The 1100th Movement

Let's all head to the tipping point axle and hang ten.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Self-Incorporation revisited

I have friend, Bill Barret, of Planet Bean Fair Trade Coffee, and Bill says he's an anarchist and is horrified by the whole notion of self-incorporation, largely because in facing the real politik of acknowledging that corporations have more rights than citizens, and by embracing self-incorporation as a solution, it merely adds to the whole corporate problem, rather than solving it. He believes that the lack of conscience that is permitted to corporations (which is why they can't sign affidavits in court) would cancel out my perceived benefits, since individuals on trial would plead that their inc. did it, and not them, and that such a split would hold up in court.
I certainly think it's a fair argument, since clearly citizens should have more rights than corporations, and if self-incorporation did enable the schizoid separation of Inc. from Self, and therefor created a mechanism that allowed people to escape responsibility for their own actions, then the whole point of a self-incorporation economy would be lost.

In the end, as a means of overthrowing the present corporate facade, I think self-incorporation remains viable, and that the law that says that a corporation can't sign an affidavit in court, would have to be changed when all corporations became individuals. Inc. and Self would have undivided access to the dictates of individual conscience.

The problem of self-incorporated individuals having more rights than citizens remains troubling, since it would continue to create a society in which economic relationships are more important than political relationships (the basis of civil society.) I think the easiest solution to that conundrum is for self-incorporation to be a right of citizenship, for which an individual is automatically signed up, free of charge, probably at the age of 18, so that it comes with the right to vote.

In the end, the ability to differentiate between the Political and the Economic without actually being able to divide them, would guarantee an equality of citizenship in the political economy of the future, and if individuals remained legally responsible for their own actions, despite being incorporated, then a more ethical business environment could evolve inside a more egalitarian society.