While they often get a bad rap in today’s world for being too big and powerful, they usually get an even worse rap in the future – having spread beyond national boundaries and governmental controls. I’m of course talking about Corporations. Love ’em, work for ’em (and therefore can’t express an opinion), or hate ’em, Corporations are a fact of modern life.
Corporations are not inherently evil, but instead are dictated by a whole lot of people’s opinions and choices, between management, share holders, and all the individual actions of the employees. Just to throw out one really recent example of how a Corporation can be an interesting entity, take Starbucks – between their #RaceTogether initiative, and their support of same sex marriage in their home state of Washington, they’ve gotten a whole lot of press, and a whole lot of people both for and against them. Big actions, big consequences; so what might this look like in the future?
Corporations and Peace?
So you’ve probably heard of these theories from economist Thomas Friedman: the Golden Arches theory, and the updated Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention. Basically, the idea is this: two countries that both have the same Corporation doing business within their borders will not go to war with one another. It’s somewhat both cause and effect: they are likely peaceful or stable countries to begin with, and they would not immediately want to go to war and risk their relationships in terms of what these Corporations bring to their country.
So while they may not be the most sound theories, more of an educated assumption about national decision making – they are interesting theories taken into the future. As Corporations, and their related business and supply chains, increase their business and how many countries they are in – so too could spread world peace. Certainly at least, these theories would suggest that there’s much more chance and time that would be given to diplomatic means of peacekeeping!
Those Evil Multi-National Corporations…
Of course, then there’s the sorts of futures where we see Corporations evading all of the laws, evading taxes, taking over, out of control. And really, there’s no better example than the Umbrella Corporation.
Created a super-plague that turns people into Zombies? Check. Unleashed it on the world to see what happens, and maybe create super-soldier in the process? Check. Totally unable to stop what you’ve caused? Check. Totally survive the ensuing apocalypse and continue to cause problems? Check. I guess I’m basing this more on the Resident Evil movies than the games, as I’ve seen more than I’ve played, but it’s pretty much Umbrella’s deal that no one can stop them, and they do bad things because they can. Like GLaDOS! In fact, I’ll leave you with Still Alive. We do what we must, because, we can.