and you’ve got people “accidentally” buying clothes from sweatshops. You’ve got folks losing their limbs in factories because of piss poor safety. And you’ve got businesses poisoning a water supply for vast swaths of people, because caulking up a few cracks was more effort than they were willing to invest in.
And the Government is no different. It needs to be supervised very closely. The watchers of the Government are supposed to be the citizens. But for whatever reason enough people have decided that they’d rather enjoy the illusion of choice than the reality of control. Ultimately every convenience and every cheap good has a cost somewhere. That cost is generally either the environment or the suffering of strangers.
We decide if we are alright with that decision. But we must be honest with ourselves. We either love business, or we hate it. But we can’t keep faking like this two headed coin is anything but.