Apple's value as a corporation just passed a trillion dollars. Only sixteen nations in the world have a GNP greater than a trillion dollars.
I don't have anything against Apple. I use a mac notebook. But no company should be a trillion dollars big. There should be federal and international laws making it illegal for a corporation to get that big, just as I've long written, there should be a law making it illegal to be a billionaire.
When corporations get too big they become too powerful, too dominating over what should be democratic processes and systems. Their reach gives them influence at all levels of government. They over-reach and privatize or abusively use the commons--our shared resources.
The way our predatory capitalist economic system works, the bigger the corporation, the more powerful it is. In some ways the power of corporation--at least of very big corporations--is a combination of soft and hard power. Soft power works by attraction. Hard power works by threat, command and domination.
Smart corporations wield the two kinds of power by weaving them into the tapestry of the community, building good will, but also a bit of dependence and fear of the local node (factory, office, headquarters, warehouse) shutting down and leaving.
Connecting to community is good. But when corporation has its tendrils in hundreds or thousands of communities, when its platform of products and software reaches deeply into almost every citizens' life, this can be dangerous.
Think cancer, tree-rot, advanced infection--an infestation that sinks its roots and tendrils in deep. And remember, corporations are predatory machines, created to extract and harvest without the balance of giving back, of connecting as part of a sustainable web of ecosystems. That's the way corporations should operate--in synergy, conscious interdependence and cooperation with the people and ecosystems they touch and interact with.
Systems can become very big and still can be sustainable and interdependent. It might be possible for some form of business evolve to be that sustainable, interdependent and generative rather than predatory and parasitic. But now, today, corporations are like the scorpion in the fable that kills the frog as they are crossing the river, because it is their nature. Corporations are killing mother earth, as Vandana Shiva describes, operating in a war paradigm of doing business, farming and destroying.
Until humanity evolves and invents sustainable economic and business models, policies and practices, corporations should be considered primitive, dangerous, in serious need of regulation and should be restricted in size. In nature, small is better. Big is rare and too big is pathological.
I am calling for a paradigm shift--a change to a model of living and working in the world that supports all life, supports the living ecosystems, that is based on an ethos of sustainable, interdependent, respectful coexistence. This is the way humans lived, functioned and operated for millions of years, they way WE evolved to exist. The experiment of civilization, which has brought benefits, has also brought ways of thinking and relating to the world that are pathological and toxic.
We CAN have civilization and technology without having the malignant, war-minded predatory economic and business models that now dominate. We have to invest in creating the models that meet that vision.